BREAKING: Vatican blames ‘failure in communication’ for Anglican service in pope’s church in Rome


Pope Francis at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, Sept. 27, 2018. / Vatican Media.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 20, 2023 / 12:13 pm (CNA).

About 50 Anglican clergymen, who are not in communion with the Catholic Church, took part in religious services at the highest-ranking papal basilica in Rome on Tuesday, April 18. The Vatican later released a statement of regret, attributing the incident to a failure in communication.

The clergymen, who were accompanied by Bishop Jonathan Baker of the Church of England, are part of the Anglican Communion, which broke away from the Catholic Church in 1534 amid King Henry VIII’s frustration that he could not receive an annulment for his marriage. The Catholic Church does not consider Anglican holy orders valid and does not recognize Anglican orders as valid, which means they cannot validly celebrate Mass.

The Anglican service was celebrated at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, which is the oldest basilica in Rome and the official seat of the bishop of Rome, the pope.

In a statement issued Thursday, Bishop Guerino Di Tora, who serves as the vicar of the archpriest of the Lateran Basilica, said the incident was the result of a “failure in communication” and that he “expresses deep regret for what happened.”

The statement said that “a group of about 50 priests, accompanied by their bishop, all belonging to the Anglican Communion, celebrated on the high altar of the cathedral of Rome in contravention of the canonical norms. Di Tora also explained that the regrettable episode was caused by a failure in communication.”

Pope Francis met with Baker and the other clergymen on Wednesday morning, but it’s unclear how or why they were given authorization to conduct a religious service at the archbasilica.

The Anglican clergy who took part in the service are Anglo-Catholic. Despite the name, the group is in communion with the Anglican Church and not in communion with the Catholic Church. Anglo-Catholics tend to hold more traditional views than the Anglican Church as a whole, such as an opposition to ordaining women.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 7414 Articles
Catholic News Agency (


  1. We could say “a failure to communicate” (as with Steve McQueen in “Cool Hand Luke”), but inclusive/airbrush synodality (read ecclesial graffiti) is also a possibility. With reference to miracles, St. John Paul II insisted that “there are no coincidences.”

    Possibly no coincidences elsewhere, either? Below, a link to a coincidental article, and comments…As at Buckingham Palace, is it time for a changing of the guard? Pope Francis recently confided to the media that he honestly asks his closest advisors this question, and reported that they (his handlers?) reassure him that everything is “fine”!

  2. This can’t be a mistake. They needed permission to do that. This is where ecumenical theology, leads the Church Pope Francis is responsible for this and giving Charles pieces of the Holy Cross.The ancestor of Henry viii who beheaded Thomas Moore and Catholics who stood in his way. What a betrayal. Who destroyed the Catholic Church in England. This a total Disgrace. Is the Pope even Catholic,any more.lf he was this would not be happening.

    • It is in times like these that it feels wonderful to be an Episcopalian. We enjoy both the solidity of Reformation theology and the unerring sense of the sacred at the core of Catholic worship.

    • I’m inclined to think Maria is right. They wouldn’t just walk in church like that, 50 of them, and just start celebrating Mass. A comment I read the other day, attributed to Pope Francis again, that the Church “is still in diapers,” concerning morality. What an insult. Where has the Church been in 2,000 years?

  3. Can we blame a failure to communicate the Catholic religion at their formation for all the boneheaded thoughts and deeds by high prelates in the last century?

    • I agree with you totally Dr Coelho. Unity serves the world much better and God too than the division we continue to experience in all parts of our life.

  4. What was the motivation and the motive of the action?

    If there is sign of realisation of error, sorrow over error, and convincing honesty to reunite with The Church, and they are willing to carryout the necessities as demanded by Pope Francis 1, they should be received back with joy as the father of the prodigal son received his son back and consistent with God’s wish for all.

    • Sounds like a plan to me.
      Not a few Anglicans have crossed the Tiber recently and these Anglican Catholics share our beliefs on marriage and family.

  5. Pretending, protesting, changing the words and rites…
    Ignoring chastity as if marriage was more important than following Jesus or Mary’s given missions and messages. La Salette,Fatima, Guadalupe and so many other apparitions tell us. How disrespectfull to all Catholics. Who are they trying to kid?

  6. What are Our Lady of Lourdes promises?
    1) To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces. 2) Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive some special grace. 3) The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. BREAKING: Vatican blames ‘failure in communication’ for Anglican service in pope’s church in Rome – Via Nova

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.