This is in response to a number of news articles printed in Italian newspapers, reported here at this blog a few days ago. Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale reported that the reason for the delay in the publication of the new Apostolic Constitution was due to controversy regarding a permament dispensation of celibacy in the new Anglican use ordinariates. Tornielli reported that future priests of the ordinariates would have to be celibate, contrary to statements made by Rt. Rev. John Hepworth, the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion. Hepworth indicated in an interview that the dispensation from celibacy would be a permanent provision of the new Anglican structures.
Cardinal Levada in today's press release states: "Had I been asked I would happily have clarified any doubt about my remarks at the press conference. There is no substance to such speculation [that the document is being held up due to controversy regarding the dispensation from celibacy]."
Cardinal Levada goes on to reveal a portion of the working draft for the new Apostolic Constitution that clarifies any doubt in the matter regarding the dispensation from celibacy. This is currently from Article VI of the new Apostolic Constitution:
§1 Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfill the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement "In June" are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1.
§2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.
These paragraphs from the new Apostolic Constitution essentially say that ALREADY married deacons, priests and bishops will be eligible for ordination to the Catholic priesthood, and that this dispensation is not intended to be a permanent provision for the Anglican Use ordinariates. Levada goes on to comment that this is in conformity with already existing measures that admit married Anglican clergy to the Catholic priesthood on a case by case basis.
Cardinal Levada, however, goes on to state: "With regard to future seminarians, it was considered purely speculative whether there might be some cases in which a dispensation from the celibacy rule might be petitioned. For this reason, objective criteria about any such possibilities (e.g. married seminarians already in preparation) are to be developed jointly by the Personal Ordinariate and the Episcopal Conference, and submitted for approval of the Holy See."
The parenthetical seems to limit these petitions to current seminarians who are already married, but it, along with paragraph 2 from the working draft of the Constitution, does open the door for further dispensations in the future.
The whole press release can be read here.