Our Family Is Growing!

I received an email today from the Most Reverend Irl A. Gladfelter, Metropolitan of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, with the very good news that the clergy and parishes of the ALCC will be entering the Ordinariate with us. The following is a synopsis of what led to this marvellous development, which was sent to me by Most Rev. Edward J. Steele, the ALCC Bishop of Florida, and who is one of our regular commenters.

On May 13, 2009, The Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC) mailed a letter to Walter Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, stating the ALCC “desires to undo the mistakes of Father Martin Luther, and return to the One, Holy, and True Catholic Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ through the Blessed Saint Peter.” That letter was in turn forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for consideration, and the CDF in June 2009 sent the ALCC a reply acknowledging receipt of the petition, with the assurance the request for full membership was being given serious attention.

However when the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI graciously released Anglicanorum coetibus in November that same year, the ALCC did not immediately respond as others did. Instead the ALCC, being of Lutheran heritage, praised God for the apostolic constitution and for the gift offered to our Anglican brothers and sisters; but continued to wait with the blessed hope that our petition too, would soon be granted.

Surprisingly, in October 2010 the ALCC received a letter from Archbishop Luis Ladaria, Secretary of the CDF, informing the ALCC that an Episcopal Delegate, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, had been appointed in the United States to assist the CDF with the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus (Cardinal Wuerl was still an Archbishop at the time however). The letter further stated, “As we proceed toward the erection of Ordinariates we would invite you, therefore, to make contact directly with Archbishop Wuerl at the following address…” Humbly, the ALCC responded with a resounding “YES”, mailing a letter to Cardinal Wuerl in compliance with the correspondence received from the CDF, requesting to be a part of this wonderful reunification within the Body of Christ.

It is with great joy and deep gratitude, therefore, that the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church makes known her intention to enter the American Ordinariate under the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus, and looks forward to serving with all our brothers and sisters in Christ to undo the Reformation and restore the visible, corporate unity of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Welcome, brothers and sisters in Christ… it looks as though we’ll be adding some more pins to the map!

Are Lutherans Next?

Deacon Keith Fournier has an interesting report at Catholic Online about a Lutheran approach to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for full communion with the Holy See.  My emphasis.

I am in a dialogue with Archbishop Irl A. Gladfelter, CSP, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, a group of Lutherans who have embraced the Catholic Catechism and the teaching of the Magisterium. They are humbly knocking at the door of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seeking a way into full communion. You can read about this amazing group here. I am working on a fuller story of their journey. Some have said that their smallness and placement on "the fringes" of the Lutheran community makes them less representative. I recall that those were the same comments made about the "Traditional Anglican Communion" in their early efforts. They became the prophetic vehicle the Holy Spirit used to open up an historic breakthrough.

Update from the Moderator (11:00 PM EDT):

The group calling itself the "Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church" is a very small group which seems historically to have had some troubling episcopi vagantes connections.  However, it appears to have originated with some Catholic-minded pastors and laypeople of The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod; to the extent that the group, however obscure, seeks to enter into the full communion of the Holy See, we unreservedly support their ambition.