Image source: StJohnParish
It's sometimes referred to as "swimming the Tiber," that is, crossing over to Rome from another Christian ecclesial community. Well, Rome is building a bridge for Anglicans - wide enough for married clergy and their families to cross over en masse, so to speak.
Catholic News Service reports:
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has established a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with Roman Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage, said U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada.Here's the full text of the Vatican report on this move.
The cardinal, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said a new apostolic constitution would establish “personal ordinariates” — similar to dioceses– to oversee the pastoral care of those who want to bring elements of their Anglican identity into the Catholic Church with them.
Anglican priests who are married will be ordained Catholic priests, although married Anglican bishops will not be able to function as Catholic bishops in keeping with the longstanding Catholic and Orthodox tradition of ordaining only unmarried clergy as bishops, Cardinal Levada said.
The cardinal announced the new arrangement during a press conference today at the Vatican. He said the pope’s apostolic constitution and norms for implementing were undergoing final revisions and would be published in a couple of weeks.
The new provision does not weaken the commitment of the Vatican to promoting Christian unity, Cardinal Levada said, but is a further recognition that many Anglicans share the Catholic faith and that Anglicans have a spiritual and liturgical life worth preserving.
(read the full CNS report)