Vatican's Anglican Announcement Unexpected
Notified Media of Press Conference Via Text Message
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By Jesús Colina
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 20, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A text message sent Monday evening ensured that Vatican correspondents wouldn't miss today's announcement that Benedict XVI is facilitating the process for groups of Anglicans to join the Catholic Church.
The message alerted the journalists to the announcement on the briefing posted in their section on the Vatican's Web page, which didn't go up until the end of the workday Monday.
This is the first time a press conference of this kind has been announced in such a seemingly hurried way.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, smiled at the beginning of today's press conference, acknowledging that such an arrangement kept the Vatican a step ahead of the secular media.
In this way, the press office was also able to ward off erroneous interpretations of the move published before the Vatican had spoken -- a case altogether contrary to the uproar in January when the Pope lifted the excommunication of Society of St. Pius X Bishop Richard Williamson, who denies the Holocaust.
The press briefing announcement simply alerted the correspondents that today's conference would address a topic related to relations with the Anglicans and also announced the presence of Archbishop Joseph Di Noia, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
Given the Vatican's announcement, several agencies and newspapers began to publish brief articles, which in general coincided in interpreting this message as the announcement of the entry of numerous Anglicans into the Catholic Church, something that had been expected for more than a year.
However, these sources had no more details on Benedict XVI's imminent apostolic constitution with which he creates personal ordinariates to receive former Anglican faithful.
Hours after the press conference, images of the meeting were published on the Vatican's YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/vatican).