We did not wish to bring with us Anglican liturgical traditions. Most of us said the Divine Office and used the Roman Missal. The Catholic bishops knew this and our background was reflected in our formation, which at least in the Diocese of Southwark took about two years. This was a good thing: many of us were emotionally exhausted by the time we became Catholics, and we had to get used to our new parishioners and fellow clergy. Because of incardination there is a different feel about a Catholic diocese compared to an Anglican one, and we felt we were joining a family.
We didn’t yearn for anything else. Therefore the different model introduced by the establishment by Benedict XVI of the Ordinariate in 2011 was a challenge. At the time I felt particularly annoyed by suggestions that the Church had got it wrong back in the 1990s, and that we had not been welcomed, together with claims (not borne out by evidence since) that setting this structure up then would then bring more people into the Church. Moreover, I was bewildered at the distinct liturgical identity which the Ordinariate has had. People seemed wedded to formularies which most of us had avoided as Anglicans as much as we could. Clergy were also ordained much more quickly.
These reservations needed to be set aside. In my parish we prepared a small group from a local Anglican church for reception into the ordinariate, alongside a small group on non-Catholics who had been coming to Mass, and this worked well. What I saw was that what matters for people interested in the ordinariate, as it did for people like me earlier, is the destination rather than the starting point.
What is important is that the ordinariate is integrated into the life of the Church, and this can be done through clergy formation.
Well, I would say we in the Ordinariate parish here in Ottawa are well-integrated in the life of the Ottawa Archdiocese. The Archbishop of Ottawa Terrence Prendergast has even come here to celebrate the Anglican Use liturgy several times, including on Christmas Eve when our former clergy were awaiting ordination and we couldn’t find a Catholic priest to fill in. We must invite him to come celebrate our new Divine Worship.
As for clergy formation—does it mean making them Tabletistas? Or would the Catholic Herald be okay?
The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has reinstated a priest who had been suspended for entering into a civil partnership immigrant to help him stay in the UK.
Fr Donald Minchew, who is separately under investigation for financial irregularity by his former Anglican diocese, was removed from his post as leader of the Croydon branch of the Ordinariate a year ago, after he admitted he had entered into a civil partnership with Pakistani national Mustajab Hussain in 2008. He failed to disclose this four years later when he has received into the Catholic Church and ordained a priest.
Catholic priests are forbidden from entering civil partnerships while Anglican clergy are permitted to do so as long as they live in a chaste relationship.
The civil partnership between Fr Minchew, a widower who is a father of four, and Mr Hussain has now been dissolved, but Fr Minchew’s defence of it had been that he and Mr Hussain were old friends whose fathers had served together during the Second World War, and that the partnership had been a way of allowing him to stay in the country. After investigating, the Home Office decided not to pursue charges on the matter.
My instinct on this matter would be to support the Ordinary, Msgr. Keith Newton’s decision to reinstate the priest since he would know the most about the circumstances.