Sandro Magister writes on the Ordinariates

This column by Sandro Magister does not mention the warm welcome that Ordinariate clergy received from Pope Francis during their pilgrimage to Rome last February.

But it is interesting nonetheless that Anglicanorum coetibus and our Ordinariates get some attention in this widely read column by this veteran Vaticanista.

Magister writes:

ROME, February 2, 2015 – The ordination of the first female bishop of the Church of England, carried out in York last week (see photo), brought lively reactions from those who did not did not accept the breach and for this reason might even abandon the Anglican Communion and enter the Catholic Church, as others of them have already done.

The move from Anglicanism to Catholicism not only of individuals but of whole communities with priests and bishops was streamlined and regulated in 2009 by Benedict XVI with the apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum Cœtibus.”

By virtue of this constitution, the new arrivals have the faculty of preserving their former liturgical rite, while their priests and bishops, most of them married with children, are ordained priests in the Catholic Church and continue to lead their respective communities.

To this end, between 2011 and 2012 three “personal” ordinariates were created in the Catholic Church, for the care of faithful with no territory of their own, a bit like the military ordinariates: the first in England and Wales, the second in the United States, and the third in the Australia.

The innovation was received with relative tranquility by the leadership of the Anglican Church, so much so that in 2009 the announcement of it was made simultaneously by the two primatial sees of Rome and Canterbury, and in 2012 Benedict XVI and the Anglican primate at the time, Rowan Williams, celebrated vespers together at the Roman monastery of San Gregorio al Celio, which had and has as its prior a convert from Anglicanism, the Austrialian Peter John Hughes.

But with Pope Francis it is no longer a given that Anglicans who may want to enter the Catholic Church will receive encouragement from him to take the step.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio certainly did not espouse in any way the norms and aims of “Anglicanorum Cœtibus.”

We know this from the testimonies of two of his closest friends.

 

I think we in the Ordinariates are a bridge of Christian unity.

 

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6 Responses to Sandro Magister writes on the Ordinariates

  1. EPMS says:

    http://quappelle.anglican.ca/media/docs/ARCCIC_Newsletter_Advent_2014.pdf You will see here Pope Francis giving a warm welcome to the Anglican bishop of Calgary. He is a person who gives warm welcomes. I do not think we should read too much into this. I am sure he wishes the Ordinariates well, but what we have been able to learn about his priorities for his papacy does not suggest that either liturgy or proselytizing to other Christians is among them.

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: I think we in the Ordinariates are a bridge of Christian unity.

    And so much more. The Vatican clearly sees the ordinariates as a prototype for the manner reconciliation of Christians of various Protestant denominations that have a clear tradition of worship that would lend itself to adaptation to a Catholic situation including Methodists, those of the “Reformed” tradition (Presbyterian, Dutch Reformed, United Church of Christ, etc.), Lutherans, and perhaps even some Anabaptist groups. It may be less applicable to those of the Evangelical and Charismatic/Pentecostal traditions that do not have an established liturgical form (Baptists, Assemblies of God, etc.) that they would wish to preserve within the Catholic Church.

    Norm.

  3. EPMS says:

    The Anglican Ordinariates constitute a fragile experiment that has barely achieved a worldwide membership of the average American parish. I think it is fatuous to think that it will be expanded to include other denominations until it has demonstrated greater success.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: The Anglican Ordinariates constitute a fragile experiment that has barely achieved a worldwide membership of the average American parish.

      Your concept of the “average American parish” is not a very good metric. The typical parish in the rural areas of the great heartland has perhaps a hundred adult members and one mass on a Sunday. It shares a pastor with two or three neighboring parishes that are ten or twenty miles apart. And these parishes are quite stable. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has several communities, now canonically erected as parishes, that are considerably larger than this.

      You continued: I think it is fatuous to think that it will be expanded to include other denominations until it has demonstrated greater success.

      Don’t forget that the Vatican’s timetable for this is in units of decades, or even centuries, rather than in months or years. It also will be governed by opportunity: new ordinariates will form as Protestant and Anglican groups are ready to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church — and this is where the delay is more likely. Here, the most critical issue is the confidence of the leaders of various Protestant bodies in the process and the end result: they will want to see that the present ordinariates are stable and growing, that they are faithful to the tradition that they represent (that is, the Anglican tradition), and that they have sufficient autonomy to preserve that tradition. In some cases, the development of that level of confidence is likely to require at least one transition of leadership (appointment of new ordinaries) — and as somebody (you?) recently pointed out, that event is about twelve years away in two of the three ordinariates. But, again, the timetable for this project is not measured in months and years. It’s measured in decades or even centuries.

      Norm.

  4. EPMS says:

    Regarding the size of the average American parish, we have been through this before; it is 3,277 registered members (2010 figure). Of course there are smaller ones, and larger ones. That was not my point. I was talking about the importance one can realistically imagine being assigned to this project by the Church hierarchy.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: I was talking about the importance one can realistically imagine being assigned to this project by the Church hierarchy.

      Within the Roman curia, “this project” is the sole focus of (1) a whole “section” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and (2) the pontifical commission Anglicanae Traditiones which reports jointly to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

      Got the picture?

      It’s not about numbers. It’s about the way forward for reconciliation of Anglican and Protestant Christians — in short, the “end game” of ecumenism — and this reconciliation is at the very top of the Vatican’s priority list.

      Norm.

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