Following the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which will provide for Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, the Chairman of Forward in Faith, Bishop John Broadhurst, has issued an interim statement today.
Addressing "to those clergy who look to him, as Bishop of Fulham, for episcopal care at the present time and he is happy to share it with the membership of Forward in Faith worldwide," the Bishop writes:
"I had thought the original notice from Rome was extremely generous. Today all the accompanying papers have been published and they are extremely impressive. I have been horrified that the Church of England while trying to accommodate us has consistently said we cannot have the jurisdiction and independent life that most of us feel we need to continue on our Christian pilgrimage.
"What Rome has done is offer exactly what the Church of England has refused. Indeed it has offered the requests of Consecrated Women? with the completion of its ecumenical hopes. We all need now to ask the question 'is this what we want?' For some of us I suspect our bluff is called! This is both an exciting and dangerous time for Christianity in this country. Those who take up this offer will need to enter into negotiation with the Church of England about access to parish churches and many other matters. This situation must not be used to damage the Church of England but I do believe we have a valid claim on our own heritage in history.
"The doctrinal standard demanded by Rome is the New Catechism which most of us use anyway. We would be allowed to use Anglican or Roman rites and our ordinaries would have jurisdiction. We will all need to meet and talk. I would hope that this could take place in collaboration with the PEVs and other Catholic bishops. It is not my style to give a expansive analysis of a document that I have only received today nor will I answer the question 'What are you going to do?' That is something we need to work out together."