In response to the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (in the Holy See's reply to the October 2007 Petition) that Anglican groups intending to proceed under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus indicate this desire in writing to that dicastery, the Australian province of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, has petitioned the Holy See for the erection of a personal ordinariate for that country.
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Traditional Anglican Communion
Synod of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (Q) Inc
ABN 38 446 364 827
Archbishop John Hepworth
His Eminence William Cardinal Levada
Congregazione per la Dottrina Della Fede
Palazzo del S. Uffizio
00120 Vatican City
Prot. N. 217/08-30924
The bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (a province of the Traditional Anglican Communion) express their profound gratitude to you for your positive response of December 16th 2009 to our Letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of October 5th 2007 in which we expressed our desire to “seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment.”
We have read and studied with care the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus with the Complementary Norms and the accompanying Commentary, as well as the initial statement from your Dicastery at the time of your press conference with Archbishop DiNoia.
And now, in response to your invitation to contact your Dicastery to begin the process you outline, we respectfully ask
- that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Australia;
- that we may establish an interim Governing Council consisting of the two suffragan bishops (who serve both the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and Forward in Faith Australia), the Chancellor and Vicar General of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (both priests), a priest from the Council of Forward in Faith Australia, and a priest from among the former Anglican clergy who are now Catholic priests in Australia and who have indicated a desire to be incardinated into the Australian Ordinariate once it is formed.
- and that this interim Council be given the task and authority to propose to His Holiness a terna for appointment of the initial Ordinary.
We are working with Bishop Peter Elliott, who has been nominated by the Australian Conference of Catholic Bishops to liaise with us in the formation of the Ordinariate.
We also note that the Church of Torres Strait, a separate province of the Traditional Anglican Communion for Islanders resident in the Torres Strait and throughout Australia, is making a separate response through its bishop, Tolowa Nona.
We attach the resolution of the Council of Forward in Faith Australia also seeking the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution at this time. The Traditional Anglican Communion in this country and Forward in Faith have been working very closely for many years.
We are also in conversation with Anglican parishes and individuals (both clergy and laity) who have indicated a desire to explore more deeply the pathway to unity with the Catholic Church opened by the Constitution.
In the last week of July, a National Synod will be held in Queensland to bring together all those who have indicated a firm desire to be part of the proposed Ordinariate. The Synod has the power to enact legal and canonical legislation to give practical effect to a positive decision for Unity.
With continued expressions of appreciation for the generosity of the Holy Father in gathering the Anglicans into the fullness of Eucharistic communion,
Yours sincerely in Christ,
+John Hepworth, Diocesan Bishop
+David Robarts, Bishop of the Southern Region; Chairman of Forward in Faith Australia
+Harry Entwistle, Bishop of the Western Region; Council of Forward in Faith Australia