The Pro-Diocese of St. Augustine of Canterbury, a fledgling group of traditionalist Episcopalians seeking establishment of an Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church, have called for an international synod to promote union with the Vatican.
Canon Albert J. DuDois, former director of the American Church Union and senior priest of the new dissident pro-diocese announced here that a synod would be held Feb. 13 through 15 at the Su Casa Roman Catholic Retreat and Conference Center in San Antonio.
DuBois, whose Anglican United organization formerly was tenuously allied with dissident Episcopalians who now compose the splinter Anglican Catholic Church, said his diocese counted about 25 firm congregations in the United States and 20 in England as its constituency.
"The aim and goal of the Diocese of St. Augustine of Canterbury is to end the 400-year-old schism between loyal Anglicans and the See of Rome," Dubois said.
"We affirm historic and Catholic doctrine and seek recognition by the pope and full intercommunion. We hope to find a way of preserving some of the distinctive treasures of the Anglican Catholic heritage," he said.
In a statement distributed to sympathizers, DuBois said a petition seeking recognition for a uniate-style Anglican rite within the Roman Catholic Church would be prepared at the San Antonio synod for submission to Pope John Paul II. DuBois said the synod was expected to attract "official delegates from at least four countries" as well as "Roman Catholic observers."
The priest, who was suspended from performing sacramental functions in the Episcopal Church in early 1977 after withdrawing from the 2.8 million member denomination, said delegates to the synod would take action on a proposed constitution and canons for the pro-diocese.
DuBois said dissidents who bolted the Episcopal Church both before and after its 1976 General Convention approved women's ordination to the priesthool and changes in the Book of Common Prayer now are involved in 29 separate groups claiming an Episcopal-Anglican ethos.
The largest grours appear to be the Anglican Catholic Church, which grow out of the 1977 Congress of Concerned Churchmen in St. Louis, the DuBois group and a "grouping of individual" Anglican parishes described by Episcopal Church spokesmen as "Catholic-minded Congregationalists."