CHURCH OF IRELAND PARISHES SEEK TO BECOME ROMAN CATHOLIC
"A federation of Christians is inconceivable in which each member retains his own opinions and private judgment in matters of faith.
Pope Pius XI.
From Independent Catholic News via Michael Kelly, Deputy Editor The Irish Catholic: "Three Church of Ireland parishes have asked to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church The Irish Catholic newspaper reports this week.
The parishes, in counties Down, Tyrone and Laois are members of the 'traditional rite' within the Church of Ireland.
The Irish Catholic newspaper, has learnt that the members of these parishes, along with traditional Anglicans from twelve other countries, have signed a letter to the Vatican seeking "full, corporate, sacramental union" with the Catholic Church under the authority of the Pope. The dramatic move would see the entire parish communities received in to the Catholic Church.
While only a few hundred Anglicans in Ireland will be affected, the move, if approved by the Vatican, would see 400,000 Anglicans worldwide admitted into the Catholic Church, the paper reports.
The traditional rite of the Church of Ireland emerged in 1991 after the House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland decided to start ordaining women. Traditionalist Anglicans decried the move as a "defiance of both Scripture and Tradition."
A spokesman for the traditional rite confirmed that the members of the traditional rite of the Church of Ireland did hope to be received into "full communion with the See of Rome".
A decision was made at a plenary meeting of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), the umbrella organisation for traditional Anglicans, to petition Rome for such a move earlier this month.
According to a statement from the TAC "the bishops and vicars-general unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union.
"The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See," the statement added.
A spokesman said "the letter was cordially received at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"The Primate of the TAC has agreed that no member of the College will give interviews until the Holy See has considered the letter and responded," he said.
It is rare for entire Anglican communities to seek corporate communion with the Catholic Church whereby every member of the parish becomes Catholic and the parish effectively becomes part of the Catholic Church. There have been a number of high-profile individual conversions. Most recently, Anita Henderson, wife of the Church of Ireland Bishop of Killala was received in to the Catholic Church in a private ceremony in Ballina, Co Mayo.
In the US, the so-called 'pastoral provision' allows Catholic bishops to establish 'Anglican Use Catholic parishes', which use a liturgy adapted from Anglicanism. However, the parishes are in full communion with the Holy See and accept all Catholic teachings.