Damian Thompson writes on the state of the Ordinariate in England and Wales

Things are not looking good for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham says Damian Thompson, unless it embraces our Divine Worship.  Former Anglo-Catholics from England and Wales had shown their loyalty to Rome by celebrating the Novus Ordo long before they came into the Catholic Church.  Sadly, many do not bother with our new missal and Thompson says that is a problem for the survival of the Ordinariate.

He has some suggestions on how to save it that we in North America should also take to heart.

Go on over and read the whole piece over at The Catholic Herald.   Here is an excerpt:

Having noisily championed the Ordinariate from day one, I wasn’t keen to hear – yet again – its own faithful tell me that, well, it was a nice idea, but everyone hates us and even some of our own priests aren’t really on board.

Sure enough, that is exactly what I’ve been told and I’m now convinced that the Ordinariate in its present form will wither away.

But note the qualification: in its present form. Those 80 priests include visionaries who believe that the Ordinariate can reinvent itself.

By that, they mean that the fantasy of group conversions needs to be ditched. Also, Ordinariate priests and laity who never liked their unique Missal, Divine Worship, should slip quietly into the Catholic mainstream.

Only then will a smaller Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham enrich the whole Church with the radiant Divine Worship, revive moribund parishes and evangelise with the vigour of its Anglo-Catholic forebears. That sounds like wishful thinking – but the people who believe in it make a stronger practical case for this Ordinariate Mark II than anyone ever did for the launch model.

Here in Ottawa, even before we came into the Catholic Church, I would wonder why we didn’t have people lining up around the corner to squeeze into our Sunday services.

What beauty!  What reverence!   What preaching!  What community!   And now that we’re Catholic, the fulness of the faith and obedience to Christ’s call to unity.

Last Sunday, a family of evangelicals came to visit.  We have a preacher in Fr. Doug Hayman who ranks with any evangelical preacher I have ever heard for meaty, profound sermons spoken not read but conveying a prodigious knowledge of Scripture.

We have to watch the Eeyore’s and Chicken Littles in our midst who sow discouragement and frustration and keep the vision.  It’s this that will attract.

 

 

 

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6 Responses to Damian Thompson writes on the state of the Ordinariate in England and Wales

  1. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: Things are not looking good for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham says Damian Thompson, unless it embraces our Divine Worship.

    I don’t agree.

    You continued: Former Anglo-Catholics from England and Wales had shown their loyalty to Rome by celebrating the Novus Ordo long before they came into the Catholic Church.

    “Novus Ordo”???

    There is no liturgy with that title in any rite of the Catholic Church.

    The reality is that many of the communities of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham used the ordinary form of the Roman Rite as Anglicans, so that is precisely their liturgical patrimony. It is no surprise that they continue to worship in that manner within the Catholic Church.

    That said, there are other aspects of Anglican patrimony that they still own — the Anglican traditions of hymnody, of chant, of communal morning prayer and evensong, etc. — that are distinctive and that differentiate them from a normal diocesan parish. There is absolutely no reason why they should abandon these elements and blend into diocesan parishes.

    You wrote: What beauty! What reverence! What preaching! What community! And now that we’re Catholic, the fulness of the faith and obedience to Christ’s call to unity.

    Yes, and there is absolutely no reason why a community of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham cannot preserve these elements of Anglican patrimony while worshipping with the ordinary form of the Roman Rite!

    *****

    You wrote: Last Sunday, a family of evangelicals came to visit. We have a preacher in Fr. Doug Hayman who ranks with any evangelical preacher I have ever heard for meaty, profound sermons spoken not read but conveying a prodigious knowledge of Scripture.

    Deo gratia!

    The preaching of the Word of God is the most central element of the evangelical strain of Christianity, to the point that most evangelical Christians will go wherever they find it regardless of the denomination to which a congregation belongs. If an evangelical family found this in your congregation’s Sunday mass, it is likely that they will not only return, but will bring along some of their evangelical friends!

    May God use this dynamic to grow and strengthen the Sodality of Our Lady of the Annunciation!

    Norm.

    • EPMS says:

      Damian Thompson is reporting on a) hard numbers b) the assessment he was given by numerous OOLW clergy he contacted in preparing the article. One may wish the case were otherwise, one may feel that AC deserved a better reception in the UK, one may feel that hymnody etc should be enough to sustain an Anglican identity even in an OF context, but unless one has the facts at one’s disposal to rebut Thompson’s account, it seems pointless to say “I don’t agree.” He has been an enthusiastic Ordinariate supporter from the beginning, as he says, with no incentive to give us an inaccurate picture.

  2. EPMS says:

    Couldn’t agree more. How are you getting the word out?

  3. StBede says:

    This wonderful blog is best savoured if the regular comments left by ” Norm ” are ignored.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      StBede,

      You said: This wonderful blog is best savoured if the regular comments left by ” Norm ” are ignored.

      Why do you believe that to be the case?

      Norm.

  4. EPMS says:

    To play Devil’s Advocate (nothing personal, Norm) I would point out that unless there has been a drastic membership collapse since July, 2016, when the OOLW Portal magazine reported the lay membership as 1,465 https://www.joomag.com/magazine/the-portal-july-2016/0159034001467309067?short , Damian Thompson has rounded down the number to the nearest thousand for effect, which could only be to support his attention-grabbing thesis that the OOLW is “in peril”. One might argue that “Things plod along with a mixture of success and failure that more or less evens out at this point” is not the sort of headline that gets a lot of clicks, and Thompson is a professional journalist. So he starts by drawing a grim picture. Then he “balances” it. Like a journalist he is drawn to atypical stories, in this case dynamic pastors who turn around failing parishes à la Going My Way and unexpected benefactors who appear at the last minute to save the day, à la—Going My Way. The final quotation is a textbook journalistic closer: pleasantly unexpected. What have we actually learned about the OOLW, its current status and prospects? Not as much as we would like, really.

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