Ordinariate? Pastoral Provision?

Cardinal Wuerl has announced the date on which the Ordinariate will be established in this country. Now comes the inevitable parsing of every word and phrase, looking for nuanced clues in a way which would make Sherlock Holmes envious. Anglicanorum coetibus itself is able to bear such scrutiny because of its very nature as an Apostolic Constitution, but a report to members of a bishops’ conference cannot, nor should it.

Speculation about the continuation of the Pastoral Provision office under the able leadership of Bishop Vann, running parallel to the Ordinariate under the leadership (also able, we hope) of an Ordinary, has led to guessing as to the reason why this will be. Some commenters on this blog have concluded, after hearing Cardinal Wuerl, that the Ordinariate will be only for those clergy who enter with a group of laity; whereas the Pastoral Provision will be for those solitary clergy who come with no community. Respectfully, I would assert that is not the case. The divide is not to be determined by whether there is a parish or community entering with a cleric.

Anglicanorum coetibus makes it clear that Anglican patrimony is the definitive reason for an Ordinariate to come into being. Pope Benedict XVI stated that there is a three-fold objective when it comes to this patrimony: that it is to be preserved, that it is to be nurtured, and that it is to be shared with the wider Church. This is what should determine the path for an incoming Anglican clergyman. If a man is dedicated to the ideals outlined in the Apostolic Constitution, the Ordinariate is the place for him; if he is not especially interested in our Anglican patrimony, proceeding through the Pastoral Provision into diocesan ministry would be more appropriate.

One path is not better than the other. They simply are different, and are intended to accommodate people’s different spiritual journeys. The same is true for the laity – there are some who find that their best spiritual home is in the local diocesan parish, while others find strength and sustenance in a spirituality which reflects our patrimony.

Even at the beginning of the Pastoral Provision, these two paths were evident. A majority of the Pastoral Provision priests have carried on fruitful ministries in diocesan parishes and chaplaincies, with no reference whatsoever to the Anglican Use. Others of us felt called by God to establish parishes and communities in which we could do what the Ordinariates are now coming into existence to do.

Just because a priest has an Anglican background, doesn’t mean his place is necessarily in the Ordinariate – in fact, I remember a former Episcopal priest who had entered into full communion with the Church just before I did, who said (referring to the fact that we were bringing a separate liturgy with us), “They should give up those things, and become real Catholics.” I hope that attitude is a thing of the past, but it indicates that the Ordinariate wouldn’t be the best place for that particular priest.

The Holy Father is giving us an opportunity to use our liturgy, our devotional life, and our particularly Anglican approach to the Faith, as a tool for evangelism and a means of helping to bring about Christian unity. To fulfill that mandate, the Ordinariate needs clerical leadership which is committed to the vision outlined in Anglicanorum coetibus. It takes more than simply coming from an Anglican background. It requires a commitment to the raison d'être of the Ordinariate.

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.

59 thoughts on “Ordinariate? Pastoral Provision?”

  1. Very, very good essay, Father. This shows a great deal of clarity, and if I can say it without being obsequious, real leadership in furthering our mission. You have certainly encouraged me that some at least of our clergy are on the right path with this, and it does my heart good. (I would add that it is the kind of thing we professional planners like to read from people in leadership.)

    As for those who choose different paths, that is certainly legitimate. But that doesn't mean you have to bash the patrimony. As for the clergyman quoted above, I would seriously question whether he understands the word "Catholic". I fear there are many like him. As for us in the Anglican use, I think we need have do doubt amongst ourselves that what we are doing, under the guidance of our Holy Father and the Church, is in fact really Catholic, nor do we need to be defensive in making clear to others, humbly and charitiably, that it is so.

  2. I had suggested that remarks being made were implying that the Personal Ordinariate was only for those entering with a community, though that was not my conclusion as I stated that the Complementary Norms say otherwise. I also have no disagreement that the ultimate end for some coming in might be the diocesan priesthood (or laity entering through the RCIA Process, though of course they're already Christian). While not intending to make a huge issue out of it, it seems illogical to me that the means to the ends of the diocesan priesthood would require a Pastoral Provision Office that is unique to the United States. The majority of the process would seem to be the same for an applicant whether they are entering the Ordinariate or a Diocese. The Ordinariate should be sufficient to assist the Bishop of the diocese in handling the process (and likely much more efficient), what is the point of a Pastoral Provision Office when no such thing exists in any other country that may wind up with an Ordinariate? It seems to me that it has outlived its usefulness even if some candidates may be bound for dioceses. There would seem no logic to disagree with that while saying there is no need for it in England. It seems one of the main reasons the U.S. had a Pastoral Provision Office was for those entering with a community and establishing it for an Anglican Use liturgy, and while it handles other cases those could have been handled in the same manner as any other country did.

    1. I believe that I read somewhere that the Pastoral Provision is also used for "High Church" Lutherans. I don't think the Oridinariate would apply to them, since they aren't Anglican (although I don't know where that leaves the Lutheran/Anglican group).

      1. I know that the Evangelical Lutheran Church has united with the EPUSA, but I'm not certain how the Ordinariate applies to them. My question is, how do you distinguish
        "high church" Lutherans from those who aren't "high church"? Are there "high church" Lutheran parishes apart from the Lutherans who are united to the Anglican Church ready to embrace the Ordinariate? Such as "high Church" Wisconsin Synod or Missouri Synod Lutherans?
        I can't imagine many "high church" types in either of these groups.

          1. The last two of these have had "pastorettes" on their staffs, so your understanding of "high" is very different from mine.

            1. My meaning of "high" is all about ceremonial and devotional practices only. I would have said "orthodox" or "catholic-leaning" to speak about doctrinal tenets.

          2. i believe zion evangelical lutheran church in detroit (www.ziondetroit.org) has a very "high" liturgy. you can look up their "ordinary of the mass" at their website—appears to me very much a "traditional" tyle mass. think they also have confessions. there is a "anglo lutheran catholic church" (www.anglolutherancatholic.org) that has apparently formally asked for admission to the Catholic Church under the same terms and procedures that Anglicans are.

    2. I would expect that perhaps the redundancy of a Pastoral Provision Office has not been entirely thought out. A bishop from Michigan had pointed out to Bishop Vann how he had recently helped a priest through the Pastoral Provision and it had taken some years to complete, whereas it seemed he could have him go through the Ordinariate process in a much shorter period of time and still have him available to assist in the diocese. Bishop Vann's response seemed to be he'd have to give that some consideration. While Bishop Vann from Fort Worth is taking over the office from Cardinal Meyer, he indicated that he is happy that the theological faculty assisting him will remain at Seton Hall in Newark. In the meantime Ordinariate candidates are anticipated to be assisted by St. Mary's Seminary down in Texas. If the distinctive element about a candidate that differs from other candidates for the diocesan priesthood is that he needs a dossier reviewed by the CDF, in the long run won't the CDF desire that all such dossiers are reviewed by one office (the Ordinariate's) rather than having dossiers coming from two different sources? I believe it was Bishop Vann in the Q&A session that suggested that those bound for the dioceses would require some extra special training. It seems to me that based on the Complementary Norms pretty much the same training is required except for extra formation in the Anglican Patrimony for those in the Ordinariate. If there would be anything particular to a certain diocese, I'd expect the diocese to handle that itself rather than a Pastoral Provision Office that is isolated both from the diocese and from the Ordinariate. In time I expect the CDF and PPO may reach the same conclusion.

    3. “…it seems illogical to me …”

      Yes, Mr. Humm, you’ve made that point.

      Perhaps the decision to maintain the Pastoral Provision after the erection of an American ordinariate is a just a bit of Roman Patrimony: I may not understand it, but it doesn’t affect me, so I don’t fret over it. (Regular contributors: please don’t over think the metaphor!)

      Time will tell if the provision has outlived its usefulness. Remember, we’re talking about a church that measures time in centuries, not minutes. By Rome’s count, the church is only 20 minutes old! 😉

    1. Though at this point the only geographical area using a Pastoral Provision Office is the United States, making it one fewer that the Ordinariates. The option of becoming a diocesan priest has been open in many countries without a Pastoral Provision Office and it would seem could also be in the U.S. if you closed down the PPO. If the goal is to become a diocesan priest, which I have no problem with, it seems a PPO has never been the required path to get there outside of the U.S.

  3. Father Phillips, there is no compulsion or requirement for any Anglican to be reconciled to the Catholic Church via the Ordinariate. There is still the option to be received individually in a local Catholic diocese, whether Latin or any of the Eastern rites. That door will never be closed. It is perfectly legitimate to leave the Anglican patrimony behind.

    While the Pope believes that there is more advantages to being with the Ordinariate, but the Holy Spirit's call is paramount even to any Papal wishes. If the former Anglican priest thinks that he should leave those "Anglican things" behind and that is how the Spirit leads him, then we just have to say "Godspeed".

    But I am of the opinion that many former Anglicans will be led to the Ordinariate.

    1. Ben-
      Why the need to repeat what Father Christopher already made clear? Your first paragraph 'sounds' like you did not understand any of what he posted or worse it 'sounds' like you are clarifying to him what he already knows and understands better than you. Maybe I misunderstand your intention but sometimes your comments on this and other blogs, come across as a 'superiority complex'.
      Apologies if my comment is totally off base as I just woke up and haven't had breakfast yet!

      1. Dear Matthew, my post does not even refer to the Pastoral Provision at all or why it may be for some Episcopal clergy and as the Ordinariate is for others [which is well discussed] but to a specific Episcopal priest who left the Anglican patrimony behind and had his reasons. This priest may have joined through the Pastoral Provision scheme or probably entered the Catholic Church in the way most converts have reconciled themselves. Nonetheless, while the priest's viewpoint may not go down well with some Ordinariate bound Anglicans, his viewpoint is valid and has to be respected. I have to agree that this priest is not called to the Ordinariate.

        I am quite puzzled that you would think that I did not understand what Fr Phillips is saying. And as for being "superior" to anyone this was never my intention. I believe there have been posts in this blog that reflect more of that attitude [and I do assure you that I never posted any of those sort]. Many of these deal especially with what the liturgy of the Ordinariate ought to be or the perceived defects of the Anglican Use liturgy.

        I do apologise if you read any of my posts in that way.

        1. It didn't seem that Father was criticizing the other priest for not being interested in the Anglican Patrimony, but perhaps the view that holding on to it suggests you are not being a "real" Catholic. If you're suggesting that viewpoint is valid, then it seems you are saying that the Pope is in error to have issued Anglicanorum Coetibus since they should give up all of that "Anglican Patrimony" and just become "real Catholics". I expect it may not have been your intent to disagree with the pope. The priest's remark was long before Anglicanorum Coetibus, so hopefully his attitude is a thing of the past.

  4. As I try to explain to people who don't understand why we want an Ordinariate so that we can continue our Anglican traditions, I say: "As an exanple, look at the day before Ash Wednessday. In most places it is celebrated as 'Mardi Gras' with dressing in costumes and lots of wild partying. In the Anglican tradition, it is 'Shrove Tuesday' (the day for being Shriven) with the principal celebration being a Pancake Supper in the Parish Hall." There is a huge difference in the way this day is celebrated and those of us who are/were Anglican want to carry on and not lose those traditions. We also need pastors who know what "Shrove Tuesday" is. I'm pretty sure my local pastor wouldn't have a clue, and it would be almost impossible to explain, especially since English is not his first language.

  5. It will all take a while to be worked up and set in place. And years down the road it can be tweaked as experience suggests. For the present, there is a pastoral provision process and structure, in place, functioning and serving; it makes sense to leave it in place at least for the present and let it continue to serve. With everything the Prelate is going to have to direct and oversee, I'd expect that he'll nod and say, "Good," at the arrangement whereby the Pastoral Provision structure is addressing some needs.

    I'm presently in Fort Worth preaching a Mission at St Mary the Virgin, Arlington, which closes with tonight's Mass and renewal of Baptismal vows. I am grateful for divine Providence, that the announcement of the erection of the Ordinariate was made on the afternoon of our Tuesday opening of this Mission; it has made for a very festive time here!

    Tonight I shall tell them, "Continue in this holy fellowship, and do all such good works as He hath prepared for you to walk in." I have a knack for turning a phrase…

  6. Though this does not apply to me, I wonder if former lay Episcopalians or other Anglicans who have already joined the Catholic Church via the conventional route will be permitted to join the Ordinariate.

    1. The Complementary Norm says:
      [Article 5 §1. The lay faithful originally of the Anglican tradition who wish to belong to the Ordinariate, after having made their Profession of Faith and received the Sacraments of Initiation, with due regard for Canon 845, are to be entered in the apposite register of the Ordinariate.]
      Canon 845 simply deals with that you would not readminister Sacraments of Initiation if they have been validly done. A simple reading of the Norm suggests the answer would be "yes", and persons that entered long ago and became members of Anglican Use Parishes would be anticipating so. Sometimes what seems an obvious "yes" can be turned into a "no", though I would not expect that.

    2. I believe they can. The Rt Rev Keith Newton of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was asked the same question right after the Ordinariate was set up and he replied in the affirmative.

  7. Is it know at this point whether current Pastoral Provision Priests, who so desire, will be afforded the opportunity to leave their Diocesan posts and move into the Ordinariate? Secondly, would there be a general policy on this, say for the USA, or would it have to be dealt with case by case?

  8. In response to the remark about
    shrove Tuesday. This not an English Tradition but shared throughout the Catholic world. Remember, much of what is described as Anglican Patrimony is simply Northern European Catholic practise. As a life-long Roman Catholic, I have never celebrated Mardi Gras in my life. We always shrive.

    1. As a cradle Catholic, I have never celebrated Mardi Gras either.
      Shrove Tuesday was always pancake Tuesday to use up all the stuff that won't be allowed during Lent.
      Anglicans here always say Catholics are ignorant of this or that when it comes to their patrimony. Nice to see that ignorance works both ways!

      1. I'm very happy for you that as cradle Catholics you have been able to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. However, I stand by my statement. I live in Northeast Texas and Catholics here do not know about Shrove Tuesday. Most of them are Hispanic, many of our neighbors to the east are French heritage, etc. Mardi Gras is celebrated extensively here in the south, especially in New Orleans and Mobile. I was speaking to a cradle Catholic just this weekend and she had never heard of it. My experience is that the only ones who celebrate Shrove Tuesday are Episcopalian. YMMV, obviously.

        1. My point is that, as an Anglican, your tradition is the same as the Northern European Catholic tradition. I am sure there are plenty of other non-English practises among Episcopalians which, of course, means nothing much.

        2. To quote you: 'In most places it is celebrated as 'Mardi Gras' with dressing in costumes and lots of wild partying. " And "However, I stand by my statement. I live in Northeast Texas"
          You may stand by your statement but let me gently remind you that Northeast Texas is not the rest of the world.

          1. Whoa! Can you people possibly be more snarky? Or do you both just like to argue when other people voice opinions? I am a former Episcopalian in a sea of Hispanic "cradle Catholics" and I want to be in an environment where my fellow parishioners have a clue what I'm talking about! As another example, last year the pastor completely forgot The Presentation, and when I mentioned Candlemas, no one knew what I was talking about. If you are able to worship with people who speak your language, count yourself blessed. It's something that I want and pray for and all you can do is make rude comments. "Northeast Texas is not the rest of the world." No, Terry, it isn't, but it's the one I live in and your snarky comment is uncalled for. "I am sure there are plenty of other non-English practises among Episcopalians which, of course, means nothing much." As a "cradle Catholic," Fr. Gerard, with all due respect, how would you know?

  9. The only time I ever celebrated Mardi Gras was in an Episcopal church.

    A more serious question: is it pronounced PATrimony, or paTRIMony? No problem in French with "patrimoine", but English offers at least two possiblities.

      1. Many pronounce it 'paytrimony', the second part as in 'matrimoney'. It depends on whether one has had a classical education.

  10. Yes the stress is on the MONY element. That's certainly the emphasis given by the folks in charge of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

    1. As I suspect you well know, if you speak English (as opposed to "Murkin"), the stress is on the "Pat", not the "Money", as also in "mat'rimony". But I liked your allusion to the CBS hoo ha. Storms in Anglican teacups (or gin glasses) as per usual.

  11. Unfortunately it seems that many Catholic News Services that have reported on Bishop Vann being named to head up the Pastoral Provision at least imply the same division as to whether a case would be handled by the Ordinariate or the Pastoral Provision (while for now, the http://www.pastoralprovision.org site is down).

    Personally I find it confusing when the news accounts make continuous reference to those coming from the "Episcopal Church" as if the majority coming in are currently in the Episcopal Church rather than having already left it. Bishop Vann is supposed to have indicated how "the pastoral provision helped foster a strong fraternal relationship between the Catholic and Episcopal Churches." The Pastoral Provision which is said to have ordained 100 priests over a period of 30 years while the Personal Ordinariate could likely do at least that number in the first 30 weeks? If he has developed some type of fraternal relationship with the Episcopal Church in his part of Texas, can that really be applied anywhere else in the U.S.?

    I'll be very happy when an Ordinary is named so that Catholic News might possibly report on things with him as their source.

  12. I think that it is for the Ordinary to foster fraternal relationships with Anglican groups, including, of course the Episcopal Church. I believe he should do this no matter what the theology of the diocese, no matter whether the diocese is headed by a male bishop, no matter whether the bishop of the Episcopal diocese is a former Catholic priest. The same openly fraternal relations should be extended to other Anglican groups, and really to Protestants who are interested.

    The ordinariate presents a marvelous chance to build bridges, and it is not just the Ordinary who should be doing this. Laity and clergy should be doing it as well. I envision, someday, an "all-Anglican" service of Lessons and Carols, held in the biggest church that can be found, and inviting as many Anglican as live within traveling distance.

    This should be good for Anglicans and good for Catholics.

    We need to think positively about the opportunities the Ordinariate will have to influence even those who remain within the Anglican realm.

      1. I, too, look forward to the Ordinariate having cordial relations with Continuing Anglicans, Episcopalians, other Protestants and indeed all Christian communities. I hope we can all leave bitter partisanship behind as we enter the Catholic Church; it is a part of our recent Anglican patrimony that we can do without. (I think I just came up with my New Year's resolution for 2012!)

        On another note, I have an email to answer from an Episcopal priest I used to work with who is asking for information about Anglicanorum Coetibus and the Ordinariate. He wants to know a good internet source to start with and I want to direct him to places that are more positive about the project of Anglicans entering the Catholic Church than critical of where we come from. Feel free to send suggestions to my email. I think the old adage of attracting more flies with honey than with vinegar applies to how we should present ourselves and the Church to others.

        Also, if anyone is familiar with interest in Anglicanorum Coetibus among Chinese-speaking Anglicans please let me know.

        1. You could do worse than point your friend to the Tunbridge Wells Ordinariate blog of Father Ed Tomlinson and to the Sevenoaks Ordinariate blog of Father Ivan Aquilina.

          Both are former Anglican clergymen among the "first wave" of Ordinariate priests who are now leading Ordinariate Groups as well as holding diocesan appointments.

          Both have comments today which are relevant to the announcement of the forthcoming US Ordinariate.

          Welcoming the announcement, Father Ed writes:

          "We must pray for our new brothers and sisters as they approach this historic moment for, experience tells me, the great joy of joining the Catholic church enrages the devil. It is therefore often tempered, at first, by spiritual attack from all sorts of places.

          Thus a certain degree of unexpected and unreasonable hostility, unpleasantness and lack of welcome from certain quarters (sadly within the Catholic church as well as without) is going to be part of the package. Yet – praise God- in other quarters there will be found the true Christian response and welcome. Love, charity, acceptance, encouragment and joy. Ultimately the Lord is good and it will be a decision that few regret, such are the myriad gifts of entering the largest Christian body on earth."

          Commenting on the first 8 months, Father Ivan writes:-

          "Eight months ago yesterday also fell on a Sunday. It was Sunday 6th March 2011. It was for a group of us a significant Sunday. It was our last Sunday as Anglicans. It was the day I celebrated my last Eucharist as an Anglican priest. It was an emotional day. It was a day of thanksgiving for all the years and faces that led to it. It was a day of trepidation as we looked into the face of the unknown. It was a day of joy as it led us nearer to unity and communion with the See of Peter, whose occupant is the sign and servant of the unity of the universal Church. It was a day of sadness as we left behind people who mean a lot for us even though some of them decided to misunderstand us and misrepresent us as our lack of hesitation made them uncomfortable. For me it was a day that I led out of the Church of England a band of 40 good people and left behind 50 good people. Forty accepted the call from God and the Church for unity; we still love and pray for the other 50 and when they accept God’s call for unity they will find us welcoming them with open arms. No more no less. Our sincere prayer is for them to open their eyes.

          Eight months later here we are. No misgivings at all but sheer joy that we have received so much as we followed Christ our Good Shepherd. There was no reason to doubt God’s providence. We left the CofE with nothing, even though the forty gave so much to it. God provided and the Catholic Church surrounded us by love and acceptance. We are now fed with the symphony of the true and full teaching of the Catholic Faith, served by a truly Catholic Priesthood, nourished by the Sacraments of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. We were never made to feel as second class Catholics as some might have suggested, not for a minute. The Sevenoaks Ordinariate Group is in good heart. With most now worshipping each Sunday in Westerham and new patterns of worship in Sevenoaks being explored, we are getting ready to receive the first new members since we were received during Holy Week.

          God is good indeed and faithful to his word. We are living proof of this. If you are still undecided or maybe hesitant as you did not join the first wave, please do not be afraid to take the plunge. However daunting you may feel, and easy it most certainly is not, trust God, your new family awaits you with joy. I really cannot put words to the joy and relief that one experiences when being united or re-united with the See of Peter. Blessed be God for ever; he has done great things with us!"

  13. Amen on that point, Daniel.

    We very much all need our none-too-soon-coming Ordinary's voice and authority on any number of points and issues. Let's all be praying for him, whoever he is (presumably he himself may know who he is, maybe not).

    In any case, folks – please pray!!

  14. Yes the Ordinary and all those within the Ordinariate should try to have a good relationship with those who have chosen another path. As of yet I have not seen any uncharitable remarks made towards those who are part of the Continuum, however, the same cannot be said for many belonging to some of the Continuing groups.

    My question is how do we build a good relationship with those who condemn us and are not reasonable when trying to explain that our journey to the Catholic Church has been led by the Holy Spirit?

  15. I notice that Fr Ivan Aquilina has been quoted at length above. He has had a strange history. Born in Malta, he was ordained as a Catholic priest, left the Church to join the Church of England, married and embraced Anglo-Catholicism, and is now a member of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Surely he has not been ordained twice? I cannot help wondering how his position has been canonically regularised. It is an ambivalent one and sends bad messages to other Catholic priests who have given up their priesthood in order to marry but who, in their hearts, would still like to minister. Odd!

    1. Fr. Aquilina was never a Catholic priest. It is my understanding that he became an Anglican in his teens after his parents started attending an Anglican church.

    2. Mr Bowles – you really don't trust those good folk at the CDF (or the Archbishop of Southwark diocese for that matter). I think that they might have spotted a potential double ordination

  16. I am interested to see Fr Aquilina's position clarified. The problem is that his supposed Catholic ordination has been widely commented on in conversation and I heard it from a Maltese. He is still remembered in Malta. Odder still!

    1. Ah, a "widely-believed fact". No matter how commented-upon it is (and I am a Catholic living less than 90 minutes drive from Fr Ivan's parish, and have never heard anything of the sort) it is still incorrect.

    2. Mr Bowles: I saw your post on Thinking Anglicans this morning. You are not exactly in favour of the Ordinariate, are you? So perhaps you do not follow Ordinariate affairs all that closely. If you had, you might have noticed that the homily at Father Aquilina's First Mass as a Catholic Priest was given by a Monsignor Charles Sicluna.

      You may know that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith examines the dossiers of all Ordinaraiate candidates for Holy Orders. Under HE Cardinal Levada as Prefect, there is a Secretary with the rank of Archbishop, an Undersecretary with the rank of Monsignor and the Promotor of Justice (effectively the Congregation's Chief Prosecutor) who also has the rank of Monsignor. The Promotor of Justice of the CDF happens to be none other than Monsignor Charles Sicluna and it just happens that Mgr Sicluna is also Maltese.

      I do not think I need to further tax your understanding.

      1. I notice, Meurad of Enfield Lock, that a commentator on Thinking Anglicans has rapped your knuckles for writing of 'priestesses'. Tut, tut!

        I accept the Ordinariate because it has been decreed by the Holy Father. But, as far as the United Kingdom is concerned, I doubt if it will survive a generation. And I know that many Catholic priests, including former Anglican clerics of the 1992 vintage, regard it as a backdoor into the priesthood.

        1. The female form of 'priest' is 'priestess'. I am yet to work out the proper from of address for a female bishop, surely one cannot refer to one's "Mother in God" and will "Lord bishop of…" become "Lady bishop of…".?

          I am reminded of the confusion when a woman was first appointed to the Court of Appeal. Initially there was a single statutory title of "Lord Justice" (now amended to permit "Lord Justice or Lady Justice"). But initially there was a practice note on mode of address saying that references to "Her Ladyship" were to be construed as references to "Her Lordship". and therefore that the Judge could be addressed in Court as "My Lady" rather than "My Lord".

          You are entitled to your views on the likely future of the Ordinariate. I do not share them.

          As to the views you allege are held by other priests, this is but scandalmongering as were your comments on Father Aquilina.

          1. I am yet to work out the proper from of address for a female bishop, surely one cannot refer to one's "Mother in God" and will "Lord bishop of…" become "Lady bishop of…".?

            I think Dr. Tighe nailed it with flaminica.

          2. There is a difference beyond gender between "lord" and "lady". A lord is just that, a man of power, a "lady" is his wife. She may have her influence over him, but his lady does not have equal powers. Thus "my Lady Chief Justice", while perhaps satisfying the amnesiacs among us, is inappropriate.

            I'm an American, so my opinions are not very weighty, but if I were a a Brit, I'd argue that if you are going to give women equal power, you might just do away with medieval titles.

  17. I couldn't help but notice that the Holy Father's decision was communicated to Cardinal Levada on Oct. 28, the Feast of St. Jude! Did anyone else pray a novena to him for the Ordinariate? God is good!

  18. Ivan Aquilina was baptised a Catholic but followed his Anglican mother.
    There is no truth at all that he was a Roman Catholic priest before an Anglican one.
    Some of these claims get weirder.

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