Many of the blogs have been buzzing with reports about preparations for the Ordinariate in Canada being “on hold," as far as the Anglican Catholics are concerned. Some bloggers have incorrectly reported that this was a decision made by the Holy See; others have tried to make the case that the ACCC was having second thoughts about the whole thing. None of that’s true.
Using “leaked” emails, all sorts of things have been reported, including such things as “all the ACCC parishes are to be closed down,” and “ACCC people will have to attend territorial Catholic parishes, where they will be catechized,” and the list goes on, each measure sounding more and more draconian.
Archbishop Collins called me after all this broke out in the media and on the blogs, so I had the opportunity to ask him directly about these things. Did he really issue these orders? Were they presented to the members of the ACCC with his approval?
The short answer is, “no.” He told me quite plainly that it wouldn’t have entered his mind to suggest that the ACCC parishes be closed down. He has no intention whatsoever of telling those who are Ordinariate-bound that they must attend the local Catholic parish. He knows that people are being catechized now, and that will continue, with the mentor-priests being available to help. It’s not the intention of the archbishop that the mentor-priests are to “take over.” We spoke about the preparation of the clergy. If there are some who need further studies, there will be programs for that, taking into account individual circumstances and personal responsibilities. Clergy won’t be rejected simply because they need some supplemental studies. When it comes to the holding of property, the archbishop stated without hesitation that determining property issues isn’t part of his task as delegate.
The archbishop understands that his responsibility is to prepare things for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus. That’s all. In fact, many of these issues will belong more properly to the Ordinariate when it is erected, and will be dealt with, long-term, by the Ordinary and the Governing Council of Priests. I know the archbishop looks forward to the time when his task is finished, and Anglicanorum coetibus is fully implemented. In fact, aren't we all!