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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 06:44 GMT 07:44 UK
Churches set to become Catholic
Priest holding hosts
Three churches are to switch to Catholicism
Three former Anglican congregations have asked to be received into the Roman Catholic Church, a Catholic newspaper has reported.

The ex-Church of Ireland communities in Down, Tyrone and Laois, were part of the 'traditional rite'.

The Irish Catholic newspaper said the congregations asked the Vatican for "full, corporate, sacramental union" under the authority of the Pope.

This would see the communities being received into the Catholic Church.

A spokesman for the congregations confirmed that the members of the traditional rite of the Church of Ireland did hope to be received into "full communion with the See of Rome".

A decision was made at a plenary meeting of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), the umbrella organisation for traditional Anglicans, to petition Rome for such a move earlier this month.

Entrusted

According to a statement from the TAC "the bishops and vicars-general unanimously agreed to the text of a letter to the See of Rome seeking full, corporate, sacramental union.

"The letter was signed solemnly by all the College and entrusted to the Primate and two bishops chosen by the College to be presented to the Holy See," the statement added.

The traditional rite broke away from the Church of Ireland in 1991, after the House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland decided to start ordaining women.

Traditionalist Anglicans described the move as a "defiance of both Scripture and Tradition."

It is rare for entire Anglican communities to seek corporate communion with the Catholic Church whereby every member of the parish becomes Catholic and the parish effectively becomes part of the Catholic Church.

There have been a number of high-profile individual conversions.

Most recently, Anita Henderson, wife of the Church of Ireland Bishop of Killala was received in to the Catholic Church in a private ceremony in Ballina, Co Mayo.

SEE ALSO
CoI bishop's wife now a Catholic
18 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland

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