Fr Hunwicke reflects on Anglican priests and bishops who did not cross the Tiber—yet

If we ever get an Anglican Patrimony conference off the ground (that would invite people from inside and outside the Ordinariate and welcome scholars in the Catholic Church such as Fr. Aidan Nichols, I would certainly want Fr. Hunwicke to be there.

He has an interesting post today about those Anglican priests and bishops who had seemed very warm towards unity with Rome but who, for whatever reason, pulled back.

He wrote this about what should happen if they decide at a later date to join the Ordinariates:

There must be no unpleasant nonsense about how they missed the opportunity when the ‘terms’ were easy. Men who have spent 50 years in the Sacred Priesthood, who are priests to their fingertips, must not be told that they are “too old” for the presbyterate of the Ordinariate; that never again can they expect to stand at an altar holding in their hands the Adorable Sacrifice, that vocation which in the Mind of the Eternal was theirs before the ages began. There must be no subtle (or unsubtle!) systems of discouragement. The spirit of Benedict’s gracious intentions must be honoured to the full. The doors must be widely and generously and permanently open.

 

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1 Response to Fr Hunwicke reflects on Anglican priests and bishops who did not cross the Tiber—yet

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    Your quotation: There must be no unpleasant nonsense about how they missed the opportunity when the ‘terms’ were easy. Men who have spent 50 years in the Sacred Priesthood, who are priests to their fingertips, must not be told that they are “too old” for the presbyterate of the Ordinariate; that never again can they expect to stand at an altar holding in their hands the Adorable Sacrifice, that vocation which in the Mind of the Eternal was theirs before the ages began. There must be no subtle (or unsubtle!) systems of discouragement. The spirit of Benedict’s gracious intentions must be honoured to the full. The doors must be widely and generously and permanently open. (emphasis in original)

    Amen!

    Of course, this should go without saying….

    There are many valid reasons why clergy of the Church of England might have deferred a decision to enter the ordinariate, and these reasons may well lie well beyond their control.

    >> 1. The ordinariates don’t have the means to pay reasonable salaries to “stipendary” Anglican clergy who join their ranks. Until alternate provisions exist to provide them with decent means to support their families, the ordinariates cannot accept them.

    >> 2. Some Anglican clergy may be pastors of congregations who are in the process of discerning their own futures, and thus may have discerned that they are called to guide their congregations through the discernment process in the hope that their congregations will come with them.

    >> 3. Some Anglican clergy may need more time to resolve irregular marriages, delicts of schism, or other impediments to Catholic ordination.

    And this is not exactly an exhaustive list.

    Norm.

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