Breaking News! An Ordinariate for Canada Has Been Requested

Postmarked Friday, March 12, the day honoring St. Gregory the Great, Apostle to the English, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC), the Canadian province of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), sent an official request to William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to ask "that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Canada."

I can hardly contain my joy!  The document can be viewed here.

The letter was read in ACCC churches across Canada.

The picture shows Bishop Carl Reid blessing the Simnel cake and flowers for Mothering Sunday, wearing his pink, er rose, vestments.

Every day I get more requests to join the Canadian Friends of the Ordinariate email list.  To ensure that it remains private, I have put my email address up at the site so that I can send a direct invitation to those wishing to join.  We have a good representation from across the country.

I have more pictures from today up at my blog.

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

26 thoughts on “Breaking News! An Ordinariate for Canada Has Been Requested”

  1. What is the size of the ACCC – members, parishes, priests?

    Is there an out procedure for local parishes who don't want to go over to Rome? Did they discuss this at the Orlando meeting a few weeks back?

  2. "…we respectfully ask: that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Canada; that we may establish an interim Governing Council of three priests (or bishops); and that this Council be given the task and authority to propose to His Holiness a terna for appointment of the initial Ordinary."

    I find it very interesting that ACCC has proposed an interim Governing Council to address the issue I raised in an earlier thread about initial interim arrangements during the establishment of an ordinariate. It certainly is one way to solve the problem — although in areas like the UK, where there may be substantial FIF members entering the ordinariate as well as TAC, it might not work so well to have a TAC-based interim Governing Council. Anyways, good for the Canadians for this, and good for TAC. I have to admire that organization for being the spearhead on the whole ordinariate effort– hopefully it can be the mustard seed around which an even broader group of Anglicans and even other Protestants wishing full communion with the see of Peter can coalesce. And I also think the TAC bishops' signing the Catechism was an awesome gesture.

  3. Dave,

    There's no 'opting out' of the Ordinariate, one has to 'opt in' in writing to be considered a member. And there will be provision for those who do not wish to enter at this time.

  4. This is wonerful and eagerly (at least by me) awaited news. On Thursday, I asked our bishop when this would happen; as Regional Dean I received the official announcement email with the copy of the CDF letter Saturday afternoon. I could hardly contain myself. Deo multas gratias! The Primate's wish for 6 to 10 ordinariates set up by Christmas may just be granted.

  5. Dave,

    The ACCC has, by my count, 64 licensed clergy plus three active Bishops, and 28 parishes and missions. As to number of members, I could only estimate about 1000+ with about half attending on a given Sunday. But as you can see from the Forum section of this blog, there is a great deal more interest in the Ordinariate than the numbers of TAC parishes would generate.

  6. This is splendid news. The TAC cathedral parish is now connected to my Traditional Latin Mass community in Victoria, B.C. Their wonderful choirmaster cares for our schola and the bonds will become stronger over time.

    Six to ten ordinariates by Christmas? That would be very good. I expect one for Canada, up to four for the U.S.A., one for England and Wales, one for Australia & N.Z., one for Southern Africa. Let's pray on India.


  7. I wonder if anyone on this list can give me a sense of exactly how Anglican-Catholics will come in to unity with Rome. I am conversant with A.C. and am aware of the method mentioned there for laics to join an ordinariate by writing a letter. What I have trouble imagining is the step-by-step process. What happens in what order?

    It seems that we have the following future events to pass through: ordinations of A.-C. clergy into the Catholic orders they are each to receive; erection of the ordinariate; reception of laics into the ordinariate; and reception of the A.-C. clergy into the Catholic Church, which must obviously precede their ordinations.

    Will the ordinations mostly be done in a day? If not, the A.-C. laity will likely have to decline Holy Communion for a Sunday or two. The liturgical situation is convoluted enough but I'm wondering how this will be done.


    1. It is all still a mystery.

      In our meeting with Cardinal O'Brien we touched on the process of reception/ordination. What became clear at that meeting was the very different processes of prep for ordination between the Roman and Anglican systems. In some Roman provinces such as France there are worker priests, the nearest to our NSMs. The Roman authorities have no idea about priests without formal qualifications. In Scotland we have one big problem . A man called Michael Chenery who was consecrated by a continuing Anglican group and who lives in Norfolk has been ordaining people who have very little theological understanding and in all but one case no theological qualifications and no congregations. What to do about them ?

      It is worth remembering that there is no absolute that those currently functioning as Anglican clergy will be acceprable in the Ordinariate and re-ordained. We will have to wait and see. As Sean reminded me (in rather headmasterish way ) there will be a case by case review of each applicant. The Roman church in Dumfries in one of its three churches has a Sunday congregation of between 1400 – 1600 with one priest. I cant see Rome creating an Ordinariate of 1000 people with 64 priests and four bishops. It is most likey that there will be changes.

      The one certainty is that it will take time and it will be complicated.

      1. I am at a loss to follow many things you say.

        The worker priests here in France generally belong to the very left-wing "Mission de France" and receive classical training. They are also celibates, unless they are permanent deacons.

        This Bishop Chenery is obscure. I don't know which Church he belongs to, but he's not TAC. I see no evidence of any other continuing church having made any kind of application to Rome and obtained a response. This character is a red herring – and outside the loop.

        Anglican clergy will be re-ordained, mostly absolutely, and perhaps conditionally if there is evidence of valid ordination (for example a priest serving an Anglican community who had originally been a "Liberal Catholic" and thus in Old Catholic orders).

        I don't think the fact there are parishes in the UK bigger than some dioceses in southern Italy will affect the possibility of Ordinariates with higher numbers of clergy in proportion with the laity. Is the group you refer to of "1000 people with 64 priests and four bishops" the Canadian TAC?

        Indeed some of the fog will lift when the first Ordinariate gets set up and we find out whether it will be made to work quickly or whether it will be what some of the more sceptical fear…

        1. Hi,

          I am sorry that you are having trouble following what I say.

          I never said that worker priests were not clasically trained. I made no reference to their celebate state. I said that they are the nearest that the Roman system has to NSMs and in doing say I was quoting a Roman canon lawyer.

          Anglican clergy may be re-ordained but as Sean reminded us there will be a case by case review. It is wrong to assume that all will be re ordained . It is reasonable to assume that training and theological qualifications will be part of that which is examined in each case.

          The numbers for the Canadian TAC were given by Father Schovanek.
          I dont agree. Numbers and money do matter in the process.

          I agree the fog will be lifted when the first Ordinariate is set up . I cannot see it happening quickly. It will take quite a time to review case by case 64 priests and four bishops.

          1. Well you could be right. The process could take years, by which time there would presumably be a new Pope with different ideas and the Apostolic Constitution would simply be shelved.

            Nice try lads!

            Is the party over?

            1. The party is not over . Neither is the battle won.

              I fear I may have overegged the negative. I am an enthusiast for the AC but I am also worldy enough to see the problems. There just seemed to me to be a kind of unrealistic view about how it all might work. It is important to remember that the CDF can set up an ordinariate. As an Ordinary they can choose a member of the presbyteral council of the Anglican group after taking advice. Priests and people can apply to join. Applications may or may not be accepted.

              With a good wind and lots of prayer the 64 priests and four bishops can have their cases heard and those selected for ordination can be ordained and the Ordinariate can start to live and grow in communion with the Holy See.

              Not Scotch mist father but a bit more realistic. There are Anglican priests operating just now who will not be ordained as priests in an Ordinariate .

  8. It has just dawned on me that Fr. Crosbie has brought us all the way back to Cardinal Kasper’s train analogy and that the Apostolic Constitution is either inapplicable or no one wants it.

    The TAC don’t have the money or the numbers, and the Anglican Communion people might find the Apostolic Constitution useful in case General Synod really goes ahead with women bishops. In any case, they would have to leave their parishes, so there would be no more numbers of money.

    Now just who was in the Pope’s mind when he thought this one up? Scotch mist?

  9. J.M.J.

    The best thing we can do, in addition to reading our Office (including as we have open intentions, intention for the AC,) and priest saying Mass as often as they are able and including the AC in their Mass intentions is to keep our eyes focused upon our Blessed Lord.

    Peter only began to sink when he shifted his gaze.

    Personally, I have no anxiety about this. It will come to pass – for it is in keeping with our Blessed Lord's own wish that we all may be one.

    Parishes like ours that keep First Friday Devotions are familiar with our prayer that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd, and this generous offer by the Successor of Peter further points us in that direction.


    Sean W. Reed

    1. Worry not. I'm not anxious, but I know the fog and smokescreen (regardless of whoever might be causing it) will be held over this whole thing until the last moment.

      Then, all of a sudden, things will slot into place when the first Ordinariate comes into being. The sun will shine, and it will be nice warm weather!

      1. I love how you put that – nice warm weather – and indeed a welcome thought for those of us enjoying yet another cool, gloomy, overcast day in Nebraska – USA!

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