More News about the Australian Ordinariate

Here's an excerpt from a story from The Age (with my emphases):

Conference secretary Father Brian Lucas said last night the church expected about 500 Anglicans to convert, some from the dissident Traditional Anglican Communion, which broke away years ago after the Australian Anglican Church allowed women to be priests, and some mainstream Anglicans with a Catholic inclination.

He said he expected there would be two parishes in Melbourne, two in Sydney, one in Brisbane and one in Perth. The Pope had not yet appointed a bishop.

"This will be announced on June 15. But there are people needing to make a decision about their life, particularly Anglican clergy, and now they can make their plans with confidence in the next step in their journey," Father Lucas said.

Read the rest here.

I'm surprised it is as high as 500.  I would bet when all is said and done, the numbers will be more similar to those in Canada, which will initially add up to what, about 300, when all the groups are received.

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

12 thoughts on “More News about the Australian Ordinariate”

  1. As far as I can see, 500 is a very hopeful number. I think that the intial number could be as low as 150 or as high as 350. Same for Canada. However, the potential for growth is very good. The small numbers may spur the clerics in these ordinariates to 'get the liturgy right' and ensure that all is fitting and beautful. We could think of the ordinariates as special liturgical protectorates where things can be done well in order to attract others. Longer term, as Anglicanism implodes, the ordinariates could attract more and more refugees from the Canterbury Communion and from constantly dividing and merging continuer groups, as well as Latins who are already former Anglicans or Protestants of various denominations. Perhaps the largest potential group of supporters are cradle Catholics who find Latin to be a bit remote but who want some reverence after forty years of liturgical and disciplinary chaos.


    1. Bp Robarts indeed resides in Launceston, my home also. I have attended worship with his little flock a few times, ever since the news about Anglicanorum cœtibus first broke, and, as they number only about a dozen, I would suspect that, while obviously he would say Mass for them, their numbers would not necessitate a separate parish just for them – just as not every group in the English Ordinariate has its own separate parish, if their numbers are on the lean side. Whatever of such, I greatly look forward to welcoming them each and every one into full communion soon, and of "worshipping the Lord in the beauty of holiness" with them. I can attest that, though few, they sing out loud!

      1. Thank you for this information. I hope that there is to be an apostolate in Launceston. In Catholic Canon law, smaller communities can exist as 'chaplaincies' (although this term is not used in the Code), served by chaplains at chapels or else at non-parochial churches. (There is also the quasi-parish structure.) It would be good to have an apostolate in Tasmania.

        I note that the Latin Mass people do not have their Mass on that Island every Sunday, and are also in need. Perhaps some incoming TAC priest could serve both communities but under the authority of the ordinariate. If you examine S.P. and A.C. and read them together, it is clear that an ordinariate priest can offer the T.L.M. under the personal ordinary, and needing no permission whatsoever from the local bishop. I already know of hopeful cases along these lines.


        1. I am the M.C. for our monthly Latin Mass – I drive down to Hobart (200 km each way, whatever that is in miles) for it. Our Archbishop has passed 75, and we are waiting for his replacement – who, we hope, will prove able to obey Summorum pontificum and other Papal pronouncements. Please pray for a good appointment! Our State deserves one – we are the only State in the Commonwealth without a weekly Latin Mass.

  2. I thought Bp Robarts was in the Melbourne area, so I am assuming his parish is included.

    I wonder though what his participation in the new TAC's South Africa College of Bishops meeting in March perhaps surprised the Roman Catholic authorities.

    Perth would be Bishop Entwhistle's parish, I assume. None in Adelaide. Two in Sydney? Most interesting.

    1. I don't think that the RC authorities will be too bothered about Bishop Robards's involvement in South Africa, not least because he made clear to the rest of he TAC people there that he intended to join a future Australian Ordinariate.

    2. Robarts would hardly "surprise" the local Catholic authorities, as he and Bp Elliott (one of Melbourne's Catholic Auxiliary Bishops) have been the mainstay of the liaison committee working toward the Australian Ordinariate for some years now. I know that he continues to work quietly and effectively toward the day of its establishment – I spoke to him on the phone just the other day to wish him well. Being sensibly discreet, he of course didn't tell me any details not yet made public, so I can't tell you anything more at the moment!

  3. I worshipped for a few weeks at St. Ninian's in Maylands (Perth) while I was commissioning a satellite earth station near Perth in 1994. It was very active then and had a good size congregation, but I don't know how it is now. It was my impression that traditional Anglicanism was healthier down under than just about anywhere else (that is, excluding bodies like FinF still in the Canterbury communion). The TAC has always had coverage in the Aussie mainstream media and seemed to be a bigger part of the community than anywhere else I've ever seen.

    I do remember going to a very quiet and intimate Evensong there and being so moved by singing 'The Day Thou Gavest' right at the same time my wife would have been going to Mass at St Mary the Virgin, Wellingborough back home in England. "The sun that bids us rest is waking, Our brethren ’neath the western sky," really was true :)

  4. Deborah, in your 300 number, I imagine that you are including the 60-odd from St. John the Evangelist who were received last December 18th. Just to let you know, we had 127 at Mass on Sunday, some four and a bit months later. That's not even our record attendance (134 when the Monsignor celebrated). Our early report is thus steady growth, week in, week out. That compares with this time a year ago when 60 would be a good week. The other noticeable change around St. John's is the massive smiles on everyone's faces, lay and clergy alike, not least on that of our former-and-God-willing-soon-to-be-again Priest. I know it's not about bums on seats, but…. Praise Almighty God!

    Praise Almighty God!

  5. Presumably much of this increase reflects the arrival of members of the former ACCC parish of Christ the King.

  6. I must say I was pleased earlier this week to read in the "Record" that finally the Australian Ordinariate is under way. Any hot gossip on who the ordinary might be?

Leave a Reply