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.
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.