Text of Cardinal Wuerl's Report

Consultation on Implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

June 15, 2011

Anglicanorum coetibus, an Apostolic Constitution which provides for groups of Anglicans to enter into corporate union with the Catholic Church, was issued by our Holy Father in November 2009. Specifically, Anglicanorum coetibus allows for the erection of Personal Ordinariates, juridically similar to dioceses, in which elements of the Anglican heritage may be maintained.

In early 2010, Cardinal Francis George, then President of our Conference, established the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States. Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth and myself are members of this Committee which I Chair.

On March 23, 2010, I gave a report to the USCCB Administrative Committee. In the context of that report, I attempted to answer questions and also solicited the observations of the bishops on establishing an Ordinariate in the United States. Subsequent to the meeting, the bishops’ responses were compiled in a report, which also included observations by USCCB Senior Staff. This report was most helpful in conveying the mind of the USCCB at meetings in Rome on Anglicanorum coetibus, directed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from April 26 through April 28, 2010.

The Ad Hoc Committee met in Florida during the USCCB’s June meeting. We were joined by Father Scott Hurd, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington who was ordained through the Pastoral Provision. At this meeting, it was decided that the responsibilities of the Committee are two-fold: 1) assess the level of interest in such an Ordinariate in the United States and thus provide appropriate information for both our Conference and the Holy See; and 2) facilitate the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States.

On August 22, 2010, Father Hurd was appointed as liaison with the USCCB for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus. In this capacity, he serves as staff to the Ad Hoc Committee.

The USCCB made a public announcement in September 2010 of my appointment as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s Delegate for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States. In the official press release, Anglicans wishing to be received into the Catholic Church were invited to express their intentions to me in writing by December 31, 2010.

Since that time, every Anglican group and individual who has written has received an acknowledgement of their statement of intention. Anglican groups were sent a “Community Profile” questionnaire, based upon established criteria for assessing Anglican communities. Anglican clergy not associated with a larger group were sent a “Clergy Profile” questionnaire. Finally, Anglican laity not associated with a larger group were sent an acknowledgement to their letter, instructing them to await further instructions, should an Ordinariate be established.

Personal contacts were also made with interested Anglicans during this time, both by members of the Ad Hoc Committee and by Father Hurd, who is in frequent contact with interested Anglicans by telephone, e-mail, and Facebook.

In January 2011, an overview and summary of the responses received from interested Anglicans was sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. A modified version of this report was submitted to the USCCB President, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who in turn shared it with all members of the Conference. Both reports concluded with the assessment that it appears feasible to establish an Ordinariate in the United States at this time.

Shortly thereafter, an extensive assessment of those Anglican communities intending to enter an Ordinariate was compiled and sent to the CDF. This assessment was referenced in my report on Anglicanorum coetibus to the USCCB Administrative Committee on March 22, 2011. In this report, I explained that all bishops with an Anglican group in their jurisdiction requesting to be received into an Ordinariate would be invited to submit by May 1 any information they wished to share with the Ad Hoc Committee. Many bishops accepted this invitation and provided helpful information.

An analysis of the academic and ministerial formation history of all petitioning Anglican clergy was submitted to the CDF at the beginning of April. This was done to evaluate their formation needs for Catholic ordination. This analysis proposed that petitioning Anglican clergy be placed into one of three categories: those eligible for an intense period of formation; those eligible for the intense period plus an additional period of mandated continuing formation after ordination; and those whose formation histories would not recommend them for either of these options.

In planning for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus, a program of priestly formation was developed that would allow for a concentration of study in the areas of historic theological divergence in anticipation of ordination to the priesthood. The CDF approved the modified program of priestly formation and authorized its use.

With the encouragement of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the leadership of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston’s Major Seminary, Saint Mary’s, agreed to implement the priestly formation program. A Saint Mary’s faculty member, Father Jeffrey Steenson, has been instrumental in designing the specific elements of this program, in collaboration with Cardinal DiNardo and myself. Father Steenson is the former Episcopal Bishop of the Rio Grande, who was received into the Church in 2007. The formation program will be available on site at the seminary and also through distance learning facilities.

In mid-April, Anglican clergy seeking ordination in an Ordinariate were directed as part of the process to submit dossiers to me by May 16 for eventual review by the CDF. Since that time, completed dossiers have been sent to Rome for evaluation.

Those Anglican clergy whose dossiers are granted a Nulla Osta by the CDF, indicating that they are eligible to proceed with the approved priestly formation process, will be directed to provide additional information to the CDF. This information will include the results of criminal background checks, a psychological evaluation, a letter of resignation from their Anglican entity, a Votum from the Delegate or Ordinary, and a Votum from the Catholic bishop where the candidate resides, who will have been invited to interview him, either personally or through a delegate. If possible, a Votum from the candidate’s former Anglican authority will also be included.

During this time, those candidates responsible for a congregation will be guiding the catechetical formation of their people, utilizing the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, as has been approved by the CDF. Candidates will be encouraged to invite speakers from the local Catholic community.

Once the second set of documentation has been sent to the CDF, a candidate will cease celebrating the Anglican Eucharist. When a rescript has been issued and received, he may be ordained to the diaconate immediately, with the intention that his subsequent priestly ordination would coincide with the reception of his parish group into full communion.

Since the Holy See has indicated its wish to establish an Ordinariate in the United States this Fall, I am grateful for this opportunity to conduct this consultation with the members of our Conference, to receive any additional observations you might have and to indicate a few areas where we as bishops can be of assistance to a newly-appointed ordinary as he attempts to implement an Ordinariate in the United States.

Before inviting your observations and, I hope, support for this effort, I would like to touch on a number of areas where individually we as bishops can be of assistance to a newly formed Ordinariate and its efforts to review possible candidates for priestly ordination.
Since each candidate will be required to have a criminal background check and a psychological evaluation, I would hope that each of us would be able to provide these services for a candidate for the Ordinariate just as we do for those who are seeking admission in our priestly formation programs or to minister in a diocesan program.

A second area where we can perhaps be of some assistance is to offer worship space to a small community that would be a part of the new Ordinariate. Most of them will not have property such as a church and meeting facilities. Our hospitality in providing them worship space would be a sign of generosity on our part and, I am sure, greatly welcomed by them.

An additional way we can facilitate the work of the Ordinariate would be to assign priests who would function as a bishop’s delegate. These delegates would meet and interview candidates for priesthood ordination and, perhaps, serve as a mentor to assist with any issues that arise in the formation process.

Fourth, I suggest that we make available the resources of our Tribunals to those Anglicans, both clergy and lay, who will need to secure an annulment before being received into an Ordinariate.

Another area where collaboration at the local level could be helpful is in the catechetical preparation of the lay faithful of the former Anglican congregation. While this is the responsibility of the Ordinariate, and specifically the head of the congregation seeking membership in the Ordinariate, perhaps someone involved in catechesis in the neighboring Catholic parish (Director of Religious Education, Coordinator of Religious Education or a senior catechist) might be willing to assist in the catechetical process for those lay faithful coming into the Ordinariate and making their profession of faith as a Catholic.

It might also be helpful to note that the establishment of an Ordinariate and the process for the Pastoral Provision are two distinct responses. The Ordinariate deals with those seeking to come into the Catholic Church as a group. The Pastoral Provision is intended for an individual seeking ordination as a Catholic priest.

Finally, as this consultation unfolds, I welcome your input, observations and comments.

Thank you.

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.

35 thoughts on “Text of Cardinal Wuerl's Report”

  1. Once the anglican priest stops celebrating Anglican eucharist, presumably the community worship will continue with Mattins or Evensong; in some cases it will perhaps be a chance to reconnect with the beautiful Office.

  2. A Sunday Service of sung Morning Prayer: that's actually quite humorous to contemplate.

    I think this is a very encouraging report, and we should be grateful for all the hard work of organizing that Cardinal Wuerl, Fr. Hurd, and Fr. Steenson have undertaken. It is quite a task! Not the kind of thing that happens overnight — a thought that should encourage us in patience.

  3. As Nero Wolfe would say: Satisfactory, MOST SATISFACTORY!

    I am anxious to see what the second wave will bring a year or two from now. More TEC parishes? Possibly, one can only pray and hope.

    I am eager to see what the Ordinariate Liturgies will be like. I really like the current Anglican Use (Rite I) and watch the DVD every time I feel a need.

    As far as what to do if a group has been received but have no priest yet, they can have Evensong & Benediction and Go to Mass in a Roman or Eastern Rite Church if one is near them until their priest has been ordained. If you choose a Roman Rite Mass try to find one that is done well in the Mass of Pope Paul VI. Best choice if a Byzantine Catholic parish is not near find a Church that has the Mass of Pope John XXIII. Nourish your souls, bodies and Spirits.

    1. Actually, if the local bishop is agreeable and the ordinary grants faculties any Roman Rite priest could celebrate the BDW liturgy for them. Personnel shortages and logistics will be the big problem.

    2. Isn't the practice in a lot (if not all) Catholic parishes to send off the "Catechumens" after the Liturgy of the Word? I assume they receive some type of further instruction while the Eucharistic liturgy continues. I take it there is not yet a "Sunday Obligation" to attend a Mass. Therefore it would seem like a Morning or Evensong service with some instruction would be all they would need prior to actually being received into the Catholic Church.

  4. This is a very encouraging statement, as it gives a lot of clear detail, as well as an ambitious time-line.

  5. "It might also be helpful to note that the establishment of an Ordinariate and the process for the Pastoral Provision are two distinct responses. The Ordinariate deals with those seeking to come into the Catholic Church as a group. The Pastoral Provision is intended for an individual seeking ordination as a Catholic priest." — Spoken by someone who hasn't read the Pastoral Provision! If this was the case, how and why do AU parishes now exist? Thanks to Bishop Farrell, (Diocese of Dallas), the illogic of this misunderstanding came to light.

    1. The 30 year old papers on the Pastoral Provision are not immediately accessible for the most part. The Provision was JPII's method of bringing entire Episcopal parishes into the local Roman diocese. After 30 years it has produced only SEVEN parishes and a (I believe) fewer than 100 priests. Thus, the Provision has not met its stated purpose. The Provision was good only for the USA and aimed at ECUSA parishes. The Ordinariates pull the approval process from the local diocesan bishop and place it in the hands of the CDF.

  6. What a pity the important questions and answers following Cardinal Wuerl's excellent presentation were not also included.

    That was where many details were described so well – the practical applications for the laity in all of this, what is truly expected of them before and as they commit themselves as Roman Catholics, the complete instruction in the catechism, the profession of faith and the written declaration each parishioner must sign (most assuredly without fingers crossed behind their backs), whether the ordinariate is intended to draw Catholics from their current churches to swell the ranks of former anglican parishes, the do's and the don't's, that celibacy will be required in the second generation of priests, how Roman Catholic tribunals need to determine second marriage situations/ annulments /etc., and much more material and pertinent information each person seeking to enter must have in order to make informed choices and sound decisions, as well as to make heartfelt and sincere vows before the Lord God Almighty.

    Cardinal Wuerl was gracious, explicit, and forthright in his answers about these matters as well as about the current Anglican Use program and other essential topics as were those Bishops who asked questions many people, clergy and laity alike, so needed to have answered.

    A great many controversies and false information concerning specific aspects of the ordinariate would be resolved and brought to the fore if the questions and answers were published.

    Better yet, it would be wonderful if the video of Cardinal Wuerl that includes the extremely helpful questions and answers was made available here and at numerous Roman Catholic sites.

  7. Any good soul to write down and post somewhere on the internet the Q&A? They were sometimes more interesting than the actual report…
    + PAX et BONUM

    1. I just got off the phone to Telecare, the folks from the Rockville Center diocese who are filming the conference. They have not made DVDs yet, but told me that they can and will make a DVD of Cardinal Wuerl's presentation, including (at my emphatic request) the Q&A.
      The bad news is they may not get around to making it till after the weekend. Anyway the cost will be $15; I will be happy to share it in a most expedient manner using the techno-savvy of my colleague Fr. Bartus. (that's alright, right Fr. Andrew? I knew I could count on you!) There it is. With any luck at all, someone will have the whole thing up on Youtube before Telecare even sends me the DVD.

      God bless you all!

      Fr. Bill Ledbetter, SSC

  8. The indication by Cardinal Wuerl that there is one norm for current Anglican clergy coming into an ordinariate now and will be another norm for those who will train for priesthood in a second generation is not spelled out in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and so will need further clarification.

    The rules are defined constitutionally in section VI parts 1 and 2 (see below). The first principle is that the norm of celibacy for priests of the Latin rite (in which Anglican ordinariates exist) remains the rule.

    The provision for derogation from the rule in individual cases has been widely applied in the UK ordinariate to married men in the past few months i.e. "for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See." There appears to be no limit or timeline attached to this as yet. Nor does section VI part 2 (as distinct from part 1) refer exclusively to men currently in Anglican orders but simply "for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis."

    The important question arises: Are married priests as well as married deacons (currently allowed in the Latin Rite generally) part of the continuing Anglican patrimony?

    A thoughtful and considerate discussion of this question needs to take place as the ordinariates establish their distinctive culture within the Catholic Church. The Cardinal may have simply been asserting that the norm of the Western Church in terms of the discipline (not doctrine) relating to celibacy will be upheld generally.

    It may be that the objective criteria referred to in the constitution will spell this out more specifically. It would be unlikely that the disciplinary criteria to be defined would abrogate the spirit of a clear reference in the apostolic constitution to the right of each ordinary to petition the Holy Father on the basis of an already established practice of admitting married men to the presbyterate.

    Naturally, this all depends upon the decision of the Holy Father based on the recommendation of the CDF in each case. It is clear that Pope Benedict has readily allowed such petitions in dozens of cases already at the recommendation of Mgr. Newton, the UK ordinary.

    Precedent is important. The patrimony question remains to be defined in this as in other areas.


    VI. § 1. Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops, and who fulfil the requisites established by canon law and are not impeded by irregularities or other impediments may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church. In the case of married ministers, the norms established in the Encyclical Letter of Pope Paul VI Sacerdotalis coelibatus, n. 42 and in the Statement In June are to be observed. Unmarried ministers must submit to the norm of clerical celibacy of CIC can. 277, §1.

    § 2. The Ordinary, in full observance of the discipline of celibate clergy in the Latin Church, as a rule (pro regula) will admit only celibate men to the order of presbyter. He may also petition the Roman Pontiff, as a derogation from can. 277, §1, for the admission of married men to the order of presbyter on a case by case basis, according to objective criteria approved by the Holy See.

    1. One particular discussion that needs to be had, as part of the larger discussion on priestly celibacy in the ordinariates, is what to do about current married Anglican seminarians, especially those in later stages of formation. There are many men in communities hoping to be received into the Ordinariates who have been seeking Holy Orders for years, and the great majority of them are married. They may now be facing a very difficult decision, knowing that if they remained outside the Catholic Church until they were ordained, they could apply to become Catholic priests.

      More broadly, even for those who are not seminarians already, we face the question of availability of vocations. Most young men who've grown up within orthodox Anglican communities, have grown up in an environment where a married priesthood was the norm, and the church has often fostered a sense of call to both vocations. Many of the single Catholic seminarians I know have grown up in Catholic families where a celibate vocation was affirmed and held in esteem. They often began praying about it when they were very young.

      This will, sadly, be a cause of tremendous pain for many people – especially when we consider the practice of the Eastern Churches. Just because the Anglican Church has only had a married priesthood for 500 years instead of 2000, does not mean that the practice is less firmly graven into the hearts and minds of the Anglican faithful. We love and value our clergy wives.

    2. AC could not be clearer: special derogation for those coming in from Anglican bodies (the actual Latin typical text does not say what is written in the translation, but rather "those who exercised diaconal, priestly, or episcopal ministry in the Anglican Communion" – this is a very important point, because AC does not call them bishops, priests, or deacons); only the celibate priesthood from now on inside the Ordinariates, for those who accomplish their formation within the new structures, which will certainly take several years and decades. The reference to Sacerdotalis Caelibatus erases all eventual doubts about this matter: no need to bring a revolutionary spirit to the Latin Church in the name of "patrimony".

      1. The truth is that law is more conservative than practice, often conserving–by design–aspects of the legal tradition that are no longer effective. Thus it is the case that a married couple by law must receive their bishop's permission to take up separate residences; but try to request it! And thus some legal scholars have observed that the canons appear to require continence from married deacons; but find bishop who would advocate enforcing it! Need I remind that the norm for receiving communion is on the tongue?

        So I would recommend that both the detractors and the advocates of clerical celibacy, who insist that ordaining celibate candidates will remain the legal norm for the ordinariates, realize the limits of that vocabulary.

        It will remain the legal norm, "a rule (pro regula)" (to quote AC) that the ordinary "will admit only celibate men," but it explicitly says the in practice married men may be approved "on a case by case basis." Recall that every superior of almost every Jesuit house is confirmed by Rome "on a case by case basis."

        Rome has already decided, I am sure, to what degree practice will conform with legal norm. But our own biases that it would be "revolutionary" must not allow us to confuse what we want Rome to do with what Rome very well might do.

        Simply, it most be pointed out how much practice and legal norm might vary in this case, as it does with full Roman approbation in many others.

      2. NC

        We'll put you down as a "no" in the conversation on the patrimonial value of a married priesthood.

        However, if the Holy Spirit prompts and the Church continues to discern, as she does at present, that married men have priestly vocations in the Anglican ordinariates (and other parts of the Catholic Church) and ordinaries continue to apply, the pope is certainly entitled to continue to recognize such vocations under the clear provision of A.C. VI section 2.

        The provision is simply that ordinaries may petition "for the admission of married men" without specifying any previous ministry, age or putting any sunset clause on the provision. That is clear in Latin and in English.

        As to the provisions of Sacerdotalis coelibatus:

        "And that the authority of the Church does not hesitate to exercise her power in this matter can be seen from the recent Ecumenical Council, which foresaw the possibility of conferring the holy diaconate on men of mature age who are already married. (83)"

        Some saw this recognition of diaconal vocations as 'revolutionary' in 1967 but married deacons are now a long established principle in the life of the Latin Church which does not undermine the value of celibacy but rather enhances and complements it. The continuation of the married priesthood in Eastern Catholic and Anglican Catholic Ordinariate communities will do likewise.

        1. And the entire rest of that encyclical makes clear why the Latin Church can never abandon the normative celibate priesthood. Dear former Anglican brothers and sisters, do not let yourselves be used and manipulated as a Trojan Horse in this most delicate matter. In one generation, this will all be sorted out, as the lives of those in the Ordinariates are enriched by the return to the traditions of the West.

          1. And to complement the freely chosen state of celibacy the encyclical offers a generous consideration of married vocations in another section . . .

            "42. In virtue of the fundamental norm of the government of the Catholic Church, to which We alluded above, (82) while on the one hand, the law requiring a freely chosen and perpetual celibacy of those who are admitted to Holy Orders remains unchanged, on the other hand, a study may be allowed of the particular circumstances of married sacred ministers of Churches or other Christian communities separated from the Catholic communion, and of the possibility of admitting to priestly functions those who desire to adhere to the fullness of this communion and to continue to exercise the sacred ministry. The circumstances must be such, however, as not to prejudice the existing discipline regarding celibacy."

            This is surely no Trojan Horse. The teaching and legislation of Paul VI, John Paul II (Pastoral Provision for Anglicans) and now Benedict XVI are generous affirmations of what the Holy Spirit has and is calling married men to in ordained ministry.

            Married priests have and continue to be ordained in the Church since the time of St. Peter (whose mother-in-law is mentioned in Scripture) it is difficult to make a case that this continuous witness and recent affirmation by three popes can be a threat to the gift of celibacy in the West.

            As the Church teaches, the gift of celibacy must be freely chosen and it is the more freely chosen by those who are supported by others who have vocations to marriage. There is no mutual exclusivity. There is no threat since both states for priests are affirmed by the Holy Spirit and confirmed by the Holy Father.

            Classical allusions are often complex, NC. Virgil tells us in the Aeneid that Aeneas, a Trojan, was the one divinely chosen for the building of Rome as he made alliance with Evander, the married Greek priest and king, whom he found at the altar already within the walls of Pallantium, the city which merged into Rome.

            Married priests have long been within the gates of the communion of Rome. Far from a threat they are allies to those truly called to priesthood and the Latin discipline of celibacy since all are called to chastity whether married or celibate.

            As Blessed John Henry Newman has taught us, true development meets the criteria of growth within the tradition. The tradition must and will grow as perfect love casts out fear. Celibacy has nothing to fear from the long and continuous witness of the married priesthood . . . and the Church has every blessing to gain through the continued support offered by those who are married for our brothers called to celibacy and vice versa.

            1. I suspect this is a matter of managing expectations. Rome may eventually proceed as you suggest and treat a married clergy as part of the Anglican patrimony. The point to register, however, is that she might not. So you can't treat those aspects of AC and the complementary norms as a guarantee for a continuation of the practice, which is all I think Cardinal Wuerl was trying to say. The "norm" prescribed is celibacy.

              As for the reference to St Peter's mother-in-law, this says nothing about his matrimonial state either at the time of or after his calling by Christ. Tradition, which has made no effort to name and canonize his unnamed spouse, assumes that he was widowed.

            2. Dear sir,

              I have no idea if you are being malicious or disingenuous, but it is absolutely clear, from the Encyclical and AC, that temporary measures to accept married ministers of other communities who wish "to continue to exercise the sacred ministry." To "continue"… That really cannot be clearer. "The circumstances must be such, however, as not to prejudice the existing discipline regarding celibacy" – could this also be any clearer?

              This is my last comment in this dear blog for a long time – this revolutionary spirit, that destroyed the Anglican Communion in the first place, is so terrible. I pray deeply that the Ordinariates are an instrument of faithfulness and orthodoxy – but those espousing revolutionary views, subversion within the Latin Church, based on their personal interests and inclinations, will unfortunately find many allies in existing Catholic institutions.

              Best regards to Mr. Campbell,


            3. J.M.J.

              After the Ordinariate is established, and up and running, second generation or whenever, there will be as many married candidates to be ordained priest as the Ordinary requests and the Holy See approves. It is as simple as that. Any more is pure speculation.

              That is the only sure, and correct answer.


            4. "Tradition, which has made no effort to name and canonize his unnamed spouse, assumes that he was widowed."

              Can tradition and Scripture conflict and are traditions based on little more than assumptions!?! I'm afraid this "tradition" is bogus. I suggest you read I Corinthians 9:5 – "Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?"

  9. I was very surprised to hear Cardinal Wuerl, in answering a question from Bp. Matano of Burlington, state that the Book of Divine Worship (BDW) is used "[S]olely for the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy.”

    The Cardinal’s statement was not merely incidental. Bp. Matano's question was whether Anglican usages would extend beyond the Eucharist to the other sacraments as well.

    Indeed, the general direction of Bp. Matano’s question was critically important. The gist of it was (not quoting): ‘In these new communities, what will be the character of the larger aspects of pastoral life?’

    He specifically mentioned Confirmation, and described his recent experience with the Extraordinary Form, where once the EO Eucharist was practicably available to the faithful, they soon began requesting the corresponding ritual for Confirmation. He also asked whether Anglican Matrimonial usage would be available to a mixed Latin/Anglican couples.

    I was shocked to hear Cardinal Wuerl then say “There are not Anglican Usage books and rituals for all the other sacraments and I don’t envision that that’s envisioned here as well [sic].”

    While, relevantly, the BDW does not include uses for Confirmation, Ordination, or Consecration of a Bishop (nor apparently Unction or Reconciliation), it does include not one, but two, uses each for Baptism and Marriage, as well as two rites for Burial of the Dead. Nor are these rituals unused at Anglican Use parishes such as Our Lady of the Atonement the BDW.

    Am I misunderstanding some sort of CDF/USCCB inside baseball? There was an awful lot of it on display. Sadly, I am given the impression that the Cardinal has not actually looked at the Book of Divine Worship. I can’t help but notice that the Wikipedia entry for the BDW pointedly omits any mention of Matrimony, Baptism, or Burial of the Dead. Surely we have not come this far using only Wikipedia to guide us?

    I am trying to resist concluding that the Cardinal’s remarks accurately reflect his understanding on these matters. Unfortunately, other aspects of the consultation yesterday suggest they might. Before Bp. Matano spoke, Francis Cardinal George led off the question period with characteristically pointed inquiry. As he understood, he said, the motivation for the particular structures promulgated in Anglicanorum Coetibus is “to preserve elements that are distinctly Anglican” in the lives of the entering Anglican communities.

    But, he asks, given that these Anglicans are “now using the Roman Canon, what are they anxious to preserve?”

    Then, straight to the issue: “What is the richness of the Anglican heritage?”

    It’s a fundamental question. I have to expect that since the Pope asks that Anglicans bring along gifts, that there must be gifts to bring along. I was saddened that Cardinal Wuerl seemed genuinely unsure:

    “Some of it has to do with the very history as they see their way in participating in the life of the Church, but you’re right, a lot of that liturgical expression is going to be less accentuated, because many of them already use as the missal at mass they will use [sic]…. the Roman Missal. The Anglican Use parishes use the Book of Divine Worship, so will all of these.”

    Then further: “[The Anglican usage is] intended as it moves forward to be much more identified with the Latin Rite.”

    He summarized his answer to Cardinal George thus: “[T]here is not as cleanly defined a body of elements that constitute a universally agreed upon Anglican Tradition that is being preserved in each of these.”

    I am thoroughly confused. How can one simultaneously claim the final emptiness of Anglican patrimony and totally omit the usages that give us “ashes to ashes” and “plight thee might troth”? I would have thought that there would be at least of core of Anglican patrimony preserved comprising liturgy for the seven Sacraments, the Psalter, Collects, Family Prayers, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Evensong, and Anglican Chant. Apparently instead the plan is to be ‘much more identified with the Latin Rite moving forward.’

    1. Marion, I totally understand your concerns but you are giving too much authority to Cardinal Wuerl. His specialty is not in understanding Anglican liturgical traditions or practices; his job is to establish a diocese. In Roman Canon Law the liturgical practices of that diocese are regulated by only two sources, the Holy See and more importantly the Ordinary of the diocese. Cardinal Wuerl will have no say in what is allowed and what is not. The Book of Divine Worship is an approved text. That means that ANY priest, WITH PERMISSION of his ordinary may use any of the liturgical texts contained in that book. I suspect that the Cardinal was unprepared for the question and simply did not realize off the top of his head what was in the Book of Divine Worship. I suspect he has only witnessed masses said in the Anglican form and did not think that there was anything else contained in the book. Again, its not his job. That job is for the CDF and the Ordinary of the diocese. One of the trickiest things about Rome is understanding who had authority to say what. Much of what the Cardinal said is speculation. He is trying to sooth the nerves of a very jittery and nervous group of bishops. Think about what happened with the Eastern Catholics, originally there was a great deal of hostility and nervousness and Roman bishops did indicate that the goal was for these churches to "conform" themselves to Roman practices. That clearly didn't happen, so I wouldn't be too worried about the Cardinal's assertion that the Anglican Ordinariate is to be moved in a direction of being identical with the main line Latin Rite. That would defeat the entire purpose of the Holy Father's offer and the Cardinal has no authority to make such a change anyways. Have no fear, so long as the Ordinary is someone who has a good understanding of both Rome and the Anglican church (Fr. Phillips anyone?), the Anglican Patrimony will be preserved.

      1. Robert, you are so right! The Cardinal was "tasked" with one job — (not to set up a diocese, however, but…) to provide for a "consultation" with the U.S. Bishops. He has now done that with his report to them. The Q. & A. gave them an opportunity to "consult" back. It's now over. Cardinal Wuerl was chosen to do this task because he is a "process" kind of guy. AC called for a consultation only with the bishops. Note how Archbishop Dolan understood this well. He didn't allow a vote using their fancy electronic buttons when it was called for, nor even old-fashioned applause concerning approval of the implementation of it. He said clearly, the pope has already decided this; it's not up for a vote by us. The box has been checked; it's over. The CDF has the next move.

        1. J.,

          Thank you for your note. Like many, I feel as if I am drinking from a fire hydrant. Your remarks fits together some of the pieces I've had in front of me on my particular table.

        2. Actually, J. Lucky, the opportunity for applause was given – I've now watched the video posted and seen it's just after minute 52 or 53. Your points about Abp. Dolan not allowing a vote and the CDF and so on are, however, interesting and enlightening. And if the bishops mostly understood this was the nature of the consultation it explains even more clearly their concerns, since this would have been their only chance to air possible problems.

  10. Again, please let's not get all anxiety ridden over this. As has been pointed out the good Cardinal probably has never even seen a Book of Divine Worship let alone know what is in it. That the new Liturgical Books are expected this autumn we shall see what we shall see.

    Don't read more into the Cardinal's words than can be known under the circumstances.

    Chill, people, chill.

    "All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well.'
    — Saint Julian of Norwich

  11. Robert, thank you for your remarks. As I suggested, it was clear even to the untrained eye that there was a great deal of inside baseball going on. My basic understanding was that Cardinal Wuerl had the sort of limited remit that you describe, but some of his remarks were more categorical than I expected.

    Also, we cannot overlook the fact that the consultation did provide a glimpse into the world we will be dealing with. It is both naiive and irresponsible to think the ordinariates will exist in a happy cocoon.

    For my part, I was struck by:

    1.) The quantity of and generally positive, constructive tone of the questions.
    2.) The unspoken preoccupation with married and divorced priests and a corresponding lack of curiousity about patrimony (Cardinal George excepted).
    3,) The equation of AC with its impact on priests and a corresponding lack of curiousity about the laity (Matano excepted). 'The group and the priest are one, and the one is the priest.'
    4.) The unspoken but obvious struggle against reflexively reducing the ordinariates to juridical objects.

    Matthew the P., your suggestion about the use of Morning Prayer while the groups await reception is excellent on many levels.

  12. It's interesting to read the observations Marion R. has made of the USCCB sessions, which I acknowledge I did not watch, and I note that the recurring questions surrounding married/unmarried priests, about what is normative and so on, seem hardly different from those that surfaced in a national Ordinariate conference that I was fortunate to attend earlier this year. Throughout blogs of the Ordinariate-bound as well as in the USCCB, there persist mis-interpretations of documents, and mis-conceptions based on these, and one wonders how they can ever be clarified once and for all; perhaps they will be only by the living-out of the various priestly vocations involved! Is it an Anglican characteristic of these blog comments that some appear to take on unbidden the role of teacher or interpreter of Church documents (I'm not meaning to implicate Marion R. or Robert Smith here)? It will be difficult for us to become Catholics without giving up some of these tendencies. We can of course pray about them; perhaps adding our own hour to the 60 per diocese of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in honor of Pope Benedict XVI's 60th anniversary of Catholic priesthood, asking God to raise up more priests like him, and Blessed John Henry Newman, for example, might be the most effective thing we can do.
    No doubt within the USCCB it could be as hard a 'sell' to state categorically the Ordinariates will indefinitely welcome married priests into the Catholic Church, as it would be to insist within the Anglican world just now that no more married clergy would ever be considered for the Catholic priesthood in the Ordinariate after, say, March 2013 (to pick a random cut-off)! It didn't surprise me at all that a room full of priests who now are bishops would be mainly pre-occupied by the implications for their own ordained community.
    Not as much commented-on is the persistent mis-use of 'Anglican Communion' in the English version of Anglicanorum coetibus to indicate the source of all Anglicans who might want to enter the Ordinariate. Bp. Elliott attempted to correct this with 'Anglicanism' at the Melbourne conference and Abp. Hepworth has also remarked on it in a comment, around here somewhere, expressing eagerness for the corrected Latin version.
    My point in the above paragraphs is that we all are on a learning curve, rather steep in some places, though some may not readily acknowledge their lack of depth of knowledge. It might ultimately be more constructive if a lot of the questions and tentative interpretations ventured in these blog threads could be taken to Ordinariate planning conferences and meetings or privately submitted to those organizing such, rather than just stirring up the electrons with them.

  13. NC,

    I truly am sorry that open discussion of such a deep concern to many sincere Catholic Christians upsets you. I do not question your sincerity but very much regret, for you, that you question mine.

    Many of us have made considerable sacrifices to pursue the path which has been consistently opening under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of which is found in the working out of the 1967 encyclical, the pastoral provision and now an apostolic constitution.

    The remarkable thing about the 1967 encyclical under discussion is that it actually says, as you quote it: "to continue to exercise the sacred ministry. 'To continue'… That really cannot be clearer."

    It is remarkably clear, first of all, in that married men have been and continue to be engaged in the sacred ministry along with and as a complement to celibate clergy since the encyclical 44 years ago.

    Secondly it is clear, that the encyclical allowed an obviously successful "study" which has been followed by the pastoral provision of John Paul II buiding upon the experience of individual married clergy received and ordained since the encyclical. These developments are, in turn, followed by the constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus'. It is indeed a remarkably clear path.

    Why, if the ministry of married priests continues successfully as it is now begun in the ordinariates, would such ministry be said later to be only provisional? Again, why would approval for ordination of married men be removed from Anglican ordinariates when there is provision for the married priesthood elsewhere in the Catholic Church and when such ministry has never been absent from the life of the Church?

    I understand the deep concern for the vocation of celibacy which the whole Church cherishes but not the fearfulness of what the Church has approved with regard to other vocations. We are simply attempting to read the constitution and to understand it in light of actual developments in the Church; surely this is what Newman advocated.

    If there is ever a definitive directive from CDF to the effect that petitions for derogation will no longer be considered then Catholics will accept it. Short of that, simply asserting a view opposing the continuation of what is allowed in terms of married vocations under the constitution and what exists in various cultural communities in the breadth of the Catholic Church has no authority.

    Many just do not see why a constitutional provision for vocational discernment would be terminated. The provision for married priests is not only established but married clergy support those who are called to celibacy and are potentially of great benefit to Latin dioceses. Married ordinariate priests will assist in the great pastoral challenges facing other overworked Latin rite priests because they can assist in Latin parishes as priests of the Western Church. There is, then, every practical reason for the provision and no significant theological, pastoral, traditional or constitutional obstacle.

    In addition, in the experience of many, clergy wives have also been a great boon and support to celibate clergy. Some of our closest relationships have been those of mutual support with people called to celibate ministry, both men and women. It is obvious to many that celibates often greatly appreciate the role of clergy wives who are a gift to the Church in their own vocations as pointed out elsewhere on this blog.

    The development of ordinariates including both celibate and married priests is now the practice of the Western Church. These are developing in the spirit of Blessed John H. Newman who opposed liberalism though he himself was charged with being a modernist. Newman saw clearly, however, that the best defence against revolution was a measured, prayerful and considered development of the Church's doctrine and discipline based upon long established principles and practices. Clearly the Holy Father agrees with Newman, as have his immediate predecessors.

    1. The real Father of the married Priesthood in the Latin Church is Pius the XIIth: the first married Priest in the Latin Church since centuries was ordained in 1951, under his pontificate, and with a papal dispensation from him. This first "pastoral provision" was aimed at High-Church Lutheran clergy in Germany "fleeing" the union their Church has contracted with the German Calvinistic Church. This provision is the oldest of its kind (it is definitely the forerunner of the US pastoral provision for Anglicans), and has been in continued use eversince: the latest former lutheran minister ordained through it is Fr. Harm Klüting, in 2011.
      + PAX et BONUM

      1. Thank you, Henri, for providing this fuller historical background and adding our Lutheran brothers into the picture. I suspect that the Holy Father had Lutherans very much in mind as he developed Anglicanorum Coetibus.

        The Eastern Rite Churches along with Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and some other married former Protestant clergy reconciled with Rome and ordained provide a very long and continuous witness to the fact that the Holy Spirit calls and the Church affirms married priests. This is a great joy, blessing and complement to those called to celibate ministry and to the whole Church.

        Your 'a dieu' is very apt: "Pax et Bonum", from that notable celibate deacon, St. Francis of Assisi, whose profound friendship with those called to the married state is a witness to the goodness of God's call to those in all states of life.

        Beati quelli ke 'l sosterranno in pace,
        ka da Te, Altissimo, sirano incoronati.

        Happy those who endure in peace,
        for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.

        Pax et bonum . . . indeed.

  14. With a dearth of priestly vocations in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, I think it would be a false move for the Vatican to allow a tiny group of one thousand individuals (less than 0.1 per cent of practising Catholics in England and Wales) the continuing privilege of allowing married laymen to become priests.

    I can understand a dispensation for convert clergy, who genuinely sought to serve God according to their lights and married in good faith. However I cannot comprehend an established ordinariate (which is a Catholic ecclesiastical community of the Western rite and not on the level of an eastern church) allowing the ordination of married men from within its internal ranks. The ordinaraite in England is already oversubscribed with clergy. There is one clergyman for every 15 members!

    Indeed many married former Anglican clergy who have become Catholic priests are convinced advocates of a celibate clergy. and do not want the Vatican to change this rule.

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