Via Facebook I came across this article

It quotes Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

 Monsignor Keith Newton, the former Anglican priest who heads the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham acknowledged that “more enthusiasm” is needed to increase the number of Anglican Clergy taking advantage of the special body, the Catholic weekly The Tablet quoted him saying in a homily.
    “We have to be honest and say that the Ordinariate has not increased as much as we hoped it could. The project was not welcomed. We have to communicate our message more fully and with more vigour and enthusiasm,” he said. The group currently counts 85 former Anglican priests and some 1,500 lay members. The Ordinariate was created in 2011 amid expectations of mass defections by conservative Anglicans opposing the Church of England’s decision to begin the ordination of women.

 

Shane Schaetzel, an American Catholic apologist writes on Facebook:

I must disagree with the good Monsignor on this. I think the Ordinariates have progressed swimmingly well, and are exactly where they should be right now. The problem is that now the other half of our mission must kick in. The Ordinariates were not designed to become an “ex-Anglicans” club. They were designed to become a place of evangelism, reaching out to all people. That’s the future of the Ordinariates, and the tapering of Anglican clergy coming over is a sign that the time has come to start becoming evangelistic. In America that means reaching out to Baptists, Evangelicals and non-religious. In Britain it is primarily non-religious and Muslims. This is it’s folks. Time to look beyond the Anglican horizon. We have the mustard seed. That’s all we need.

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16 Responses to Via Facebook I came across this article

  1. EPMS says:

    Reaching out to Baptists, Evangelicals, Moslems, and the non-religious is undoubtedly a good thing, but we hardly needed the Ordinariates to effect this. Evangelism is the mission of the Universal Church. Why will looking beyond “the Anglican horizon” succeed if the Ordinariate project has not succeeded within the Anglican fold? I think Mr Schaetzel is just trying to cheer himself up.

  2. Will Roper says:

    Amen. If the AngloCatholics have rejected the Ordinariate, then let us “go to the Gentiles” and share the fullness of the faith with our other separated brethren.

    It might help orient our mission, as well as solve the “Anglican Ordinariate” name controversy, if we simply considered ourselves Ordinariates for Reconciled Believers.

  3. EPMS says:

    This Easter, approximately 2,000 people baptised in other denominations will become members of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. (This figure does not include any who may be received into an Ordinariate parish, as they do not provide numbers to Catholicnews.org.) Of course we would wish the figure to be many times this number, but the fact remains that believers continue to be reconciled, as they always have. The evidence that the Ordinariate has a special role in this has not been forthcoming.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: This Easter, approximately 2,000 people baptised in other denominations will become members of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

      I’m delighted that these people are coming into the full communion of the Catholic Church, but Easter actually is worst possible time to receive them into full communion. Rather, this tends to diminish the difference between baptism of converts and reception of baptized Christians into full communion, contributing to confusion in the minds of many faithful. The difference between baptism of a convert and reception of baptized Christians into full communion is huge, and pastors need to emphasize it to minimize popular confusion!

      The ideal occasion to receive baptized Christians into full communion is at a normal parish mass on a Sunday of Ordinary Time, when there is nothing special happening, and the reception should be as “low key” as possible. Of course, it may be done during a normal Sunday mass in a privileged season (Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter) if the timing of the candidate’s preparation so dictates, or even during a weekday mass if circumstances warrant.

      And yes, I’m aware well that the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults does provide an order of baptism of converts and reception of baptized Christians into full communion at the Easter Vigil — but that combined order is in an appendix entitled “Combined Rites for Use in Exceptional Circumstances” or something similar. I don’t see how one can argue that the “exceptional circumstances” envisioned in the title of this appendix encompass the normal celebration of the Easter Vigil in a typical parish.

      You wrote: The evidence that the Ordinariate has a special role in this has not been forthcoming.

      I don’t perceive that the ordinariates have a special role in this, but I do believe that many diocesan parishes are highly deficient in this regard and I hope that ordinariate congregations won’t be deficient.

      Norm.

  4. A Parishioner of St Agatha's says:

    I agree with Shane Schaetzel, These are very early days for the Ordinariate and it should most certainly look beyond the Anglican horizon. The situation is complicated in the UK but I suspect there will be more defections from the C. of E. The Ordinariate needs to keep a high profile.

    • Jeff says:

      People from other Protestant traditions find the Ordinariate strangely more familiar, and this comfortable to them than a standard catholic parish.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Jeff,

        You wrote: People from other Protestant traditions find the Ordinariate strangely more familiar, and this comfortable to them than a standard catholic parish.

        That’s certainly true in some places, but not universally. In my experience, Protestant Christians typically seek communities of faith in which the full gospel is preached and lived without apology and where the mystery of salvation through the death and resurrection of our Lord is center stage — and these communities typically also have good liturgy because they grasp the importance of worship. Conversely, they flee from Catholic communities where the gospel is so diluted as to be neutered of its power to convert sinners, where people pay lip service to the gospel while maintaining wanton lifestyles, or where the central mystery of our faith is displaced by exaggeration of various pious devotions and thus almost forgotten, and where careless, or even reckless, celebration of the liturgy is pervasive.

        Unfortunately, the parishes of most Catholic dioceses tend to fall into one camp or the other depending, to a large extent, on the seminary to which a diocese sends its clergy and the formation provided by that seminary. Dioceses that send their seminarians to seminaries that provide decent formation, ensuring that all seminarians develop real zeal to preach and to live the gospel in its fullness, tend to receive a LOT of Protestant Christians into full communion of the Catholic Church, while dioceses that send their seminarians to “feel good” seminaries or to more “traditional” seminaries that stress popular devotions and other relics of popular piety of the Tridentine era in which the true gospel is forgotten. In my experience, the dioceses that have large populations of ethnic Catholic immigrants tend toward the latter category while dioceses that are more missionary in character, particularly in the “bible belt” and in the Midwest, tend toward the former.

        Norm.

  5. EPMS says:

    What evidence to you have to support this contention? I think the standard Catholic parish looks a lot more like a United Church of Canada congregation than what we see in the pix from Mrs Gyapong’s church in Ottawa, for example.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: What evidence to you have to support this contention? I think the standard Catholic parish looks a lot more like a United Church of Canada congregation than what we see in the pix from Mrs Gyapong’s church in Ottawa, for example.

      I’m speaking from my own personal experience. In my travels, which have included extended stays and repeat visits to various denominations, I have encountered parishes that are all over the map in terms of configuration of their worship spaces, liturgical styles, spirituality, etc., all within the Catholic umbrella.

      BTW, while visiting a Catholic national seminary in the Midwest a couple years ago, I learned that the seminary had a couple married seminarians, both of whom were former Protestant ministers studying for the Diocese of Little Rock. Now, I can’t say that I have spent much time in the Diocese of Little Rock, but I have visited there on a few occasions, and I can say that the celebration of mass and the preaching that I encountered there seemed to be very solid, and the popular expression of faith seemed to be well grounded — which is probably why a couple former Protestant ministers had come into the Catholic Church and were then studying for that diocese.

      Norm.

  6. EPMS says:

    Norm, your points about spiritual depth and evident commitment as central to creating a community which will draw in Christians from other traditions are well-taken. I was commenting on the relatively superficial assumption that a place of worship reflecting an Anglican, ie Protestant sensibility will be more congenial to a Protestant seeker than the typical Catholic parish. There is nothing in the typical Anglo-Catholic parish, whether or not it is now within the Catholic fold, that will seem familiar to the average Evangelical or liberal Protestant. They are likely to encounter more statues, more incense, and fancier vestments than in many Catholic parishes. The music may well include fewer familiar hymns. The service may well seem more formal, less folksy and personal. It will in no way appear as a way station between Protestantism and the Catholic church.

    • Foolishness says:

      EPMS, it certainly was a bridge for me. What made it congenial was how much theology was conveyed in the congruent and reverent way our former ACCC priests prayed the Mass. There was the same reverence as well for Scripture—priests who actually believed what they proclaimed—that I found reassuring as an evangelical. There comes a time in many evangelical/charismatic Christians’ lives when there is a desire to go deeper, to explore the history of the Church, to examine the evidence as it were. That would be where we could be that bridge. Our more formal and structured way of praying the Mass, because it is in English, also provides a bridge to help people understand what is going on in the ordinary form of the Mass.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: I was commenting on the relatively superficial assumption that a place of worship reflecting an Anglican, ie Protestant sensibility will be more congenial to a Protestant seeker than the typical Catholic parish. There is nothing in the typical Anglo-Catholic parish, whether or not it is now within the Catholic fold, that will seem familiar to the average Evangelical or liberal Protestant. They are likely to encounter more statues, more incense, and fancier vestments than in many Catholic parishes. The music may well include fewer familiar hymns.

      I’m not sure that much of this matters. Many Protestants don’t care about vestments, art, and ceremony one way or the other, so it won’t draw them but it also won’t repel them. They simply want a pastor to preach the gospel in its fullness so that they can grasp it more deeply, and they really don’t care what denominational label, if any, appears on the congregation’s sign. They also typically are not locked into one style of music or another, so long as there is an atmosphere of genuine worship.

      There are, however, three things that will repel Protestants from Catholic congregations — and it does not matter whether the congregations belong to an ordinariate or not. They are: (1) lame preaching, (2) lack of emphasis on living the gospel, and (3) exaggerated emphasis on devotions that displace the central mysteries of faith from center stage. And these things also would repel Protestants from so-called “Anglo-Catholic” communities within the Anglican Communion and so-called “continuing Anglican” bodies where they persist!

      Norm.

    • William Tighe says:

      Cf.: the many comments of one “Gary” on the thread to this interesting article:

      http://pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/2014/04/thoughts-on-lutheranism-on-occasion-of.html

      Gary’s ideas about the “doctrinal stance” of a putative “Lutheran Ordinariate” within the Catholic Church seems, on the other hand, utterly bonkers.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Professor Tighe,

        You wrote: Cf.: the many comments of one “Gary” on the thread to this interesting article…

        Great article!

        Sadly, if one were to replace the word “Lutheran” with the word “Catholic” throughout that article, I would agree with most of it.

        You wrote: Gary’s ideas about the “doctrinal stance” of a putative “Lutheran Ordinariate” within the Catholic Church seems, on the other hand, utterly bonkers.

        Yes. The Vatican clearly sees ordinariates as the way to reconciliation for Lutherans and for Christians of other liturgically oriented Protestant traditions, whenever there are sufficient numbers. Doctrinal compromise, however, will NOT be part of that equation.

        Norm.

  7. EPMS says:

    Well, that was Norm’s point, that evident sincerity and commitment are key. I think there are plenty of mainstream Catholic parishes where these things are to be found. Assuming that former Anglicans have a leg up here over lifetime Catholics is rather offensive. And the BCP-inspired rite, whatever its felicities of language, is hardly a straightforward theological exposition; rather it is a thicket of devotional asides. The larger point is that almost everything one can think of, from a clown mass to Solemn Benediction in Latin, has drawn someone to the faith. The anecdotal approach is of limited use, as is speculating about the subject theoretically. Finding a successful model and analysing its success seems a more fruitful approach.

    • Foolishness says:

      I agree about the presumption that former Anglicans would have a leg up, and I also agree there are many, many Catholic parishes where worship is done in sincerity and truth. Congruence is the key. However, considering how many people in my parish were former charismatics or evangelicals, there is an attraction to beautiful liturgy and there are ways our more complex liturgy with its genuflections and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament can help convey theological truths about Real Presence to those unfamiliar with the teaching.

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