Fr. Aidan Nichols on the Ordinariates

Over on the Ordinariate Portal, you'll find the transcript of Fr. Aidan Nichols' talk on "The Theological Context of the Ordinariates," which he delivered at the recent Conference in Canada.


When Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto invited me to come to Canada in March 2011, so as to speak at a conference he had organized on Anglicanorum coetibus for prospective members of the proposed Canadian Ordinariate, he asked me to address three questions: the theological context of the document, its place in the wider vision of Pope Benedict, and the topic of the Liturgy. This 3-part article revisits the substance of what I said on that occasion, and reworks it into a fuller whole.[1]

Part One: The theological context of the Ordinariates

In connexion with Anglicanorum coetibus, what, to my mind, the term ‘theological context’ principally means is its historical-theological context. To be sure, a formal ecclesiological account of the Apostolic Constitution could no doubt be provided, taking its inspiration from the document’s preamble with its doctrinal meditation on the nature of the Church (and notably the Church’s unity) and making particular reference to the case of ‘those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner’ (Anglicanorum coetibus, Introduction). But to put living flesh on the skeletal canonico-ecclesiological structure the text lays out, it is necessary, I believe, to think through theologically the issues raised by the historical background.

Read the whole transcript here.

Author: 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.

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