The Vatican’s recent announcement of a new Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, creating personal ordinariates to receive Anglicans en masse into the Roman Catholic Church, sent reporters and commentators scrambling for superlatives. Some pronounced it “stunning” and “extraordinary”; while a few veteran observers, perhaps not wanting to appear blindsided by the announcement, downgraded the event to “important but anticipated”—the assumption being that “stunning” and “anticipated” are mutually exclusive alternatives.
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