Australia's capital cities have been celebrating joint Anglican and Roman Catholic initiatives at different times and in the main this is good to see. Different Anglican and Catholic churches have hosted clergy from the other church and the practice (as was done most recently at the installation of Archbishop Nichols at Westminster), is to have the clergy of the guest church in choir and having all the rights of clergy in choir (including being incensed separately to the celebrant(s).
However, today, in a Catholic Cathedral a Mass was celebrated in which an Anglican Deaconess processed with the Gospel book and proclaimed the Gospel.
In the Mass the Gospel is always proclaimed by an ordained Minister and the role of this is the Deacon and if a deacon is not available, the Celebrant (GIRM (Australian version) n59)
Whoever authorised this obviously does not understand that the Bull Apostolicae Curae promulgated by Pope Leo XIII on 15 September 1896 still applies, and that declares:
We pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.
In addition, these women are not even recognised universally in their own church (eg Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney).
The Respondum in relation to the declaration Dominus Jesus of the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul 2007 states:
Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of “Church” with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?
According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called “Churches” in the proper sense.
What we had here is an abuse of the St Marys South Brisbane kind in which what is essentially a layperson proclaiming the gospel, and this done within a major city Cathedral in which people in charge are supposed to know better. It gives people the impression that we are in communion when we are not. I am sure that some members of the congregation were scandalised by it.
This was foisted upon the congregation without any warning, probably because of other attempts at misguided ecumenism, which were stopped before they occurred.
This could have been so easily avoided by having the Anglican ministers proclaim the other readings, or leading prayers of the faithful. This was crossing the line into doctrinal error.
But on a lighter note, before the Cooees boys steal my thunder, this video emphasises my sentiments: