The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Resignation of Archbishop John Hepworth of TAC

Please keep all our brethren in the Traditional Anglican Communion, those seeking full communion via the Ordinariates and those who are not, in your prayers. As Fr. Jeffrey Steenson says, all of us who care about the Ordinariates owe an immense debt of gratitude to the TAC for its efforts which were a major element in the petitions that were responded to by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in Anglicanorum coetibus.

Traditional Anglican Communion
Office of the Primate
Archbishop John Hepworth
28th January 2012

To the Bishops, clergy and people of the Traditional Anglican Communion

My Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,

In June of 2003, I was elected as the second Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion. At the Plenary Meeting of our College of Bishops, held in Australia in conjunction with the inauguration of my Primacy, it was made strongly clear – without dissent – that I was to further the ambition of this Communion since its beginnings to discover a means by which Anglican ecclesial communities might come into the fullness of Catholic Communion in a corporate manner, without loss of the treasures of the Anglican tradition.

I prosecuted that mandate of the College in National and Diocesan Synods, in meetings and discussions with anyone whom I thought might assist in both Anglican and Roman Catholic circles, having made clear to the Holy See that I would not allow my own circumstances to become an impediment to unity.

With the promulgation of Anglicanorum Coetibus, the mandate given to me by the College is now complete.

I have been deeply concerned that most of our Communion has been marginalised by the process of implementing the Apostolic Constitution. My correspondence and personal representations have not been as effective as I would have wished.

I have been equally concerned that several of the Bishops of our College continue to set aside the provisions of the Concordat that regulates our life as a College. The Concordat is a deeply Anglican document. It cannot be changed or disregarded by bishops alone. The clergy and laity meeting as the National Synods of our Member Provinces must confirm changes before they become effective. Neither bishops nor anyone else can be expelled from Communion at the whim of the bishops. Several bishops have started to exercise prelacy of this most disturbing kind.

I have also been concerned at the lightness with which the most solemn decisions of the College are being set aside.
I indicated last December that I would spend some weeks discerning the moment when my retirement might best be accomplished. Some of the bishops have expressed impatience; others have dissented from their actions.

I have today forwarded to the Secretary to the College (an elected position of the College, not an appointment of the Primate) a deed of resignation to be effective on Easter Day of this year, and I have instructed the Secretary to conduct an election for the next Primate, in strict accordance with the procedure laid down by the Concordat, and according to the detailed process determined by the College prior to the resignation of Archbishop Falk, my predecessor.

I remain the Bishop Ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.

I ask the prayers of the whole Communion for their bishops at this time, as once again they seek the Divine Will.

+John Hepworth

reposted from the blog English Catholic.

Hat tip to Mary Ann Mueller.

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