Traditional Anglican Communion

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Coat of Arms of the Traditional Anglican Communion.
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The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) is an international communion of churches in the continuing Anglican movement independent of the Anglican Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The TAC upholds the theological doctrines of the Affirmation of St. Louis and an Anglo-Catholic interpretation of the Thirty-Nine Articles.[citation needed] Each of the respective jurisdictions utilizes a designated Book of Common Prayer deemed free of innovation. Most parishioners of these churches would be described as being traditional Anglo-Catholics in their theology and liturgical practice. Some parishes use the Anglican Missal in their liturgies. The TAC is guided by a college of bishops from across the communion and headed by an elected primate.[1]

The TAC was formed in 1991. Archbishop Louis Falk was its first primate. He was succeeded in 2002 by Archbishop John Hepworth of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia. At present Archbishop Samuel P. Prakash (India) is the Acting Primate.

The TAC churches have been formed outside of the Anglican Communion churches over a number of different issues. The principal issue has been the ordination of women. Other issues include liturgical revisions, the acceptance of homosexual activity and the importance of tradition within the Church.

The most common quoted membership, from the TAC itself, is 400,000.[2]

Overtures to the Holy See[edit]

In October 2007 the bishops of TAC formally expressed the desire to enter into full unity with the See of Rome without losing core Anglican distinctives[3] and declared their adherence to the doctrines expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.[4] In a statement authorised by Archbishop Hepworth on 16 October 2007:

The College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) met in Plenary Session in Portsmouth, England, in the first week of October 2007 and unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union. The Primate of the TAC agreed that no member of the College would give interviews until the Holy See has considered the letter and responded.[5]

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated, on 5 July 2008, that it was giving serious consideration to the prospect of corporate union with groups of Anglicans, observing that "the situation within the Anglican Communion in general has become markedly more complex".[6] The Traditional Anglican Communion does not hold membership in the Anglican Communion.

On 29 October 2009 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced Pope Benedict XVI's intention to create a new type of ecclesiastical structure,[7] called a personal ordinariate, for unspecified groups of Anglicans entering into full communion with the See of Rome.[8]

The press release envisaged that married Anglican clergy who join the Roman Catholic Church might be ordained as Catholic priests but not as bishops; therefore, the Constitution stipulates that the ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop.[citation needed] For the Holy See, "Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches." On 4 November 2009, Pope Benedict signed the apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, which was released on 9 November 2009.

On 3 March 2010, in Orlando, Florida, the eight members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America — the United States branch of the TAC — voted unanimously to formally ask the Holy See to be accepted as a personal ordinariate.[9][10] On 17 March 2010, leaders of the Canadian branch of the TAC (the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada) decided to do the same. The TAC member churches in the United Kingdom and Australia also petitioned for the formation of respective ordinariates.[11]

On 1 March 2012, the TAC College of Bishops announced the acceptance, with immediate effect, of Archbishop Hepworth's resignation as Primate and the appointment of Archbishop Samuel Prakash as Acting Primate. The college also made it known that the TAC would not be accepting the offer made to Anglicans by the Holy See.[12]

Member churches[edit]

At present the Traditional Anglican Communion consists of 15 member churches:[13]







  1. ^ The Traditional Anglican Communion Concordat.
  2. ^ Tom, Heneghan (14 January 2010). "Traditional Anglican bloc eyeing union with Rome is far-flung group". FaithWorld: Religion, faith and ethics (Reuters). Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Hepworth, John. "Anglican Communion: Rome and the TAC"
  4. ^ David Virtue (interview with Archbishop John Hepworth). "Traditional Anglican Communion Primate Seeks Union with Rome". Virtue Online. 
  5. ^ Hepworth, John. "Statement authorised by the TAC primate" in The Messenger Journal, July to December 2007 issue
  6. ^ Letter from William Cardinal Levada to Archbishop John Hepworth. (2008-07-25). Retrieved on 2012-04-16.
  8. ^ "Pope Benedict approves structure for admitting large groups of Anglicans into Catholic Church". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  9. ^ Campbell, Christian (March 3, 2010). "TAC Formally Requets Personal Ordinariate for USA". The Anglo-Catholic.
  10. ^ Weatherbe, Steve (March 14, 2010). "Anglo-Catholic Bishops Vote for Rome". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 2010-03-08.  Although the Holy See had yet to respond to the ACA, the bishops of the Anglican Church in America voted to have the ACA and its 3,000 claimed communicants in 120 parishes join the Roman Catholic Church. See also: Anglicanorum Coetibus#Anglican Church in America.
  11. ^ Simon Caldwell Canadian Anglican parishes ask Vatican for Personal Ordinariate. Catholic Herald, 19 March 2010
  12. ^ Statement by TAC bishops
  13. ^ Member Churches, Last updated 9 March 2009

External links[edit]