Text of ACCA Petition for an Australian Personal Ordinariate

In response to the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (in the Holy See's reply to the October 2007 Petition) that Anglican groups intending to proceed under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus indicate this desire in writing to that dicastery, the Australian province of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, has petitioned the Holy See for the erection of a personal ordinariate for that country.

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Traditional Anglican Communion
Synod of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (Q) Inc
ABN 38 446 364 827
Archbishop John Hepworth

His Eminence William Cardinal Levada
Congregazione per la Dottrina Della Fede
Palazzo del S. Uffizio
00120 Vatican City

Your Eminence,

Prot. N. 217/08-30924

The bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia  (a province of the Traditional Anglican Communion) express their profound gratitude to you for your positive response of December 16th 2009 to our Letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of October 5th 2007 in which we expressed our desire to “seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment.”

We have read and studied with care the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus with the Complementary Norms and the accompanying Commentary, as well as the initial statement from your Dicastery at the time of your press conference with Archbishop DiNoia.

And now, in response to your invitation to contact your Dicastery to begin the process you outline, we respectfully ask

  • that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Australia;
  • that we may establish an interim Governing Council consisting of the two suffragan bishops (who serve both the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and Forward in Faith Australia), the Chancellor and Vicar General of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (both priests), a priest from the Council of Forward in Faith Australia, and a priest from among the former Anglican clergy who are now Catholic priests in Australia and who have indicated a desire to be incardinated into the Australian Ordinariate once it is formed.
  • and that this interim Council be given the task and authority to propose to His Holiness a terna for appointment of the initial Ordinary.

We are working with Bishop Peter Elliott, who has been nominated by the Australian Conference of Catholic Bishops to liaise with us in the formation of the Ordinariate.

We also note that the Church of Torres Strait, a separate province of the Traditional Anglican Communion for Islanders resident in the Torres Strait and throughout Australia, is making a separate response through its bishop, Tolowa Nona.

We attach the resolution of the Council of Forward in Faith Australia also seeking the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution at this time.  The Traditional Anglican Communion in this country and Forward in Faith have been working very closely for many years.

We are also in conversation with Anglican parishes and individuals (both clergy and laity) who have indicated a desire to explore more deeply the pathway to unity with the Catholic Church opened by the Constitution.

In the last week of July, a National Synod will be held in Queensland to bring together all those who have indicated a firm desire to be part of the proposed Ordinariate.  The Synod has the power to enact legal and canonical legislation to give practical effect to a positive decision for Unity.

With continued expressions of appreciation for the generosity of the Holy Father in gathering the Anglicans into the fullness of Eucharistic communion,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

+John Hepworth, Diocesan Bishop

+David Robarts, Bishop of the Southern Region; Chairman of Forward in Faith Australia

+Harry Entwistle, Bishop of the Western Region; Council of Forward in Faith Australia

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organized the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. He is also the CEO of Three Fish Consulting, LLC, an Information Technology consultancy based in Orlando, FL. He can be reached via email at ccampbell at threefish dot co.

8 thoughts on “Text of ACCA Petition for an Australian Personal Ordinariate”

  1. This is superb news. I am walking on air. Every time one of these proposals is announced, as delegate of the Latin Mass Society here in Victoria, B.C., Canada, I send a very positive message to all our members, a group e-mailing with about 50 addresses, I'd say. I will be doing this today! I also contact a member of the TAC cathedral here who works with our Latin Mass group to forge good social and spiritual relations.

    Congratulations! Well done!

    I have noticed a number of interesting differences between this submission and that for Canada and those for other places (the U.S.A., Central America, and the U.K.). First of all, this endeavour embraces not only the TAC but also elements of FiF and other Anglicans in Australia. I also like the way the proposal re-connects with Latin priests who formerly converted from Anglicanism or have some Anglican background. This will help to make real in the life of Holy Church this set of norms from A.C.

    Secondly, the Australian petition calls for the formation of a complete governing council of six members. Thirdly, note that a separate proposal will go forward for the TAC Church of the Torres Strait (Melanesian). This points to the flexibility of the ordinariates. Since they are primarily personal structures, attached to persons of certain qualities rather than to territory, more than one can share all of the same territory or part of the same territory. In this case, since the Aussie TAC petiion embraces all of Australia, including, therefore, all of Queensland, it follows logically that it will share territory with the Torres Strait ordinariate (assuming Rome approves both). Note that the personal Apostolic Administration of St. John-Mary Vianney, the precedent for the new ordinariates, shares all its territory with that of the territorial Diocese of the Campos.

    There is only one thing missing from this petition and that is any mention of New Zealand. The TAC in N.Z. currently has one parish on N.I., with one priest and one deacon. (Until recently, there was a second priest on S.I.) What will happen to the parish at Auckland? I'm guessing that it is about to become an external parish of the ordinariate, just as the Campos p.a.a. has three or four such external parishes that were founded before the Society of St. John-Mary Vianney concluded an arrangement with Rome.

    There is no mention of Japan in this petition. I am guessing that Rome might make some special provisions for the case of the TAC in Japan, which has one bishop but only three or four priests. It may be necessary to have a governing council that includes some non-ordinariate Latin Church priests. A careful reading of A.C. shows that this could indeed be done in such a case. This petition also proves that, since Abp. Hepworth asks that one Latin priest be a member of the governing council of the new ordinariate for Australia. (Problem solved for Japan.)

    The TAC petition for Central America did not mention that its parishes exist in four episcopal conferences. Again, Rome may have to make an exception for that petition, making their prelate a voting member of the conference where his principal church lies and, perhaps, a non-voting observer in the others.

    Interesting–and exciting!


    1. Well, on the American one, the name of retired TAC Bishop James Stewart (unlike the other retired bishops there) is also missing. It does not mean that the non-signatories are against the petition. A lack of a signature, like the abstention to a vote, might mean anything. Since nearly all the bishops in both countries have signed, I prefer to celebrate. There are always lots of opportunities to moan!


      1. My comment was a one-line observation prefaced with 'interesting'. I'd hardly call that moaning nor was I even interpreting the fact. Simply that it's interesting that's all. A bit like 'this cardinal missed the conclave' sort of thing and it would be interesting to know the reason.

  2. Bishop Chislett's name is missing because he has resigned from the TAC.

    For whatever reason, he felt that he could not go through with the Ordinariate.
    His decision should be respected, and bloggers who have nothing better to do should not read any more into this than the above.

    1. Thank you for your kind way of putting this. I have known from Archbishop Hepworth for some time about Bishop Chislett's resignation, but felt duty-bound not to say anything here. Now the fact is known. The good Bishop needs our prayers, as he has many family issues that require his attention. I also understand he is going to pursue a Doctorate, and that will require a considerable amount of work. I have a great amount of esteem for Bishop Chislett, his pastoral sense in the Ministry and his piety.

      Indeed, we have to respect his conscience, even if we think he is wrong.

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