Scotland: Traditionalist Anglicans set up community in Catholic chapel

St Catherine's Convent

St Catherine's Convent

Traditionalist Anglicans in Scotland are setting up a new community in a Catholic chapel in Edinburgh, Forward in Faith announced today.

The FiF statement said the move was being made possible "because of a generous offer from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh to provide a place of worship for their first service this Christmas Eve."

Canon Len Black, Regional Dean of Forward in Faith Scotland, the organisation which represents orthodox Anglicans world-wide, said: "This move has come about because of the rapid drift of the Scottish Episcopal Church away from the traditional faith, morals and practices of the universal Church. We are most grateful to Cardinal Keith O'Brien for the generosity he has shown us in making a place of worship available, not just for Christmas but in the months ahead, as we seek to serve those Episcopalians who look to us for spiritual and sacramental support."

"When the Scottish Episcopal Church first decided to ordain women as priests some 15 years ago we were assured of a 'valued and honoured place' within the church 'for all time to come'. That promise has not been honoured and today some of our people even find that they are being told they are no longer welcome in the churches in where they were baptised as infants. Now we find that the provision we were hoping for from our own Church is being offered to all disaffected Anglicans by the Catholic Church."

"Episcopalians in Scotland have a long and rich history and liturgical tradition and the offer from the Catholic Church to enable us to take this tradition with us is something we and all traditionalists must consider carefully."

Cardinal O'Brien commented: "I am delighted to help provide a place of worship for these Traditionalist Anglicans, taking the lead from Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Pope John Paul II."

The first service - a Christmas Vigil Mass - is being held on Thursday,  24 December at 7pm in the Chapel of the Convent of Mercy (St Catherine's), 4 Lauriston Gardens, Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9HH 

An FiF spokesman was unable to confirm whether the move meant that the Traditionalist Anglican group is planning to join the Catholic Church, in response to Pope Benedict's invitation,  or will be simply using the Catholic buildings for their Anglican liturgies.

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