Fr. Steenson on Personal Ordinariate Inaugural Mass

Fr. Steenson has just written to inform me that, with the news about the Consistory today, the Inaugural Mass for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is now scheduled for Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.  Anglican Use and Pastoral Provision priests are particularly invited as concelebrants (the liturgical color will be green).  Cardinals Wuerl and DiNardo will be involved.  It's all happening so quickly that invitations have yet to be prepared, but, as there are 1500 seats, all interested faithful are invited!

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.

83 thoughts on “Fr. Steenson on Personal Ordinariate Inaugural Mass”

        1. Could be, though as it is I'm not sure if the main celebrants are even familiar with the Anglican Use. I can recall Cardinal Wuerl's response to a question on the BDW that it only contained a Mass and not any of the rites like Marriage or Baptism, so it would seem at that point he may not have looked at one yet.

          1. Frs. Steenson and Hurd were behind Cardinal Wuerl at the time but did not seem to offer a correction. Whether or not the bishop that has asked the question ever got a correct response or not I don't know.

        2. The Sarum Use, Henri, is not Anglican. It was abolished in England in 1549 and only used thereafter by recusants prior to the adoption of the Tridentine Missal.

          1. Yet who else would be expected to include the Rite that had been used in Salisbury in their Patrimony? I haven't understood that Pope Benedict had placed some particular time frame on what he considered Patrimony.

            1. And Mgr. Burnham said that the Sarum Rite will be one of the major sources of the soon to be ordinariate rite, equally with the 1662 & 1928 BCP, the Alternative Service Book, and Common Worship.

              + PAX et BONUM

    1. Woody:
      I agree: It would seem that the only appropriate liturgy would be from the Book of Divine Worship, and that it should be celebrated ad orientem.

      1. The altar at the co-cathedral is pretty close to the front steps of the Presbyterium if memory serves (no doubt intentionally so), so ad orientem would be unlikely, even aside from the fact that an ad orientem Mass at the co-cathedral might give some of the chancery types heart attacks.

  1. It would be nice to have the Cathedral full, though I expect it will be difficult for many to make the journey and may have other parish obligations. Hopefully someone might persuade EWTN to cover this historic event.

  2. The Ordinariate webpage has been updated to include a statement from Fr. Steenson on the new Cardinals. Over the past week, Fr. Hurd has provided a couple of links to articles on the Ordinariate through his facebook page:

    I had not known in advance but caught the very end of an interview Fr. Hurd did with Gus Lloyd on the Catholic Channel's Seize the Day (where Gus said after Father was off the air that the new Personal Ordinariate would be HQ'd in DC) early this week, but when trying to search for it I mainly come up with announcements on this blog that are over a year old. I'm hoping that we might receive some advance notice when one of them might be interviewed live in the future.

    1. The "Fr. Hurd draws on his own faith" article is also featured on the Chair of St. Peter's facebook page along with a link to the news conference video.

  3. An Ordinariate is part of the Latin Rite and therefore any form of service which may be used in the Latin Rite may be used by for an Ordinariate liturgical event. Likewise any form of service contained in the Book of Divine Worship may legitimately be used.

    I think we can safely rely on the liturgists, the master of ceremonies, the organist and choirmaster to devise a form of service which will be entirely appropriate for the great day, just as was the case at Westminster Cathedral for the first "great occasion" of the OLW Ordinariate.

    1. I take it then you and I are agreeing that the Sarum Rite may be considered as legitimate to the Ordinariate. I expect we might also agree that it is unlikely they would use any hybrid where they throw a bit of Sarum into an Anglican Use Mass or Ordinary Form of the Roman Missal. Though considering that the Book of Divine Worship had been created with the U.S. specifically in mind, did they use it in the U.K. or did they use the Ordinary Form of the Roman Missal instead? Alternatively did they use some form that was approved for that particular Mass which is not yet in widespread use?

      1. No, I have said no such thing. The Sarum Rite is long-abrogated. Most Ordinariate Groups in England and Wales use one of the forms of the Roman Missal – just as they largely did prior to crossing the Tiber. The BDW is only occasionally used. As you probably know, the BDW has its faults because it was put together in something of a hurry for the Pastoral Provision. An international liturgical commission is working on definitive liturgies for Ordinariate Use. It may very well be that the Commission will seek inspiration from the Sarum Use because, while Master Cramner wrote beautiful English, there are substantial parts of the Book of Common Prayer which simply will not do. In the BDW they have been excised and replaced with modern English passages – and the change in linguistic style rather jars.

        1. Long abrogated? I was thinking it had been used in the late 1990's by the Newman Society of Oxford University. I was under the impression that they were in full Communion. In recent years it seems hard to tell what has been abrogated and what has not been abrogated. I'm not trying to be an advocate of it, but it would seem if its use had been approved for use in the Latin Rite, then the Personal Ordinariate that was established to preserve Anglican Patrimony would be allowed to use it if they choose. I wouldn't expect it likely to be used to any great extent, though it seemed some of the (former?) contributors to this blog were in favor of it. It perhaps takes another document from the Vatican to approve its use.

          1. The Sarum Use was last used by the Church in England under Queen Mary. It was abrogated for use in the Church of England by Elizabeth I.

            Recusants used the Sarum Rite until it was replaced by the Tridentine Rite. Pius V decreed that any rite which have bee in continuous use for 200 years could continue to be used (eg the Ambrosian Rite) and it is thought the Sarum Rite fell foul of that "200 years continual use" provision.

            However it is true that it has been used for very occasional commemorative services. But it is, of course, in Latin. It also requires quite a number of officiating clergy. I doubt a dignified celebration liturgy could be worked up at short notice.

            But I have no doubt that the Liturgical Commission will look to it as a source, not least because some of the great gems of English polyphony are Sarum Rite. But of course the Anglican translations into English (mostly Victorian) are unapproved.

    2. Not to quibble, but not every liturgical use of the Latin rite can be used in the ordinariate. We are not allowed to use the Benedictine or Dominican Use, or the use of Lyons, all of which are uses of the Roman Rite. The Roman or "curial" use has been allowed to all Latin-Rite Catholics for centuries, and both "forms" of this use may be used in the ordinariate, as well as the approved Anglican use, but none others. I can see a legal case being made for Sarum as the Catholic use which is the basis of the BCP, and hence of the Anglican Use, but that is a different matter, and one in which a number of questions and difficulties would have to be addressed by competent authority before one could use it.

  4. I have seen the CDF letter of erection but I wonder if anyone has a link to the official erection from the Holy Father? Canon 373 seems to indicate that only the Holy Father may erect a particular Church. If anyone knows where to find it, I'd be grateful for the link.

      1. To parse that out a little more: The first article, paragraphs 1 and 2, of Anglicanorum Coetibus extend to the CDF the authority to establish "Anglican" ordinariates. Anglicanorum Coetibus was issued over the signature of the Pope, so establishment of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter by the CDF required no further specifically papal action.

  5. Thanks Michael,

    Do you know if it was issued "in forma specifica" or "in forma communi"? It is hard to tell since there doesn't seem to be a Latin version of the erection. In forma specifica documents must explicitly state that the documents is "in forma specifica approbavit."

    1. I can't tell you for sure whether it was specifica or communi, but I suspect the former as this was implied by Cardinal Wuerl when he quoted Cardinal Levada as having received the Pope's verbal consent for the erection on 1 January. The working language of the Vatican is increasingly Italian rather than Latin, so there may not be an official Latin version.

      1. The Latin Text of the Apostolic Constitution can be found in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis for 4 December 2009 – 1st page. I'm sure the Complementary Norms are in the AAS somewhere. The English text of both can be found on the Ordinariate web site.

        The Decree of Erection of the OLW Ordinariate can be found in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis for February 2011 at p 129 (In English) and the Decree appointing the Ordinary at p 133. The latter is in Latin. I'm sure the equivalents for the USA will turn up eventually.

        Since the USA is reputed to speak English (or at least Murkin), I suppose the precedent of printing the Decree in English will be followed.

    2. Pastoral Provision Anglican Use personal parishes were established for the purpose of receiving groups formerly part of the "Anglican Church" into full communion with the Catholic Church. Since their establishment, they've continued to receive such persons into full communion, as well as receive their children into the Church. By the decree that erected the Ordinariate, these people are all now included in the Ordinariate. In paragraph 1, it does not indicate that those in full communion already even need to make a request in writing, though paragraph 3 indicates that wish to come into full communion do so. It seems though that many people already in full communion have nevertheless submitted their intent in writing, so in fact are members other than that someone does not seem to have registered their request. That should put them into the pastoral care of the Ordinary.

      While the faithful should now, by decree, be part of the Ordinariate; they await word on what will become of the priests and parishes themselves. It would seem that while they are apparently not "automatic", that it should be simply a matter of crossing the t's and dotting the i's. What would be the point of a diocese having a Pastoral Provision Anglican Use personal parish when the faithful that are the cause of their existence should already be part of the Ordinariate? Is the concern because there are members of the faithful that belong to the diocese walked in, liked it, and have hung around? I don't believe that any of the bishops involved would have that attitude. So I imagine that there must soon be some word from the Ordinary that not only are the priests welcome to attend the Mass, but are welcome to become part of the Ordinariate and that he will assist them in that effort.

      1. I can't say I've seen anything in Anglicanorum Coetibus, the General Norms or the Decree of Erection that indicates that the Ordinary could reject the faithful that meet the qualifications from becoming members that have requested it, and I don't think that he would do so.

  6. Daniel – I do so wish you'd possess yourself in patience and leave these matters to those who have been entrusted with them by the Holy Father.

    Clergy and faithful of Anglican Use parishes are already fully Catholic.

    Any transfers to the Ordinariate are administrative matters to be worked out between the Ordinary and the Diocesan in full consultation with the parish and people concerned.

    End of story.

    1. I've just spotted this on the Ordinariate Portal. Father Scott Hurd VG is reported as saying in an interview:-

      "Asked about former Episcopalians who came into the Church before 2009, Father Hurd said that Anglicanorum Coetibus (Concerning Groups of Anglicans), the document that authorized the ordinariates, is vague about their status. However, he added that clarifying the status of these former Episcopalians is “on top of our inbox.”

      They will be able to worship with the ordinariate, as will other Catholics, but Father Hurd said it’s not yet clear whether they can become “card-carrying members” of the Chair of St. Peter Ordinariate.

      Father Hurd said that former Episcopal priests who ask to become Catholic priests must discern whether they have a vocation to be priests of the ordinariate or seek to be incardinated in a traditional Catholic diocese.

      In other words it may be necessary to obtain a clarification or a derogation from the CDF to enable Anglican Use parishes to join – but they're working on it.

      1. A.C. I§4 The Ordinariate is composed of lay faithful, clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally belonging to the Anglican Communion and NOW IN FULL COMMUNION with the Catholic Church, or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate.

        The Decree: "1. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter ipso iure possesses juridic personality and is juridically equivalent to a diocese. It includes those faithful, of every category and state of life, who, originally having belonged to the Anglican Communion, are NOW IN FULL COMMUNION with the Catholic Church…"

        Sorry that it does not look all that vague to me. Is the CDF in naming Our Lady of Walsingham the principal church excluding its long time parishioners as members of the Ordinariate and only allowing those that enter the Church thereafter as members? If not, it would seem they have clarified their point of view.

        1. The decree is not vague. I am assuming that Fr. Hurd was misunderstood or misquoted. This very point was raised with the secretary to the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts who affirmed that it was unambiguous with regard to those who had belonged to the Anglican Communion, but had entered into the Catholic Church that they were considered as potential members of the ordinariate if they wished to be, and that they were certainly the object of Anglicanorum Coetibus. This is obviously the case, otherwise how could the present ordinary be a member of his own ordinariate. The only case of doubt had to do with those who were former Catholics.

          The best thing would have been for the ordinariate to have set up a staff, including a Public Affairs Officer right away to deal with all these issues, as well as a couple of secretaries to deal with all the correspondence with which they are now faced—BUT they have no money. So there is not the kind of message control (or the kinds of other staff support) that is really needed to avoid this kind of confusion. I do suspect they are all working really hard and giving 100%.

          If you want to help improve this situation, I suggest that you DONATE. Then do what you can to fight misinformation and counsel patience as we get things off the ground. You can also write with your concerns to Fr. Steenson, but I bet he is swamped right now.

          More important, you can PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. Make an act of faith in God whose will (I dare say) is the success of this, pray for the ordinary and the success of the ordinariate, and offer up your sufferings and vexations in union with those of Christ on the Cross (whose passion should put a lot of this in perspective.) And as a French priest friend of mine used to say, in Latin with a strong French accent "In patientia possedibitis animas vestras." In patience ye shall possess your souls.

          1. Does the Pastoral Provision office require additional funding as well for those priests without communities that might be directed there to become diocesan priests, or do they have sufficient funds left from some past donations? Has there been any further information as to what Bishop Vann had to say about the Pastoral Provision at the press conference? It seems the former website is still down so it might be experiencing a lack of funds as well?

    2. I'm not sure what limitation you are putting on "people concerned". I'm concerned, but have no idea whether or not the Ordinary has a meeting planned or not with people such as myself that are concerned, or are we considered "busybodies". I can't say I had heard much about Cardinal Wuerl consulting people concerned on matters such as the type of formation they were already undergoing prior to announcing his decisions concerning such matters, though perhaps he did without publicizing it. I had begun with a private email to the Ordinariate with no acknowledgment. I can appreciate that there may be a lot to be accomplished, but is it a case that despite the Ordinariate being underway that we should not expect to receive any further communications from Fr. Steenson until after the Inaugural Mass? Are there plans for him to go around to communities to have some consultation with them, or are we to expect that this concerns only a specific set of people that have been entrusted with the task?

      1. Even if I had any idea of the nature of your concern (which I do not), I would imagine that the Ordinary and his VG have quite a lot on their plate right now.

      2. Luke 10: 41, 42 “The Lord said to her in reply, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.’”


        It is my fervent prayer that the true peace known only through submission to Jesus Christ would enter your heart.


        1. There is also the story of the woman pleading to the unjust judge, or what father when asked for a fish would give his child an eel. I think I am asking some reasonable questions, and are given some silly sounding answers. Not that they have all been silly, but even those that have been more reasonable have often thrown in some measure of condescension. Your response presumes I do not have true peace while apparently you do. Is that because you know someone that has the answers to my questions while I do not? I quote directly from AC and the decree and it seems brushed aside that it is incorrect. How so?

          1. Mourad and A Catholic in Pittsburgh –

            Mr. Humm is verbalizing the questions that a lot of us have. No one is supplying any answers, and for you to patronizingly pat him on the head and say, "There, there little boy, let the grown-ups handle it" is insulting to the rest of us who are waiting for answers, too. If you don't know anything just say so and be honest about it, but don't spout Scripture quotations as a means to silence questioners. Maybe if someone would give us some answers, we wouldn't have to point out that this whole thing looks like a huge mess wherein no one knows what they're doing.

  7. Daniel:

    If you look at the Q&A on the FAQ page of the TCP Ordinariate Web Site you will find this:
    "Will pastoral provision parishes automatically become a part of the ordinariate?
    No. While it is likely that many will seek to join the ordinariate, it is not required. Some may choose to remain part of the diocese where they already belong."

    I do not think the Apostolic Constitution and its Complementary Norms can be read as effecting ipso facto a mass transfer of all former Anglicans who have already entered the Catholic Church from the dioceses into the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate. That would have created enormous problems. Remember, the Apostolic Constitution is written for the whole world not just the USA.

    For example, there are no Anglican Use parishes in the UK. Prior to the erection of the Ordinariate, every Catholic Priest formerly an Anglican clergyman had to enter by application to a diocesan bishop who would, if need be, arrange a petition for the dispensation from the requirement of celibacy, see to the formation and then ordain. All those priests are now diocesan clergy. More former Anglican clergymen have entered the Catholic Church via that route than have applied since the erection of the Ordinariate. Those priests have not automatically been transferred. If they should ever wish to do so, it would be by the normal process of excardination and incardination.

    All Catholics can attend Ordinariate Masses and receive the sacraments from an Ordiariate priest and vice versa. That is already happening in England. Further the collaboration between diocesans and ordinary is very close very often with a priest of the Ordinariate ministering both to a parish and to an Ordinariate Group.

    It seems logical that Anglican Use parishes and missions are not transferred to the TCP Ordinariate ipso facto the erection of the Ordinariate. It also seems logical that ways of organising a transfer will be found if the parish or mission wishes so to do.

    But if you would care to think about the common good for the moment, surely the first urgency is to arrange for those Anglican clergy who have expressed the desire to enter the Ordinariate to start their formation and for those lay people who wish so to do likewise to start their formation so that they may be received before Easter.

    Anglican Use diocesan parishes are already fully Catholic. There is nothing to stop an Ordinariate Group being formed at such a parish and being placed under the pastoral care of the pastor of that church, just as persons may go onto the register of the Ordinariate but worship at a local Catholic Church when there is no nearby Ordinariate group.

    I simply do not see that you have any right to have your particular concern elevated above the concerns of the 1,000 or more people who are desirous of becoming part of the Ordinariate. Of necessity the Ordinary and the VG will be snowed under duing these first days and it will take time for responses to emerge.

  8. Breathe, people, breathe!
    A friend of mine in the hierarchy of a Roman diocese said to me that the first thing Anglicans need to learn is that the Church moves very slowly. Very slowly. Rome isn't called the Eternal City because of archaeology! Anglicanorum Coetibus and the erection of the ordinariates has happened at light speed, as far as Rome is concerned. The second thing Anglicans need to learn is to break the habit constantly to babble about everything: we'll all find out what we need to know when we are told.
    So let's just all breathe, and go have a drink and talk about basketball or something else.

    1. One can understand the sense of frustration some few may feel. After all, the USA has waited for implementation of the Apostolic Constitution for a year longer than the UK. But you are quite right: by the standards of the Roman Curia the speed of implementation has been phenomenal. What is also very gratifying is that the first ordinaries appointed in each case have been former Anglican bishops – the clearest possible signal of the Holy Father's confidence in the ultimate success of the new structure.

      Former Anglicans who have themselves made the spiritual journey to risk so very much in terms of this world for full communion can surely be relied upon to know more about the immediate needs of the future members of the ordinariates (both clerical and lay) than anyone who has been in communion since baptism.

      But the present TCP Ordinary and his VG have been entrusted with a mammoth task – and I think they do very much deserve to be given some breathing space. And some prayer for them would not go amiss.

    2. One could look back into the archives here regarding the informational meeting held in Houston with Cardinal DiNardo. He mentioned having already met with Bishop Vann and Archbishop Gomez; and the ongoing cooperative relations between the AU parishes once they go into the ordinariate. He also mentioned that other bishops may need to be sensitized. Since then Archbishop Gomez has been transferred and replaced by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller. I simply wonder whether or not Dinardo and Vann have met with Garcia-Siller to fill him in on the earlier discussions and sensitized him if needed. Have any other bishops that needed such sensitizing now been sensitized, or will they be raising opposition to having an Ordinariate parish (particularly with a married priest) or not. It certainly seems there were at least a few bishops that indicated after AC was announced that they did not believe there was a need for it in their diocese. After all, what is the need for the application of AC in the U.S. when they already had experienced the generous application of the Pastoral Provision? After all, back in the early 80's there were only 7-8 Anglican Use parishes ready to be established thanks to the PDSAC and the Society of the Holy Cross, and after various USCCB meetings where I'm sure the apostolic delegate for the Pastoral Provision provided frequent reports look how many AU parishes there are nowadays! As Cardinal Dinardo reported two years ago, the Orthodox will be watching to see the success that the Personal Ordinariates experience.

      1. My understanding is that part of the delay in Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller's approval of releasing Our Lady of the Atonement into the Ordinariate is that he wants to see a list of all the parishoners who are of Anglo-Saxon heritage. It does sound like he needs to be "sensitized" and told that reverse discrimination is not unacceptable either.

        Let me also state that if Our Lady of the Atonement is not allowed into the Ordinariate, it's going to be really hard to convince people to donate. The whole point of the Ordinariate is so that the Anglican Use can have its own Ordinary. Why would the AU need its own Ordinary, if not to get out from under diocesan bishops? Obviously the Holy Father thought there was a need; otherwise, why bother? If OLA is not allowed to get out from under its diocesan bishop, then the Ordinariate will have failed in its very first endeavor! It's going to be really hard to get people to support something that is meaningless.

        And talking about the "success" of the Pastoral Provision in the '80s and '90s, I personally know of one Episcopal priest who was ready to come into the Church and bring his whole flock with him, but at the last minute the bishop said everyone had to come in individually. The group was disbanded and he was assigned to a parish in a far corner of the diocese. So much for that "success."

        1. I also had in mind the success (or rather lack thereof) of St. Margaret of Scotland in Austin and St. Mary the Virgin in Las Vegas. Might they still have been around if there had been an Ordinariate there rather than requiring the permission of every new bishop assigned to the diocese?

          Cardinal DiNardo's remarks of a couple of years ago actually seem as if he had some sense of the Pope's vision. That was prior to Cardinal Wuerl being assigned to represent the other Bishops, or was he to represent the CDF? There would seem to be some conflict of interest issues in which I would think you would want to avoid even the appearance of such conflicts. I had hoped that he might quickly remove himself from the picture when an Ordinary was appointed, though loaning Fr. Hurd to the Ordinary seems like a toe in the water. They could dispel this by making some statements that would show that they have the best interests of the Ordinariate in mind regardless of opposition from some bishops that are not yet sensitized. They might also make it clearer that the Ordinariate is not reserved only for those communities that have applied directly from the Anglican Communion, that those that have left it some years ago (AU or ACA) are indeed intended to be a part of it. To leave the impression that they've already got some members into full communion so they can just ignore them is unlikely to sit well with outsiders looking in; whether it be from an Anglican background, Orthodox or possibly even SSPX and other traditionalists. Is diversity in Liturgy allowed or not? Will married priests entering full communion be treated badly? These are issues that Cardinal Wuerl and Fr. Hurd likely could have resolved during the year or so of preparation in which they've been involved. Fr. Steenson has been behind the podium with Cardinal Wuerl at the last two Bishops' Conferences so even he must have had a fair amount of input. Some seem to be thinking that these issues should be just put aside for now and that they might eventually be resolved. I'd think it should not be that hard to say but a few words to indicate that the new Ordinary will get behind the efforts of any Pastoral Provision priests that have expressed interest in joining in order to make it happen. To suggest that they are now part of a diocese and he may not want to step on the toes of some bishops wouldn't seem to quite cut it when it is obvious that some sensitizing needs to be accomplished. This sensitizing can wait for years, when perhaps we'll have a new pope?

        2. The next opportunity I might have to speak to the Archbishop, I might point out that such a census would have little point. Does he feel that there are people attending that do not qualify? Yet the people for whom the whole reason for existence of a personal parish do qualify or there would be no personal parish. If he feels only those people have a say, they seem to have made it. By the decree itself, those persons are already in full communion from an Anglican background and therefore as persons part of the Ordinariate. Would he suggest that the number of such members is too small to qualify even for a personal parish? You would think that if they were still waiting to come into full communion, that the Ordinary would consider them as being one of the larger groups. It might also provide a fair amount of financial support to the fledgling Ordinariate, whereas currently a certain amount of support must continue for the Archdiocese. Though surely the parish is dwarfed by the mega-parishes surrounding it, so I would not think that the Archbishop would hold things up over money. He has held the see for about the length of time that Cardinal Wuerl had been responsible for preparation, and may have simply been overlooked in the sensityzing phase. He might not have yet had a chance to even read Anglicanorum Coetibus, much less the Norms and Decrees. Give him some time, though the world may be watching.

    1. Fr. Sutter, with all due respect, there are questions that are not being answered. I believe I have the right to ask these questions and make comments. If not, the Moderator can remove them. I might also add that it would help if those who want us to quit raising questions would stop ordering us to "breathe" and "be patient." Just as you think our so-called "kvetching" is making everyone look childish, I'm sure you don't want to appear patronizing, condescending, and/or bossy.

    2. I would find a great deal of comfort just to hear that you and the SSM with your communities are receiving some signal that you will actually be included in the Ordinariate. My "kvetching" has to do with there does not seem to be a single public mention of any of your communities by those now responsible for the Ordinariate, who only refer to Episcopal communities that they have received. Is anyone able to refer to some actual progress with a non-Episcopal Community. They seem to have been brought in rather speedily.

      I also wonder if your Anglican Use page should be considering taking down pictures taken at Our Lady of the Atonement and instead be putting up pictures of the principal church Our Lady of Walsingham in its place? It might help to establish more quickly the order of preference to be given, and the quicker it might be accomplished the better.

      1. Please, please try to understand. The Ordinariate is qualitatively different from the Pastoral Provision in that thee is a Ordinary appointed by His Holiness with co-equal jurisdiction to that of a diocesan bishop and backing him up are the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, his staff and the Apostolic Delegate who is the Pope's representative in the USA.

        In England, it was certainly made abundantly clear that the Holy Father wanted a high level of co-operation from the bishops and I assume the same message will go out to the US bishops.

        So if you wish the Ordinariate to succeed, it would be helpful if your comments were supportive and encouraging to others and if you could wait for announcements rather than foreshadowing problems which may prove to be non-existent.

        1. I appreciate that your tone seems to be less dismissive and more gentlemanly. A similar statement coming directly from Fr. Steenson would likely go a long way. I think a number of us familiar with some of the problems with the Pastoral Provision simply don't want them repeated in the Personal Ordinariate. You seem to feel that you personally have some assurance that they won't be due to a message from the pope. I expect wonderful things out of the Ordinariate if the problems that plagued the Pastoral Provision do not infect the Ordinariate. I've been praying for it since the day that A.C. was announced.

          1. You still seem to me to miss the point entirely. The Holy Father has appointed the Ordinary. It is he who has the responsibility to decide the priorities and how he will go about dealing with the issues which arise.

            In my book, it is one thing to write privately to the Ordinary with comment and suggestions quite another to use a blog as a soapbox for your particular agenda – particularly so early on. As I have put it previously – give the poor man time to get his feet under the table.

            1. Are you suggesting he decides without listening to any input as to what are the concerns of the people? How would he know what issues arise if they're not allowed to arise. What exactly is the purpose of a blog like this, to provide a one way information stream? Private emails can simply be ignored and unacknowledged. I'm not so sure that Archbishop Garcia-Siller has even become familiar with Anglicanorum Coetibus prior to the Erection of the Ordinariate, which of course could cause him to be slow in giving permission.

  9. The point is that the establishment of the Ordinariate and the appointment of the Ordinary changes the ball-game. Now there is a prelate with jurisdiction to implement the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution in the whole of the USA. He will have the responsibility of dealing with the diocesan ordinaries on every matter.

    Now this is what the Holy Father himself said to the Bishops of England and Wales about implementing Anglicanorum Coetibus when he addressed them on 19th September 2010:

    "The other matter I touched upon in February with the Bishops of England and Wales, when I asked you to be generous in implementing the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. This should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when that goal can be accomplished."

    Whatever has gone before, the appointment of the Ordinary starts the process of implementation and where points of difference arise between the Ordinary and diocesans which cannot be resolved by negotiation, the CDF can be asked to assist.

    What I do not think will assist the process is polemic on blogs before the Ordinary has a chance to deal with matters in the way he thinks best.

  10. "Asked about former Episcopalians who came into the Church before 2009, Father Hurd said that Anglicanorum Coetibus (Concerning Groups of Anglicans), the document that authorized the ordinariates, is vague about their status. However, he added that clarifying the status of these former Episcopalians is “on top of our inbox. They will be able to worship with the ordinariate, as will other Catholics, but Father Hurd said it’s not yet clear whether they can become “card-carrying members” of the Chair of St. Peter Ordinariate. Father Hurd said that former Episcopal priests who ask to become Catholic priests must discern whether they have a vocation to be priests of the ordinariate or seek to be incardinated in a traditional Catholic diocese."

    Read more:

    1. Doesn't indicate what his opinion is of whether those that left the Episcopal Church before 2009 and did not come into full communion with the Catholic Church would be eligible to be card-carrying members or not. I imagine that clarifying the vagueness will also be near the top of the inbox.

      1. One would hope also that anyone who was evangelized through either an Anglican Use parish–who was not previously an Anglican—or through a Continuing Anglican parish—would also be able to become a card-carrying member.

        Also, what if we had Catholics who left their parishes because they were not properly evangelized there but came to rediscover their faith with an Continuing Anglican body? It's sad that they seem to be barred from card-carrying membership.


        1. When you ask a question, I think you may want an answer. If I give a response, then it seems I am being even more prolific. Mourad often sounds as if he is giving a reply of some sort that often leads to further questions. He, like you, suggests one of the main issues requires clarification; whereas Mike says that issue was already clarified by the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts in a way that seems to affirm the very point I was making. I suppose that might raise a new question as to whether Fr. Hurd was misquoted just a few days ago, or had he not heard about the ruling (I expect it was not made in the past 48 hours)? So I am no longer awaiting clarification of that issue, the Vatican has already clarified it.

    2. If you look higher up this thread you will see that I posted precisely the same quotation some time ago. What's the point of repeating it?

      1. To provide a link to the full article. I saw your quote, but had to look for the article. The Ordinariate's website doesn't seem to be able to keep up with the news for the time being (I guess we've missed Fr. Hurd's interview on the Catholic Channel Radio station altogether), so for those that would like to read more the link is there.

  11. "Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller's approval of releasing Our Lady of the Atonement into the Ordinariate is that he wants to see a list of all the parishioners who are of Anglo-Saxon heritage."

    This request is absurd, but very politically correct. Are we to do family ancestry check to see if we qualify? I don't recall filling mine out and submitting it to the pastor.

    Some one in the bishop's office needs to look up the definition of Anglo-Saxon.


  12. As a former Episcopalian who left that church in 1992 amid the warfare over Women's Ordination, proposed Inclusive Language revision of the Eucharist and Scriptures, the infiltration of Gays into the Episcopal church bent on remaking it into a church where they would be comfortable, I venture to say that those days
    and these are a revisit of C.L. Lewis' book, "The Screw Tape Letters". The Devil is having a great time over all of this. Put God back on His Throne!

    We became Catholic to worship with piety and dignity secure in the knowledge that Our Holy Father would protect and guide our church. The fact that some of the Bishops and Archbishops are hesitating after all this time of waiting is vexing. The submission of names of parishioners to determine the ethnic background smacks of our U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking for the same demographics to stall Voter ID!

    One thing that might help things along is money. The Bishops and Archbishops do not want to loose the money that these parishes give. Why not split it down the middle? Half goes to the Diocese and half to the Anglican Ordinate. Problem solved.

      1. I am not a pedagogue, therefore if I ask a question it is because I do not know the answer.

        Catholics owe a duty of loyalty to the hierarchy.. When it is put about that a prelate has said or done something particularly unfortunate, I like to see chapter and verse before crediting the rumour.

        All too often, the bad news turns out not to be true – either it is a case of culpable or innocent misreporting, or a a case of some underling misinterpreting what he has been asked to do.

        Rarely, of course the report does turn out to be true because bishops are fallible like the rest of us.

        But a post which starts, "My understanding is that….." is a rumour, not an established fact and moreover one which is on its face unlikely.

        I can imagine a bishop considering the future of an Anglican Use parish asking how many of the parishioners are former Episcopalians/Anglicans, which might be a relevant consideration, but there are an awful lot of Anglicans in Africa, the West Indies and the rest of our former Empire who are most definitely not "Anglo Saxons".

        1. The matter came up on a different forum as well. I'd think perhaps that even if it were an accurate description it amounts to simply a bad choice of terminology on the bishop's part and he may have been simply meaning the information you've described. One problem in trying to define those with a former "Anglican" background for a parish that is over 26 years old is that many members were baptized into the parish and could therefore be called "cradle Catholics" while spending their entire life in the Anglican Use. The parish has received a large number of converts that have been initiated into the Church through the Anglican Use. Do they not count if they were Baptists or non-denominational prior to entering the parish, that those people should be considered as "non-Anglican"? There are certainly a significant number that would be considered "former-Anglican" by even some strict application of the term. Though does it not count if they went from Baptist of Presbyterian into the Episcopal Church prior to being received into full communion with the Catholic Church using the Anglican Use? If the intent is to dismiss the vote of those that are there to worship but would not qualify as "card-carrying members" of the ordinariate, you'd likely still be left with the largest congregation for any Ordinariate community in the world. I have no doubt that those have expressed their desire to enter the ordinariate, should certainly be considered eligible by the interpretation already provided by the Vatican, and therefore what would be the point of a census? If the community was large enough to establish a personal parish under the Pastoral Provision and has included many others received into full communion in the 26+ years since then, how could it be possible that the very group that qualifies it to be a Pastoral Provision personal parish wouldn't merit it being a Personal Ordinariate parish. It would seem so obvious that it should almost make it automatic other than work out some paperwork (which the former Archbishop seems to have agreed to two years ago). Parishioners were all invited over two years ago to attend an informational meeting (prior to the one that Cardinal DiNardo was the keynote speaker in Houston) which featured two canon lawyers explaining as best they could Anglicanorum Coetibus, the General Norms and the issues as to becoming a member of the Ordinariate or not. All is fine and well if in fact it is just a matter of drawing up some documents. Having chatted with Fr. Steenson less than a month ago, I would just wonder why it would be all that difficult to say that the parish will be welcomed into the Ordinariate as soon as he's had the opportunity to meet with Bishop Garcia-Siller and complete any necessary paperwork. Short of that statement and instead being told that it is a diocesan parish for which the bishop must give his permission, it should not be that difficult to see that it could mean that the bishop feels he has the right to make personnel changes and suppress the liturgy. I don't expect that to happen at all, yet I don't understand why it would be so difficult for someone in authority to say that will not happen. Otherwise it gives the appearance of the problems of the Pastoral Provision happening all over again. You seem to give assurance that the Ordinariate will not have those problems as it will carry out the pope's wishes, but no one seems willing to say that the existing Anglican Use communities will receive that same type of protection. Those outside of the United States or in the United States but with no appreciation of the problems that the Pastoral Provision was faced with might not entirely appreciate the concerns. There should be no concern and hopefully someone with authority can say so. But the issue is obviously not simply only two weeks old, so I would think those responsible for the preparation of the Personal Ordinariate might have done some preparation for the issue. They were certainly able to bring it up publicly two months ago in the USCCB meeting.

  13. The problem may be the last sentence of Paragraph 5.1. of the Complementary Norms: "Those baptized previously as Catholics outside the Ordinariate are not ordinarily eligible for membership, unless they are members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate."

    When one sees in such a document the word "ordinarily" that indicates that it is foreseen that there may be extraordinary circumstances justifying a derogation from the norm.

    Recalling that the USA is the only jurisdiction where there were previously established Anglican Use parishes, missions and groups within dioceses, I would think there would be a very good case to be made for appropriate derogations in respect of those who have come into the Church via such structures.

    I would also add that there are other solutions: For example in the UK there are already parishes where a member of the OLW Ordinariate clergy is ministering as priest in charge of a diocesan parish and also as pastor of an ordinariate group and one case (Tunbridge Wells) where by agreement between the Ordinary and the Diocesan a new quasi parish comprising both parishioners of a diocesan parish and an ordiariate group is being erected.

    People should bear in mind that the vision of the Holy Father is to bring separated brethren into communion, not to keep them out and also, and importantly, that the Anglican patrimony is to enrich the whole church.

    Here in the UK after just one year one can see that happening. For example Evensong and Benediction in the Anglican Use is becoming very popular, as were the services of 9 Lessons and Carols held at Christmastide. When the complete Ordinariate liturgy becomes available and if it is well done, I believe it will be very popular indeed. Indeed, I suspect that diocesans may very quickly what to have it available for use in their own cathedrals.

    1. Your first two paragraphs may address an issue fairly enough. Whether or not those that have been baptized within an Anglican Use parish over the past several years is something likely to be worked out. I don't think it is so much a pressing issue. I would tend to think that many of the parishioners are less concerned about their own personal status as they would be the parish itself. Is there much point of needing a census of whether or not some sufficient percentage of persons at a parish entered into full communion with the Catholic Church from the "Anglican Communion"? The numbers over 25 years ago were considered sufficient to establish a personal parish under the Pastoral Provision, and quite obviously many more have been added to full communion since then. How necessary would it be to know how many did not enter into full communion from the Anglican Communion? Do Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc. that have entered into full communion through the Anglican Use not count for whatever purpose such a census might serve? As long as the Ordinary is in favor of bringing all Anglican Use parishes into the Ordinariate and is willing to use his persuasive powers on the bishops involved, there may not be much of a problem. It would seem that Pope Benedict is all for a generous application, so if all are agree to that then there should not be a problem. It does seem to many of us that the bishops might have been persuaded about the generous application at some earlier point in the two year preparation period.

      1. As I hope you have now gathered, now that an Ordinariate has been erected and an Ordinary appointed, there will be a process of working things out. In many ways, decisions could not be taken before an Ordinary was appointed because his input is a necessary part of the process.

        1. Though in many other ways, decisions were made in advance of the Ordinary by Cardinal Wuerl and his committee. On the one hand, many things may be moving on in a very private manner for the good. On the other hand, there were the very public USCCB sessions in which Cardinal Wuerl demonstrated that long after being appointed the delegate he still had no idea what was contained in the Book of Divine Worship and no one behind him on the podium (Frs. Hurd and Steenson) could or would correct what he was saying to the bishops and all of those watching on television. From my viewing of such presentations, he didn't really get across very well some of the points that you are making here. If he had gotten some of your points across, we could see a bright vision for the future. I think some of us familiar with the Pastoral Provision's history felt "here we go again". I have yet to see any reasonable explanation of why the continuance of the Pastoral Provision office is necessary in the U.S. when no such thing exists in the U.K. I'm not sure whether or not it is expected that they will continue to receive grants from the Anglican Use Society as they have in the past or have even spent those funds (they haven't seem to have been doing much in the past two years). It does not seem that Bishop Vann's portion of the press conference in which he was supposed to have talked about the Pastoral Provision office was made public, but generally the indication has been that they will have nothing to do with the Anglican Use.

    2. Has perhaps there been some change in who is actually permitted to use the Book of Divine Worship? The history of it seems to have been that not every priest was permitted to use it. Its useage was more limited to a priest celebrating for a community that had been approved by the Pastoral Provision and its local bishop. My understanding had been that a PP priest that did not have a community was not even permitted to celebrate it for others. Since it required the permission of the local bishop, it could also be suppressed by the bishop (which actually seems to have happened a time or two). On the other hand a bishop could not give general permission to allow of his priests to celebrate the Anglican Use, they could only celebrate it for a Pastoral Provision community. Over the past couple of years there does seem to have been new Anglican Use communities springing up and it is not clear to me whether they had been required to obtain permission from the Pastoral Provision office or not. So Anglican Use was closely tied to the Pastoral Provision office, and the AU Society donated to the PP office in support of the AU.

      I find it difficult to see that the PP office has a tie any longer to the AU. It has been said that there purpose is now to help priests that want to be ordained for the diocesan priesthood and not interested in Anglican Patrimony. I would expect that they no longer would have any authority to approve a community to make use of the AU, such a community would look to the Ordinariate. Under the former rules, it would seem that neither could a bishop approve of its use in his own Cathedral if there was not a Pastoral Provision community that he was celebrating for. Under those circumstances, a bishop could suppress the use of the AU but could not add to it.

      If the rules have now become that the BDW is allowed to be used by any priest of the Latin Rite, there would likely be less concern by some of us. But if its use is restricted to the Ordinariate (or for now those communities that had former approval), then there would not seem to be much of a future for the AU outside of the Ordinariate. Its use outside of the Ordinariate could become more limited than it now is, but only increased within the Ordinariate. If the rules have changed so that it does not require either the permission of the Ordinary or the permission of the Pastoral Provision office and local bishop, then I'd think there is less of an issue as to who can or cannot be cardcarrying members of the Ordinariate.

    3. Perhaps a summary question would be for the OLW Ordinariate, is the Book of Divine Worship (and its later improved successor) permitted to be used by any priest in any Catholic parish or community, or is it restricted to use within the Ordinariate?

      1. I cannot speak for what will happen in the USA. In general there are several levels of approval ad control. Firstly, Holy Mass may only be celebrated in one of the forms approved. Secondly, an ordinary (bishop or ordinariate) has a measure of control over public services in the area within his jurisdiction so as to enable him to ensure proper provision for the needs of his flock. For example, he will usually delegate to an area Dean the task of co-ordinating mass times within a town so that there are the maximum number of opportunities for the faithful to attend (for example if parish A celebrates at 0830 and 10.30, the dean might ask neighbouring parish B to celebrate at 09.00 and 11.00. Then the ordinary ought to ensure that there are sufficient masses in different forms to meet the wishes of his flock. For example, a sufficient number of Latin masses, or masses in other modern languages where there are significant numbers (eg Polish).

        At present, the UK situation is that all Ordinariate priests are generally authorised to use the forms of the Latin rite and also (ad interim) the Book of Divine Worship pending the approval of a defiintive Ordinariate liturgy. Diocesan clergy are not so authorised.

        Remember that priests also have also to be authorised to celebrate in a particular form or language. For example, a new priest might need training before celebrating in the usus antiquior – and there are courses to enable that. Likewise if he wanted to celebrate in, say, French or to hear confessions in, say, Italian, his ordinary would want to know that he had a sufficient command of the language so to do.

        But in the UK, Ordinariate groups worship in diocesan churches – so there is a lot of cross fertilisation with diocesan parishioners attending Ordinariate services and vice versa. For example, yesterday, the Ordinariate celebrated Evensong and Benediction in St James, Spanish Place (which is a church of the Archdiocese of Westminster) to give thanks for its 1st year of operation.

        Ordinariates are not to become any kind of "ghetto" but are intended to enrich the whole Church. So I do think that in time much of the Anglican Patrimony will also return from the Church of England to the Church in England – just as the Holy Father intends..

        1. I pretty much agree with your comments. I don't think it addresses whether priests that are not part of the Ordinariate are likely to be authorized to use the BDW with a community that is also not part of the Ordinariate. I don't even see that as a huge concern of mine, but it does get to the issue of various existing Anglican Use communities and whether or not there would be any guaranty of their future existence if they are left outside of the Ordinariate. My point of view would be that under what has been the existing rules of who is allowed to use the BDW, there would be no guaranty such groups would be allowed to continue outside of the Ordinariate. It might seem to some that it is just a matter of paperwork needing to be completed, but usually the impression is given that status outside of the Ordinariate could very well be a permanent thing. That seems nonsense when one considers that Pope Benedict desires a generous application. It would seem that considering what the pope desires, that there should at the least be an automatic presumption that these groups will be brought into the Ordinariate as quickly as the process allows. There does not yet seem to be any clear statement that precludes the possibility of just leaving the communities under the auspices of their local bishop who may be able to suppress use of the BDW while having no authority to increase its use outside of the Ordinariate. The UK may actually be at somewhat of an advantage in having started out from scratch and it not being necessary to deal with such issues. On the other hand, various articles in the U.S. up until the establishment of the Ordinariate had expected that the U.S. would have the advantage due to the inclusion of such communities (that was presumed automatic on their parts).

          1. Well, as everyone has been saying to you, it might be a good idea to wait and see. You may well find that all the matters which concern you will find a resolution very soon and that you will consider the outcome satisfactory.

            I know this requires patience – but patience is, after all, a virtue and you might try offering up the discomfort it may cause for the good estate of the Ordinary and those who will be commited to his care.

            1. At the USCCB Meeting back in June(?), one of the bishops asked if permission might be asked of the Vatican to do away with the Pastoral Provision office. I'd think if that were to happen rather than to continue to give the appearance of working closely with the Ordinariate, that might also end some concerns. I think many familiar with it feel it had problems, and are concerned that it might infect the Ordinariate if it is allowed to continue. After years of non-support by the Bishops, it seems odd to continue it while changing its purpose from something very similar to the Ordinariate of establishing AU communities (it seems after 30 years it had fewer than it began with) to being there to steer priests coming into full communion to the diocesan priesthood. Have the bishops had a change of heart to the Pastoral Provision and are now welcoming to as many married priests as are interested? Perhaps someone is able to answer as to if the CDF was asked about the Pastoral Provision Office and if so their own explanation of why it was necessary for only the United States?

  14. I have no inside knowledge, but some incoming Anglican clergy might conceivably want to become diocesan clergy. The Pastoral Provision Office might therefore have a continuing role in dealing with the applications for the requisite dispensations etc rather than the curia of the Bishop of [name a diocese] having to acquire the requisite expertise.

    As for liturgies, you may recall that there were many Catholics who did not like the "new mass in the vernacular" and there diocesans who were reluctant to authorise masses in Latin. That led to the present Pope issuing "Summorum Pontificum" which largely fixed that problem.

    The Book of Divine Worship is authoriised for the OLW on an interim basis. If the liturgists who are hard at work on an Ordinate liturgy do as good a job as one hopes, we will soon have an English language liturgy eminently suitable for "great occasions" so I can see the day coming when diocesan ordinaries will want it for "great occasions" in their cathedrals.- and is not the aim that this is a "treasure to be shared" ?

    1. Have you ever read the legislative text for the Pastoral Provision in the United States? Probably not, since I don't think the bishops ever got around to writing any Pastoral Provision. You would find Cardinal Seper's letter to Archbishop Quinn authorizing a Pastoral Provision over 30 years ago. You'll find it posted in the archives here, with the note in it "3) These decisions should be implemented with all deliberate speed in view of the waiting period already undergone by the Episcopalians who have presented this request." Since they have decided to retain a Pastoral Provision office, will they get around to actually drawing up a Pastoral Provision?

  15. Just a brief note: Over on the English Catholic, Deborah Gyapong reports receipt of a personal communication from the TCP Ordinary from which she she quotes with permission the following about the Canadian situation:-

    "The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has been asked to coordinate with Cardinal-designate Collins and the local bishop the means for gathering in the Canadian groups that are seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

    Our hope is that this will begin to happen as soon as we have the particular norms for the Ordinariate approved. I expect that the clergy will follow the same process that Fr. Scott Hurd has coordinated through Cardinal Wuerl’s office. And I would like to see the Canadian parishes and groups gatherered into their own Deanery in the Ordinariate. [emphasis added].

    This matter of seeking 'particular norms' is something that can only be initiated by an ordinary once appointed and it is the process by which solutions to specific situations are sought. Canada is one such example because it the territory of a separate episcopal conference (just as was the case for Scottish groups in the OLW Ordinariate).

    The message does indicate that your Ordinary is now reviewing 'special situations' and considering what special measures may be desirable. This may give some comfort to those who have expressed special concerns.

    1. Unfortunately he can only work on the Ordinariate in his free time as he continues full time as a faculty member. He has no salary from the Ordinariate.

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