The Universal Church, Part II (?)

If successful, it would be the first Anglican jurisdiction to reconcile with Rome since Mary I briefly returned England to papal authority in 1553 only to have her successor, Elizabeth I, reverse the move.

American Papist: Not Your Average Catholic!: Rumor: 400k Anglicans to be received back into the Church?
This is technically “blog fodder”, but believable hear-say, and if true, incredibly significant:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is reportedly recommending that the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) be offered the status of personal prelature. The Traditional Anglican Communion is a group of approximately 400,000 Anglican’s that have broken away from the Anglican Communion seeking to preserve their Anglo-Catholic traditions. They formerly requested entry into the Catholic Church in 2007. These reports are emanating from an Australian Catholic weekly called The Record. {American Catholic}

Catholic Online posts a qualification to its initial report:

Catholic Online promised to up date our readers on this extraordinary story. So, we now pass this on: The National Catholic Register cites a “Vatican Source” as saying that “nothing’s been decided” by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Reports abound that the Congregation has recommended the creation of a personal prelature as the vehicle through which to receive the members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Register contends that an official at the Congregation spoke with their correspondent Edward Pentin today saying,“It’s something that has appeared on the blogosphere and then been reiterated, but the truth is nothing’s been decided.” We set forth our original story below believing that the sources reporting this exciting news and the history of the dialogue support its accuracy.

This move strikes me as entirely likely, and seems to fit within the general framework of what Pope Benedict has been doing to reach out to other communities who are “all-but-Catholic” (that “all-but” remaining an important destinction, of course). A revealing paragraph from the Register piece:

The news that the Traditional Anglican Communion may reconcile with Rome as a personal prelature (as is Opus Dei) is incredibly cool. While the Traditional Anglican Communion is no longer part of the Canterbury system, it would provide a mechanism for the Universal Church to absorb those Anglo-Catholic who have grown weary of the ecclesiastical and political civil war that has been destroying the Anglican Communion for centuries.

The Society of Saint Pius X was the only schismatic group to form since the Second Vatican Council, and SSPX appears to be well on the road to reconciliation. The other two great schisms of the post-Reformation era, the Anglican Communion and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, should also be priorities for the Church. It is heartening that Pope Benedict is taking this seriously.

Here’s to hope that the Catholics who have been long torn from the Church — whether in SSPX, Westminster, or Beijing — will soon be reconciled.

Hat-tip to Catholicgauze for emailing this in.