Here’s an excerpt of a piece from the Catholic Herald entitled “All eyes are on you,”
by Madeleine Teahan:
Cardinal Müller said: “Anglicans will be interested in how well you are able to make a home in the Catholic Church that is more than just assimilation, while Catholics will want to know that you are here to stay, strengthening our ecclesial cohesion rather than setting yourselves apart as another divisive grouping within the Church…It is your delicate, but all-important task both to preserve the integrity and distinctiveness of your parish communities and, at the same time, help your people integrate into the larger Catholic community”.
Turning his attention to the importance of the sacred liturgy as the expression of communion, Cardinal Müller said that the ordinaries’ role in this regard was critical. “By ensuring that the sacred liturgy is celebrated worthily and well, you further the communion of the Church by drawing people into the worship of God who is communio”. He said that the sacred liturgy was also the “privileged place” for encountering Anglican patrimony, which was how ordinariate parishes and communities distinguished themselves, bearing witness to the faith in the diversity of its expression.
“In this sense, the celebration according to the approved Divine Worship [or Ordinariate Use] texts is both essential to the formation of the identity of the Ordinariate as well as being a tool for evangelisation”, Cardinal Müller said.
The prefect went on to issue a word of warning about the potential problems caused by the “new media”, particularly through blogs. He said that some of the ordinariate clergy and faithful wrote blogs, which, while being a helpful tool of evangelisation, could also “express un-reflected speech lacking in charity”. The image of the ordinariate was not helped by this, he said, and it fell to the ordinaries to exercise vigilance over these blogs and, where necessary, to intervene.
“All eyes”? He certainly underlines that the eyes of the Vatican are on them and they will be held responsible for anything that appears on the internet, which is probably why news is so scarce.
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The OCSP website has an interesting posting on this meeting. One point that is emphasised is the necessity of moving the Ordinariate priesthood towards the Western norm of celibacy. This requirement will be challenging for the Ordinariates, especially since they have virtually no current celibate clergy to act as role models and mentors for a new generation of celibate clerical leadership, or to educate laity in accepting the importance of this discipline (which seems to be losing support even among lifetime Catholics).
You wrote: The OCSP website has an interesting posting on this meeting. One point that is emphasised is the necessity of moving the Ordinariate priesthood towards the Western norm of celibacy. This requirement will be challenging for the Ordinariates, especially since they have virtually no current celibate clergy to act as role models and mentors for a new generation of celibate clerical leadership, or to educate laity in accepting the importance of this discipline (which seems to be losing support even among lifetime Catholics).
Yes, it’s certainly plausible that we might be looking at the beginning of the end of the discipline of clerical celibacy, at least in North America. In Catholic circles, however, the magisterium tends to maintain the public stance that nothing is going to change while discussing possible changes internally, and this public stance continues even after the magisterium decides to implement a change until the formal announcement of the decision.
My guess is that a change in the discipline of celibacy will be gradual, beginning with episcopal conferences proposing broader classes of exceptions than the current norm of not admitting married men who are not former clergy of other Christian denominations to the order of presbyter, and that there will be a process of reconfiguring rectories to accommodate clergy who are married with children over the course of several decades during which the categories of exceptions to celibacy will continue to expand until the requirement for celibacy is, for all practical purposes, dropped.
Rome is back tracking on celibacy for ordinariate clergy. So what. It isn’t the end of the world. We know what AC says and that should be good enough for us. Once we’ve grown in numbers and influence we can revisit the question.
I’m fifty years time:
“Uh hrrrm… Mr Pope, Sir, remember that article in AC about married priests…. We’d like to start implementing it now…”
Jeff, if your timeline is fifty years you are presupposing that the entire current cohort of Ordinariate clergy will be replaced by celibate clergy. Were this to be successfully accomplished there would be little incentive to revisit the requirement of celibacy. My fear is that there will be virtually no celibate vocations whatever emerging from the Ordinariates in the near term, nor former Anglican clergy coming forward in numbers sufficient to replace the current crop, which is by and large made up of men in their 60s and 70s. However, Norm is quite correct in pointing out that the Church’s right hand often appears not to know what the left hand is doing. The Trappists were hard at work on a new system of “sign language” when they announced that they were dropping their rule of silence. One could multiply examples.
You wrote: My fear is that there will be virtually no celibate vocations whatever emerging from the Ordinariates in the near term….
Your fears may be misplaced. The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham already has a handful of seminarians from within its own ranks, all of whom are celibate. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross are not quite there yet, but they probably are closer to two years behind in the development process. The founding members of the British ordinariate were a cohesive group who got a significant head start while still within the Church of England, including young men discerning their vocational calling within the Catholic Church, whereas the newer ordinariates did not have that sort of head start. Note that the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham had received all of its founding communities and ordained nearly all of its first wave of incoming clergy as Catholic presbyters within six months of its canonical erection, whereas the other two ordinariates are still in the process of receiving their founding communities and ordaining their first wave of incoming clergy two years after their canonical erection.
Just because an Ordinariate priest is celibate, doesn’t mean he’s unsupportive of married clergy in the ordinariates. If they are spiritually vibrant places they will produce celibate vocations, and if they aren’t spiritually vibrant then any married candidates for orders probably won’t be worthwhile.
You wrote: If [the ordinariates] are spiritually vibrant places they will produce celibate vocations, and if they aren’t spiritually vibrant then any married candidates for orders probably won’t be worthwhile.
Yes, you are absolutely right about that. There’s a stark contrast among the normal Roman Catholic dioceses here in the States in this regard.
The need to reach out to wider church is important too. For long term growth we’ll need to get cradle Catholics worshipping with and supporting us anyway. The idea of teaming up with other, non-ordinariate parishes for a choral evensong would be a good way to start this off
You wrote: The need to reach out to wider church is important too. For long term growth we’ll need to get cradle Catholics worshipping with and supporting us anyway.
It may be more useful to get the word out to former Anglicans who have already come into the Catholic Church, many of whom might yearn to return to the Anglican use of the liturgy and other aspects of Anglican patrimony. I would not count on “cradle Catholics” to add much to ordinariate congregations, as those who are not members of the ordinariates obviously should not hold any office or position of ministry in an ordinariate community.
You wrote: The idea of teaming up with other, non-ordinariate parishes for a choral evensong would be a good way to start this off
That’s a great way to share Anglican patrimony with the larger church, for sure!
I don’t know about that. There is interest out there. Most just don’t know quite who we are and what we do. I’ll agree tho that Anglicans who converted some time ago (I had been catholic for about 10 years when I joined the Ordinariate) aren’t all bad
Jeff, regarding your comment from 7:21 am, you seem to have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. Ordinariate clergy are currently virtually all married men. Cardinal Mueller opined that the Ordinariates should be moving towards the Western norm of a celibate clergy, although as Norm pointed out we shouldn’t accept this statement at face value. But if we did, it would be a very tall order for the Ordinariates, with no tradition of celibacy and little or no lay support for the idea.
Norm: The latest information on OOLW seminarians not previously Anglican clergy is from November 2012, when there were three, at least one of whom was a married man. So the pace will have to pick up if the current 80 priests, most of whom are past secular retirement age, are to be replaced by celibate candidates. As we have discussed previously, the Pastoral Provision parishes in the US have produced only one celibate candidate for ordination to date.
You wrote: The latest information on OOLW seminarians not previously Anglican clergy is from November 2012, when there were three, at least one of whom was a married man. So the pace will have to pick up if the current 80 priests, most of whom are past secular retirement age, are to be replaced by celibate candidates.
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has far more clergy than it needs, so it does not necessarily need to replace all eighty with current seminarians. And in any case, an ordinariate that ordains two presbyters per year will stabilize with eighty presbyters if the average presbyter serves for forty years.
You wrote: As we have discussed previously, the Pastoral Provision parishes in the US have produced only one celibate candidate for ordination to date.
I could be wrong, but I had the impression that the parish Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio alone had produced several vocations to the ministerial priesthood over the past four decades of its existence.
The ordinariates need membership more than anything. Sympathetic diocesan clergy can say Ordinariate masses IF THEY’VE GOT A PASTORAL REASON TO DO SO. Again, membership.
There are lots of former Anglicans who converted years ago, and sympathetic cradle Catholics with mothers or living grand fathers who converted from Anglicanism. I’ve met a few cradle Catholics who are very supportive of the Ordinariates and admire the Anglican Patrimony who would like to help if they could. A cradle Catholic in his 20s could ask his elderly granddad who converted from Anglicanism in the 50s to fill out some papers and then get his dad to do the same and voila: he qualifies for membership.
If we gotta jump through hoops we gotta learn to ask how high. Fact: the fledgling Ordinariates need more members and fast.
I agree that the OOLW is probably overstaffed, although the demography suggests that a forty year career will not be typical. In Canada, however, only one Ordinariate priest is under sixty, making the replacement issue a little more urgent.
You wrote: In Canada, however, only one Ordinariate priest is under sixty, making the replacement issue a little more urgent.
Yes, but retirement age for Catholic clergy is now 75 in the United States and probably also in Canada, so the Canadian ordinariate congregations probably are set for a decade or so on average. And in my archdiocese, a presbyter who retires, though relieved of official pastoral responsibility, typically become a “senior priest in residence” in a parish where he assists with the Saturday and Sunday mass schedule and covers the parish mass and any funerals that fall on the pastor’s days off.
We have two priests under 60 in Ottawa.
And we have three Ordinariate priests under 60 in Calgary. 🙂 And one seminarian in his 20s will be ordained as a permanent deacon this summer.
You wrote: And one seminarian in his 20s will be ordained as a permanent deacon this summer.
This is the first news that I have heard of seminarians studying for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Deo gratia!
I did not know there was so much micro-management of these Ordinariates. In the future, it will deflate like a flan in a cupboard. Just ask the Franciscans of the Immaculate, or Roberto de Mattei, Deacon Nick Donnelly of Protect the Pope. The liberals in the church must be flushed out one way or another. They are a threat.
Meanwhile, the Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles is in progress; it is a very large convention of heretics and forked tongues that insults our Lord by turning Him our equals, and proponents of women priests, deniers of the Real Presence, and Liturgical Abusers rejoice in Anaheim. Many words of encouragement from priests like Robert Barron, not a word of criticism from Archbishop Gomez, and all the traditionalists can do is wail and gnash their teeth in the outer darkness.
I am tempted to do a horrible thing to Roger Mahony, the perpetrator of this scandal. Yet offing him won’t change anything, no. All of this has been the result of the heretical notion of doctrinal development. And it is because of this that I shall convert to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. May God have mercy on our souls this Great Lent.
Presumably the permanent deacon is married?
You wrote: Presumably the permanent deacon is married?
The current norm of Catholic ecclesial law requires that married candidates for the permanent deaconate be at least thirty-five (35) years of age before ordination to that order, but it’s also extremely unusual for candidates for the permanent deaconate to be regarded as “seminarians” so it’s clear that there is something unusual in this situation. I did not pick up on the word “permanent” earlier, but it’s certainly plausible that it was the product one of those mental slips that we all commit from time to time and that “transitional” was intended. The Vatican has shown a willingness to grant rescripts for the ordination to the order of presbyter of married former Anglican seminarians of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham who complete their formation in Catholic seminaries, and it certainly seems strange that the Vatican would treat a similarly situated member of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter any differently. It’s also plausible that there was a discernment that the seminarian is not yet (and perhaps may never be) ready for the order of presbyter and ordaining him as a “permanent” deacon for now leaves open the door to ordain him as a presbyter if/when he is ready in a decade or two. Of course, such a discernment and the reasons for it would be strictly confidential between the seminary, the candidate, and the ordinariate’s staff, so don’t expect to see any explanations here!