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.