Technically, from Australia—but pertaining to Roman doings…
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard this, of course, and it may well not be the last, but hearing this in such close proximity to action in regard to the SSPX is intriguing.
Let’s be clear on what the whole SSPX thing is about. It’s not fundamentally about 4 bishops. Yes, the bishops are the key to it, but I think it’s more about the people. B16, it seems to me, is doing part of what the church ought to be doing—engaging in the ministry of reconciliation—and is working to repair rifts. (And, of course, I’m sincerely hoping that he exercises his episcopal role to discipline at least one if not more of the said 4 bishops if and when full reconciliation occurs.)
Looking at it from this perspective, it’s not hard to see the TAC in the same way.
If these rumors were to be true, if this were to be accomplished, it might well open the door for a mass (npi…) return of traditional Anglo-Catholics from outside the TAC. As we’ve noted in the past, while American Anglo-Catholics have grabbed on to this Gafcon/FOCA thing, that’s not the case in England and elsewhere. Even now there are rumblings that even within those Americans who drafted documentation for Gafcon, there are some who may choose to swim the Tiber and return to Rome rather than remain in the FOCA.