When Anglicanorum coetibus was announced at a press conference in London a year ago tense-faced bishops faced aggressive questions from journalists. The Archbishop of Canterbury, looked grave and uncomfortable. It was clear that the papal document had shaken people.
The headlines that followed had the Holy Father parking his tanks on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn; there was talk of poaching and the barque of Peter casting its nets in other waters. Then there was talk of small groups: for a while it even seemed that an Ordinariate might never be established. Then there was silence. Then, little by little, the rumours started trickling out: 10 groups of Anglicans, no, 30. Twenty members of the clergy, no, 50. One bishop, no, suddenly there were five.
This morning Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Bishop Alan Hopes laid out the timetable which has been discussed behind the doors of the bishops’ conference’s plenary meeting, in quiet gatherings with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the shepherds of the Anglo-Catholic flock. There was a distinct shift of mood.
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