Thursday, September 09, 2010

Making Straight the Way: An Anglican Homecoming

by Dr. Jeff Mirus
September 9, 2010

When Father John Fleming converted to Catholicism in 1987, he couldn’t foresee that he would play an instrumental role in the request of the Traditional Anglican Communion for reunion with Rome in 2007, which in turn had a major impact on Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in 2009. An Australian, Fleming was ordained an Anglican priest in 1970. He married in 1975, and he and his wife were already raising their three daughters when they both converted. After living as a Catholic layman for eight years, Fleming was ordained a Catholic priest in 1995. In this case, the rest really is history.

The Traditional Anglican Communion, which consists of 38 bishops representing some 400,000 faithful throughout the world, was established in 1990 to salvage traditional Anglicanism (conceived of as Anglo-Catholicism). From the first, the TAC was deeply interested in reunion with Rome. At first its leaders pursued this objective by seeking to set up ecumenical talks between themselves and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. But there were Catholic divisions over how best to handle ecumenical affairs, and the Council for Christian Unity was reluctant to enter into talks with the TAC lest such talks harm ecumenical prospects with the Anglican Communion as a whole. the rest


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