Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal's photos
Mass and Rite of Reception for Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church

Joint Statement by The Archbishop of Westminster and The Archbishop of Canterbury concerning the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith s note about Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church.

Full text follows

Today’s announcement of the Apostolic Constitution is a response by Pope Benedict XVI to a number of requests over the past few years to the Holy See from groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full visible communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and are willing to declare that they share a common Catholic faith and accept the Petrine ministry as willed by Christ for his Church.

Pope Benedict XVI has approved, within the Apostolic Constitution, a canonical structure that provides for Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of distinctive Anglican spiritual patrimony.

The announcement of this Apostolic Constitution brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution.

The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition. Without the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

With God’s grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England’s House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large.

+ Vincent Nichols    Archbishop of Westminster                                    

+ Rowan Williams    Archbishop of Canterbury

Latest news
  • Parishioners at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in London (Mazur/CBCEW.org.uk)Cardinal prays for people of Beirut

    Following the devastating industrial blast in Beirut on Tuesday 4 'I watched with deepening horror the unfolding news of the dreadful industrial explosion in the centre of your beloved Beirut. The widespread devastation it has caused has brough...

    more
  • Cardinal welcomes announcement on resuming collective worship

    Cardinal Vincent welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement on 23 'As Catholics we now look forward to being able to celebrate Mass together again from 4 'It is important that we continue to abide by the guidance, given by the Government, on app...

    more
  • Cardinal and Archbishop Welby pray together on first day of church opening

    On Monday 15th June, to mark the reopening of churches for individual prayer, Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby prayed together in Westminster Cathedral and Abbey to mark this 'moment of grace,' as the Cardinal sai...

    more