What is the Anglican “patrimony” that will be “united not absorbed” (in Pope Paul’s words) into the Church when the first Ordinariate parishes are established? Pope Paul had envisaged union with the whole Anglican Church. But it had become increasingly clear that, as Fr Aidan Nichols put it in his book The Panther and the Hind, “since Anglicanism is so very much three churches [Catholic, Evangelical and latitudinarian] within one that no satisfactory ecumenical relations can ultimately be carried out with it… what is to be done? An Anglican church united with Rome but not absorbed … is perfectly feasible, but it can only be constructed on the basis of a selection…” In the end, that turned out to be a selection by Rome of the church within a church which came to call itself the Forward in Faith movement.
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