Rorate Cæli reports that in a meeting of Cardinals in advance of the coming consistory, a number of items will be discussed. Near the top of the agenda will be the issue of multiple requests from Anglican groups to join the church. This is very interesting news. I cannot help but wonder if the Pope has something interesting in mind and wants to take the pulse of the Cardinals and perhaps get their “buy in”. Maybe or maybe not. Either way, very interesting.

Also on this topic, the Anglican “re-alignment” continues in earnest. Ruth Gledhill reports in the Times Online about the ongoing saga in Canada. She admits that while the number of adherents involved in the Anglican meltdown in Canada is small, the ramifications could be much bigger.

The long-term goal, he said, was the establishment of another North American province running in parallel jurisdiction to the existing US and Canada provinces. The ultimate vision is for two, one in each country, but that is a little while off at present. Canada as a whole represents a tiny one per cent of the 75 million-strong Communion, so numerically Bishop Harvey’s followers are a tiny fraction. If allied with the US traditionalists under Bishop Venables, however, they begin to become something stronger.

Gledhill adds this interesting tidbit from a reliable source who tells her that Benedict is a beacon for those orthodox Christians of various types who feel abandoned.

‘Not just in the UK, but also in Europe, there is an enormous constituency, for the lack of a better word, of the spiritually disinherited. And this is not just about Catholics – it is also about believers in Russia who were cheated out of the practice of their religion by the Communists, in Europe by relativising thelogians and in the UK by clergy so desperate to please that they emptied the Christian faith of any content. Pope Benedict speaks in the name of these Christians and this is what makes his Pontificate so very exciting.’

Exciting indeed.