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I have read with much delight the recent development in the Catholic Church in relationship with their Anglican brethren intending towards full communion with the Catholic church. This we see in the Vatican news papers as well as in every other newspaper of the Catholic church, whether in Cameroon as we have the L'effortcamerounais, or the Leader newspaper, in Owerri Archdiocese in Nigeria or in every other newspaper of the Catholic Church in the different localities where the catholic church operates in the world. Certainly, this is a welcome event in the Christendom generally, and in the Catholic fold particularly. Thanks, of course, to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. However, while we rejoice at this recent development in the history of the Church generally, and in the Catholic Church and Anglican Church particularly, we cannot pretend to be insensitive to some of the questions this event or actions of the Catholics are raising. It is a good thing that the Anglican communion are coming back to the Catholic fold. Perhaps, Jesus' prayer that 'they may be one' is gradually coming to fulfillment. But this is not what interests me now. As a matter of fact, I am concerned with what the position of the Anglicans married priests would be when they come back to the Catholic church. Would they remain same Priests celebrating the same Eucharistic sacrifices the ordained catholic priests celebrate? Or would they first of all go through some periods of formation as we have the catholic seminaries? I do not mean having periods of retreat but periods of formation under some priests formators who would take charge of them and certify whether or not they are qualified to be adopted or ordained as the case may be to the catholic priesthood. And whereby some of them are not qualified, they either be expelled as it is customary with the priest-formators in the catholic seminaries or be allowed to continue where they are certified to qualify. It is only when this process is accepted and followed that I rejoice with the Catholic for the coming back of the Anglican brethren. Otherwise, one is inclined to say that the catholic priest-formators could be partial in their processes of formation. We have recognize that many catholic seminarians have been expelled by their so-called formators in the various seminaries as a result of few mistakes one could be found guilty of. Many times, such things do not qualify the offender to be expelled but because of the type and kind of formator (s) one has at the time of the problem, the victim is asked to leave the seminary, perhaps after so many years of his training. Let us keep in mind this aspect of the Catholic mistake as we intend to rejoice with the Anglican communion. It is not to celebrate that the Anglicans are coming back, their priests becoming catholic priests when we know that some of the ex-seminarians may have lived better lives than them. Otherwise an ex-seminarian who goes to an Anglican bishop and joins them and could later be ordained a priest after sometime indicate interest to go back to the catholic and continue his priestly ministry. Let the Catholic church look into this matter as we celebrate and dance for the coming back of the Anglican communion. Tony Udoka, from Nigeria.
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Nov 29, 2010