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The Basilica of St John Lateran, Rome (CNS/Paul Haring)

A “breakdown in communication” led to permission being given to a group of Anglican clergy to celebrate a service in Rome’s Basilica of St John Lateran. Source: America. 

Anglican Bishop Jonathan Baker of Fulham, a suffragan bishop with responsibility for Anglo-Catholic parishes in the dioceses of London and Southwark that have requested not to be served by a woman priest or bishop, celebrated the liturgy on April 18 as part of a conference in Rome for Anglo-Catholic clergy.

A statement on Thursday from the Lateran Chapter said the basilica’s vicar, Auxiliary Bishop Guerino Di Tora of Rome, “expresses deep regret for what happened last Tuesday, April 18, inside the Basilica of St John in Rome. In fact, a group of about 50 priests, accompanied by their bishop, all belonging to the Anglican Communion, celebrated at the main altar of Rome’s cathedral, contravening canonical norms.”

Benedictine Father Martin Browne, an official at the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, noted the apology, but said, “I also think that everyone acted in good faith and without any intent to cause offense or embarrassment to anyone else. That the celebration has caused comment is perhaps, above all else, a reminder of the need to pray continually for the Lord’s gift of unity, so that all may one day celebrate at the same altar the saving mysteries of the one Lord.”


Over 50 Anglicans celebrate liturgy at Pope Francis’ cathedral after “breakdown in communication” (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via America)


Pope’s cathedral ‘regrets’ Anglican ceremony on main altar (NCR Online)