The House of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion issued a statement on March 4 after meeting in Orlando, Florida, confirming their intention to join with the Catholic Church. Present at the meeting was Primate Archbishop Louis W. Falk and the Reverend Christopher Phillips of the "Anglican Use" Parish of Our Lady of the Atonement of San Antonio, TX and others. The group represents approximately 100 parishes.
The decision was made at the meeting to formally request incorporation into the Catholic Church under provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus that was issued by the Vatican in 2009. The group had responded positively to the release of the Apostolic Constitution'. Archbishop Falk sent the following letter to "all the Faithful of the Anglican Church in America" in November 2009.
Said Archbishop Louis W. Falk, "The great Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff has been quoted as remarking that genuine Christian unity would require humility on the part of many, and charity on the part of all. I suggest that to those two paramount Christian virtues we must add the more workaday quality of patience. It took 450 years to raise all the questions posed by the possibility of real and corporate unity between Roman Catholics and Anglicans. We will not have all the answers in 450 minutes.
Yet with the publication of Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, we do now have the possibility of addressing those issues directly and in cooperation with each other. As most everyone knows by now, the Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion, meeting in October of 2007 in Portsmouth, England, addressed a petition to the Holy See seeking to explore what would need to be done to achieve full, visible unity while maintaining the best characteristics of our beloved Anglican heritage. The Apostolic Constitution is meant to provide an approach to just that question. It is an extremely generous and pastoral document. Indeed, it explicitly addresses the desirability of preserving our Anglican "...spiritual and liturgical patrimony ..." intact and undamaged after the ravages of such as Jenkins, Spong, Robinson and Schori."
He wrote furthermore, that "Bishop Langberg has remarked that library shelves around the world are packed with books and papers on the topic of 'ecumenism.' Up to now it's all been theory; but with respect to the world's largest Communion of Christians, there has been no "test case" or anything like it, trying to work out "how it will work" on the ground. That opportunity has now been presented to us. In view of our Lord's prayer (John 17) that all his followers might be one, that fact places upon us, and upon our Roman Catholic counterparts, a very great responsibility along with the opportunity. The real-world answer to that practical question will be worked out in real life and in real time as we move forward.
On February 13, 2010, Forward in Faith Australia, part of the traditional Anglican group that also has members in Britain and America, became the first group to accept Pope Benedict's invitation to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. They are currently setting up a working party guided by a Catholic bishop to work out how its followers can cross the Tiber to Rome.