August 16, 2010
To the Clergy and People of the Province
You may have heard that bishops of what is known as "The Traditional Anglican Communion" have accepted an offer by the Vatican to enter the Roman Catholic Church while maintaining certain elements of Anglican liturgy and governance. Men ordained as Anglican clergy, including married men, are eligible to apply for ordination as Roman Catholic priests, and must be ordained if they are to serve in their congregations. Those congregations are authorized to use a form of Anglican liturgy approved by the Vatican.
This offer by Rome is principally an expansion of the "Pastoral Provision" of three decades ago. That Provision allowed individual married clergy from the Episcopal Church to apply for Roman ordination and the formation of some congregations using a form of Anglican liturgy.
Inherent in both of these offers is the acceptance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the authoritative teaching of the faith, and Roman claims that Anglican Orders are null and void. Denying the validity of Anglican ordinations means denying the validity of the sacraments administered by Anglican clergy.
The bishops of the Anglican Province of Christ remain fully committed to maintaining the catholic faith in the Anglican tradition. During the past few years, we have received into our dioceses several congregations and clergy whose bishops have accepted Rome's offer.
Most recently, I have taken some clergy and congregations in Canada under my archiepiscopal oversight. I see this as a temporary assignment until traditional Anglicans in Canada can organize and, in due time, elect their own bishop under their own provincial structure.
Please keep our Canadian brethren in your prayers as they continue to provide a place for traditional Anglicans to worship in unity, peace and safety.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
The Most Rev. James E. Provence