Australian Ordinariate

The following information was given at the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Plenary Meeting which took place from 22-25 November at Mary MacKillop Place.

Archbishop Denis Hart, chair of the ad hoc Commission for the Personal Ordinariate, provided a verbal update on the present state of preparation for the introduction of a Personal Ordinariate to be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

This should have been posted a few weeks ago, but it didn't receive wide attention in the media, and it escaped the notice of many. Thank you to one of our Australian friends for calling it to our attention. It's wonderful to know that great progress is being made in moving toward an Australian 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.

25 thoughts on “Australian Ordinariate”

    1. Yes, Our Lady of the Southern Cross is both beautiful, and relevant to the community who will adopt it as a "Matronymic".

      For the U.S. Ordinariate, since Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is our "national" title for Our Lady, that might be appropriate. Then again, our home-grown Anglican convert, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, might somehow be honored in its title.

      Gaudete in Domino Semper!

  1. Truly good news to be celebrated by all. Question: Does anyone know how they already have their name provided them? We shall, I pray, know what name we shall have here in the USA at the erection on 1Jan12. Also the Ordinary, I pray. God is good. All the time. Ora por nosotros Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, Patrona de Las Americas.

  2. There are apparently more coming across in Canada than in Australia. It seems fitting, then, that there may also be an Ordinariate for Canada. The granting of one for the Australians should help the process here.

    Victoria, B.C., Canada

    1. With the departure of the ACCC cathedral from the immediately Ordinariate-bound, the number of ACCC parishes actively preparing for reception is now three. I would estimate this represents fewer than one hundred people.

      1. There is still a Victoria group under Bishop Wilkinson and three or four other clergy that is still doing the Evangelium Course and preparing to enter an Ordinariate should the opportunity be offered.

  3. Not strictly related but there was an interview with ++Nichols the other day in which he stated that Msgr. Newton had told him that presently at least 20 more clergy, most with groups, will becoming in the so-called "second wave" of OLW entrants in the near future.

    1. Also worth noting that while the "second wave" is building up, people are also being quietly received into Ordinariate groups in ones and twos. Which is how it should be. While I can see that there may be practical (as well as PR) reasons, I'm not wholly comfortable with this idea of "waves" of receptions, and I hope that it doesn't become a regular event.

      1. I don't think "waves" of reception are foreseen to be regular events. I think two waves were pretty much all that was expected, in England at any rate – the initial one following the establishment of the OLW and the second one that will come once the other shoe drops at General Synod next July. Individuals and the odd small group will be the norm.

  4. For the life of me, I do not understand anybody who individually wants to be a Catholic seeking entry via an Ordinariate which may well turn out to be a cul de sac. With rare exceptions they are likely only to find a group in the South of England and in Darlington. For the rest, they will be so scattered that the only option will be to worship in Catholic parish churches and become an ordinary member of the congregation. Why not enter through the front door and leave Anglicanism where it belongs?

    1. It can take a little time for individuals to declare themselves. When they do, they discover there are others in their neighbourhood who are interested. This is very much, I believe, what the Holy Father foresaw and wanted to happen – and those of us with Anglicanism in our blood cannot happily leave it rotting away. We have to try to save the best of it within the Ordinariates.

    2. What is an "ordinary" Catholic? I don't mean to be facetious but it is an important point. There are many different Catholics in full communion with the Pope…dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions? depending upon how you count them. There are Roman Rite Catholics and Eastern Catholics. There are Franciscans, Jesuits, Benedictines and "seculars". Why didn't St. Francis just join the "regular" orders instead of starting his own? Or Mother Teresa? The Church allowed it and so having different-from-the-regular must be of God.

      Then there are Mexican Catholics, and Filipino Catholics and Irish Catholics. Maybe they should all just join the "regular" Catholic mass.

      I am an Anglican Use Catholic that attends a Redemptorist parish run by Irish priests in a Visayas diocese of the Philippines. I attend a "regular" mass, I suppose (an Irish Redemptorist Filipino Roman Catholic "regular" mass), but I am still an Anglican Use Catholic. The latter speaks to me in a way that the Irish, Redemptorist and Filipino parts cannot.

      1. Well, I fear you are wasting your breath on Mr. Bowles, who, whatever his formal affiliation, does not understand that the word Catholic by definition embraces diversity. What he really advocates is Roman Protestantism. I do not know his personal history, but this is a point of view adopted by many who who may enter the Catholic Church physically, but not mentally, and try to make the Catholic Church conform to their essentially sectarian view of things. Sadly many "cradle Catholics" have the same mentality, (not that "Catholics" have a monopoly on sectarianism — cf. many if not most Eastern Orthodox).

        I would also point out that obedience is essential to being Catholic. We have a Pope who understands the essential diversity of the Catholic Church, who has decreed that the Anglican patrimony is to be preserved, in Anglican ordinariates, for the good of the whole church, and that as Catholics we are bound to obey him in this. I need not add that trying to undercut this initiative of the Holy Father is NOT obedient, and, therefore, NOT a Catholic thing to.

        1. To be fair to Mr Bowles, it doesn't seem as if he opposes the Ordinariate project in principle. Rather he seems genuinely puzzled as to what the Anglican patrimony might contribute to the Catholic Church that the latter does not already possess. More pointedly, looking at the UK example, he notes that almost all joining the Ordinariate follow the ordinary Roman rite, bringing, in his view, no uniquely Anglican liturgy or devotional practices at all.

          He has a point, but only to a point in that a unified and reformed Anglican Use liturgy is in the works. It is my expectation that this (with possibly a Sarum variant as an EF) will become the standard or at least weekly liturgical expression for all the Ordinariates, even that in the UK. Mr Bowles appears to be convinced otherwise. To this I would answer "wait and see." If in fact ordinariate parishes become liturgically indistinguishable from neighbouring diocesan ones, they might well fade back into the woodwork. The experience with the Anglican Use in the USA, however, suggests that, there at least, this will not be the case.

          1. M de Verteuil,
            I based my observation not only on what Mr. Bowles said above, but what he has said in other posts, on this site and elsewhere. However, perhaps you are right, and certainly on principle one should try to put the best perspective on people's motives. If I have misjudged his point of view, I am happy to repent and apologize.

            Merry (5th day of) Christmas,
            & Blessed Feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury-
            Cav. Michael

  5. For the majority of converts their early religious experience does not rot away but the best influences are transmuted into the fullness of faith within the Catholic Church. The worst influences do indeed disappear and are seen for what they were. Much Anglicanism is incapable of export because it has developed in a non-Catholic setting conditioned by Protestantism. Whatever may be consistent with Catholicism is Catholic already and will inevitably be absorbed. What is considered to be a better interpretation of Anglicanism already exists within the Church.

    If the face of the Church of England represented, shall we say, by Barbara Pym, Sir John Betjeman and Dame Rose Macauley and embodied in cultural Anglicanism is considered, it is frought with anti-Catholic prejudice and snobbery. I was raised in this delicious world but it was when I first went on the Continent that I immediately realised the thrill of entering buildings that had always been Catholic and came to see the immensity and inherent magnetism of the Catholic Church.

    The evolution of the Oxford Movement tried to Catholicise Anglicanism but, as time passed, mainly reproduced Rome in mimesis. The Anglican cathedral tradition is the most distinctive identity recognised by Catholics but without consierable financial resources it is impossible to reconstruct. But with the choir of Westminster Cathedral why try? Solemn Evensong and Benediction has no place in the cathedral tradition.

    The essence of Anglicansim lies in an attitude more than anything else of which hating the vicar is an essential part. At time amusing, is it were perpetrating in the Church?

    1. Mr. Bowles, whatever your experience has been, it certainly hasn't been our experience in the parishes of the Anglican Use. We have been maintaining and sharing our Anglican patrimony for nearly thirty years within the Catholic Church. When one enters one of our parishes, there is no doubt about its Anglican roots, and equally there is no doubt that it is thoroughly Catholic.

    2. Mr. Bowles,

      I have no Anglican heritage, but must admit that I find your repeated denigration of the Ordinariate project completely baffling. Would you use the same or similar arguments to wind up the venerable Ambrosian rite? So the Ordinariate is not your cup of tea. We get that; really we do. Apparently it has appeal for thousands of others, however, and as such should be respected as a legitimate option, even if it is not to your personal taste. If you think the whole idea is unsound, then take it up with the CDF.

  6. I am personally pleased that the Ordinariate is starting in Australia. I await eagerly for it's spread here. I am an Anglican of forty years standing. It is only during the recent years that I have realized that I am an Anglo Catholic at heart.

  7. How come Archbishop Hart is running the Ordinariate project in Aus now? Did Bishop Elliott make such a disaster of the Hepworth scandal that they took it from him?

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