Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
A Vatican source has denied rumors that Rome has decided to create a personal prelature for members of the Traditional Anglican Communion.
Leaders of the Traditional Anglican Communion, an international group of disaffected Anglicans that claims to have more than 400,000 members, have been in discussions with Rome since late 2007 about entering the Church as a corporate body.
The group broke with the Anglican hierarchy in 1990 because of objections to the ordination of women and other heterodox actions undertaken by some of the churches that belong to the Anglican Communion.
According to the reports circulating on the Internet, the Traditional Anglican Communion would be allowed to form a personal prelature modeled on the structure utilized by Opus Dei, to accommodate the clergy and lay members of the group.
A personal prelature is a canonical structure that was proposed by the Second Vatican Council decree Presbyterorum Ordinis. The document states that “special personal dioceses or prelatures” should be established when necessary outside of the Church’s existing structures to deal with “particular pastoral works as are necessary in any region or nation anywhere on earth” (no. 10).
Pope John Paul II created the first personal prelature for Opus Dei in 1982.
But Rome has not reached a decision to create a similar personal prelature for the Traditional Anglican Communion, according to an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith who spoke today with Register correspondent Edward Pentin.
Said the official, “It’s something that has appeared on the blogosphere and then been reiterated, but the truth is nothing’s been decided.”