From the Telegraph
Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope's official spokesman, spoke out following the recent announcement that the Pontiff would allow traditional Anglicans to "move to Rome" - which was seen as a possible shift in policy on the celibacy of priests.
In the Roman Catholic Church, priests are not allowed to marry or have sexual intercourse and Father Lombardi made his comments after the Vatican published a guide for Anglicans who want to convert called "The Apostolic Constitution".
Father Lombardi said: "This is not an initiative that came from the Holy See" but "a generous response by the Holy Father to the legitimate aspirations of some Anglican groups.
"It is not an initiative by the Pope to attract new members," he said, stressing that dialogue with the Anglican Church would not be affected. [Well, what do you call it? When the TAC members join us, how do you call them Father Lombardi? Old or new? Cut as some slack. They are NEW members since they do not belong to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and they want IN! He clearly echoes what Cardinal Kasper said.]
He added: "The institution of this new structure is in full harmony with a commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church."
The Apostolic Constitution or Anglicanorum Coetibus, [Or group of Anglicans in Latin] to give it its official Latin title, allows Anglicans to become Catholics while retaining some of their traditions and practices.
It comes as a response to a demand from some conservative Anglicans, unhappy with progressive developments including women bishops and gay clergy, [which some are now saying as the Anglican experiment] for an easier and larger-scale way to convert.
In the document, the Vatican said: "In recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually as well as corporately. The Apostolic See has responded favourably to such petitions."
It added: "The possibility envisioned by the Apostolic Constitution for some married clergy...does not signify any change in the Church's discipline of clerical celibacy."
The Catholic Church has previously approached the issue only on a case-by-case basis and only a handful of Anglican priests have become Catholics in recent years.
They are allowed to stay married, though bishops will only be allowed to join if they are single.
The Apostolic Constitution lays out formal procedures for unmarried bishops, married and unmarried priests and other members of the Anglican Church to join the Catholic Church.
Several hundred unhappy Anglicans are reported to be mulling a "return to Rome".
A conservative Anglican group called Forward With Faith has said many of its members are eager to convert because the Church of England was becoming "the church of political correctness". [or what I call the "religion of Obamanation", led by "Bishop" Nancy Pelosi.]
One of its leaders, Father Geoffrey Kirk, said they objected not only to the ordination of women but also to "many attitudes on human sexuality" including divorce and homosexuality.
The Church of England is regarded as the "mother" of all the other churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
With some 77 million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion in the world after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
The English church was under papal authority for nearly a thousand years before splitting from Rome in 1534, when King Henry VIII was refused an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon so he could marry Anne Boleyn. [The Anglican Church was founded by Henry VIII and supported by bishops who are "politically correct" at that time. Ask St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. They paid for it with their lives for being not too politically correct.]