Cardinal Wuerl's Remarks Add Little Additional Information…

A few more details…
  • 67 dossiers of Anglican clergy submitted to the CDF so far
  • 35 dossiers have received the nulla osta from the CDF
  • Priestly formation via Saint Mary’s Seminary in Houston
  • Local bishops asked to ordain Anglican clerics in their own dioceses
  • The votum of the local bishop seems necessary for Ordination Candidates
  • Bishop Kevin Vann (Ft. Worth) is new Pastoral Provision Delegate
  • Cardinal seems to downplay authority of Ordinary on Day One
  • Permission of current Ordinary to transfer Anglican Use parishes to Ordinariate stressed
  • "Surplus" newly-minted Anglican Use clergy seen as help to dioceses
  • Priestly formation program to last six to nine months
  • Pastoral Provision to continue indefinitely

Author: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

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

57 thoughts on “Cardinal Wuerl's Remarks Add Little Additional Information…”

  1. I don't think that Card. Wuerl downplayed the Ordinary's authority. He'll be in charge, but it's sort of obvious that there won't be much in place over which to exercise authority on day one. I do worry a bit (despite my criticism of worriers) about the emphasis on diocesan bishops' involvement in the set up. Boys being boys, I hope that the desire to interfere or tinker doesn't get the best of them. It would probably help if the Ordinary were "bishop-able," to allow him to ordain independently, but God's plan will unfold no matter how His ministers or faithful muddle.

    1. Oh, and one must wonder if the 32 without nullae ostae were turned down or are still in process (or a combination of the two).

        1. But did the Cardinal mean that 67 dossiers that had been received since his last address to the USCCB had been submitted or that of the 100+ received by last June, 67 had been forwarded? He wasn't clear on that count. Even if it's the case that it is 67 of the 100+ I wouldn't necessarily read anything into that as the decision as to acceptance/rejection lies solely with Rome not the ad hoc committee in the States.

            1. And not having received the nulla osta does not automatically mean "no, never". We don't know how many Anglican priests have received a "no", and of that number we don't know how many have actually received a "not yet, but…". Ayes, noes and maybes: they all need our prayers.

              Still, this is wonderful news. Te Deum laudamus!

    2. I too am concerned about the role of American bishops, how that affects the selection of the Ordinary, and how they will assert or try to assert their authority once the Ordinary is chosen.

      The bishops also have to be concerned, and rightly so, that many Latin-rite Catholics will abandon parishes with their dreadful 60s -style NO liturgies like rats abandoning a sinking ship to seek membership in AO parishes. It could also have the effect of blunting the move to the churches where the TLM is offered by desperate Catholics looking for anything but masses celebrated using the Pauline rite.

      1. This is also my concern. I've been offering many prayers for this event, but I have no idea whether the Bishop of my diocese will give it his full-blown blessing. Yes, we have an interest group, but whether or not this is as far as the Bishop intends it to go, I have no clue.
        I continue to hope that when all the dust settles, people will be mature enough to recognize that we Americans will be Americans, choosing that which seems best for ourselves. If I have the chance, I will probably seek to move to an Anglican Use Parish. This is not to say that I don't love my current parish. However, it is somewhat committed to the 1960's style of NO liturgies which feature pianos and guitars (both of which I detest, but thankfully no harmonicas).
        I will continue to pray for the day when our Catholic churches will once again LOOK like CATHOLIC Churches, complete with a communion rail, and not like the protestant churches from which I converted.

        From An African-American
        Convert of the 1960's

  2. Will Cardinal Wuerl be making a recommendation to the CDF that England & Wales set up a Pastoral Provision Office to accept candidates that might not be interested in the Ordinariate but rather would become regular diocesan priests?

      1. That was supposed to be sarcasm by the way. If there is no need for one in England & Wales, what is the need for one in the United States. Bishop Vann seemed to concede that the process may be 3 times longer through the Pastoral Provision. Any Candidates?

    1. There is no real need for a pastoral provision in the UK. There are only some 20ish dioceses there, and they do not need as much bureaucracy as the enormous USCCB. More than 1000 Anglican Priests have been ordained as Catholic Priests in the 50 last years, without any special commission beeing created. I think it can continues this way.

        1. If you listened to the Cardinal, he kept referencing the Ordianariate for groups…. priests with parishes…. while the Pastoral Provision [remained] for priests by themselves. Another was local bishops having a say in who of the 35 would be presented for ordination. A least one bishop who spoke seemed confused why both programs would be continued.

          It is maybe a mistake not to go ahead and name an Ordinary now to avoid the confusion of too many cooks in the kitchen.

          Much will have to be sorted once the Ordinary is named. It would appear.

          1. Though anyone aware of the history of the Pastoral Provision would be aware that to a large extent it was set up for the purpose of priests entering with communities. If a priest wants to simply be a diocesan priest, no reason he couldn't go through the same process as Ordinariate priests other than have any additional seminary work done at the seminary of the bishop's choice.

  3. After a reluctance on the part of many bishops to allow for an Anglican-Use parish in their diocese, why suddenly act as though they may be unwilling to let those few established become part of the Personal Ordinariate? Suddenly it seems that Cardinal Dinardo and Bishop Vann are interested in the benefit to their dioceses of having their own Anglican Use parishes rather than allowing them to join the Ordinariate?

    1. Eh, Cardinal DiNardo stated that Our Lady of Walsingham want to join and that he wants that for them too. All he was asking was could the parish automatically join or did he have to release them.

      1. Listening to the question, it seemed he was saying that he had been approached by Our Lady of Walsingham and felt that it had been suggested he had no choice, and he was confirming that they need his permission. I did not hear him say anything about having given his permission. It is rather odd for him to have bothered the conference with the question if permissions are all already in place. "I would like to know if they need my permission, though I've already granted it?"

        1. The last thing he said before leaving the microphone was they want it and I want it. He just wanted to be clear on the proper canonical requirements.

          1. RIght. His intention has nothing to do with the canoncial hoop through which he must jump to make any transfer "official."

          2. "That would require for me to say that that is something that they would want and that I want". That is what Cardinal Dinardo said after referring to how the parish came to him and presumed they would automatically be allowed in. He did not ever say that he wanted it or that he had granted his permission. It was a rather silly question to even bring up if he had already given his permission.

      2. Why did Cardinal Wuerl not respond that the question was moot, that all of the Anglican Use parishes already have been granted permission to enter the Ordinariate? I found it very odd to raise the question if there is really no question about them entering the Ordinariate. Is there some Anglican Use community that has not made the request or made the request but will be denied permission?

        1. Cardinal DiNardo has long been on record as favouring the transfer of the parish to the Ordinariate. His question spoke purely to the procedural issue of whether this still required his formal consent.

          Canon law does not allow parishes to arbitrarily transfer from one jurisdiction to another merely on their own say-so. While it would be surprizing for a bishop to refuse his consent on principle to an Anglican Use parish wishing to join the Ordinariate, it is quite conceivable that he would wish to see outstanding financial, contractual or disciplinary issues resolved first. There is no reason to take a bishop's concerns relating to due diligence as a sign of malign intent.

          1. Cardinal DiNardo may have already known the answer himself. He may have just been prompting Cardinal Wuerl to publicly state how the process will work. This can be a great way to gently and invisibly correct a wayward colleague or simply get a speaker to mention something you felt was overlooked. My boss at work does it all the time, to me and others.


  4. How many of the names are publicly known of the priestly candidates who have received the nulla osta? Do we know of anyone who has been turned down? If it would be appropriate, I think many would like to have a list at least of those who have moved on to the second stage.

    1. Those who submitted dossiers may not yet know themselves. I know of one who had not heard anything, one way or the other, as of this past Sunday.

  5. Cardinal Wuerl's comments were really fine. This is a day to rejoice. He didn't downplay the Ordinary's role: everything he said was predicated on the reality of the situation. If a diocese is created today in our country, it is carved out of existing dioceses, and a portion of the patrimony of those dioceses goes to the new one. The Ordinariate doesn't have that starting assistance. Cardinal Wuerl was pointing out to the bishops that the Ordinariate and its priests will need help. Several times he invited assistance. Bishops from the floor were making concrete points about just that. The whole presentation was welcoming and positive.

    The Ordinary will be in place on January 1. Bishop Vann will be there to help. Bishops were anxious that the Ordinary be easily integrated into the life of the bishops' conference. The whole thing couldn't have gone better.

    1. This is a day to rejoice. And the comments on all sides were generally good, but I stand by my characterizations. The Ordinary must be strong and independent-minded from Day One; this is essential to the success of the Ordinariate. I make this observation as one helping a substantial congregation into the Catholic Church. I do know whereof I speak. Again though, a wonderful announcement and a day to rejoice and give thanks!

      1. While we're talking about something higher than mere politics, I am reminded of my late mother's admonition that "doormats ask to be walked on." 😉

      2. Not only must the Ordinary be single-minded and focused on getting the Ordinariate off the ground from day one, he must be a hard worker with a proven track record. He will have to establish a welcoming website (and unlike the Pastoral Provision website, keep it updated!). He must form an American "Friends" group for fund raising and have his eye on financial matters; he must worry about insurance needs, property transfers, and incorporations, as well as the politics associated with humans across a broad canvass in the vastness of the U.S. territory, and ordinations, drawing up new statues, civil and canonical matters, too, and countless other issues yet to unfold as obvious and immediately necessary! We should all be praying this huge responsibility doesn't land in the lap of someone who isn't capable of such an important and difficult endeavor. If the Ordinariate is to flourish and grow, we need a pace-setter, not one who needs a pacemaker!

  6. I know no more about the men who might be the Ordinary than anyone else. I would point out, however, that the documents, themselves, require that the Ordinariate submit a terna (list of three) that has been arrived at by the Ordinariate Council (consisting of Ordinariate Priests) since there is no Council nor a Terna, I am at a loss to understand how an Ordinary can be appointed.

    1. I believe that if you will consult the primary documents (Ang Coet and the Complementary Norms), you will find that the first Ordinary will be appointed by the Holy Father without the requirement for a terna. Subsequent Ordinaries will be appointed from the terna submitted by the Council.

  7. I was wondering, which priest the Bishop who mentioned that the Ordinary should be a former Anglican priest who has been in the Catholic Church for many years was thinking of, any ideas?

    As far as who will have authority to choose the Ordinary, hopefully Pope Benedict, besides having the final say, be well aware of which one of the priests has the strongest background and temperment for the position of Ordinary.

    I did have to laugh when all the Bishops were thanked for being supportive of the Ordinariate and I assume the Anglican Use parishes, when if this were so, there would be AU parishes in many more dioceses. Of course, attitudes will be changing very fast.

    As far as the number of priests, my assumption is that 100 priests did apply, and the 67 is alluding to those who probably will be ordained. Also there are priests coming in without a group or parish and it seems that this all will be sorted out in time.

    This is just the beginning and praise God that the date is set and we don't have to speculated anymore; however, knowing us we will find other issues to speculate on.

    1. The Cardinal said 67 have returned. 35 were not given a nulla osta. If 100 submitted, there are still 33 waiting. Of the 67, roughly 50% were told no.

      Is this roughly the same as in the UK?

      1. With respect, that is NOT what he said, unless he orally misread his prepared text. To quote directly from the published text:

        "Between the time of my last report and today, a total of 67 dossiers of Anglican clergy seeking ordination as a Catholic priest have been prepared and sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. To date, 35 have received the nulla osta from the Congregation, which means that the individuals are free to move to the second stage, which includes a criminal background check, psychological evaluation and obtaining a votum from the Catholic bishop where the individual resides and from his Anglican ecclesiastical authority, if possible."

        To sum up: ca. 100 dossiers were sent to Washington. Of these, 67 (fully two-thirds) were forwarded to Rome. Of these, 35 (52%) so far have received the nulla osta. The remainder are still waiting.

        I would speculate (and that is all it is – speculation) that of those whose dossiers went to Washington but not to Rome, all had some evident impediment to ordination of a nature that was either absolute (such as having left the communion of the Catholic Church whilst an adult) or would need to be further assessed before the dossier went forward. (It is my understanding that men in this category have already been notified of the denial or delay.)

        I also suspect that an understandable priority has been given to applicants who are in charge of communities seeking admission.

    2. While Cardinal O'Malley was asking the question, was Cardinal Wuerl looking over at Fr. Hurd? Earlier it seemed he was suggesting that the Ordinary may not have yet been ordained to the Catholic priesthood, so he did not give much of a clue as to who the Ordinary might be.

  8. According to the Whispers in the Loggia coverage of the post conference press conference, Cardinal Wuerl indicated that this is a "special provision for Ang communities… who want to come in corporately" — for anyone else, RCIA remains the norm. Add to this remarks that the Personal Ordinariate would be for priests with communities, with individual priests coming in through the Pastoral Provision. Is this some new interpretation to limit membership to only those that enter as part of a community? The Complementary Norms have no such restrictions.

    1. This is how I understand things:

      Entering under the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus is for groups who want to enter corporately and retain their identity as a parish / faith community / what-have-you.

      Entering through the pastoral provision is for Anglican priests who, for whatever reason, have chosen to swim the Tiber alone and still need to make the intermediate transition from being Anglican clerics to Catholic clerics without starting at square one and without neglecting to receive the proper formation.

      Entering through RCIA will be the norm for individuals who are not part of a preexisting community of Anglicans, but people being received through RCIA can either be received into a typical Roman rite parish in a territorial diocese, or they can be received through RCIA in an Ordinariate parish and then they will become members of the Ordinariate.

      So, in short, AC is for whole communities wishing to enter while retaining their group identity, PP is for priests needing to transition from the Anglican Communion to the Catholic Church, and RCIA is for people wishing to join either a regular Roman rite parish or the Ordinariate.

      1. Individual Anglican priests without a parish can still apply to the Ordinariate. I know of a former TEC priest who is now in the Church. He has a Nulla Osta and is going into the Ordinariate.

        Neither Anglicanorum Coetibus or the Norms state individual Anglicans have to go the route you outlined.

        What we are seeing is the confusion and speculation that happens when a new entity is created. This is why I suggested, as though anyone in authority would listen to little ole me, we need an ordinary now to provide leadership and to guide us. We have no definite source of information and are having to read between the lines, guess and assume. And then we each try to interpret Coetibus and therefore get different interpretations. Like protestants with sola scriptura.


        1. I have no inside information, but it strikes me as reasonably straightforward: the pastoral provision continues to exist for married former Protestant clergy who want to be Catholic priests, but who, for whatever reason, don't wish to be part of the Ordinariate. It doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

          1. If there are "surplus" priests, they can be joined to groups of people scattered throughout the U.S. Let's make more communites and parishes, folks! The Ordinariate is going to grow with laity and established communities. Let the bishops recruit through their own seminaries. Must they have every advantage? They've had almost 30 years to benefit from the Pastoral Provision, and what have they done with it? Like John the Baptist, it's time for the PP to decrease.

          2. That is my belief too. People also tend to forget that the PP is also used by high church Lutherans, though on a far smaller scale.

  9. It seems to me that the three front runners (thus, the terna that is not required for this go around, but anyone familiar with "who's who among pastoral provision priests" would know there are three who rise to the top) in no particular order:

    1. Msgr. J. Steenson (former Episcopalian bishop) Educated at Harvard Divinity School and at Oxford. He has only been ordained to the Catholic priesthood for a few years, but has experience as a bishop in his former church.

    2. Fr. Scott Hurd, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, Executive Director of the Archdiocese’s Office of the Permanent Diaconate, and liaison with the USCCB for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus.

    3. Fr. Christopher Phillips, pastor of Our Lady of The Atonement, the first AU church. He has a flourishing parish and school, and has done a lot of the groundwork for both the AU liturgy and hosting (or speaking at) several gatherings for Anglican clergy and laiety interested in joining the ordinariate.

    We shall see who gets the first nod from Rome. It would be good if the three men could spend several weeks in Rome with His Holiness, giving him the opportunity to really see who has a "bishop's heart." But we know that isn't how things work. Let's pray fervently that His Holiness will listen for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, and that His voice can be heard above the inevitable politicking of Weurl, DiNardo, Myers, and Vann.

    1. Indeed. Without meaning any disrespect to the others (who are, no doubt, wonderful priests), there is but one name on this list which is certain to command the respect and devotion of the vast majority of interested parties in the United States — a man who, if chosen, will ensure the resounding success of the Ordinariate from Day One.

      I fervently pray that those in positions of influence will be sensitive to the "pulse" of the movement.

      1. I'm hoping that the next Bishops' Conference includes a report on the Personal Ordinariate from the Ordinary rather than from bishops who did not previously seem like interested persons.

      2. Indeed. If you and I are thinking of the same person, Mr. Campbell, then our prayers are directed the same way. In fact, I shall say a rosary now for his selection as the Ordinary.

        1. A splendid idea! Perhaps all of our readers could, between now and January 1, 2012, offer Masses, Rosaries, and other prayers, devotions, and sacrifices for the intention that the Holy Father hear our cry for Ordinary.

          Holy Father, our prayers are with you! May you be permitted, by those who surround you, direct access to the mind of the Anglican Catholic clergy and faithful who will be incardinated or enrolled in the anticipated Ordinariate, your most generous gift to us all.

    2. "Let's pray fervently that His Holiness will listen for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, and that His voice can be heard above the inevitable politicking of Weurl, DiNardo, Myers, and Vann."

      This is a rather harsh, uncalled for comment. Cardinal Weurl, Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop Myers and Bishop Vann have a huge responsibility for implementing the Ordinariate in the United States and it is in the Church's best interest that they provide insight to the Holy Father in the selection of the Ordinary.

      I think all of them will be listening to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

      1. Bishop Vann was at the Anglican Use Conference this past July and has helped tremendously the parish in Fort Worth who just entered into the Church.

        He has already shown that the Holy Spirit has been leading him through his gracious response to Anglicans.

        It is apparent that the Holy Spirit has been moving the Ordinariate along these past two years and I will trust that He will continue to do so in the choice of our Ordinary.

        Thank God we all will know in 6 weeks and not have to speculate any longer. I am sure we all have our favorites, however, we must remember that it is the Holy Spirit using his instrument, the Church, who has the final decision.

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