Our Family Is Growing!

I received an email today from the Most Reverend Irl A. Gladfelter, Metropolitan of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, with the very good news that the clergy and parishes of the ALCC will be entering the Ordinariate with us. The following is a synopsis of what led to this marvellous development, which was sent to me by Most Rev. Edward J. Steele, the ALCC Bishop of Florida, and who is one of our regular commenters.

On May 13, 2009, The Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC) mailed a letter to Walter Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, stating the ALCC “desires to undo the mistakes of Father Martin Luther, and return to the One, Holy, and True Catholic Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ through the Blessed Saint Peter.” That letter was in turn forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for consideration, and the CDF in June 2009 sent the ALCC a reply acknowledging receipt of the petition, with the assurance the request for full membership was being given serious attention.

However when the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI graciously released Anglicanorum coetibus in November that same year, the ALCC did not immediately respond as others did. Instead the ALCC, being of Lutheran heritage, praised God for the apostolic constitution and for the gift offered to our Anglican brothers and sisters; but continued to wait with the blessed hope that our petition too, would soon be granted.

Surprisingly, in October 2010 the ALCC received a letter from Archbishop Luis Ladaria, Secretary of the CDF, informing the ALCC that an Episcopal Delegate, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, had been appointed in the United States to assist the CDF with the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus (Cardinal Wuerl was still an Archbishop at the time however). The letter further stated, “As we proceed toward the erection of Ordinariates we would invite you, therefore, to make contact directly with Archbishop Wuerl at the following address…” Humbly, the ALCC responded with a resounding “YES”, mailing a letter to Cardinal Wuerl in compliance with the correspondence received from the CDF, requesting to be a part of this wonderful reunification within the Body of Christ.

It is with great joy and deep gratitude, therefore, that the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church makes known her intention to enter the American Ordinariate under the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus, and looks forward to serving with all our brothers and sisters in Christ to undo the Reformation and restore the visible, corporate unity of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Welcome, brothers and sisters in Christ… it looks as though we’ll be adding some more pins to the map!

* * *

Be sure to follow our Moderator at Eccentric Bliss, his personal blog,
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About Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

175 thoughts on “Our Family Is Growing!

  1. These people seem to be wonderful, and I rejoice of these news but I wonder also why most of their priests are actually bishops – according to their internet site, they have 5 archbishops, and 3 bishops!
    Nevertheless, I am happy of that. Their church in Washington (http://christalcc.org/) seems to be a nice building with an active community.
    +Pax et Bonum

    1. Don Henri,

      Thank you for your rejoicing with us, and believe me we are rejoicing!

      Your question is certainly understandable, but much of the reason is that many of us were actually with other groups in years past (I myself came from a small Anglican group). However in about 2004 we began talking with one another of reunion with the Catholic Church. The more we talked, the more we began to work toward joining together in true communion in order to one day appeal to Rome together. By 2007 our decision was made and as you can see in the article, that finally came to fruition in May 2009.

      I hope that helps a bit.

      +Ed

      1. By the way, I should add that those of us who are bishops and archbishops in the ALCC are ready and willing to lay aside "the purple" in service to the Church. As I have stated in comments before on this blog, we will do whatever the Holy Father asks of us. That has been our stance from day one.

        +Ed

        1. This is fabulous news. I think that because the ALCC already has some Anglican heritage as well as Lutheran, that this is a perfect way for you to come into full communion. At the same time, adding this Lutheran patrimony to the Ordinariates may help to make them an increasingly attractive vehicle for other separated western Christians to be brought back together in unity.

          I hope that you will be able to continue your mission to Lutherans after coming into the Ordinariate.

          1. Indeed, let us welcome all Lutherans into the Catholic Church. Most of the ELCA congregations already have a Novus Ordo-type of eucharists, some very beautiful liturgies with outstanding music, and great looking churches too. Their offices and eucharistic liturgies are dignified, often carried out with great care. Which puts the Roman rite to shame.

            They aren't burdened with reams and reams of rubrics and interpretations of them, all designed to keep canonists and rubricists employed, and the holders of safe sinecures in the Congregation of Divine Worship happy too.

            I can't wait for the Bach Chorale Lutheran Mass to become yet another variant of the western liturgical tradition. An opportunity for Latin-rite Catholics to add to their repertoire of liturgical choices.

            1. AgingPapist,

              You wrote: Indeed, let us welcome all Lutherans into the Catholic Church. Most of the ELCA congregations already have a Novus Ordo-type of eucharists, some very beautiful liturgies with outstanding music, and great looking churches too. Their offices and eucharistic liturgies are dignified, often carried out with great care. Which puts the Roman rite to shame.

              Please stop blaming the Roman Rite for the terrible celebrations that pass for mass in some (admittedly too many) of our parishes. When properly celebrated, the current form of the Roman Rite is wonderfully prayerful and magnificent, all at the same time. In travelling throughout our country and indeed around the world, I have found more than a few parishes that celebrate it commendably and lamented that they are not in my archdiocese.

              You wrote: I can't wait for the Bach Chorale Lutheran Mass to become yet another variant of the western liturgical tradition.

              If what others have posted about Lutheran liturgy is accurate, Catholic parishes won't be able to use it because reducing the anaphora to its institution narrative renders it invalid.

              Norm.

            2. AP, you must be confusing the ELCA with another group. The teachings of that community don't mesh well with actual Catholicism. They're radical by any standard. The LCMS is more widely regarded as a Lutheran confession more close to Catholicism.

              But let's not be silly on one point: I don't think Anglicanorum coetibus calls for entrants to preserve any non-Anglican liturgical patrimony. The discussion of whether Lutheran groups entering or forming an ordinariate is likely moot.

            3. Thank you, AgingPapist. As a Lutheran pastor in the ELCA I appreciate your appreciation for the Lutheran liturgy and tradition–the tradition that produced J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel, and a great treasury of hymns, chorales, organ music, and choral works. We also bring with us a great tradition of Biblical scholarship and systematic theology. Unfortunately others who have commented on your comment have made generalizations and false statements out of ignorance. Not all ELCA Lutherans are heterodox and revisionist. Many of us cling to the traditional faith of our 16th Lutheran Confessions and use the traditional Lutheran liturgy (the evangelical Mass), and we oppose those forces in our church that would cause us to degenerate into another American liberal protestant denomination. Many of us see ourselves as evangelical catholics– particularly those of us who are members of the Society of the Holy Trinity and long for corporate reunion with the Bishop of Rome. And in response to Rev22:17 below: very few Lutheran pastors use the Words of Institution alone when consecrating the elements. There are five Eucharistic Prayers in the Lutheran Book of Worship! They are very similar to Roman and Anglican Eucharistic Prayers. Aquinas, by the way, taught that although it would be a great abuse to omit the Canon of the Mass, as long as the Verba Institutionis is spoken over the elements, they become the Body and Blood of Christ. Be careful when using the term "invalid."

    2. Sorry to ask, but is someone aware of the history and origins of the ALCC? I have heard that it originates in clergy of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod joined by a few pastors from the ELCA and the Lutheran Church – Synod of Wisconsin forming their own denomination in order to achieve corporate reunion with Rome.
      Is that true?
      If not, I'm sorry to have asked this on the basis of rumors. I asked it because we all know the history of the Anglican continuum (Affirmation of St Louis, Bp. Chambers etc…) but the history of the catholic stream in the Lutheran churches is not very well known.

      + PAX et BONUM

    1. Shane,

      You wrote: One by one the Anglo-Lutheran pins are already going up on the map.

      You are providing a great service by keeping the map up to date.

      I do have one thought that might make the map more insightful. Would it be easy to color code the "pins" for the congregations in the United States by the current affiliation of the respective communities; for example, one color for the current Roman Catholic "Anglican Use" congregations, another for the congregations of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), another for the congregations of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC), and a fourth for the few congregations with other affiliations, or would that be in the "too hard" category? The United States is clearly unique in having at least three major groups coming into its ordinariate(s), so showing these affiliations might be very insightful.

      Norm.

  2. Could this be a ground-breakingly generous reading of A.C. that opens the doors to corporate reunification by Lutheran churches as well? If so that would be quite a devolpment!

  3. I am the Metropolitan of the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic church. As reported to the editors of the "Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches – 2011," world-wide, the ALCC has (in round numbers) 11,000 baptized members world-wide. In the U.S. there are between 4,000 and 5,000 baptized members. The majority both overseas and in the U.S. are Sudanese (from the newly independent nation of South Sudan.) The ALCC has a parish of approximately 300 baptized members in a parish in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum; and a parish in Berlin, Germany.

    It is difficult to estimate the size of an average ALCC parish. Some are larger than others. As is the case in many Continuing Anglican Churches, while some parishes are growing faster than others, by American standards, most would be considered on the small side.

    I would point out, however, that the ALCC does not admit anyone to membership who does not want to be fully Roman Catholic, and all are catechized using the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," the "Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church" and other books and resources used in Catholic RCIA classes.

    As for our clergy, all are required to sign and abide by an enhanced version of the Mandatum, which, in the form of a witnessed, dated, legally enforceable contract binds then "not to teach, preach, write, or publish anything contrary to the [Roman Catholic] Magisterium. This is enforced.

    I am sure that these firm doctrinal policies have affected our growth, but the decision was made years ago that the ALCC would rather remain small than risk developing a dissenting, "Protestant-oriented" faction which would cause difficulties when we enter the Catholic Church, which has always been our ecumenical goal.

    + Irl Gladfelter

    1. Please enlighten me. Before I went into the Redemptorist seminary back in the 1970's, I was exposed to the Assembly of God and charismatic renewal. I am amazed that the local AG pastor did not beg me not to enter the seminary. He was a pillar in the New York City AG. I did not pursue my studies after my senior year. Charismatic Renewal gripped my heart, I would not fit in a regular RC parish and was very dismayed at the toleration of bizarre teachings within RC circles. What do you mean 'correcting Fr. Martin Luther ? ' He was correct in many ways as so many of the Reformation leaders; Friar Girolamo Savornolla was sent to be burnt at the stake by the Vatican for his very orthodox stance. Many French Hugeunots were murdered by RC members. A big issue, the doctrine of purgatory ? How do you all accept this doctrine as taught by RC theologians ? I am amazed that you as a Lutheran, how could you accept "purgatory" as taught in its present form by the Western RC church…?. I admire the Anglo-Lutherans very much. These days I prefer attending an eastern rite church though deeply influenced by the Pentecostal movement. Isn't purgatory very similar to the Hindu concept of the afterlife ? How can you all accept purgatory and read St. Paul's epistles……? Many RC people don't know what it is to be justified by faith alone in Christ, they are purgatory bound hoping that the BVM will shorten their stay. Deep down, I appreciate your website very much. I miss my seminary days with the Redemptorists !

      1. Dear Michael

        as a RC Priest can I say that the only place I have ever heard your description of Catholic understanding of purgatory has been at Assembly of God conventions that I have attended due to my work as a Chaplain for Gypsies andTravellers and may reflect your membership of similar groups. I was very involved with the Redemptorists for many years and was tempted to try my vocation with them. Back in the '70s, there were a few of the old 'fire and brimstone' guys who may, in the past, have preach someting of the sort – maybe this is where you have got it from.
        When I was in my Diaconate year in seminary, Dr David Butler, a world renowned scholar of Luther and a Methodist minister gave a talk during a course at which he stated: "I believe that if he were alive today, Martin Luther would be a very happy Catholic".
        Michael, you are in my prayers.

  4. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!! I have a couple of questions, though:

    * Wouldn't it be more appropiate for them if they became "Lutheran-use parishes" instead of "Anglican-use"?

    * Are the churches in communion and the international headquarters swimming the Tiber too?

    Thanks and God bless

    1. I don't think that the parishes use a Lutheran liturgy, as such. Their website says that the use either the Novus Ordo or Anglican Use missals. Because they were founded with the explicit intent of being received into full communion, they wanted to use liturgies approved by the Holy See.

      However, I hope that they would continue to develop their liturgy – especially in preserving the fine Lutheran traditions of sacred music! Also, that they would continue a special mission of theological dialogue between Lutherans and Roman Catholics. Benedict XVI himself has a strong interest in the theology of Martin Luther, and I see some tremendous potential for a Lutheran group in communion with Rome to work to reconcile other Lutherans with the Holy See.

      1. Prepare for mandatory Latin liturgies ! The march is on ! In all due respect, Pope Benedict is not too happy with Vatican II.

  5. Will you be using which ever Anglican Use liturgy is approved? Also will you be considered part of the Ordinariate for former Anglicans or will you be separate in another way?

    This is wonderful news. On a Catholic website I participate in, there is a member of one of your parishes who has been describing the attempt for your group to enter the Church.

    I will have to check and see if he knows of the news! That is if I can find the thread.

    1. Gay,

      All of our parishes already use either the current Latin Rite Mass (Novus Ordo) or the Book of Divine Worship. These have been the only allowed liturgies for at least the past two years in the ALCC.

      Regarding the Ordinariate we will be members of, as I stated in the synopsis which Fr. Phillips was so kind to post here, the letter we received from Archbishop Ladaria at the CDF cited Anglicanorum coetibus. Therefore our understanding is that we will be part of the Ordinariate erected in accordance with the apostolic constitution.

      I'm not sure what Catholic website you are referring to, but all of our clergy are fully aware of this news and through them our lay members are as well. Each parish has likewise been given the email address for Shane Schaetzel so that our parishes can be represented on his wonderful Google map.

      Hope this clarifies things for you.

      Peace and grace,
      +Ed Steele

      1. Thank you for the response. I believe it was a lay member of one of the parishes.

        I just posted a new thread informing the members of the website the news.

        It appears that the Ordinariate has opened the doors for many who desire to enter the Church, bringing their parishioners and clergy as a group. I noticed there are no parishes in California.

        Hopefully other Lutherans will follow.

  6. Ever since it was published, the ALCC's official liturgy has been the Anglican Use Pastoral Provision's "Book of Divine Worship" (BDW); but most of our parishes now use the Ordinary Rite of the Catholic Church (the Novis Ordo Mass.) Before the BDW came out, the ALCC used the (American) Anglican Missal, or the 1928 "Book of Common Prayer," but we were quite uncomfortable with those portions of the BCP's Canon which seemed "to give aid and comfort) to those who believed in a spiritual presence or in the Zwinglian "memorial only" / "real absence." All of our clergy and people believed in Transubstantiation, period.

    The Extraordinary Rite (the Latin Tridentine Mass) of the Catholic Church is only allowed in the ALCC if the priest is able to read and pronounce the Latin properly. The Tridentine Rite is not permitted to be used in English, so none of our parishes have ever used it.

    Our parishes which use the Novis Ordo Mass will be using the new Missal ("The Roman Missal, 3rd Edition") starting on Advent 1 of this year (unless Rome changes the starting date. Incidentally, the current Ordinal of the Catholic Church (including the vow of obedience to the Pope) has always been used for all ALCC ordinations with no additions, and omissions except the celibacy vow in the diaconal rite.

    The matter of worship rites is a non-issue for the ALCC as well as for other Lutherans. Let me explain: When the ALCC is in the Ordinariate we will continue to use whichever rite(s) are authorized. We presume, from the Apostolic Constitution and the Complementary Norms, that it will be the present BDW or perhaps a revision of it, but that the Ordinary Rite of the Catholic Church may also be used.

    Incidentally, while Anglicans have a historic liturgy (the "Book of Common Prayer" based on the Sarum Rite, there is no unique historical Lutheran liturgy. It never occurred to anyone to resurrect the Germanic/Teutonic version of the old Gallican Rite; and there was never a specific, unique historical Danish or Swedish rite

    In Europe, Lutheran liturgies have been essentially the liturgy of the Catholic Church in each country with the Canon of the Mass replaced by the Verba alone, following Martin Luther's instructions. That liturgy was the one used in America in German, Danish, Swedish, whatever. Latin was often used, incidentally except for the readings, homily, and hymnody until fairly recently – into the early-mid 1700's

    In America, Lutheran liturgies in English have all been based more or less on one or another version of "The Book of Common Prayer" (with the Canon of the Mass replaced by the Verba alone. That being the case, the "Book of Divine Worship" is well within the "comfort zone" of Lutherans (as is the Novis Ordo Mass, actually.)

    Blessings,
    Irl Gladfelter

    PS Please excuse any typos. Proof reading is not my long suit.

      1. Fr. Hall,

        Sorry, but it seems we missed your question. +Irl Gladfelter, our Metropolitan, is going to the conference in Kansas City this weekend.

        +Ed

  7. Tears of sheer joy. Speechless and babbling incoherently.

    Champagne….CHAMPAGNE….would somebody PLEASE open some Champagne!

    Welcome BACK Home.

    The Peace of Christ the Lord be with you all.

    1. In the UK, it is 9.37am.

      Too early for gin, but there will be a quiet celebration later this evening. Anglicanorum Coetibus: the gift that keeps on giving.

      s/
      A very happy Brit.

        1. Fr. Ian,

          You wrote: … after 5pm of course.

          It's after 5:00 somewhere!

          And yes, this is cause for great celebration! Or, borrowing from my monastic friends, Gaudeamus!

          Norm.

          1. Norm,

            That's a thought. I might borrow another monastic tradition and celebrate with beer. I am rather partial to Trappist brews. :)

            1. I'm currently in Communist China so will have to be content with joining your toast with some Harbin beer!

              A very warm welcome to the latest brothers to come home. Be assured that even internet filters haven't prevented your arrival being noticed in the oriental diaspora.

  8. Well the last two days have been very good. Sunday was invited to Compline with a group of young Catholic priests and seminarians. All under 35, I was the old guy. Made me very welcome. They are very interested in the Ordinariate, plan on getting the word out and doing what they can to help get an AU group/parish started.

    Then tonight. Thanks be to God. If everyone comes who had indicated they will come does so, we will be starting on a very firm foundation.

    If one of the ALCC Bishops could answer a question. On your website there is a parish in Alabama named Anglican Church of the Americas in Luverne, Alabama. It is identified as in Communion with the ALCC. What is the relationship with the ALCC and will it be coming into the Ordinariate? If so, it will be the closes parish to me at only 131 miles from my front door to the parish.

  9. That is indeed good news, but I was under the impression that from an earlier interview with the press, the Anglo-Lutherans were not really considering coming under the Anglicanorum coetibus umbrella. This is of immense ecumenical significance since in the Philippines we have the Independent Church which broke away from Rome during the Philippine Revolution in the period between 1896-1903. They are not Anglicans but have close relationships with the Episcopal Church in the Philippines which bestowed the historic succession on them. The Independent Church is Roman in ritual (even if its Mass book is heavily influenced by the Anglican BCP) but is strongly nationalist. Anglicanorum coetibus may be flexible enough even to guarantee that the Independent Church will be able to maintain its nationalist and Filipino, Anglican influenced patrimony.

    Today much of the doctrinal issues that have separated the Independent Church and the Roman Church have been settled by post Vatican II reforms. It may be time for a more closer ecumenical engagement between the Roman and Independent Churches with the view for reestablishment of communion. To this day the Independent Church is the second largest Christian group after the Roman Catholics in the Philippines.

    1. Ben,

      When the apostolic constitution was issued, we (the ALCC) had not yet received a final response from the CDF in Rome. So we did not want to assume that we would be able to join any of the ordinariates. It was only in October when we received the letter from Archbishop Ladaria that we found out we were being invited to submit our information to Cardinal Wuerl's office under the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus. So in the past, while we have had full intentions of being fully Catholic in whatever form the Vatican offered, we had no idea that we would be able to be a part of the wonderful undertaking.

      +Ed

    2. Ben,

      How can you write as though there were any prospect of reunion with the PIC, especially as that body has purported to "ordain" women since 1997? Furthermore, I have no impression that AC has among its purposes to allow bodies originating in "nationalist" attitudes trumping "Catholic" ones to retain the very attitudes that fostered the schism in the first place?

      1. The context of the IFI schism must be taken within the Revolution and its goals. The tragedy is that Rome did not listen to the Filipino memorial to the Pope. The Filipinos went to Rome but were not received. Father Aglipay to the last moment resisted schism but Rome's decision to send foreign clergy to occupy the parishes and the sees forced Aglipay to secede. By the time Cardinal Bea met the IFI Supreme Bishop Isabelo de los Reyes Jr at the Vatican, too much bad blood had been spilled.

        Now if Rome had recognized that Filipinos could have run their Filipino church and still be loyal to Rome, then this schism should have not happened. The overtly racist attitude towards Filipino priests of the time is not at Catholic at all. As a Filipino I have to stand by the IFI on this bit of history. And most Roman Catholics in the Philippines do.

        The ordination of women in the IFI remains a contentious issue and is a Protestant Episcopal innovation that in a large sense has divided the church. Many parishes still don't want women priests. No woman bishop has ever been consecrated. Since half of my family in the Ilocos are IFI members, they have told me that the troubles plaguing the Anglican Communion and most especially TEC have been imported into the IFI. Thus news of AC has been taken into notice.

        Perhaps what would be the stumbling block between a RCC and IFI reunion would be the office of the Pope. The IFI nationalist orientation is still paramount here. But in the pontificate of John Paul II, attitudes have mellowed but a century of distrust must be undone. The papal apostolic constitution Quae Mari Sinico while it was necessary to reform the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines in reality sealed the schism. A large dose of goodwill from the Roman and IFI sides is needed. I believe another papal constitution Anglicanorum coetibus can open the reservoirs of goodwill and that is indeed happening right before our eyes here.

        1. Ben,

          You wrote: The ordination of women in the IFI remains a contentious issue and is a Protestant Episcopal innovation that in a large sense has divided the church. Many parishes still don't want women priests. No woman bishop has ever been consecrated.

          This actually may be the greater difficulty. The Vatican will not accept any women as members of the Catholic clergy, nor recognize their orders. If the "IFI" splits, the Vatican will accept those who reject ordination of women — but splitting rightfully should cause consternation within the "IFI." Alternatively, if the women "ordained" in the "IFI" are content to give up their offices, the Vatican will accept the whole — but I suspect that asking these women to give up their offices also will not fly.

          You wrote: Perhaps what would be the stumbling block between a RCC and IFI reunion would be the office of the Pope. The IFI nationalist orientation is still paramount here. But in the pontificate of John Paul II, attitudes have mellowed but a century of distrust must be undone. The papal apostolic constitution Quae Mari Sinico while it was necessary to reform the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines in reality sealed the schism. A large dose of goodwill from the Roman and IFI sides is needed.

          Those opposed on the preceding grounds undoubtedly will resurrect these issues to fan the flames as they blame the Pope for the current impasse.

          *Sigh*

          Norm.

    3. Ben,

      You wrote: Anglicanorum coetibus may be flexible enough even to guarantee that the Independent Church will be able to maintain its nationalist and Filipino, Anglican influenced patrimony.

      One of the fundamental principles of ecclesiastical law is that permissive laws are always construed broadly (or liberally) while restrictive and punitive laws are construed narrowly. This principle clearly would recommend in favor of what you propose.

      Norm.

      1. On the Phillippine Independent Church:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_Independent_Church

        http://www.ifi.ph/ifi_history.htm

        http://www.sspxasia.com/Newsletters/2002/Jan-Mar/Two_Major_Sects_of_the_Philippines.htm

        None of these mention the decision of the PIC in 1997 to start "ordaining" women. From 1978 and for about a decade thereafter the PIC lent its support to various "Continuing Anglican" groups in the United States, so I imagine that the 1997 decision marked a kind of "liberal triumph" in that body.

        1. It's really the influence of the TEC that made the IFI begin ordaining women. BTW the SSPX link misses out on the fact that the Episcopalians required that the IFI subscribe to the Catholic faith as understood by the Anglicans. The Unitarian and rationalist doctrine of the IFI was renounced. The IFI today is more orthodox than it was prior to the grant of historic succession by the Episcopal Church.

  10. I'm very happy to hear the news from the ALCC. I'm also happy to know they have parishes in South Sudan, a country with courageous Christians that need our help.

    In Norway there are 5 parishes and about 12 clergy that came out of the official Lutheran church and created some years ago the Nordic Catholic Church. "Rome only gave us the possibility of individual conversion", said his bishop in an interview for Touchstone magazine on 2000. They also felt that the Catholic Church in their country was too much migrant-based (well, even in Spain our parishes are happily full of South-american brothers). These "Nordic Catholics" are very liturgical, pro catholic and conservative. Currently they are in communion with the (USA based) National Poland Catholic Church…

    I'm just a typical cradle Catholic fron Spain -lurking in this web and enjoying good news-, but I would suggest our coming-home brothers from the ALCC to share their hopes and wishes and experiences with this Nordic Catholic Church and perhaps we could soon see an Ordinariate in Norway.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_Catholic_Church
    http://www.nordiskkatolsk.no

    It's good and delicious to see the brothers gathering together!

    1. I am the person who interviewed Fr. Flemestad (now bishop-elect of the NCC) in Touchstone. While it is sadly true that many of those who founded the NCC were treated very badly — spurned, really — by the Catholic Church authorities in Norway in the 1990s, it is also true that many of those who founded it were (and some still are) more "Orthodoxophile" in their theological orientation, than Catholic. It is almost "physically impossible" to become, or at least to remain, Orthodox in Norway outside of Oslo, and it has been *almost* "morally impossible" for some of them to become Catholic, given the grotesque sexual scandals "hushed up" by the past Catholic prelates in Norway, and the support for women's "ordination" and other heterodox notions by some of them as well.

      At the moment this body has 4 parishes and one mission, and a membership of around 200.

      1. Thank you, Mr Tighe, I found your interview to Flemestad clever and complete and useful, as well as your reply now. This world is becoming small, and that is a good new for Christians and unity, I suppose.

  11. Mmmm… and with those Sudanese brothers… what about an Ordinariate in Sudan? I know Sudanese Anglicans are conservative serious people who have been beaten by war and poverty but perhaps some of them would like to "become one".

    1. Pol,

      You wrote: Mmmm… and with those Sudanese brothers… what about an Ordinariate in Sudan? I know Sudanese Anglicans are conservative serious people who have been beaten by war and poverty but perhaps some of them would like to "become one".

      The wild card here may well be the current rift in the Anglican Communion in which the provinces of the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON) have refused to affiliate with the leadership of The Episcopal Church (TEC) here in the States and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) north of the border due to the heterodoxy of these provinces. The provinces of GAFCON have supported the formation of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) as an orthodox Anglican province in the United States and Canada. If the rest of the Anglican Communion goes along with explusion of TEC and the ACC and recognition of ACNA, GAFCON will remain within the Anglican Communion. But if the rest of the Anglican Communion continues to affiliate with TEC and the ACC, GAFCON will bolt — and a return with the Catholic Church is certainly a plausible option, though it might not happen right away.

      Norm.

      1. Wow, I think I would love to see it, Norm. It is something worth to pray for: a big, joint, African return to Rome. I hope to see it in my lifetime (I'm 36, so I'm biologically hopeful).

        Anyway, I suppose big wild carts start with small courageous groups of people, such as the now starting Ordinariates.

      2. Norm,

        While the Gafcon Primates are replused by the actions of ++Rowan Williams and the CoE, the TEC and Anglican Church in Canada, they are very, very protestant. The 39 Articles is a foundational document for them. They continue to re-interpret scripture and abandon reason and authority. Just this week, another Primate has allowed the ordination of women within his jurisdiction in total rejection of scripture, tradition and reason. The three legs of the 3-legged stool analogy I had hammered into me during Anglican formation. "we do everything in accordance to scripture, tradition and reason." Primate of the Mid-east is now allowing women priests in Cyprus according to anglican websites.

        Will they bolt from the Communion? It is already starting. The last Primates meeting, none of the Gafcon primates attended. Which lead to ++Williams and associates to load councils and committees with those who view scripture, tradition and reason as more of a guide to be ignored if it suits your purpose. But will they come to the Church? Maybe, in another 500 years. Look how long it has taken the first wave. We are coming because we are inclined to Catholicism. The African, South American and Asia Anglicans not so much. Look how quiet the TAC branches in India and Africa have been in this process.

        Also, the Primate of South American, Southern Cone, has announced an "ordinariate" for catholic priests and parishes to join the Anglican Church in Peru among other places. And there is interest, mainly from groups already outside communion. Yes it is a tit for tat move, but it shows the extreme lack of interest in things catholic within Gafcon. I also believe all the primates are on record as rejecting the Holy Fathers offer.

        When ++Ormbi tells ++Williams to the effect Anglicanism does not need Canturbury or CoE, the division has started. Will they come to Rome? The Holy Spirit can do anything, but I am not inclined to see them joining the Church anytime soon.

        Fr. Mark

        1. Fr. Mark,

          Thank you for filling in some of the details about the provinces of the Global Anglican Futures Conference (GAFCON) of which I was not fully aware.

          You wrote: Will they bolt from the Communion? It is already starting. The last Primates meeting, none of the Gafcon primates attended. Which lead to ++Williams and associates to load councils and committees with those who view scripture, tradition and reason as more of a guide to be ignored if it suits your purpose.

          Yes, I have been monitoring the news pertaining to this situation on the web site of the Anglican Communion Network.

          You wrote: But will they come to the Church? Maybe, in another 500 years. Look how long it has taken the first wave. We are coming because we are inclined to Catholicism. The African, South American and Asia Anglicans not so much. Look how quiet the TAC branches in India and Africa have been in this process.

          I chose my words very carefully in referring to GAFCON and ACNA a "wild card" because there's no way to predict how this situation could unfold.

          If GAFCON and ACNA formally sever ties to the Anglican Communion, their present "instruments of communion" will be substantially gone. There's no way to know what will take their place. It's certainly plausible that GAFCON itself may become the bond of a new communion of Anglican patrimony, but it's equally plausible that the lack of a clear lineage of historical primacy may leave the member provinces adrift. In the latter scenario, reconciliation with the Catholic Church and the recognition of papal primacy clearly would be one way to fill such a void.

          I agree with you that any decision of the provinces of GAFCON to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus will not come quickly. Such decisions clearly require prayerful discernment on the part of all concerned, first to recognize the existence of a problem and then to recognize and evaluate the possible solutions to that problem, interleaved by a process of catechesis on the reasons for the proposed actions and the merit thereof. OTOH, your projection of half a millennium may well be far too pessimistic. The reception of GAFCON into the full communion of the Catholic Church within five to ten years is certainly plausible if things develop in this way.

          1. Norm,

            Yes things could go the way you have outlined, though I am not inclined to see it. Hope I am wrong, pray I am wrong.

            In 2009 when ACNA formed, Met Jonah of the Orthodox Church America (and Rick Warren for the life of me I do not understant that)addressed the assembled clergy. Met Jonah outline how the ACNA could come into communion with the ACNA. Two points were the rejection of Calvinism and the rejection of Women' s Ordination. There was much eyerolling, gwaffs and chuckles of mirth and amusement. In 2010 when REC Bishop Sutton proposed looking at changing the Creed to be in line with the Orthodox, the response was not as positive as expected.

            ACNA and most of Gafcon hold to the branch theory. Anglicanism is almost as old as Catholicism. Some believe St Paul others St Joseph established the Anglican Church in the First Century and Rome imposed Imperial Rule in the 600's. I have painfully sat through these discussions and they are deeply held.

            The ACNA is actively embracing the vineyard movement. One of this movements leaders was elevated to Bishop in 2010.

            There is movement in Anglicanism discussing the need of bishops as in why do we need them. In Sydney they are even playing around with the need for a priest.

            I do not see the trends in Anglicanism changing enough in the next 5-10 years to see anyone but Anglo-Catholics seeking communion. And too many Anglo-Catholics are being told by their Bishops and Priests they do not need the Church to be Catholic. I think, if it happens, it will be between 10 and 500 years. Again I pray you are correct and I am not. Maybe my interaction with Anglicans have clouded my judgment.

            1. Fr. Mark,

              You wrote: ACNA and most of Gafcon hold to the branch theory. Anglicanism is almost as old as Catholicism. Some believe St Paul others St Joseph established the Anglican Church in the First Century and Rome imposed Imperial Rule in the 600's. I have painfully sat through these discussions and they are deeply held.

              This actually fits with ancient lore about Jesus travelling to England, accompanied variously by Mary and Joseph and by a certain merchant also named Joseph who hailed from Arimathea. IIRC, the legend holds that the original Glastonbury Abbey was founded by the Lord himself during one of these visits. Perhaps a couple decades ago, I bought a small book, Glastonbury Gleanings, containing many of these legends in the bookstore of an active monastery here in the States with the same title.

              You wrote: The ACNA is actively embracing the vineyard movement.

              In what way?

              As best I can tell, the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) is pretty conservative, with many of its clergy and parishes tending toward Anglo-Catholic. I would be very surprised if ACNA were abandon the sacramental life for a more Protestant-leaning ethos of worship.

              OTOH, the pastoral method of discipling, widely adopted in evangelical Christianity, are very effective. I know a few Catholic groups that have adopted these methods with great success. If ACNA does likewise, it will grow.

              You wrote: I do not see the trends in Anglicanism changing enough in the next 5-10 years to see anyone but Anglo-Catholics seeking communion. And too many Anglo-Catholics are being told by their Bishops and Priests they do not need the Church to be Catholic. I think, if it happens, it will be between 10 and 500 years. Again I pray you are correct and I am not. Maybe my interaction with Anglicans have clouded my judgment.

              I hope that I was clear in portraying the optimistic scenario as one of several possibility and not by any means an expectation.

              Obviously, the Global Anlgican Futures Conference (GAFCON) could equally well coalesce into a new communion of its own, with ACNA as its North American province, too. If GAFCON coalesces into a separate communion, the Vatican will have to start a separate line of ecumenical dialog similar to the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commissions (ARCIC's) with GAFCON. A GAFCON-Catholic commission probably could accept the documents already agreed by the ARCIC's, but would have to move forward separately on the issues that remain outstanding. In this scenario, we probably are looking at 5-10 years for GAFCON to coalesce to the point where dialog is even possible and another 40-50 years of dialog to work through the issues that remain outstanding — and that's if everything goes reasonably smoothly.

              The bottom line here is that it really depends which way GAFCON goes.

              Norm.

      3. Most of these GAFCON Anglican provinces purport to ordain women, and even of those that don't, few of them have serious theological objections (as opposed to "cultural resistance") to it; moreover, most of them are on the "Protestant side" of the Anglican spectrum. So it is simply the triumph of fantasy (or else ignorance) over reality to raise even the prospect of a "return to the Catholic Church" on their part.

  12. On behalf of all of us in the ALCC, I just want to pause and say thank you for the warm welcomes we have received in these comments. We are humbled first of all to be allowed to become fully Catholic, but also by the graciousness shown here in the U.S. and abroad. Such comments can only add to our joy.

    Peace and grace to you all!
    +Ed

    1. Not at all, Bishop Ed. Thank you.

      There is always room for another jewel in the crown of the Bride of Christ, and each one makes her more radiant. We all benefit.

  13. I have a question. Can an English mother tongue Roman rite priest join the ordinariate in a place like Switzerland which has many Anglicans or must there be an ordinariate for the territory of Switzerland? Thanks, Father JT

    1. A Roman Catholic priest will not ordinarily be able to join an Ordinariate unless they are a former Anglican or have been granted a special dispensation.

      As to membership of an Ordinariate, the boundaries of each Ordinariate will be fixed geographically but membership won't. By that I mean a Anglican who lives in a country where there is no prospect of an Ordinariate being established, e.g. Russia, could still join an existing Ordinariate, e.g. the (English) Ordinariate of Walsingham.

      1. Conchúr,

        You wrote: A Roman Catholic priest will not ordinarily be able to join an Ordinariate unless they are a former Anglican or have been granted a special dispensation.

        You are quite correct. Splitting hairs, though, Fr. JT asked about a "Roman Rite priest" — which does not necessarily mean a "Roman Catholic priest." There are more than a few communions that are not part of the Catholic Church, but that use one form or another of the Roman Rite.

        Norm.

  14. Father JT,

    You asked: I have a question. Can an English mother tongue Roman rite priest join the ordinariate in a place like Switzerland which has many Anglicans or must there be an ordinariate for the territory of Switzerland? Thanks, Father JT

    There must be an ordinariate for the territory of the episcopal conference that encompasses Switzerland.

    However, there are other possibilities.

    >> 1. If you are married, you can petition for a dispensation from celibacy through any bishop who will incardiante you into his diocese. The Vatican actually has granted such petitions for former Anglican and former Lutheran clergy pretty routinely, so long as they are not in irregular marriage situations. Most dioceses now have English-speaking parishes or quasiparishes in major cities where your service undoubtedly would be welcome.

    >> 2. If you bring a congregation of former Anglicans with you, you can petition for permission to celebrate mass according to the approved Anglican form of the liturgy (that is the "Anglican Use"). Again, the Vatican grants such petitions pretty liberally.

    In the case of the latter, the establishment of a parish could be a precursor to the eventual erection of an ordinariate for the territory as the "Anglican Use" grows therein.

    Best wishes!

    Norm.

    1. Norm,

      you wrote:
      "If you are married, you can petition for a dispensation from celibacy through any bishop who will incardiante you into his diocese. "

      It is absolutely impossible to happen in continental Europe. Here the protestants we have are not at all Catholic oriented like the Anglo-Catholics, and a protestant pastor becoming a Catholic priest is totally unheard of. Morevoer our bishops are strongly commited in favor of priestly celibacy (excerpts a handfull who are under straight control of the episcopal conferences) in theses times where it is under attack and for them it is unthinkable to ordain as a Priest a married man. In facts, this only happen in Anglo-saxon countries. Even here in France with our incredible lack of priests (most of the sunday services in the countryside are "lay-led dominical assemblies") our Bishops would prefer become buddhist than ordain a married man as a Priest.
      Sorry for Father JT if he is married, but I do not want to give him false hopes. If he is a married Anglican priest living in Switzerland and wishing to remain there and become Catholic in the normal diocesan structures, he could become nothing more than a permanent deacon.

      +PAX et BONUM

      1. Ordination of married Protestant clerical converts is not unheard of on the Continent, particularly with regards to Germany down the years. As early as the 1950s a married former Lutheran pastor was given a dispensation from Rome and ordained in Germany. Indeed the latest such ordination was carried out by Cardinal Meisner yesterday in Cologne.

        1. Priests in Europe, as elsewhere, if they have a mind, will simply marry on the side , or take a young man as his lover. Done all the time in Italy and it's growing in the U.S.A. too.
          Nobody need be the wiser as the bishop will keep it to himself. If only the walls of the diocesan chanceries could speak!!

          1. How utterly disgusting, deceitful, disloyal, unfaithful, disrespectful to both Christ and the people of God before whom a priest promises celibacy. One who does such is not a follower of Christ but the Son of the Father of Lies. Your whole life would be nothing but one big lie. Are you ready to meet your Judge with that burden on your shoulder? Regardless of how many priests in Italy or in the U.S. behave as such, that in no way would exonerate or excuse any priest before his Judge and all the more so for any bishop who would tolerate such evil. Celibacy, once promised is no light matter; your eternal salvation depends on living the vocation you were called to. If you can't live it, don't promise it. You cannot say with surety that the Church is wrong to ask it. But you can say with surety that one who promises it without the intention of living it is indeed wrong and is dealing with true moral evil. Tolerating evil is also wrong. Father JT

            1. Father JT,

              Thank you so much for saying what I wanted to say in language that one can publish. I would not have been nearly so tactful!

              Norm.

          2. Actually, in the current climate regarding sexual abuse and its various permutations, if such behavior is discovered it is not being tolerated in the US. These days bishops are not ignoring any sexual misconduct, and a priest is likely to be suspended, lose his parish, and possibly incur even worse penalties depending on the gravity of the offense.

      2. I am a celibate Roman Catholic priest. I know that there are anglicans here in Switzerland and many other English speaking expats near where I live. I was just wondering if the ordinariate was only territorial or if it's operation could be extended to where the need could be identified. Thank you, Father JT

        1. The strict answer is that Ordinariates are limited to the territory of a Catholic Bishop's Conference. However, it is possible that exceptions could be made. For instance, there is speculation that a group based in Scotland might be allowed to join the Ordinariate for England and Wales. If this happens, it would presumably be on the grounds that there is a very close association between Scotland and E&W. I doubt whether a group in Switzerland would ever be included with E & W.

  15. Welcome, "I rejoiced when I heard them say let us go unto the house of the Lord".
    This great news to usher in the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. Bishop Steele you have always been kind and generous in your writings. The ALCC has been in my prayers since first learning of it. God Bless all of those seeking true visible unity, which is a beautiful thing to behold.

  16. MB: As noted in detail in my comment about the liturgies used by the ALCC and about Lutheran liturgies in general, there is and never has been a "Lutheran Use.* Lutheran liturgies are simply Catholic liturgies mutilated by removing the Canon of the Mass and replacing it with the Verba (the words of Institution) alone. That is simply not acceptable!

    Apart from the music of Bach and Buxtehude, chorales from the 16th and 17th centuries (with the lyrics edited so they do not disagree with the Catholic Magisterium,) which can be heard occasionally in Sunday Masses on EWTN, art from the 16th and 17th centuries (by Albrecht Durer and others) which are also found in Catholic parishes and publications, and Germanic and Scandanavian cultural events, which are found in Catholic parishes of Germanic and Scandanavian heritage here and in Germany and Scandanavia abroad, there is nothing else to preserve.

    You see, the "Lutheran Patrimony," unlike the Anglican Patrimony is mostly theological, not liturgical and organizational. Years ago, the ALCC completely recanted of and rejected all of Lutheran theology which is not in complete agreement with the Catholic Magisterium, and has accepted the teachings of the Magisterium with no qualifications or exceptions whatsoever.

    Unlike Anglicanism, Lutheranism does have a book of theological confessional documents, which, unlike the Anglican 39 Articles of Religion, Lutheran Churches (except the ALCC) consider to be "binding on consciences" either completely or to some degree. What the ALCC did years ago was to apply a "line item veto" on every document in the Book of Concord rejecting those lines (and clauses) which were not in full agreement with the current Catholic Magisterium; and it rejected in its entirety the last and largest document in the "Book of Concord," the 'Formula of Concord.' Then, it accepted as its statement of faith, the current "Catechism of the Catholic Church" in its entirety, with no qualifications.

    The ALCC has a unique approach to ecumenism: It did not file its petition to enter the Catholic Church until *after* it had accepted the faith and order (including an infallible Papacy, Ordinary and Sacred Magisterium, and *all* Ecumenical Councils recognized by the Catholic Church) worship and forms of spirituality, and polity of the Catholic Church; becoming Catholic in every way except legally, retaining only the cultural elements of Lutheranism mentioned previously. Then, and only then, did it file its penitential petition to enter the Catholic Church. The last line of its petition to Rome includes the following: "Your prodigal Child has returned and is at the door. Holy Father, please let us in."

    Blessings,
    + Irl

  17. This is wonderful news indeed! Praise God! And welcome to all the ALCC brothers and sisters!

    Let me just ask here a question unrelated to the ALCC (I do not know where to raise the issue, so I ask for your forgiveness in advance). I am from Argentina, specifically from the city of Buenos Aires. In my country there is a tiny Anglican "Diocese of Argentina" under Bishop Gregory Venables, which I understand is a rather conservatively minded prelate by Anglican standards but, I suspect, rather "protestant/evangelical" also, something which makes highly unlikely a move towards communion with the Catholic Church.

    Is that a fair characterization? I have not found any information about the stance of the local Anglicans towards "Anglicanorum Coetibus" and I do not know if I am missing something.

    Best regards,

    Ignatius

    1. "but, I suspect, rather "protestant/evangelical" also, something which makes highly unlikely a move towards communion with the Catholic Church."

      This is indeed the case.

  18. Rev22:17: As I recall, there is some flexibility in the borders of an Ordinariate in one country, so that outside areas could be in that Ordinariate until a national Ordinariate is established for that country. Frankly, that is for the CDF and the Holy Father to handle with the help of the Church's canon lawyers. The ALCC will simply accept whatever they decide.

    Blessings.
    Irl

    1. Your Excellency,

      You wrote: As I recall, there is some flexibility in the borders of an Ordinariate in one country, so that outside areas could be in that Ordinariate until a national Ordinariate is established for that country. Frankly, that is for the CDF and the Holy Father to handle with the help of the Church's canon lawyers. The ALCC will simply accept whatever they decide.

      The plain text of Anglicanorum coetibus clearly requires each ordinariate to be within the territory of an episcopal conference. In this regard, it clearly did not anticipate the situation in which the territory of an episcopal conference might have a small number of parishes express interest, but not enough to constitute an ordinariate — which is a situation that clearly exists in Scotland and in Japan. Any deviation from what's set forth in Anglicanorum coetibus obviously will require a change to the law set forth in Anglicanorum coetibus, either in the form of another apostolic constitution or in the form of indults granting exceptions to the norm. I'm sure that the Vatican is now trying to figure out the best way to address this situation where it exists. Three possibilities have been discussed on this site. The first is for such parishes to be affiliated with an ordinariate erected in the territory of a neighboring or nearby episcopal conference. The second would be permission for "Anglican Use" under the diocesan bishops. The third would be some sort of "pro-ordinariate" that would be intermediary between the first and second. But of course, the Vatican may come up with something entirely different, too.

      BTW, note that the boundaries of Catholic episcopal conferences are not necessarily national. There are two episcopal conferences in the United Kingdom, for example — one for England and Wales (which also encompasses the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man) and another for Scotland, for example. OTOH, the Episcopal Conference of the Antilles encompasses several countries — all of the the Lesser Antilles except the U. S. Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Suriname, Guyana, and Belize.

      Norm.

      1. Can someone explain to me why people in the USA use the term 'Your Excellency' in this way ? An Archbishop in his tradition he may be. In my book that is Your Grace.

        1. In the US a Catholic archbishop is styled “the Most Reverend” and addressed as “Your Excellency”.
          A Catholic bishop is also “the Most Reverend” and addressed as “Your Excellency”:
          In Britain and countries whose Catholic usage it directly influenced: an archbishop is "the Most Reverend" and addressed as "Your Grace" rather than "His/Your Excellency" and a bishop is "the Right Reverend", and is formally addressed as "My Lord" rather than "Your Excellency".
          Bishops in France historically had the title of "Grandeur"; in Germany a Bishop has the title of "His Episcopal Grace" (Bisch/Erzbisch fliche Gnaden), in Germany the title of "Excellency" belongs only to those to whom it has been granted by the Government.

          1. I don't think this is correct. In Germany, Catholic bishops and archbishops are usually styled "Your Excellency" – except, of course, if they are also cardinals, in which case it is "Your Eminence". "Your Episcopal Grace" is not incorrect, but a little bit old-fashioned.

          2. Flabellum,

            You wrote: In the US a Catholic archbishop is styled “the Most Reverend” and addressed as “Your Excellency”.
            A Catholic bishop is also “the Most Reverend” and addressed as “Your Excellency”:
            In Britain and countries whose Catholic usage it directly influenced: an archbishop is "the Most Reverend" and addressed as "Your Grace" rather than "His/Your Excellency" and a bishop is "the Right Reverend", and is formally addressed as "My Lord" rather than "Your Excellency".

            I believe that 's basically true, with the caveat that bishops who are members of the College of Cardinals are always "His/Your Emminence" (which literally means "Fatso"…) and bishops who are patriarchs are addressed as "His/Your Holiness" or "His/Your Beatitude" in both countries.

            Also, in the United States and Canada, "Right Reverend" goes to abbots of monasteries, whom one always addresses as "Father Abbot."

            Norm.

  19. I would like to add my personal thanks to those of Bishop Edward Seele: Thank you all so very much for your kind words and for your prayers for the reunion of Christ's Church.

    May God richly bless you all.

    + Irl

    1. Your Excellency,

      You wrote: I am sure there will eventually be an Ordinariate for Sudan, newly independent South Sudan, and Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, etc.

      I'm looking forward in eager anticipation to that development! Indeed, the more ordinariates, the merrier!

      I'm not sure how the Catholic episcopal conferences align in Africa. As I noted in an earlier reply, they are not universally national. OTOH, Anglicanorum coetibus permits more than one ordinariate within the territory of the same episcopal conference, if the need warrants.

      But JTOL, it actually may be easier to erect ordinariates in territories of episcopal conferences that span several countries than in some countries that have their own episcopal conferences because one or two parishes in each country may provide the necessary numbers. Once ordinariates are established, it's relatively easy to split them, either geographically or otherwise, when they grow to sufficient size. The difficulty is getting the "critical mass" to establish the first ordinariate.

      Norm.

      1. In the Catholic Church, there is a national episcopal conference whenever practicable. For example, there is a separate one for Lesotho because the population of that country is mostly Catholic. The one for Southern Africa covers several countries (S.A., Swaziland and, I believe, Zimbabwe) but even Namibia has its own. They will be transnational when entire countries comprise or fit into single sees. That is why the smaller Caribbean countries have just one; however, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba each has its own. Each Central American country has its own conference, except for Belilze, which belongs to the Caribbean one.

        As we have seen and as I have explained before, however, because the jurisdictions are mainly personal, they can include groups (but not territory) outside the respective episcopal conference, just as the personal Apostolic Administration of St. John-Mary Vianney includes chapels and groups outside its prescribed territory. Scots groups can belong to the one in England and Wales; Japanese groups, to the one in Australia; Puerto Rican groups, to the one in the U.S.A. I do believe that Apb. Hepworth has explained this here.

        The Sudan, to my recollection, has its own conference. None of this is a problem.

        By the way, I am wondering how many clerics are in the A.L.C.C.

        P.K.T.P.

        1. Peter,

          You wrote: In the Catholic Church, there is a national episcopal conference whenever practicable. For example, there is a separate one for Lesotho because the population of that country is mostly Catholic. The one for Southern Africa covers several countries (S.A., Swaziland and, I believe, Zimbabwe) but even Namibia has its own. They will be transnational when entire countries comprise or fit into single sees. That is why the smaller Caribbean countries have just one; however, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba each has its own. Each Central American country has its own conference, except for Belilze, which belongs to the Caribbean one.

          While that the normative practice, it is not without exception. The United Kingdom is split among several episcopal conferences, for example.

          You wrote: As we have seen and as I have explained before, however, because the jurisdictions are mainly personal, they can include groups (but not territory) outside the respective episcopal conference, just as the personal Apostolic Administration of St. John-Mary Vianney includes chapels and groups outside its prescribed territory. Scots groups can belong to the one in England and Wales; Japanese groups, to the one in Australia; Puerto Rican groups, to the one in the U.S.A. I do believe that Apb. Hepworth has explained this here.

          No, that's not accurate.

          Dioceses have territorial limits, but one ordinarily aquires a bishop by virtue of one's domicile and remains subject to that bishop when travelling outside of the diocese. Nonetheless, a diocese cannot establish a parish outside of its territory even if a significant number of is members happen to be there.

          The ordinariates established under Anglicanorum coetibus also will have territorial limits, and membership will be limited to those who have domicile or at least quasi-domicile within those limits.

          To be clear, Archbishop Hepworth's stated that the Japanese component of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) is "involved in" the process of establishing an ordinariate for Australia, but he did not say that it will become part of that ordinariate. The pope would have to modify the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus for any ordinariate to have a parish or a mission outside of its territory. Such modifications could happen by indult or by an actual change in the law itself, but I would not assume that it's a "done deal" until the Vatican acts to confirm it.

          Norm.

  20. Welcome brothers and sisters!

    A few questions about the ALCC that I have not been able to find out from your websites. Are your clergy allowed to marry or be married? Are your bishops allowed to marry or be married?

    Also, I thought that the honorific title Monsignor was given to RC priests who become "part of the papal household." I haven't ever seen that title used outside the RC church. If you don't mind me asking, I'm just curious about how that title is granted in the ALCC?

    Again, congratulations and a very warm welcome home!
    Maggie

    1. Maggie,

      Thanks for the welcome, it is greatly appreciated.

      I hope that +Irl will answer your questions about the title of Monsignor, as he is better at that sort of thing. However regarding marriage of clergy, ordained clergy (Deacons, Priests and Bishops) who are married must become celibate upon the death of the wife. Additionally, we all acknowledge that those who are currently Bishops – if married – will be (by God's grace and permission of the Vatican) made Priests once we are in the ordinariate.

      +Ed

      1. Your Excellency,

        You wrote: I hope that +Irl will answer your questions about the title of Monsignor, as he is better at that sort of thing. However regarding marriage of clergy, ordained clergy (Deacons, Priests and Bishops) who are married must become celibate upon the death of the wife. Additionally, we all acknowledge that those who are currently Bishops – if married – will be (by God's grace and permission of the Vatican) made Priests once we are in the ordinariate.

        Has the Vatican made a determination as to the validity of your current orders?

        It appears from your web site that at least some of your episcopal lineage comes from denominations with undisputed orders, potentially making at least some of your current ordinations valid. The Vatican will accept your current orders if they are indisputably valid.

        Norm.

        1. Even should some ALCC episcopal orders be valid (though illicit), the likely Vatican response would be to require an undertaking not to exercise such putative orders without a specific papal rescript.

          1. I think the best way for me to answer the issue of validity of orders is this: when the time comes for our clergy to apply for Holy Orders as Catholics, we will accept whatever the Holy Father decides. One point we have always been very clear on, is that no matter what the issue is we will do whatever the Pope tells us to do.

            +Ed

          2. Flabellum,

            You wrote: Even should some ALCC episcopal orders be valid (though illicit), the likely Vatican response would be to require an undertaking not to exercise such putative orders without a specific papal rescript.

            Bishops would require appointment to an appropriate office by the Vatican. Presbyters and deacons would additionally require faculties for ministry granted by competent authority.

            Norm.

  21. Warmest welcome to all our ALCC brethren. I know you will also make a great contribution to the mutual enrichment that the Holy Father is hoping for.

  22. At the clear risk of being a wet blanket on this celebration, I must ask if there is a chance we are being too hasty and assuming too much?

    The CDF's letter to the ALCC seems somewhat formulaic, the same thing they would send to any Anglican group writing to them. Are we sure that whoever in the CDF handled this letter understands the nuance involved, i.e., that the ALCC was never a part of the Anglican Communion? Considering the group's name I think he could be forgiven for assuming that it was.

    Before we shout from the rooftops that Lutherans can join an Ordinariate (which as a former Lutheran I hope is true!), I don't think it is clear that the CDF was consciously making that legislative decision by sending the described letter to the ALCC. Keep in mind also that Cardinal Wuerl's mandate is simply to gather indications of interest, so directing anyone to contact him does not automatically ensure canonical enrollment in the Ordinariate.

    Like I said, I really want Lutherans to be able to join the Ordinariate, and there are many good reasons to read AC liberally in that way. But considering the present text of AC and the Decree of Erection for the POOLW, which speak only of the Anglican Communion, that is an interpreation that needs definitive affirmation from the CDF. And it may not come until the Decree of Erection for an Ordinariate that has Lutherans requesting to be a part of it.

    But of course, I have not seen the letter. I hope I am wrong in my hesitation.

    If I am not wrong, I wouldn't be discouraged, though. The CDF has been generous with this prophetic project so far, so I see no reason why they would not be on this issue.

    Particularly because in the United States there is the odd fact that since January 6, 2001, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been in a relationship of Full Communion (mutual recognition of ministers, participation in the episcopate) with The Episcopal Church. Given that, a good case could be made that the ELCA is a part of the Anglican Communion!

    1. Justin,

      You asked: Before we shout from the rooftops that Lutherans can join an Ordinariate (which as a former Lutheran I hope is true!), I don't think it is clear that the CDF was consciously making that legislative decision by sending the described letter to the ALCC. Keep in mind also that Cardinal Wuerl's mandate is simply to gather indications of interest, so directing anyone to contact him does not automatically ensure canonical enrollment in the Ordinariate.

      The existing norm actually says that those received into full communion or who receive the sacraments of initiation in a parish of the ordinariate can belong to the ordinariate, without discrimination as to their non-Catholic past.

      The bottom line here is that a Lutheran, or a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a member of any other Christian denomination who wishes to belong to an ordinariate simply needs to go to a parish of an ordinariate rather than to a diocesan parish to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

      Norm.

      1. Norm,

        Indeed, right you are! That was silly of me to overlook the obvious answer.

        I was viewing the question from my own perspective as a former Lutheran already received into the Catholic Church, which is a situation less clear.

        Welcome home, ALCC! :-)

        1. Justin,

          You wrote: I was viewing the question from my own perspective as a former Lutheran already received into the Catholic Church, which is a situation less clear.

          No, it's a situation that's very clear. All former Lutherans received into the Catholic Church in regular diocesan parishes canonically belong to the parish and the diocese where they live. The only exception would be for those whose spouses or families are former Anglicans enrolled in the ordinariate.

          Of course, there's nothing that prevents you from assisting in the liturgy at a parish of the ordinariate. You are free to assist in any Catholic liturgy, regardless of rite.

          Norm.

    2. JM,

      As I stated in the article, we complied with the letter from the CDF, which was sent to us by Archbishop Ladaria the Secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I can't say if his letter would apply to other Lutheran groups, nor would I want to even speculate about such a thing.

      I can tell you however that we have had the letter looked at, evaulated, and read over by people who specialize in this sort of issue, including a highly respected Canon Lawyer. This is one reason why we are just now making this known, although we received the letter in early October.

      +Ed

      1. Bishop Steele,

        Thanks for the reassurance, though as Norm points out none is likely necessary. Congratulations to you all!

        On another note, I agree with Bishop Gladfelter that the "Lutheran Patrimony" is largely theological. In what ways do you find that theological heritage expressed in your communities today?

        1. JM asks: "On another note, I agree with Bishop Gladfelter that the "Lutheran Patrimony" is largely theological. In what ways do you find that theological heritage expressed in your communities today?"

          My response: As I have stated more than once, unless the various elements of that theological heritage is in *full* agreement with the documents and the teachings of the present Ordinary and Sacred Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church and summarized in the current "Catechism of the Catholic Church," the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church has rejected them, recanted of them, and does not permit them to be expressed in any way, shape, or form, in our communities.

          Should one of the ALCC's communities – or an individual deacon, priest, or bishop – to do otherwise, and did not stop it and recant as soon as it was discovered, the community and/or the clergyman involved would soon be out of the ALCC. This has actually happened more than once.

          In other words, the ALCC opposes all of the elements of the theological heritage of Lutheranism which are in disagreement with the teachings of the Roman Catholic.

          I once told this to someone who responded: In that case, the ALCC has 'run up the white flag' and capitulated to Rome." Well, that is fair and accurate; and I add that the ALCC has done so enthusiastically, embracing the Catholic faith with great joy, and can hardly wait to come Home.

          I hope this helps. Please pray for the reunion of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

          Blessings,
          Irl

          1. Bishop Irl, I hope my question didn't seem inquisitional… I certainly wasn't intending to impugn ALCC's faithfulness to the Sacred Magisterium.

            Rather, I was curious about your assessment of the theological heritage that is not in disagreement with the Roman Catholic. In other words, what are the treasures that can be shared from the Lutheran patrimony?

            For example, I love how the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification outlines distinctive accents and emphases of a Lutheran way of understanding the teaching — which, while different, are not in contradiction to the Tridentine formulas.

            Does the JDDJ have a role in the catechesis of your flocks?

            1. JM –

              I can answer your last question about catechesis. We have positioned the ALCC to be as Roman Catholic as possible, with the only thing left being the Holy Father's blessing and our full reception into the Church. All of our polity, doctrines, writings, and teachings mirror those of the Catholic Church and have since before we mailed our petition in May 2009. Each of our clergy have signed the Mandatum, affirming they will not write, publish, teach or preach anything contrary to the Magisterial teaching of the Church.

              So in catechising members of the ALCC we normally use the Catechism of the Catholic Church usually joined with the Compendium (because of the format). Some of our parishes have also used current RCIA materials. Since I teach a course called "The Catholic Tradition" at Saint Leo University – the oldest Catholic university in Florida (had to put in a plug for my alma mater) – I have also urged our clergy to carefully read the documents of the Second Vatican Council as well as many of the encyclicals issued over the past century.

              So short answer, no, a study of the Joint Declaration is not part of the normal catechism for our members. However individual parishes may have held studies that I am unaware of.

              +Ed

      1. True, AP, but I would add that we all really do need to be in only one Church, under the one Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and under the earthly leadership of His one Vicar on earth, the Successor to St. Peter.

        Blessings,
        + Irl

    3. There is also full communion between the churches of the Porvoo agreement, that is The Church of England, and the Nordic lutheran churches + the Methodists. And in the church of Sweden there is a rather large group who consider themselves more alike the anglicans than alike other protestant churches. They claim apostolic succession (it was never broken) and consider it an important thing. (Not so in Norway and Denmark, where succession was broken.) Aware that Rome does not recognize this because it is just not a matter of laying on of hands, they still claim to be the catholic province in Sweden., not in contrast but in as much continuity as the confession allows. That is: If Augustana says nothing about it, what was before stands. These people are very close and taking a lot of flak right now.

  23. Thank you, Maggie.

    You asked: Are your clergy allowed to marry or be married? Are your bishops allowed to marry or be married?

    My answer: Our clergy are allowed to be married as are our bishops. One of our bishops, the most senior one below myself, the Church's Vicar General, + Robert W. Edmondson is not married, and never has been.

    As is the case in England, my understanding is that, with the likely exception of + Edmondson, our bishops will be ordained as priests, not as bishops, and our bishops accept that.

    You asked: Also, I thought that the honorific title Monsignor was given to RC priests who become "part of the papal household." I haven't ever seen that title used outside the RC church. If you don't mind me asking, I'm just curious about how that title is granted in the ALCC?

    My answer: The polity (forms of church government – including honors given to priests – is the same as that in the Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, the grades of Monsignori are (1) Papal Chamberlains; (2) Prelates of Honor; (3) Protonotary Apostolics de numero participantium. In the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church, it is the same except the Papal Chamberlains are called Chaplains to the Metropolitan, and as such are canonically part of the Metropolitan's household. In the ALCC, Monsignori either hold Church-wide positions equivalent to the heads of Vatican dicasteries (we have the same positions, except we call the dicasteries "Offices;") or hold regional offices such as Vicar General of a district within an archdiocese or diocese with certain duties and supervisory responsibilities over regional clergy as delegated by the diocesan bishop.

    Blessings,
    Irl

    1. Your Excellency,

      You wrote: My answer: Our clergy are allowed to be married as are our bishops. One of our bishops, the most senior one below myself, the Church's Vicar General, + Robert W. Edmondson is not married, and never has been.

      As is the case in England, my understanding is that, with the likely exception of + Edmondson, our bishops will be ordained as priests, not as bishops, and our bishops accept that.

      Based on the information on your denomination's web site, it appears that at least some of your bishops were ordained by bishops of denominations such as the Polish National Catholic Church of America (PNCCA) that do have a valid apostolic succession, and thus that the Vatican probably will recognize the episcopal orders of at least some of your bishops and the current orders of the presbyters and deacons that those bishops have ordained. As I noted in an earlier reply to Bishop Edward, the Vatican undoubtedly will ensure that anybody who posesses valid episcopal orders receives an office that is appropriate for a person of episcopal stature. Unfortunately, we won't have any idea how this will play out until the Vatican issues a definitive determination on the validity of your denomination's episcopal orders.

      Norm.

      1. Norm, the ALCC's bishops do not hold PNCC / PNCCA, but all of us do hold the succession of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands and the Duarte-Costa succession of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil, one of whose married bishops, + Salmao Ferraz, was received into the Catholic Church as a bishop – without re-ordination – by Pope John XXIII. He was brought to Rome to attend all the sessions of Vatican II accompanied by his wife (!) He was a member of the group of bishops which wrote one of the Constitutions of Vatican II. (I believe it was Gaudium et Spes, but don't hold me to that.)

        After Vatican II, Pope Pius VI gave him a titular see and appointed him as one of the Auxiliary Bishops of Rio de Janeiro, again without any re-ordination. Bishop Ferraz served in which position he served for the rest of his life.

        I would point out, however, that today, admitting any married man as a bishop would prevent any possibility of reconciliation with Eastern Orthodoxy. That reunion with Constantinople is of crucial importance. Thefore, the bishops of the ALCC are ready and willing to gladly surrender their miters and croziers as gifts to Christ for the sake of the reunion of His Church.

        1. Your Excellency,

          You wrote: Norm, the ALCC's bishops do not hold PNCC / PNCCA, but all of us do hold the succession of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands and the Duarte-Costa succession of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Brazil, one of whose married bishops, + Salmao Ferraz, was received into the Catholic Church as a bishop – without re-ordination – by Pope John XXIII. He was brought to Rome to attend all the sessions of Vatican II accompanied by his wife (!) He was a member of the group of bishops which wrote one of the Constitutions of Vatican II. (I believe it was Gaudium et Spes, but don't hold me to that.)

          After Vatican II, Pope Pius VI gave him a titular see and appointed him as one of the Auxiliary Bishops of Rio de Janeiro, again without any re-ordination. Bishop Ferraz served in which position he served for the rest of his life.

          Thank you for this information. I was not aware of the actual precedent.

          You wrote: I would point out, however, that today, admitting any married man as a bishop would prevent any possibility of reconciliation with Eastern Orthodoxy. That reunion with Constantinople is of crucial importance. Thefore, the bishops of the ALCC are ready and willing to gladly surrender their miters and croziers as gifts to Christ for the sake of the reunion of His Church.

          The Vatican historically has demonstrated a deft hand in handling these situations. I suspect that the bishops of the Orthodox Communion and the ancient oriental churches would assent to a reasonable accommodation of those validly ordained to the episcopacy by other denominations, so long as it does not reflect a change in the current discipline of ordaining only celibate men to the episcopacy.

          I don't have a crystal ball with which to predict what form the accommodation of married men validly ordained to the episcopacy might be, but I can identify a couple options.

          >> 1. Appointments as auxilliary bishops might not be as objectionable to the orthodox communion and the ancient oriental churches as appointment as diocesan bishops.

          >> 2. There are many positions for titular bishops and archbishops in the Roman curia and in the Vatican's diplomatic corps in which the Orthodox Communion and the ancient oriental churches might find a married man to be less objectionable.

          From a standpoint of ecumenism, the most important consideration probably is for the Vatican to discuss the matter with the other parties and solicit their concurrence before acting rather than after — and I have no doubt that this will happen if it has not already happened.

          Norm.

  24. Justin Martyr, the ALCC's letter is from the CDF, signed by its Secretary, and it is the CDF which will decide who is admitted to the Ordinariate. You should go to the ALCC website, http://stmichaelsalcc.org/News.dsp where, near the bottom of the page, you may read the actual text of the ALCC's petition to Rome. It does not mention an Ordinariate, merely a priestly society or whichever form the Vatican felt was appropriate.

    It is the CDF which directed us to enter, quoting the CDF's letter, "through the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus." The ALCC's petition, on the advice of the canon lawyer with whom the ALCC has been working on this project suggested we not mention the Ordinariate and let the Vatican (and the Holy Father) decide the form.

    The CDF decided, gave the ALCC its instructions, and the ALCC immediately accepted them joyfully and unconditionally. The ALCC is not negotiating anything – it is capitulating in great joy and humility. The ALCC has accepted the CDF's instructions and is complying unconditionally, and shall do so with anything else it, the other dicasteries, and the Holy Father asks of us.

    Blessings,
    Irl

    1. Please note that the ALCC has absolutely no intention whatsoever of importing anything of Lutheran theology and liturgical customs into the Catholic Church. It did not file its petition to Rome until it was fully catholic in every way except legally. Then, and only then, did it file its penitential petition to be allowed to come home (as stated in its petition) as a Prodigal Child, placing itself at the mercy of the Holy Father.

      We in the ALCC strongly feel that this is the way "to do ecumenism:" Instead of negotiations in which each side gives something up in a "quid pro quo" relationship, each trying to change the other incrementally and eventually perhaps meet somewhere in the middle – with both changed, the Ecclesial Communities should accept the faith and order, worship and spirituality of Roman Catholicism completely – because it is TRUE! Then, and only then, should they humbly file their petition to Rome to be permitted to come home.

      This is what the ALCC has done, and what we hope other Churches/separated Ecclesial Communities will do as well: Become Catholic because it is the right thing to do – the only right thing to do – because the Catholic faith is simply the One True Faith!

      Blessings,
      Irl

      1. +Irl, I admire your zeal, and I share it — desire for the truth is what led me to be received through RCIA years ago.

        With all due respect, however, I wonder if you are not missing the Holy Father's true intention with AC. As you know, the Constiution seeks to "maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared." (§5.III)

        As AC says, "many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside [the Catholic Church's] visible confines," so wouldn't you agree that the Lutheran tradition likewise contains precious gifts and treasures worth preserving, albeit after purging of anything contrary to the Faith?

        Our Pope expressed this sentiment himself, speaking to Lutherans in Germany in 2005:

        "On the other hand, this unity does not mean what could be called ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one's own faith history. Absolutely not! It does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline. Unity in multiplicity, and multiplicity in unity: in my homily for the solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul on 29 June last, I insisted that full unity and true catholicity in the original sense of the word go together. …To this end, dialogue has its own contribution to make. More than an exchange of thoughts, an academic exercise, it is an exchange of gifts (cf. “Ut Unum Sint”, n. 28), in which the Churches and the Ecclesial Communities can make available their own riches (cf. “Lumen Gentium”, nn. 8, 15; “Unitatis Redintegratio”, nn. 3, 14ff.; “Ut Unum Sint”, nn. 10-14). " http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/38173?eng=y

        I agree with you that the attitude of anyone approaching Christ and His Church must be that of humble surrender, that he must run to the truth of Rome and not away from something else, and that he must not fancy himself an equal partner in "negotiation." Yet none of that requires him to utterly abandon his heritage to "become fully catholic in every way" — indeed, the Holy Father says that is precisely what he does not want.

        The way you describe "to do ecumenism," if I have understood you correctly, seems indistinguishable from RCIA. Not that there is anything wrong with that path — I took it myself gladly — but it if it is the only way then what was the point of AC?

        It seems to me that one who, contrary to the Pope's wishes, debases his heritage is less like the Prodigal and more like the Other Son — who prided himself on never asking for a goat when it was his Father's desire to give him everything.

        Cordially in Christ,

        J.

        1. Reading my comments again, I hope my tone is not misunderstood — I just want to stress that the above is meant in the best humor and by no means as a rebuke. Rather, my intent is to inspire and encourage you and yours, +Irl, to adorn the Bride of Christ with whatever diamonds-in-the-rough are found in your heritage as Lutherans.

          1. JM,

            I think there are two issues here worth noting.

            1. The petition from the ALCC was sent to Rome in May 2009 and Anglicanorum coetibus was issued the following November. Furthermore any heritage the ALCC has laid aside, was done so prior to us ever petitioning Rome – and thus not as a response to the apostolic constitution. So to say that what the ALCC has done is not in keeping with the intention of Anglicanorum coetibus is comparing apples to oranges – the two are not related.

            2. To say that the way we understand ecumanism is akin to RCIA is really a compliment, for all we desire to be is fully Catholic. If you read our petition you will see that we have openly stated that we wish to undo the Reformation. Otherwise what is the purpose of requesting to be under the care of our Holy Father the Pope?

            Our desire has not changed since we first decided to send a petition to the Vatican requesting full communion nearly four years ago: we have no ambition but to return to Holy Mother Church. The fact that we have been invited to do so under the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus is a true blessing, but it doesn't change our goal.

            +Ed Steele

  25. Sorry to ask, but is someone aware of the history and origins of the ALCC? I have heard that it originates in clergy of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod joined by a few pastors from the ELCA and the Lutheran Church – Synod of Wisconsin forming their own denomination in order to achieve corporate reunion with Rome.
    Is that true?
    If not, I'm sorry to have asked this on the basis of rumors. I asked it because we all know the history of the Anglican continuum (Affirmation of St Louis, Bp. Chambers etc…) but the history of the catholic stream in the Lutheran churches is not very well known.

    + PAX et BONUM

  26. Well, there goes the neighborhood! LOL!
    Don't get too comfortable with that NOVUS ORDO Liturgy. Once NOVUS SARUM is released, everyone will have to conform to it.

  27. Matthew, the ALCC was founded in 1997 by former members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Over time, clergy and lay people have joined from the ELCA, and other smaller Lutheran Churches, and a number of former Anglicans have joined as well. Our large contingent of Sudanese and Southern Sudanese members in the U.S. and in Africa are all former Anglicans. The ALCC does not have any former Wisconsin Synod members.

    Information about the ALCC may be found at the following websites:
    http://anglolutherancatholic.org
    http://www.ecclnet.org
    http://www.orgsites.com/pa/rac
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Lutheran_Catholic_Church
    http://www.stmichaelsalcc.org

    This last website also has a "News" page with official statements, the text of the ALCC's petition to Rome and its version of the Mandatum which all clergy must sign and with which they must comply – and compliance is monitored. (You do not log in to get to the "News" page.)

    Blessings,
    + Irl

  28. The fact that the ALCC has been directed toward Anglicanorum coetibus opens up some interesting vistas with relation to possible extension of it's application to other groups that derive, even somewhat, from the Anglican "gene pool". If Anglican influenced Lutherans can join an Ordinariate, why not Methodists?

  29. If what others have posted about Lutheran liturgy is accurate, Catholic parishes won't be able to use it because reducing the anaphora to its institution narrative renders it invalid.
    ————————————————————————————–
    A Lutheran rite "choral Mass" would have to have an altered anaphora. I thought that would have been obvious. Catholic parishes will be able to use it just as the Book of Divine Worship for the U.S. Anglican Use is able to use a modified version of the 1928 Anglican Prayer Book. The Lutheran anaphora would simply be revised to conform to Catholic theological standards. Very slight adjustments needed there.

    Since Anglicans have almost always celebrated our Latin-rite liturgies and offices better than we have, having attended a number of ELCA eucharists as well, I can say they too celebrate our liturgy better than most of the Latin rite parishes I've seen . In just about every respect, the quality of the sermon, the music, the competency of the choir, and often the intelligence of the people compared to the philistines the Latin rite churches appear to have by the yard.

    Europe has always been an exception to America thank God. As for the U.S.A., we have a lot to learn and going back to the 1962 rite isn't the way to solve our liturgical problems either.

    1. "The Lutheran anaphora would simply be revised to conform to Catholic theological standards. Very slight adjustments needed there."

      Rubbish! Since Lutherans have traditionally had no anaphora, very major adjustments will be needed — although not in the ALCC, as they have already made those adjustments by going over to the Roman Rite.

        1. Mr. Perkins,

          If by "they" you mean the ALCC, we regularly use either the Ordinary Rite of the Mass (Novus Ordo) or the Book of Divine Worship. On a case by case basis clergy may use the Latin Rite, however it must be proven those that do have a very good command of Latin in both pronunciation and translation.

          +Ed Steele

  30. There is a difference between attending an Ordinariate and actually being a member, isn't there? I am under the impression that only those who were baptized as anglicans ( and their family members) and who have accepted the Holy Father's offer to Anglicans, can be actual members of the Ordinariate. They are then under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary, unlike other Catholics, who are under the jurisdiction of their territorial bishop. How can a person of Lutheran tradition, who was not baptized as an Anglican, be a member of the new Ordinariates? They would have to be baptized by the new clergy of the new Ordinariate to be a member (as opposed to merely attending, as any Catholic may and is certainly more than welcome to), wouldn't they? The actual membership, with it's special relationship to the Vatican and it's unique position in Canon Law, is only for those of the Anglican tradition. Am I not right in this? Don't get me wrong , I am not being mean spirited in any way and I want us all to be fellow Catholics, but my interpretation of the AC is that membership is for Anglicans, not for just for anyone who wants to be in full communion with Rome. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    God Bless,
    Creaser

    1. With all respect Creaser, you are wrong. Eligibility for entrance the Ordinariate is determined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF.) In our case, the CDF has, after due process and deliberation, made its determination, and issued us its Letter of Instruction, which the ALCC has accepted and with which it is in compliance.

      Blessings,
      Irl

      1. Dear Irl,
        I have always been on the Anglo Catholic wing of the Anglican church. About as Catholic as you can be while still retaining our Queen (I am Canadian) as the head of my Church. I am person with an English ethnic background, a descendant of United Empire Loyalists in Ontario, whose ancestors were hounded out of the nascent United States because of their loyalty to the Crown. As a former member of the Canadian Forces Reserves, I have sworn a personal oath of loyalty to the Queen and her descendants. To transfer my spiritual allegiance from her to the Pope is a very serious decision that few non-Anglicans might appreciate. That fact, combined with a 500 year old ingrained aversion to the Pope (which IMHO is deep in the psyche of the English people, i.e. Guy Fawkes day,the Armada, my mother remembering her grandmother telling her "not to play with those Catholic kids", etc) always prevented me from converting as an individual. I just could not bring myself to do it, despite the destruction of the Anglican church in Canada, and my complete belief in Catholicism. Imagine my joy when the AC was announced! The second I heard about it, I said "I will join! At last, Rome has recognized that we Anglicans ARE Catholics, but who have been seperated for almost 500 years, by a combination of errors on both the part of the Papacy and the monarchs of England." I was being offered an historic and unbelievably generous chance to reconcile (not convert) with the Roman Catholic Church, to resume communion with the Bishop of Rome and become a true Catholic again – but retain my Anglican traditions and liturgy (approved by the CDF of course). At long last, a healing of a terrible wound that never should have happened all those centuries ago. Now the CDF is saying, if that is the true intent of it's letter to the this group of Lutherans, and if the Pope himself is aware of it, "well, anyone who accepts the Cathechism of the Catholic Church and wants full communion with the Bishop of Rome, come on in too!" Anglicanorum Coetibus means "groups of Anglicans" doesn't it? Will a person of Lutheran or Greek Orthodox tradition become a member of the Anglican Ordinariate and then walk up to me and say, " tell me again about this Book of Common Prayer (Book of Divine Worship) thing you guys have going on, I have no idea about your tradition of centuries, but I guess I should learn about it since I am a member of the Ordinariate" How am I supposed to respond to that? It would be like a person who is not a member of the military trying to become a member of the Military Ordinariate because it's peculiar arrangements attracts him/her. The CDF says "come back in Anglicans, but we are now going to lump you in with whoever else wants full communion with Rome" Wait a minute, that's not what you told us in November of 2009. I might as well join the RCIA of my local Catholic parish if this is to be the case. Again, I stress that I am not being mean spirited and do not wish to exlude anyone, since I believe ALL Christians should reconcile with the successor to St. Peter, because there is only one Church, with Jesus Christ as it's head. I would be delighted to share my pew in my Ordinariate parish with a Catholic of any sort, but the special pastoral and jurisdicial aspects of the AC are VERY IMPORTANT to me and I believe that MEMBERSHIP in the Ordinariate is a special dispensation from the truly great Pope Benedict XVI to former Anglicans. If this is not the case then why should I bother? That is where I am coming from, and I hope that many of my fellow Ordinariate bound, soon to be former Anglicans, share my opinion in this matter.
        God Bless.
        Creaser

        1. Dear Creaser,

          You should "bother" to take up the Holy Father's offer because you seek the truth. Pardon me for getting the impression that you are allowing "externals" to influence your feelings on the matter. You are partially right and partially wrong on the nature of the Ordinariates. The Ordinariate scheme is indeed a response to "Groups of Anglicans," but as Fr. Newton has said, it is not intended to be a walled "ghetto" for Anglicans within the Church. It will have as much of a mission of evangelism as any other Catholic community. As others have pointed out, once the Ordinariates are fully established, ANYONE who is not already a Catholic of a given rite may seek to be received into the Church via the Ordinariate. The proscriptions are in place to prevent those currently in communion with Peter from "rite shopping." There is nothing in place now that requires those seeking communion with the Church to enter a particular rite. so let them "shop" away. I seriously doubt that someone will show up on your parish's doorstep saying "I want in, what's this Prayer Book thing all about?" Something about your parish will have drawn him there as opposed to the Roman or Ukrainian church down the street. If the Anglican patrimony is what draws somone closer to Christ and His Church, is that not a reason to be pleased, rather than dismayed? Although they cannot be members of the Ordinariate absent a family connection or Anglican background (however narrowly or broadly that may be defined), I have no doubt that, as you mention, you will be pew mates with Catholics of other rites at any given Anglican Use Mass. Again, this is cause for rejoicing. We are becoming one family, healed of its wounds. I'm not a James Joyce fan, but his words are my favorite way of thinking of the Church: "Here comes everybody." We wouldn't be "catholic" any other way.

        2. Creaser, being Catholic is ultimately not about rituals and ceremonies, it's about obedience, both to the local Catholic bishop and to the bishop of Rome, whatever their personal shortcomings. If you feel the Holy Spirit is calling you to the Catholic Church, you need to come in, even if it means mickey mouse masses with the Gather hymnal. And be prepared to get beaten up, and not by non-Catholics so much as by other Catholics. Catholic politics can be as unpleasant as it gets, but this isn't a religion for the thin-skinned.

          But one thing that is absolutely not allowed under any circumstances is "conditional conversions". This whole "I will become Catholic IF…" attitude has no place.

          And yes, I am an Anglican Use Catholic at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church in Houston, one of the oldest AU congregations, but however grateful we are for the Holy Father's indulgence in allowing us to keep our ancient heritage, the be all and end all is obedience, and we will be faithful to him and our local bishop in communion with him, regardless of the sufferings we suffer, even at the hands of the occasional lousy Roman Rite bishop.

    2. Creaser: Yes, there is a difference between attending and joining an Ordinariate. But a person of any non-Anglican tradition could join an Ordinariate by receiving Confirmation through it, as AC says:

      "§4 The Ordinariate is composed of … those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate."

    3. creaser,

      You wrote: I am under the impression that only those who were baptized as anglicans ( and their family members) and who have accepted the Holy Father's offer to Anglicans, can be actual members of the Ordinariate.

      That's not wholly accurate. Those are received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a parish of an ordinariate also can become members of an ordinariate, regardless of the denomination of their baptism.

      And for purposes of this rule, those baptized in a parish of the "Anglican Use" in the United States will be considered to have been baptized into a parish of an ordinariate.

      You wrote: How can a person of Lutheran tradition, who was not baptized as an Anglican, be a member of the new Ordinariates? They would have to be baptized by the new clergy of the new Ordinariate to be a member (as opposed to merely attending, as any Catholic may and is certainly more than welcome to), wouldn't they? The actual membership, with it's special relationship to the Vatican and it's unique position in Canon Law, is only for those of the Anglican tradition. Am I not right in this?

      There's another significant nuance here. Although founded by Lutherans, the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC) has adopted various elements of Anglican patrimony including the celebration of the liturgy according to the Book of Divine Worship, which is the Anglican liturgy approved so far by the Catholic Church. In keeping with the canonical principle that permissive laws are interpreted broadly, the established use of the Book of Divine Worship is sufficient Anglican heritage to qualify for membership in the ordinariate.

      And furthermore, when the Vatican has spoken, in this case by a letter inviting the ALCC to consider the ordinariate as an option, the matter is already decided.

      Norm.

  31. Creaser,

    you forget the strong Lutheran influence in the Church of England from the 16th century, not to mention the proposal under Queen Victoria for a joint Anglican/Lutheran Bishop of Jerusalem. What is more, through the Porvoo Agreement, the Church of England has already effectively merged with the Nordic Lutheran Churches.

    1. Dear Flabellum.
      The Church of England is different from the Anglican Church of Canada, which is a seperate national church in Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Ordinariate that I will be joining will be the one erected in Canada. Lamentably, I am not as aware as I should be of the historical links between the Church of England and various Lutheran groups and traditions. Nor am I theologian or fully versed in the specific details of historical religious accords and arrangements. I was raised by atheist parents of Anglican heritage and had to get myself baptized as an adult, only to find the Anglican Church in my country to be full of error and moral relativism. So my knowledge is not as good as it should be in many areas. On the other hand, I am not a member of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, the TAC branch in Canada, or any other church that has been set up in the last couple of decades as a splinter of a church. I will be joining the Ordinariate as an individual, as per the AC, from the centuries old Church of England (admittedly as a member of the Anglican Church of Canada, which is a child of the Church of England, with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Queen as it's head). I greatly respect all the recent churches who want to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and yearn to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome, but to me personally, the swim across the Tiber will be a very long and difficult one. I may even drown or turn back exhausted.
      But it is a journey that I feel in my soul that I must take. Maybe I have misinterpreted the AC, which may in fact be an effort by the Vatican to bring back all who have strayed over the centuries, in the truly sacred cause of Christian unity, which I suppose is the whole point. I thought, perhaps with too much pride, that it was solely for us Anglicans, abandoned by our ancestral church. I am going to attend AC conference in March in Canada, where the Archbishop of Toronto and other learned and wise men of God will speak. Maybe then my concerns will be allayed (sic?) and my misunderstandings corrected. I guess it will be then that I will have to decide to put on my bathing suit and jump in that Tiber. (we Canadians are used to jumping into chilly waters).
      God Bless,
      Creaser

        1. Creaser, let me offer these thoughts from the Anglican Church in America priest, Fr. Chori Seriah, which, on 1/31/2011, were posted on the following web site : http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=40143 . "Come into the Catholic Church for the right reason. Unity is not a "good" thing-unity is a great thing. Unity is not a "nice" thing-unity is a necessary thing. Come into the Catholic Church for the right reason. Seek unity because it is what Christ Commanded (not "suggested"). Seek unity because it is right" . . .

          Fr. Seriah notes: ". . . It has been discussed before that there is a vital distinction between "running to" the Catholic Church, and "running away" from whatever it is you are leaving behind. Yet, on the side of "running to" it is not hard to get confused and have it appear that we are "running to" the Catholic Church, when we are really "running to" something peripheral to the Church herself.

          Fr. Seriah continues: ". . . Entering the Ordinariate is not supposed to be because "it is a nice thing to do" but because "it is the ONLY thing to do." If your heart is not there, and you are still thinking it is merely the best of the options, then you may need to rethink just what your actions are."

          Fr. Seriah concludes: "Unity is not a "good" thing-unity is a great thing. Unity is not a "nice" thing-unity is a necessary thing. Come into the Catholic Church for the right reason. Seek unity because it is what Christ Commanded (not "suggested.") Seek Communion with Rome, but not because the "Roman Christians" are cool, or conservative, or Catholic. Seek communion with Rome, but not because the "Roman Christians" are cool, or conservative, or Catholic. Seek communion with Rome, but not because it is (sic) looks good to be unified. Seek communion with Rome *because it is right!*

          My comment: Every not and then I run across something which agrees with my own opinions and expresses it so well that I dearly wish I had written it myself. Fr. Seriah's comments are an excellent example of this. He closes his essay with the satement that he does not want to drive anyone away from entering the Ordinariate but does want to be sure that no one enters it for the wrong reasons, and that everyone entering knows what *are* the right reasons.
          Father Seriah and I both pray that God may give his grace to all as they "seek to make the right decision."

          The ALCC uses the following mottos in its official publications, stationery, and on our websites: "Reuniting the Body of Christ one Church at a time;" Pope St. Pius X's motto from his coat of arms, "To restore everything in Christ;" with this addition – "Deus le veult!" ("God wills it."); and "Ut Unum Sint!"

          We in the ALCC humbly pray for the day when all Christians will be gathered into Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church under the leadership of Christ and his Vicar, the Bishop of Rome.

          Pray for the reunion of Christ's Church, and don't let anyone or anything deter us from the pursuit of that goal.

          Blessings,
          Irl

        2. You mean I not only have to switch from the Queen to the Pope, but now I have to share common cause with Germans! (Lutherans). What would my dear departed Father have said? His brother was burned to death in his Hurricane by the Luftwaffe right before El Alamein and his grandfather was the Canon of a Cathedral in the Church of England in Wales. (the Loyalist in me comes from my mother's side, who btw might have stopped speaking to me if I had become a Catholic before her death, not because of religion, but because she was a liberal, atheist Catholic Church hater, God rest her soul.)
          I am, of course, JUST KIDDING about the whole Pope and German thing. Talk about ancient and not so ancient grudges,eh? I hope I haven't offended anyone. I know many Lutherans of German extraction paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedom from the pagan abomination of Nazism. (Not to mention Dietrich Bonhoffer and Dwight D. Eisenhower)
          God Bless,
          Creaser

          1. No offence taken. I replied further up the string, but +Irl, quoting Fr. Seriah, said it much better. You do highlight an important issue, however jokingly. A true understanding of what it means to be Catholic transcends nation and culture, without diminishing either. It can be hard to "let go" of certain attitudes and biases beat into us by our cultural environment, but we must seek a proper ordering of the "goods" in our life. I am resolved to be a Catholic American. I am a better American because I am in union with Christ and His Church. If I were an American Catholic, both my American identity and Catholic Faith would suffer for it. In the words of the US Army ad, "be ALL that you can be." Be a Catholic Canadian/Anglican — the Queen's good servant, but God's first!

          2. Dear Irl,
            I am already in the Catholic church. Nowhere, to the best of my admittedly incomplete knowledge, does the Cathechism refer to the "Roman Catholic" Church. It is we in the English speaking world that invented the term Roman Catholic, according to something I read on this forum from someone with much more knowledge than I in these matters. As far as I understand, I (and my fellow Anglicans who believe that we never left the Catholic Church) will be reconciled to the Bishop of Rome when we are confirmed in the Ordinariate, which will restore me to full Communion with Rome, thus healing one of the breaches of the Reformation. That is what the AC is for, in my opinion, as far as it relates to my position. This has been the promised to me (not personally) by various Vatican authorities in this country, as far as I can tell. We are not converting, we are being reconciled. (Ouch, theology makes my head hurt) Apart from that, I agree 100% with your sentiments on Unity. I believe in One,Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I already am in it, but I need to be confirmed and accept the Cathecism in it's entirety, which I do (I am about a third of the way through the book itself, although I read a synopsis of the whole thing.). I am not running from or running to anything. I need to be under the authority of the Bishop of Rome not only because it it the "only thing" to do, but also because only he has the power to prevent what has happened to the Anglican Church in Canada from happening to the rest of the Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury has been helpless to preserving the Truth, at least in Canada. Thanks for the inspiring quotes. I am just an average layperson who is muddling my way through all of this. I wish the AC conference in Canada was tomorrow. I wish I was already a member of the Ordinariate. I am sick of going to Mass at my local RC parish and having to cross my arms and only receive a blessing from the Celebrant. Patience is not a big virtue with me. Nor perhaps, as I reread my posts, is humility. I also have a lot of culture shock to absorb.
            Your brother in Christ,
            Creaser

            1. Creaser,

              I am already in the Catholic church. Nowhere, to the best of my admittedly incomplete knowledge, does the Cathechism refer to the "Roman Catholic" Church. It is we in the English speaking world that invented the term Roman Catholic, according to something I read on this forum from someone with much more knowledge than I in these matters.

              Nowhere does the Catechism of the Catholic Church refer to any of the sui juris ritual churches that are part of the Catholic Church by name, either.

              The term "Roman Catholic" correctly refers to the portion of the Catholic Church which worships according to the Roman Rite. The term "Roman Catholic Church" correctly refers to the hierarchical organization thereof. The Bishop of Rome is both the patriarch of the Roman Rite and the supreme pastor of the whole Catholic Church. Each sui juris ritual church has its own patriarch or "major archbishop" who is equal to the Bishop of Rome as patriarch but subordinate to the Bishop of Rome as supreme pastor (pope).

              Norm.

      1. creaser,

        Perhaps you might want to consider reflecting on what it means to be fully Catholic. While we each find our own way spiritually, we also embrace those who have legitimate Christian customs, experiences, and patrimony that are different from our own.

        In this regard, the ordinariate(s) in Canada, which will look very much like the present Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), will be very different from ordinariate(s) in the United States. The latter will receive only a portion of the respective province of TAC, but will also inherit a growing number of "Anglican Use" congregations, the congregations of the ALCC, and several congregations that currently have other affiliations — each of which brings its own version of "Anglican patrimony." Further, congregations that are geographically proximate here in the States may need to merge into a single parish to become sustainable — and it's also why the "Becoming One" events are so much more vital here in the States!

        Norm.

  32. Welcome home, beloved brothers and sisters! We all rejoice with you! By the grace of God, let us persevere in faith, good works and prayer to undo the errors of the reformation (capital "R" knowingly abandoned).

  33. I am thrilled at this news!!!! Welcome, welcome~!

    I have met some Lutherans for Life and there are some branches that do wish to retain orthodoxy but then, sadly, some branches are totally in step with the world.

    I did not know there were Anglo-Lutherans until I read this! And now Roman Catholic. Deo gratias!

  34. Wonderful news and we welcome you with open arms and great joy! It would be so wonderful if all those affected by the reformation could come back to the true faith – the faith in which Christ stated – "Peter you are rock and upon this rock I will build my church." I pray also for our other Protestant brothers and sisters to return to the fold. Maybe disallusioned Prebyterians will follow!

    1. The ALCC has 21 clergy now. We will have 22 within a few weeks. The ALCC's current statistics are on page 363 of the 2011 "Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches." The "Yearbook's" article about the ALCC is on pages 62-63. For more detailed information (other than the statistics) than that in the "Yearbook's" basic article see the 4 websites I referenced earlier in this discussion.

      Blessings,
      Irl

  35. Since Bach, in my view, is the greatest composer ever (leaving Mozart and Beethoven in the dust), it is really exciting that this incoming group could bring to Holy Church the entire musical patrimony of that composer and some other greats. Imagine the possibilities: the cantatas come to grace the Catholic calendar!, even if it is not the general one. The m.p. was written for 'groups of Anglicans' but this new group raises the question of what, exactly, an Anglican might be.

    By the way, how many clerics are members of the A.L.C.C.? I have have missed the number given the large number of posts here.

    P.K.T.P.

    1. Mr Perkins,

      You wrote, "The m.p. was written for 'groups of Anglicans' but this new group raises the question of what, exactly, an Anglican might be." That, coupled with what others have alluded to regarding other Lutherans, is (in my opinion)
      reading too much into the situation.

      Believe me, we of the ALCC are extremely excited about all that has developed, and are most grateful for all the kind words and comments we have received in the past couple of days. The sense of true, open fellowship has been overpowering. However the letter that I cited in my synopsis, which we received in October from the CDF was (as we and all who have read it understand it) a response to our petition of May 2009 and nothing more. We do not assume nor speculate that our response from the CDF in any way changes the original intention of Anglicanorum coetibus. While we humbly and joyfully look forward to being part of the ordinariate, we feel that using the letter for any type of reinterpretation of the Holy Father's intentions is unwise.

      By the way, the ALCC has 21 clergy members at present, with a 22nd to be added in the next week or so. Our other statistics can be found on page 363 of the 2011 "Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches." There is also more information on our website (www.anglolutherancatholic.org).

      Peace and grace,
      +Ed

  36. Sing to the LORD a new song!
    My soul magnifies the LORD!
    My spirit rejoices in God, My Savior!

    "That they may be one, as You, Father, and I are one."

    Sing to the LORD, all you lands!
    Sing to Him! Glory and praise!

  37. The signs of unity warm my heart – I was disheartened as a teenager when family members and friends left the Church and, after that, unity seemed impossible. The older we get, the divisions seem all the more set in stone…. my personal experience has been a source of reflection as I consider the whole Church. I praise God for your faith and your true and prolonged effort toward unity. You are all a sign of God's healing power and faithfulness.

  38. Greetings All,
    I can never seem to get it through my skull that the AC Norms state that membership in an Ordinariate is only denied to those who were baptized as Catholics. I initially took that to mean that the logic was: therefore you have to be a baptized Anglican to be a member. It has stuck in my head ever since then, despite the fact that this it is clearly not the case. Any person not baptized previously as a Catholic ( leaving aside for the moment my Anglo-Catholic interpretation of what the concept of Catholic means), is eligible for membership. Obviously, I wish it wasn't the case, because of too much pride in my heritage and traditions, and a desire to have a kind of new Catholicism, in Communion with the Bishop of Rome, for baptized Anglicans only. Sort of variety of the country club attitude. "I only want my sort in the club, and pass me the cucumber sandwiches, Nigel". Well, that is simply not going to happen. The Holy Father and the CDF know what they are doing, and I need to get over myself. Just to clarify one thing, however, if anyone should care at all at this point. When I said that (paraphrase) "why would I bother being in the Ordinariate, if anybody can be in it", I did not mean "why bother reconciling with Rome at all" , I meant "why bother with the Ordinariate route of returning to the spiritual and legal authority of the Bishop of Rome, when it is simpler and easier and faster [at the time of the announcement of the AC] to do the RCIA at my local RC Parish. I am joining the Ordinariate as an individual, after all ( btw, am I the only one?)." My initial attitude was, I am special, I don't need to do the RCIA, the Pope says so, too bad for all the rest of you guys. Not very charitable, I know. What I really want, as I have stated above, is to be a member of Christ's Universal Church, with a leader who will not bend to the ways of the world, who has the power to prevent our Church from straying from the Truth. How I do this is not really that important, what is important is that I do it. It is hard for me, for cultural, historical, and personal reasons to "swim the Tiber", as they say, but my heart and my soul tells me I must do it, and I will. Enough said.
    God Bless you all,
    Creaser

    1. "pass me the cucumber sandwiches, Nigel".

      From my very pleasant association with the Canadian Forces while I was stationed with the US Navy in Bermuda it seems more likely that the phrase would be "Pass the whiskey! LOL

      Welcome aboard.

      1. Dear Mike Noble,

        Although my father served in the Navy in WW2, I was in an infantry reserve unit. I also hate whiskey (gin and tonic is my tipple of choice). but whiskey, especially Rye, is our national liquor, although beer is the real king of alcohol up here. I know I was drinking one ( that wound up on the ceiling) when Sidney Crosby scored the Gold Medal winning goal in overtime against the Americans in the Men's Hockey final at the last winter Olympics! You guys may have saved the entire world in WW2 and are the leaders of the free world and the greatest nation in the history of the world, but we RULE at hockey! (like anybody cares in the rest of the world) Lol. I am writing this on my iPhone and can't figure out how to erase the redundant words at the end of this post.

        God Bless,
        Creaser

        (Like anybody in the rest of the world cares at all

    2. Creaser,

      You wrote: I can never seem to get it through my skull that the AC Norms state that membership in an Ordinariate is only denied to those who were baptized as Catholics. I initially took that to mean that the logic was: therefore you have to be a baptized Anglican to be a member. It has stuck in my head ever since then, despite the fact that this it is clearly not the case. Any person not baptized previously as a Catholic ( leaving aside for the moment my Anglo-Catholic interpretation of what the concept of Catholic means), is eligible for membership. Obviously, I wish it wasn't the case, because of too much pride in my heritage and traditions, and a desire to have a kind of new Catholicism, in Communion with the Bishop of Rome, for baptized Anglicans only. Sort of variety of the country club attitude. "I only want my sort in the club, and pass me the cucumber sandwiches, Nigel". Well, that is simply not going to happen.

      Actually, you still don't have the rules quite right.

      >> Anybody who is already a member of the Catholic Church must be formerly Anglican or a member of a family that belongs to an ordinariate to join an ordinariate and a parish thereof.

      >> Going forward, the rule that applies to those who are now members of the Catholic Church will apply to anybody who is baptized or received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a diocesan parish.

      >> But anybody baptized or received into full communion in a parish of the ordinariate may instead belong to an ordinariate and a parish thereof.

      Norm.

  39. Welcome home to Rome! Just the other day on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter and before I learned the good news I prayed for the Ordinariate and anyone thinking of joining it. I didn't expect that prayer to be answered so quickly and concretely! Could one of the ALCC bishops please let me know how it came to be that their church is primarily Sudanese? I find that very interesting. And also, how were the Vietnamese drawn in?

    Thank you and God bless!

    1. Br. Dennis, the ALCC has an archbishop who is a tribal elder in a division of the Sudanese Bari Tribe, and a former Secretary of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. He is responsible for our Sudanese membership both in the U.S., in Sudan, newly independent South Sudan and adjacent Bari tribal territory in Uganda and the Congo.

      Blessings,
      + Irl Gladfelter

  40. Dear all, as announced before, here you may find my article on the blessed homecoming of the ACCL, plus two focuses on what ACCL and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsinghm in England are:
    http://www.labussolaquotidiana.it/ita/articoli-i-cattolici-anglo-luterani-usa-tornano-a-roma-1059.htm
    (and today it's stil on the homepage http://www.labussolaquotidiana.it)

    Hoping to stay in touch with, I do pray that our family may grow more Lord's day after Lord's day. Let's keep us in our reciprocal prayers.

    in Jesu et Maria

  41. Everybody,

    Did anybody else notice this heading at the top of the replies?

    144 Responses to Our Family Is Growing!

    No, I could not let that stand — 144 is rather gross, actually! :-o

    But seriously, this enthusiastic discussion is really terrific, and bodes well for the ordinariates!

    Norm.

  42. Thanks for the information, Rev22:17. I had read that but had forgotten or misunderstood it. I know that it was impossible for the Pope to offer a sui juris church status to returning Anglicans because they were part of the Latin Rite before the reformation. I can't argue any theology because I currently lack the sufficient sufficient knowledge. My point is that I am already in the Catholic Church in the sense of the wider "Catholic Church" , of which people in England were part of before they were sundered from the Bishop of Rome by historical events. I guess that joining the Ordinariate will technically mean that I am going from the English Catholic Church
    ( which is the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Anglican church)) to the Roman Catholic Church as I am teturning to the authority of the Bishop of Rome. Is that right?

    1. Creaser, that is right. The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus and the Complementary Norms make it crystal clear that you will become a Roman Catholic Church like everyone else, only you will be doing your part to heal the wounds so needlessly inflicted on the Catholic Church during the 16th century; and that is a great thing!!

      Blessings,
      Irl

  43. Fr. Phillips, I write as an admirer of what you've taken part in building at the Atonement parish. I've been an admirer of the Anglican Use Mass since I was in high school and enjoy visiting Walsingham in Houston when I can. When I heard the news about Anglicanorum coetibus, I had to pinch myself; I'm very hopeful for the future of the Catholic Church in the United States and elsewhere with the influx of strong, new Catholics from former Anglican groups!

    I am so happy that the ALCC want to join the family, but the Lutheran element of their faith is likely to require extra scrutiny. (I will be praying for you though, Bishop Steele!)

    1. Geoff wrote: "I am so happy that the ALCC want to join the family, but the Lutheran element of their faith is likely to require extra scrutiny."

      My comment: Geoff, Unlike Anglicanism, the "patrimony" of Lutheranism is predominately theological, not liturgical; and the cultural elements of Lutheranism are already shared with German and Scandanavian Roman Catholicism, so scrutiny is expected – and welcomed.

      Those who "scrutinize the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church (ALCC) will find that it differs from all other Lutheran Churches, many of which have been in "discussions" with the Catholic Church on various issues, by having, "a priori,"definitively rejected and recanted of *all* elements – without exception – of the "patrimony" of Lutheranism, theologically and otherwise, which does not fully agree with the teachings of Roman Catholicism. They will see that the ALCC fully and accepted all of the Roman Catholic Church's teachings – faith and order, worship, spirituality, and polity, without qualification or exception *before* even thinking of filing its petition to Rome to enter the Catholic Church.

      So, as noted, the ALCC welcomes any scrutiny the Catholic Church gives us, because it will find us to be as Roman Catholic in every way as are they except legally, which legality our petition asks them, humbly and as their penitent prodigal children, to grant us.

      Blessings,
      Irl

  44. Dear Bishop Steele:
    As one St. Leo College alum to another (B.A. Religion and political science, 1998, while our alma mater was still St. Leo College; it changed to St. Leo University a few years later), please accept the prayers of myself and my wife on the ALCC clergy and laity coming home to His Church. To Bishop Gladfelter – please ignore the remarks on another website by an obviously-upset Lutheran minister towards you and the ALCC in his commenting on Deacon Keith Fournier's article. It really does not matter what was said or what was not said between Your Excellency and the Lutheran minister on that Lutheran website or how many bishops the ALCC has, or how small the ALCC is, et cetera. That was petty on the minster's part. It is wonderful to know that Christ's words are coming true, "That all may be One as My Father and I are one."

    1. Mike,

      Thank you for the kind words. It is always good to "meet" another Saint Leo alum. While my B.A. in Religion is from the college ('94) my M.A. in Theology was received from the university in January 2007. If you haven't been to campus in awhile, you really ought to come visit as it has grown.

      We certainly appreciate the prayers of you and your wife, and know that we in turn shall keep you both in ours.

      Peace and grace,
      +Ed

  45. To what article on what website is Michael Wrasman referring above? It is irritating and unmannerly to make such an obscure reference. Better either not to mention it at all or, if there are good and sufficient reasons to mention it, to provide a link.

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