From Andrew McGowan, warden of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, this assessment of the Apostolic Constitution coming on three years since it was first announced. My emphases:
When the idea of an Anglican Ordinariate was announced in September 2009 in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Times of London ran the headline ‘Vatican Parks Tanks on Rowan’s Lawn’.
However the stated aim of the Ordinariates, to accommodate whole groups of Anglicans who might come together as existing communities or structures with Anglican patrimony in tow, and thus to promote unity, is a failure. In just a few cases — ostensibly including one in Melbourne — congregations have moved en bloc; generally the new parishes of the Ordinariates will be precisely that, new bodies made up of disaffected individual Anglicans from various communities, gathered afresh around re-ordained clergy.The Anglican parishes from which they came and even the ‘Traditional Anglican Communion’ itself remain, the structures of disunity as evident as ever, with a few extra cuts and bruises to boot.
As for Anglican patrimony, embodied in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, it remains to be seen how much this really becomes part of the life of the Ordinariates.
When Anglicanorum Coetibus was issued, one bishop in the Church of England quipped that the likely departures would have to go out and buy copies of the BCP so as to have a patrimony to take with them.
The departing clergy now have some prospect of pursuing their vocations with more support and encouragement than they will recently have felt in an Anglicanism where they were a shrinking minority.
There have been costs to them. One will be somehow reconciling the immediate past of their sacramental ministries in Anglican orders, pursued even while publicly preparing to join and accept re-ordination in a body which still does not recognise that they had ever had any orders or sacraments at all.
This is not quite Newman’s profound journey of conscience.
Yet the fact of the Ordinariates suggest that the real position of the Vatican on Christian unity is about absorption rather than convergence; the tanks, not the talks.
Kind of nasty but some truth in what he writes, no? Your thoughts? Go on over and read the whole thing.