Giving Up on the Ordinariate?

In so many words, a couple of weeks ago I expressed my grave concern for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, and my conviction that God was not leading me to participate in this voluntary juridical structure at this time.  I can not do so without violating my conscience.  I believe that both the spirit and the letter of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus are being twisted or ignored and that the Holy Father's express will is being openly flouted.  The Ordinariate in the United States has (slowly) gotten off on the wrong foot and is doomed to failure unless very significant course adjustments are made.

I remain loyal to the Catholic Faith, to the Anglican Patrimony which is in accord with that Faith, and to the Holy Father's spectacular vision for Christian Unity.  I may not be able to enter the Ordinariate at this time, but I continue to pray for the experiments in reconciliation which we have come to call Personal Ordinariates, and that, perhaps one day, when the Ordinariate ship is righted, I will be able to fully and joyfully consent to membership.

I also am privileged to continue my work with the Contributors here on The Anglo-Catholic.  Some of them share my concerns; others hold to a different view.  That has always been the case.  This blog is not the tool of any diocese or jurisdiction; its existence and import do not depend on the success of any endeavour which springs from the Pastoral Provision, the Anglican Use, or the Personal Ordinariates.  Its mission is very simple: to draw into the communion of the Holy Roman Church as many Anglicans and as much of their unique and beautiful Patrimony as possible.  We have always seen this work as a mission, and one to be pursued with fervour!

And regardless of our varying positions on individual issues or what we are permitted to express in public, all of us here know that with God nothing is impossible.  What might look like an impending failure now, may quickly turn around to be a glorious success!

I write the above by way of a preface for the article below.  Mr. Vincent Uher was a long-time member of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston and has recently posted this piece on his personal blog.  He has asked that we give it the largest possible circulation, and, as it raises grave concerns over the future of the Ordinariate project in North America, it is something we should all consider carefully.

Ed. — Everything from the title to the bottom of the post was written by Mr. Uher and the emphases are his.

* * *

Giving Up on the Ordinariate?

When a friend learned that I was withdrawing my application for membership in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and its Ordination process, she asked if I were giving up on the Ordinariate.  Quite to the contrary, I shall pray for the Lord God to prosper everything that is of Him that is within it.  The Church will be enriched by those entering in the USA and Canada, and many will find the real home for which they have been longing.The Lord has given me a different vision and course to take for now, but I can envision a future where I am a member of one of the Personal Ordinariates.  There are many places in the Catholic Church where I am very welcome, but the new US Ordinariate is not where I need to be.

As a former Angican priest and a member of some years in an Anglican Use Parish in Texas, I have seen the best and the worst of the Pastoral Provision.  I remain enthusiastic about Anglicanorum coetibus.  However, I was given a very different vision from the Lord of what He requires and expects from Catholics of Anglican heritage than what one finds in the advent and development of the US Ordinariate in its organisation.

One wag has suggested that the Ordinariate will be that perfect marriage of the worst of Catholic secrecy and Anglican navel-gazing.  The central and fundamental problem is the lack of any expression of a clear vision or a willingness to embrace all Anglicans desiring to enter and all previous Anglican Use Catholics.  Also, there has been a great dishonouring of some of the faithful and some of the clergy who have built up the Anglican Use parishes.  All of this will stunt the growth of the US Ordinariate and set its new DNA at odds with the vision of Pope Benedict XVI expressed in Anglicanorum coetibus and subsequent norms.

One could say 'vision' is the main issue but it is not simply generating a mission statement or vision statement and congratulating each other over having done so.  No, vision is far broader and more significant.  There is no expressed vision for the US Ordinariate beyond a vague "living out" of Anglicanorum coetibus, and that is not enough.  Without a vision one is left with the satisfying of the personal tastes of those in charge, and that is a recipe for catastrophe to be avoided at all costs.

Some would say, as they always do, that it is too soon.  But on the contrary, the vision and missionary objectives should have been set before the whole thing was inaugurated.  Why didn't it happen that way?  None of the men involved seem to have ever planted a new church, and apparently none of them have been in charge of a new business start-up.  Naturally, they will only replicate the DNA of their own experience and values, and those values are certainly Christian but they are not missionary, "missional", or that of the New Evangelisation enunciated by Blessed Pope John Paul II.

The US Ordinariate is clearly not set up to lead but to follow.  Though it could make rapid strides in the New Evangelisation, its leadership prefers to take baby steps.  If one bears that in mind, then a big hurdle can be overcome for those who may be disappointed in what they are encountering.  But let us be clear, those baby steps are important and need to be celebrated when taken.  For those for whom those baby steps are enough then the US Ordinariate is a good fit.

The Ordinary is a historian and scholar and not a missionary.  (The grace of office and the grace of state do not make one a missionary.)  The gifts and skill-sets are different, and one must pray that the very special gifts possessed by the Ordinary will provide what the new clergy and new people need at this time.

Without a vision the people perish, and to simply say you are "living out Anglicanorum coetibus" is completely meaningless.  Without a missional orientation and a clear expression of comprehension of the Anglican patrimony … who are its people and clergy first and foremost — all included, no exceptions … then there can only be a very limited embodiment of what Pope Benedict XVI had hoped to provide to the Church and the world through his extraordinary gift.

+ + +

Without a clear vision, one is usually left with reactionary responses to problems.   Time for some folks to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest Christifidelis laici among other things… and learn to embrace the gifts and talents being brought forward by the laity with an eager desire to serve.  Any leader who says to such willing people, No thanks for we've got that covered, has profoundly missed the mark.  Learn to make use of such people.  You will be held accountable by the Lord for those driven away from the bosom of the Church otherwise.

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.

89 thoughts on “Giving Up on the Ordinariate?”

    1. The real problem in America is that there are so many warring and litigious factions of Anglicanism, making up the so-called alphabet soup. Clergy training and formation in many cases leaves much to be desired, and self-appointed "bishops" and "archbishops" chase the purple despite being unqualified. Millions of dollars have been spent on legal fees in squabbles over property rights. The Chair of Peter certainly does not want all this to spill over into the Catholic Church. The Ordinary is quite correct to proceed with caution. He must get it right at the beginning.
      In England & Wales ( and Scotland ), the continuing Anglican groups are totally insignificant and disorganised. The great majority of priests have previously been ordained into the mainstream Anglican Church and there are no properties to appropriate.
      Distance is also a factor, when you think that New York State is the same size of England.
      The Ordinariate is not for everyone. Mr Uher and his friends would do everyone a favour by staying away and letting the rest get on with it. These are early days in such a mind-blowing development. They should come back in a hundred years and see what has been achieved.

  1. This echoes many of my concerns. The Ordinariate is not headed by pioneers, risk-takers, and natural leaders — at least, this is not apparent from their records or current activities. All good, decent people from what one can see, but not destined to set the Thames on fire.

    Successful religious orders have energetic visionaries as founders rather than people determinedly not rocking the boat. They offer something compelling and distinctive. This enterprise seems to have already adopted the ethos of a sleepy sub-department of a somnolent bureaucracy.

    The official website gives very little indication of what is happening or planned — a crucial failing for an organization that will have to be bound together by efficient and attractive communication. There is no sense of an army being mobilized for action.

    There does not seem to be even a rudimentary bureaucracy: I have not received acknowledgement of my application to join, sent many weeks ago. There are no complications in my family's case; we have already been received into the Church. A simple form postcard would suffice — although why an e-mailing list has not already been put in place is beyond me.

  2. I had to jump in here and applaud. Mr. Uher's article is really insightful and would to God someone would listen to him. My grandparents are longtime members of Our Lady of Walsingham and were just telling me that they have received no notice, no letter of welcome to the Ordinariate, nothing. As far as they know they are still part of the territorial archdiocese. This is simply terrible and is something so very basic can anyone doubt something is wrong with the way Fr. Steenson is handling things? If you don't have the money or the infrastructure, you need to at least have the creativity to gather up the willing laity and put them to work. No bishop can keep everything in his breast pocket and only work from his super-secret play book with his amethyst decoder ring. But its worse than that. My grandparents volunteered to help with things like getting the letter out and were told it wasn't a priority and their help wasn't needed? WTH? They sure wanted their money… but not them? (No doubt the letter of welcome will finally come out now with an appeal for cash.)

  3. But the Church at large hasn't typically been headed by those kinds of people either, has it? God had to work through "Il Poverello" to rebuild His Church, rather than the popes and potentates of the era.

    I appreciate the delicate issues of conscience here, but as a lifelong Roman Catholic I simply cannot understand these objections. The institution of the Church is what it is — a sprawling, bureaucratic and sometimes corrupt mess. One where even the pioneering strength, vision and dynamism of a John Paul II could barely make a dent in the anti-traditionalism that ran rampant in the episcopacy.

    Also, which side were the pioneering, dynamic bishops on in the Episcopal Church? Which side were they on in the liturgical upheaval of the 1960s? Ah, for a boring old bureaucrat in Bugnini's seat!

  4. I very much understand the frustration that many of the Ordinariate-bound are subject to. As a cradle Catholic, I can tell you that such annoyances are part and parcel of Catholic life; what has amazed me about Benedict XVI is that he is the first Pope under whom I have lived who really seems to get what his faithful have to put up with. That having been said, it seems to me that the Ordinariate as very much a pioneering effort, suffers from the same strains that any such does – the histories of every diocese, order, and parish in their early days are very much the same. Add to this the fact that most of us modern Catholics are functional Pelagians, and our lack of zeal becomes quite understandable.

    But make no mistake: the Ordinariates will succeed IF their laity are on fire. Nothing much will be done for you; if you wait for this to happen, it will not. But if you start making a difference – starting building funds, joining the Knights of Columbus as groups, raising as much money as you can – and believe me, this latter the authorities will notice – and supporting local Church efforts as well as your own, doors will open. If others lack the missionary spirit, then we must make sure we don't.

    Bottom line – if we do our part where we are, the big picture will take are of itself. If we allow perceived faults on the part of the leadership to sap our fervour, we will have none.

  5. Ultimately what is stopping (IMHO) the stability of the Ordinariate is the big loud 'NO' given to Angican Use parishes which wanted to join. Throwing away with both hands hundreds (thousands?) of potential members by making them jump through impossible hoops is perhaps not the prudent thing to do (IMHO).

    1. Uh, what AU Parishes have been given a "NO"? Only Our Lady of the Atonement has chosen NOT to enter AT THIS TIME. Haven't heard anything about Saint Mary the Virgin. Our Lady of Walsingham is in as the Ordinary's Prime Parish. None of the others even have their own churches. What are your facts?

  6. You know what this situation needs? Young people ON FIRE. Hopefully not stupid and overly idealistic and optimistic, but man, old age leaves everyone more conservative and unwilling to take risks. I don't think St. Francis was an old man when he went out there and set out to rebuild the Church. Nor was St. Anthony the Great when he went out into the desert. Not even our Lord was likely growing gray hair when He shook things around the Temple. I think their elders looked at them with contempt and doubted that anything will happen to them.

    Not saying to discount experience from venerable elders. BUT COME ON! It's not like doing anything with the Ordinariate will leave everyone catatonic and comatose. It is not our destiny to be just navel-gazers, as someone said.

    1. Ioannes – you are so right! The Ordinariate will be built by young energetic resourceful and optimistic priests (e.g., Fr. Phillips, circa 1984) and laity who are on fire! They are looking forward to the future and not hindered with a barnacle encrusted attitude. We ordained one in Mobile a couple of weeks ago.

      1. And what did Fr. Phillips little band of Anglican Use Catholics look like six months after their parish started? He probably didn't have much more than the 18 people including several children than he started with. They met in rented accommodations, no? There was probably little except their faithfulness and willingness to trust God that would give anyone any indication of what the future would hold.

        I have to go out, but I will write a post on this new development. As Christian said, there are a range of viewpoints on this matter and while I am not aware of all the goings on in the United States that might have given rise to pessimism down there, so far our experiences with the new Ordinary have been positive.

        1. Numbers? Jesus Christ only had 12 when He started, along with His Mother. There were some women, former prostitutes and other rejects of society. Most of them fled when He needed them the most. They moved from town to town, relying on people of the lowest class to give them accommodations. There are now 2.1 Billion people who say "Jesus Christ is my Master, my Teacher, my King, my Beloved."! How can you be pessimistic about 18 people who meet in rented accommodations, when you claim to believe in a Church founded by a group of the same size that met in the Cenacle?

        2. I really don't know what your point is. Pessimism over numbers? Not that I can see. Our Lady of the Atonement will still have more members than the whole Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter once all the Fort Worth friends of Msgr. Steenson and the others are ordained and their small groups brought in. The only reason Our Lady of Walsingham is in the Ordinariate is because Msgr. Steenson got that put in the Papal Decree. Cardinal di Nardo, as he himself said, had nothing to say about it and neither did the people or pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham. So Msgr Steenson got himself someone else's parish as his beachhead, got the pastor to go into retirement, and now he can put the young inexperienced son of one of his friends in charge…. Very cosy.

          1. As opposed to uprooting and moving another one of his multitude of clergy to Houston – the vast majority of whom are attached to their parishes or groups and likely want to stay and build their communities? Or did you have a particular more appropriate candidate in mind to put there?

            1. Though any unattached clergy interested in the Personal Ordinariate would seem to be told that it is just for those with a community, and if they do not have one they should consider the Pastoral Provision Office instead.

          2. this is the best summary of the situation, on the level of the parish of Our Lady of Walsingham, that I've read so far. I was a member there for the year I worked in Houston, and it was a vibrant, active, true community with holy men for priests and deacons and stunningly beautiful reverential liturgy. I pray against the breakdown of this rare culture, built by the on fire laity since early 1980s, read the parish story online sometime. there are too few truly worshipful parishes, AU or regular Catholic, in my travels, and this gem will be tarnished by the above commenter's facts, if they be true.

  7. Ah, those Americans… they want everything now, perfect, and the way they want it to be… Rome wasn’t built in one day! From a country where the church is 1800 years old, I can testify to that! And the Church is more a building in eternal ongoing work than something we can see the achievement now. So how could a structure created only 6 months ago look already established, finished, with a definite mission statement? The author and all those who are disappointed because things are not the way they want it to be were asking for the moon! A little more humility and confidence toward those in charge should be in order.

    1. From what I've heard, some people in OLW Ordinariate wanted Canterbury Cathedral for their principal church. I've actually heard little to no complaints from the COP Ordinariate folks in recent times. Just lots of ordinations.

    2. You really missed the point didn't you. The author expressly said that writing a mission statement was not the issue. But nevermind. Americans are involved so they must be wrong. Look, the new folks coming into the Ordinariate are happy as clams, and they should be because they have come home to the real Church. But before they ever showed up to work, there were Anglican Use Catholics working for 25 years who have been treated like they don't matter or are just some sort of cash cow to provide money to an Ordinary who hasn't shown any signs of respecting the efforts and sacrifices of the people who were there before he came waltzing in the door from his less than star turn as an Episcopalian bishop in New Mexico.

      1. You are right, the Ordinary should have come bulldozing in, throwing his weight around as the new kid on the block, marching into the local diocesan bishop's office and demanding that all Anglican Use parishes, regardless of size, makeup, or importance to the health and welfare of their local dioceses, or the fact that he HAS NO INHERENT RIGHT TO THEM OR THEIR CLERGY should be turned over to him forthwith. Yeah, that's definitely the way to go – that's the way to build bridges to local dioceses and bishops, on whom he's dependent to ordain and in many cases sustain his communities until they can be self-sufficient. Yep, that's the ticket, the model of collegiality.

        1. Rather the problem seems to be that those who are clamouring to enter the Ordinariate are being rejected as not being truly Anglican. No one has suggested that the Ordinariate is interested in sheep-stealing. You have it totally backwards.

          1. Similar problem over the last 30 years with the Pastoral Provision. Per the letter from the CDF dated June 20 1980:

            "Finally, I am enclosing a letter which I would be grateful to you for forwarding, after you have taken note of its contents, to Father John Barker of the Pro-Diocese of St. Augustine of Canterbury, informing him that their petition has been accepted in principle. "

            Per the Pastoral Provision manual available in PDF form on its website: "In 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expanded the competence of the provision to ministers from the so-called 'continuing Anglican communities'".

            It took 27 years to clarify that? Wasn't Father John Barker and the pro-Diocese of St. Augustine of Canterbury already outside of the Episcopal church and therefore a "so-called continuing Anglican community"?

        2. The only reason to have a separate Ordinary is to have one willing to throw his weight around against bishops that had been resistant to having Pastoral Provision Parishes in their dioceses. Any of the few such parishes that were established (and at least two were later suppressed) face the possibility that they would be suppressed and assimilated into being a "regular" parish. There have been 30 years of "bridge building" by the Pastoral Provision Office, it might be time to knock down some of those bridges and rebuild under other terms.

  8. I am sorry to see this attitude of "giving up on the Ordinariate"; for me it is particularly poignant since it is very likely that I (as a cradle Catholic with no Anglican relatives at all) cannot ever be a member of the Ordinariate, even though I am as involved in the Anglican Use as is possible. As of last year I can even joke that "I wrote the book on it!".

    Some of the AU parishes/missions won't be coming into the Ordinariate, at least in 2012, but AFAIK, that is not from lack of permisison, but because of the pastor's evaluation of the situation for that particular community. I know that's the case here in Boston, having discussed it many times with Fr. Bradford. Nevertheless, we are doing all we can to support the Ordinariate, having held two local information days, in Boston and in Providence, and doing what we can to support the fledgling group north of Boston.

    As I see it, while there will always be some small missions that aren't part of the Ordinariate officially, along with individuals too separated by distance to participate regularly in the life of the Ordinariate, but the Ordinariate is going to be the center and main force for the preservation and dissemination of the Anglican patrimony within the Church. To pull away from it thinking we can do a better job on our own strikes me as wrongheaded.

    We armchair quarterbacks can say we would have done things differently, but the facts are that the primary mission for the Ordinariate will be as much the administration of the sacraments as preaching the gospel. I don't believe that there should be any opposition between ministry and mission.

    The emphasis has been on ministry thus far, but I would point out that the theme of this year's Anglican Use Conference in Kansas City is the New Evangelization (i.e., mission) and that this theme was developed in concert with Msgr. Steenson. I don't think that mission is far from Msgr. Steenson's mind, nor that of the many clergy who are now being ordained and brought into the Ordinariate. Mission can only be successful, after all, if those who are evangelized can be discipled, and to be discipled, they'll need a place where that can happen. The new communities (and how many are being established and set up at this time) are going to be centers of mission and ministry.

    1. That you can't be a member of it is absurd. Every single person at OLW in Houston can be a member of it regardless of whether or not they are cradle Catholics. Why hasn't anyone told you what the Ordinary told them?

      1. I've read the forms for admission into the Ordinariate available on the Ordinariate website. Michael D. is right on this one. The boxes you can check on the form for individual members/families to be admitted are:
        " 1. I am a former Anglican and am now in full communion with the Catholic Church.
        2. I am currently an Anglican intending to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
        3. I am prepared to make the required profession of faith: 'I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.'
        4.I have previously been baptized within the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, and I now worship at an Anglican Use or Ordinariate congregation."

        And that's about it. I want to join, but there are no Anglican Use or Ordinariate congregations near where I live. (I'm looking at you, St. Mary of the Angels, in Hollywood.) I think the nearest is where Deacon Andrew Bartus serves, at Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church, an hour's drive away in Orange Country.

        1. Don't lose hope, Mgr. Stetson has been appointed by Mgr. Steenson to deal with SMA, and as he is a highly competent man and very pastoral priest, I do hope that finally te various issues met will be solved.

          + PAX et BONUM

          1. SMA had been prepared to enter under the Pastoral Provision some 30 years ago. Msgr. Stetson had been responsible for the Pastoral Provision Office for most if not all of those years. Enough said.

            1. Daniel, the Archbishop of Los Angeles is now a man with positive experience of an Anglican Use parish; I imagine that will also be of help in the case of SMA.

            2. But the Pastoral Provision Office only served to do paperwork and make introductions. The entire jurisdiction was that of the diocese. If the diocesan did not want, there was little the Pastoral Provision Office could do.

              Now Mgr Stetson has a different hat on (no pun intended). He is speaking for a person with identical ecclesiastical authority to the diocesan.

              But I thought that in the particular case there are also problems on issues such which Anglican entity has the ownership of the property which it may not be within the power of the Ordinary to resolve.

            3. The current Archbishop of Los Angeles while he was in San Antonio, as you could tell from long ago articles here, had been in agreement that Our Lady of the Atonement would become part of the Personal Ordinariate. He was also prepared to receive St. Mary of the Angels community into the Catholic Church back in January, an event that had to be cancelled. He definitely seems to be in the odd position of a local bishop that has tried to back the Ordinariate, and yet apparently failed to talk to the right people first.

      2. Michael, as I said, it is "likely" I can't. While OLW folks may well have that privilege, I attend an AU congregation that likely won't be part of the Ordinariate, certainly not in the near future. This is because the pastor is not planning on joining the ordinariate; now, I suppose the parishioners could become members, and Fr Bradford could continue to minister to us as a diocesan priest, but I haven't discerned a great deal of interest among the rest of our small group to move in that direction. As I'm the one who typically fields "ordinariate" questions at the parish, I'd know. But I have not given up hope about it.

        1. If the members of the congregation have no actual interest in becoming part of the structure that has been given the task of preserving Anglican Patrimony, is there any reason that the Archbishop should not simply suppress the community and ask that they find any local parish to become a member of?

          I've never seen anything that indicates that membership in the Ordinariate is dependent upon the Ordinary extending the privilege of membership. If you meet the criteria that Anglicanorum Coetibus sets out and submit in writing your desire to be a member, that should make you a member. There's been some talk of needing time to create some type of register, but then it seems there is no hurry to maintain such a register. As has been mentioned before, membership in the Ordinariate and membership in a parish are distinct things and nothing would prevent you from being a member of the Ordinariate while remaining a member of a community that is under the local diocese.

  9. Can't argue with your assessment of the Ordinary's problem — especially given that his Ordinariate ranges from El Paso to the Arctic Circle, and from Honolulu to Halifax.

      1. Er. Beg your pardon. This was supposed to be as a response to Mr. Charles A. Coulombe. Like what I've written, and I will write as much as possible like a mantra: "Be a part of the solution, or be a part of the problem." We all have our degrees of abilities that we can exercise in aiding and fulfilling the Will of God. It is not delusion that we are called to do God's Will on Earth, it's called being a Christian. So please, if the things I post seem crazy and out-of-this-world, (and annoying) let us remember how annoying many of the saints and martyrs were to worldly and self-centered people in their times. We must strive to be like the saints and martyrs and annoy if necessary. It's for the sake of the Lord and His Church.

  10. As Moderator here, I feel the need to make something perfectly clear to our readership.

    According to private reports, there are very grave issues which have been very poorly handled by the Ordinariate thus far — in some cases with an attitude seemingly of contempt. The most serious of these are related to existing Anglican Use communities. Those "in the know" are familiar with the individual circumstances of each.

    These events have not been published by The Anglo-Catholic simply because we have not been asked to do so, and, as they are so sensitive, we will not air the dirty laundry of these parishes, communities, and individuals without their explicit permission and the consensus of the "top players" in the AU/Ordinariate communities.

    1. In a recent interview with the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Viganò regarding a different topic he said,

      “We all know that the fundamental tactic of the enemy is to show a Church divided”.

      I think it applies here.

      1. He was very wrong and self-serving with that comment. The enemy is just as well served when the Church acts like there are no problems and no one says anything about them. The sex-abuse crisis should make that clear.

        1. Abp. Vigano is the last person who can be accused of self-serving tactics and covering things up! He was essentially demoted in being to sent to Washington as the Papal Nuncio after trying to expose cronyism and corruption within the administration of the Vatican City State. He is himself an innocent victim of the Vatileaks scandal. Yet he is absolutely right: the Enemy wants us divided.

          1. That quote was used to mean that anyone who points out the divisions is doing the work of the Enemy and they aren't. That he meant the work of the devil was to show the world a divided Church because of the divisive work of his minions within it… perhaps … but it could just as easily be construed as a horrible dig against those calling attention to the problems going on all the way to the Curia in Rome and down to the croneyism of pastoral appointments.

            1. Well as a Catholic Jew from a Hebrew Anglican family I would like to share a bit of Jewish wisdom. Some disputes are for the kingdom of God's sake and thus fruitful. Nothing wrong with people putting forward their points of view in a vigorous manner so that we might come to all realise what the Will of God is.

        2. Well, common sense would say that if you want to destroy something, you divide it deeply that they would be easier to overcome. Do you believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church? Then you will, rather than complain, do something concrete about this trouble. Talk to people. Talk to local Bishops. Write letters. Stir up trouble, if you have to. But obedience is key, because disobedience is the precursor to rebellion, and rebellion is divisive, and dividing the Body of Christ is a sin. It does harm to His Mystical Body. I suggest that we all watch the Passion of the Christ and to meditate upon the three things at the center of our Catholic Faith: His Passion, His Death, and His Resurrection.

    2. As a young and hotheaded Catholic, I'm entitled to say something stupid once in a while. What can I say: be a part of the solution, or be a part of the problem. Estrangement and division is a problem. Please don't be estranged. Be united. It is the will of God.

  11. A very wealthy American once visited an Oxford College with a view to obtaining a place for his son in exchange for a very handsome contribution to the College's endowment. But he also wanted the course of studies to be abbreviated. But when he asked if the process could be speeded up, the Warden replied, "My good Sir, when God wishes to grow an oak tree he takes a hundred years, when he wishes a vegetable marrow the process takes but a few months!"

    Some things have to be approached slowly and deliberately. The normal time a candidate for Catholic priesthood spends in training is 7 years. The OLW Ordinariate which admittedly encompasses a much smaller territorial area than the COP Ordinariate has done pretty well to get 80 priests ordained in less than 2 years. The COP Ordinariate is using the latest technology for distance learning even to the extent that a US Chaplain links in from Afghanistan and the result is that the first priests are now being ordained. In both England and the USA the list of Ordinariate candidates for the priesthood this year is larger than for any individual territorial diocese. That's phenomenal progress by any standards.

    The primary concern of the Catholic Church is the care of souls and that means that means that progress in the establisment of parishes is necessarily dependent on the provision of adequately trained clergy. If one reads the history of Anglican Use parishes in the USA, such as Our Lady of the Atonement or Our Lady of Walsingham, one sees just how long it took to establish the very successful parishes they have become and that was by the Grace of God who sent them extraordinarly gifted priests. Then look at this month's newsletter of the St Thomas Moore Catholic Parish in Scranton. The COP Ordinariate is doing well – and it is doing well because of the extaordinary energy of its pastors, the generosity of its laity and considerable support from other parts of the Church and Deo Volente it will continue to grow just as quickly as priests can be found, trained and put out to do the Lord's work.

    And those who think they know how do do things better, should remember that the Catholic Church has a couple of millenia experience of missionary activity. It is entirely possible that the Ordinary could do with more administrative staff, better PR, more money – but he will still be constrained by the supply of properly trained clergy to whom he can entrust the care of souls.

    1. Surely the number of ordinands represents "pent-up demand" and cannot continue at this pace, especially as celibacy returns to being the norm. Another potential problem I can see is the ratio of clergy to lay people. In the UK it started out as 1:20 and now seems to be approaching 1:10.

    2. AMEN! If I didn't know any better, you're probably an insider for one of the conferences of bishops, or of the Vatican. You seem to be well-informed on these things, especially when I've seen your posts on Fr. Stephen Smuts' blog.

    3. St. Thomas Moore in Scranton is doing so well because it has a priest who is on fire and a community who are sacrificially committed. It has everything to do with them, and the only part that can go to the Ordinariate's credit is that they have been erected as a parish within it.

      There's nothing so extraordinary and remarkable about the ordinations taking place. The Holy See decided on short courses of study so as not to disrespect the Anglican Churches. We're supposed to be excited that they are doing things like the University of Phoenix with distance learning technology? Come on.

      As for that couple of millenia of Catholic missionary experience … too bad it is not to be found in Europe or North America these days.

      1. Yep. I heard that the Russian Orthodox Church are planning to do something about it. I'm not sure just what, though.

        Well. Maybe we laypeople can't rely too much on the hierarchy to be educated and be equipped with re-evangelizing traditionally Christian lands. Let us educate ourselves. Let us not be dependent on the usually liberalized, cultural marxist-infested universities for answers. Consider how Philosophy and Logic have become a joke now, to the point where logical fallacies and ignorance of history used by the likes of the "New Atheists" use in their top-selling books are actually being gobbled up by the masses. One only has to look at internet forums to behold a sea of wretched heathenism glorifying pornography and violence (because all there is to life is sex and death, apparently) to really see how the West is only a few steps from self-destruction, a sort of 2nd or 3rd century phase in the analogy of the fall of the Roman Empire. One only has to wait for an Atilla in the form of a Kim Jong Un or Ahmedinejad for everything to return to the lowest part of history.

        Will we be prepared for 3rd-millenium equivalents of Sts. Leo and Gregory, who influence men who may become the Charlemagnes and Constantines of their time? We are only one decade into it, but the Church thinks in larger scales than in decades. I hope. Let us not miss the opportunity given to us by the Ordinariate because of the faults of few men. Let us rejoice in the Lord and have faith in His plan.

      2. "The Holy See decided on short courses of study so as not to disrespect the Anglican Churches"

        No. The Holy See recognised that the candidates had pastoral experience as Anglicans but that in all cases they would require further training to function as Catholic priests. The primary reason for allowing part of that training to take place after ordination rather than before was to enable the candidates to continue to support their congregations making the jorney into communion.

        1. Not all the priests ordained have communities. They have websites and some have a couple of people, but not all have communities. I know a couple communiities did not form until after the Anglican Priest was "approved". They do not yet approach double digit size. And I do believe that while some priests are now in the Ordinariate, some of their communities or portions are still on the opposite side of the Tiber.

  12. Vatican City, Jun 13, 2012 / 10:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI says that the life of St. Paul shows that God can work wonders through those who grow ever closer to him in prayer.

    “As our union with the Lord grows and our prayer becomes more intense, we too come to focus on the essential and to understand that it is not the power of our own means that creates the Kingdom of God, but God who works miracles through our very weakness,” the Pope said during the June 13 general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

    Continuing his recent weekly exploration of the lessons taught by the prayer life of St. Paul, Pope Benedict turned to the apostle’s experience of contemplative prayer as recorded in his Second Letter to the Corinthians.

    He noted that in “defending the legitimacy of his apostolate, Paul appeals above all to his profound closeness to the Lord in prayer, marked by moments of ecstasy, visions and revelations,” and yet, at the same time, he also “willingly boasts of his weakness, in order that the power of Christ might dwell in him.”

    St. Paul uses this approach because he is eager for his readers to understand how “all the difficulties we meet in following Christ,” including “suffering, difficulty and persecution,” can be overcome “by opening ourselves trustingly to the action of the Lord,” the Pope said.

    The example of his life and trials should remind all Christians that it is “at the moment we feel our own weakness that the power of God becomes manifest.”

    Thus, “in a world in which we risk relying only on the power of human means,” St. Paul calls us to “rediscover and bear witness to the power of prayer, through which we grow day by day as our lives are conformed to that of Christ.”

    Pope Benedict recalled that the Protestant theologian and 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Albert Schweitzer described St. Paul as “a mystic and nothing more than a mystic,” since the Apostle was a man so “truly enamored of Christ and so united to him as to be able to say: Christ lives in me.”

    The lesson for our own lives, suggested the Pope, is to follow his example and “remain constant and faithful in our relationship with God, especially in moments of aridity, difficulty and suffering.”

    Only then will we be able to face difficulties as St. Paul did, “in the conviction that we can do all things through him who gives us strength.”

    The Pope added that by giving more room to prayer “we will see our lives transformed and animated by the real power of God's love.”

    He observed that this was the experience of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta who in her contemplation of Jesus “discovered the ultimate reason and incredible strength to recognize him in the poor and abandoned, despite her fragile figure.”

    This is because, contrary to the suggestion of some, contemplation of Jesus Christ in prayer “does not distance us from reality” but “makes us ever more involved in human affairs” because the Lord draws us to himself in prayer, enabling us “to remain close to all our brothers and sisters in his love.”

  13. The hyper-clericalism of some of these posts is mind-blowing. Well-trained clergy and organized parishes are not what grows the Church. If that were the case, then Europe would be overflowing with Catholics and North America too. The Church where it is growing in the world is growing because the lay people are on fire with the Gospel and are willing to take it out to the highways and by-ways, and the bishops are wise enough to organize those people and provide catechesis and training where needed. No one says, "No thanks, we've got it covered." The bishops rejoice in Africa on the Holy Spirit inspiring the laity to take the lead where they cannot go. This is all so basic, but I guess I am not surprised to encounter the hyper-clericalism and misplaced priorities. I'm not surprised to see Englishmen attacking Americans. More than anything I'm just terribly disappointed. Mr. Uher's article, which I guess was the reason for this post, is so balanced and respectful that I am just stunned by those who don't have eyes to see. Lord, have mercy upon us but it will be the death of Catholics if all we have to say when someone notes strengths and weaknesses is to write that the Church or the Ordinariate is better off without them. God Lord Almighty! But I know that kind of person. There the ones who still think the sex-abuse victims should never have spoken up.

    1. Like I've previously said: Be a part of the solution, or be a part of the problem. The Second Vatican Council (which many liberals and modernists constantly abuse and misinterpret) states that the laity MUST get involved. It is a war summons from which there is no discharge or excuse. We need priests, yes, for the administration of the sacraments, but it IS true that the laity must also be active in educating themselves and propagating the faith. But then, if we are to be the Church Militant, who are our leaders? Are their wills aligned with the will of our Lord, Jesus Christ?

      If we are confused about who is in charge, and what we're supposed to do, then it's no surprise that the ordinary layman is deceived or ensnared by the Enemy, the father of all lies.

    2. I like what you wrote Michael. Clericalism is a problem that is growing in conservative/orthodox circles. whether it is the modernist clericalism we have suffered under these 40 years or the newly rising "orthodox " clericalism among those who are more Catholic than the Pope it is destructive to the soul and health of the Church. We have never seen the role of the laity as envisioned by Vatican II implemented yet.

      1. I'm a Roman Catholic. Right off the bat, I will tell you that we don't treat our priests like our equals. We don't get into mobs and force the priest to say what we want him to say. We will gladly die for him, because he represents the One who died for us. We put a lot of faith and love for our priests, that is why any abuse is intolerable and hurtful in many levels. And that's no different to the sort of love we will put towards these new holy priests of God that we are about to receive in the Ordinariates. We will love them as we would love Christ Himself.

        Blame "The Spirit of Vatican II"; the laity for the most part disregarded what Vatican II actually said by hiding behind books of heretics like Hans Kung and found the "relaxation" as justification for moral laxity and moral relativism. Vatican II is a WAR SUMMONS, and this war will continue until the End of Time, because this glorious war is between the Mind of Christ, represented by His Church, and the mind of the World, currently represented by vile modernism and other secular schools of thought the Devil seeks to throw at the faithful. I, as well as many traditionalists, don't consider ourselves more Catholic than the Pope- that would be a certain part of SSPX and the Sedevacantists, by the way; We support the Pope and Orthodoxy; the fact that this Pope cares more for Sacred Tradition rather than "Innovation" and "Appeasement" and all sorts of invitation to make the Church more worldly is the reason why people, especially the younger ones, are attracted to the coherency and Catholic Identity that traditionalism offers and what "Vatican II" churches can NEVER give us with their spiritual promiscuity, moral compromise, secularization, and banalization of all things sacred; I'll tell you what kind of church lets itself be disobedient to the Holy See in the "Spirit of Vatican II", it's the same kind of "church" that the People's Republic of China officially supports, that is, the same church that is probably run by Judas Iscariot (The first bishop to receive a government grant, by the way). In fact, that's why I support the Anglican Ordinariates; the beauty and solemnity of an Anglican liturgy that has, for the most part, been preserved trumps what I have seen regarding what the "Modern church" can offer, and I would rather worship God in a Holy Mass in a small rented room with a handful of members of the Ordinariate then at large, vacuous, sterile, modernist Cathedral that has a reprobate, clean, bloodless, effeminate, politically-correct "Risen Christ" at the center, attended to by pro-abortionists and closeted bishops and priests who give them communion.

        It is the laity's responsibility to help the clergy do what they're supposed to do when they fail to do so, and we cannot do so when we are not informed or don't care about what bishops or priests are supposed to do. This is not the same as forming a mob when the priest talks against contraception and abortion; The Catholic Church is not in a ghetto, as we are called to transform the culture, even from within, and I see the transfusion of Anglican tradition to be a good start for this Re-Evangelization of the West.

  14. I can contribute little to this discussion except to say that Msgr. Steenson has been very determined to 'include' Canadian communities for the Ordinariate. He has gone to the trouble to visit my Ordinariate friends here in Victoria and also those in Ottawa. I had no idea that there were problems, and I'm very sorry to hear this news. Someone, Mr. Cavanaugh, I believe, pointed out that cradle Catholics cannot belong. He was no doubt referring to membership in the Ordinariate, not membership in an Ordinariate community. I discovered some years ago that while, as a Roman, I could not be a 'parishioner' at a Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church, I could be a 'parish member' and even serve on the Parish Council. So I'd say that Mr. Cavanagh is correct but that others here may be referring simply to membership in the community.

    I've been preoccupied with my own Roman problems over the S.S.P.X recently, something that has now preoccupied me for decades. But I undertake to say a Rosary tomorrow for the good of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.


  15. I am a member of the small proto-Ordinariate group in Toronto (my formerly Anglican wife was received under AC last year, and I, a previously lapsed Catholic who rediscovered my Catholic faith within Anglicanism, was reconciled).

    I have read this blog with great interest for over two years now and have drawn much inspiration and comfort from it. With that said, I am saddened by the subject matter and the tone of this particular post and pray that others seeking involvement in the Ordinariate do not take this debate as anything other than a very peculiar airing of dirty laundry.

    My wife and I and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will patiently attend our weekly Anglican Use Mass, sponsored in part by the generous assistance of our local Catholic Archbishop and a local RC church, and we will continue to spread the word about this wonderful ecumenical initiative that God has seen fit to allow us to participate in. And should there be temporary set-backs on the way, and we stay in a holding pattern for months or years waiting to be admitted as an Ordinariate parish, you likely won't hear us posting about it.

      1. I admire these sentiments; however, as I am NOT a member of this group, I can in better conscience point out that the issues raised by Mr Uher are evident in the Toronto set-up: a lacklustre website, weak publicity efforts, the general air of being a club for homesick former members of the city's two main Anglo-Catholic parishes. Leadership from the Anglican side is hampered by a fear of being "outed" to the bishop; leadership from the Catholic side does not involve anyone with an Anglican background. What is the potential for evangelization and growth here?

        1. These are good points all, but I do want to make it clear — even if I can not at this time share all of the details of why it is — that my reasons for being unable to join the Ordinariate in good conscience, at this point in time, are founded on the cruel, non-pastoral treatment (or abandonment) of many hundreds (even thousands) of souls and not so much the quality of the Ordinariate's web site (which is rather well done, I think).

          As for mission, if the jurisdiction is incapable of receiving Anglicans who are already Catholic, then I don't see a very promising future for evangelisation.

          1. Since the first and overriding duty of each and every person holding authority in the Catholic Church is the care of souls, to say that someone has engaged in "cruel, non-pastoral treatment (or abandonment) of many hundreds (even thousands) of souls" is an accusation of the utmost gravity.

            Have you raised this with the Ordinary or, in default of a satisfactory response from him, with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? If you have not, why not? Surely it is part of your duty to fellow Christians in peril to do so. If you have and have not had a proper response, then perhaps you ought to publish the correspondence.

            What concerns me is that wihthout particulars your post is likely to be the occasion of scandal and offence.

            1. I tend to agree, Mourad.
              I think that for the benefit of clarity, Christian, you should tell us all what really happened. I for one am now totally confused. Refusing admission to Anglicans who are already Catholics is surely not what you mean. Isn't it rather that members of Anglican Use parishes who were never Anglicans but instead were cradle Catholics have been having problems? Or have I got completely the wrong end of the stick?

            2. I think some people need to get over the idea that Anglican Use parishes are somehow made up mainly of Cradle Catholics and therefore not eligible. They have been bringing in new members with the Sacraments of Initiation for years, and there are larger numbers of converts in a parish like Our Lady of the Atonement. If you were to chase out "Cradle Catholics" it would still be larger than most any of the communities coming in. If it is being said that they should not be allowed in because they have had the effect of attracting Cradle Catholics as well as those that are from an Anglican background, then you might as well be saying that Ordinariate parishes will not be allowed to permit them at their services, which is not supposed to be the case at all. Has ever community by now taken three or four censuses for the Ordinariate in order to show their makeup and express their desire to be part of it?

            3. From the Ordinary's first pastoral letter:

              "If you are an individual or family that has already joined the Catholic Church but you are of an Anglican background, please send us a letter stating your intent to join signed by you/and your family."

              The first box to check on the Individual Form to petition to join the Ordinariate is: "I am a former Anglican and am now in communion with the Catholic Church."

              This certainly does not appear to either discourage or prohibit those who were Anglican but who are now Catholic from joining. On the contrary, it seems to anticipate that these people are obvious candidates for the Ordianriate and makes specific provision for them to join.

        2. EPMS – you raise some great points.

          You're not the first person who's basic reaction to this is: "I am supportive and will join once conditions are right."

          1. I note that some iPhone videos of the backs of people's heads have been added to punch up the blog. It's a start.

  16. The problem I see is that much of this discussion is not about looking at the problems and facing them squarely. In fact, there are always problems. And we all need *constructive* criticism as a part of support, including those in charge, because we are all imperfect, not to mention sinners. Further, failure to accept constructive criticism is a failure of fraternal charity.

    Our brothers in Christ, Christian and Vincent have seen some serious problems. (I share with them that I have seen some problems too.) The only way to deal with problems is to face them squarely, not to throw up one's hands, nor act as if problems do not exist and attack those who point out that "yes, there is a problem."

    I would point out to my brothers and sisters in Christ here, that if the problem is so serious such as that two of our brothers do not perceive that they can be a part of our ordinariate, then we ought to be doing some serious soul searching ourselves, not attacking them.

    1. Michael, I don't think anyone can reasonably argue with you that problems must be faced squarely. However, there are different ways of doing this. You're a Knight and will have one approach; I've always been more a Franciscan, so I'd have another.

      As for some of the early missteps by Ordinariate personnel that Christian referred to, I know of one that was confided to me, and of another in which I was involved personally. For that latter, my facing it squarely involved really analyzing what went on, and seeing how the event could best be dealt with and a similar event avoided in the future. About that event, which still incenses a couple of my friends, I am completely at peace, and can now laugh about it. At the time I was quite mortified, but I don't see it as caused by anything other than missteps brought about by a bushel and a peck of miscommunication.

      As for the other things which Vincent and Christian are referring to, I'm sure that one of the reasons for the length of this thread is that most of us have no idea what they're talking about, other than two vague references: one to the AU parishes and the other to not making mission the primary emphasis of the Ordinariate.
      As for the AU parishes, we know Atonement isn't coming into the Ordinariate now, but we don't know why and Fr. Phillips has not seen fit to say why. As for OLW and St. Mary the Virgin, we don't know why the time for officially entering the Ordinariate has been so (seemingly) long, but as some English columnists have pointed out, we in the US do have a principal Church, which puts us ahead of the UK Ordinariate. The only other sizeable AU community is Fr. Bergman's group in Scranton, and that has come into the Ordinariate.

      As for making mission the priority, I can certainly respect Vincent's point of view. I agree that the missio ad gentes is the reason for the Church's establishment; but mission must be closely accompanied by ministry, and I see the Ordinariate's emphasis so far as being the gathering in of groups of Anglicans precisely so these groups can get to work on the mission.

      1. Has the Anglican Use Society made a determination if they will continue to be supporting the Pastoral Provision Office or if any financial support will instead be given to the Personal Ordinariate? I find it odd that the Pastoral Provision Office even remains in existence as its initial purpose was to receive groups that were former Anglicans while allowing them to retain their common identity within the Catholic Church. When does addressing the problems of that office over the past 30 years get addressed?

        1. Daniel, I am not a board member of the Society, but as someone who communicates the board regularly, I think I can say that the mission of the Anglican Use Society will certainly be one of the things we examine at the annual meeting in November, during the Conference in Kansas City.

          My hope is that the AUS would continue to support all Christians of the Anglican Use, whether they are members of common identity parishes erected under the auspices of the Pastoral Provision or of the Ordinariate.

          The Society has never been a support to the Pastoral Provision office, per se. Rather, it has given support to some incoming Anglican clergy, and sought to provide a way for the dispersed AU parishes and isolated members to relate to each other in the absence of any official relationship, primarily via our annual conference and our quarterly publication Anglican Embers. The Ordinariate communities will, of course, have an official relationship with each other, through their communion with their Ordinary, and so whatever service the AUS provides the Ordinariate will necessarily take on new forms.

      2. There is a reason that the Knights of Malta always took such high casualties (and that white cross on a black background makes an excellent target), and even got themselves properly martyred on many occasions: (One of our local dames is a descendant of the brother of one of the martyrs of the Order of Malta, St. Nicasius: )

        On the other hand, Franciscans have a habit of getting themselves martyred too:, although they went about it differently.

  17. Discouraging for so many, but transitions are often that way, especially when we come with such high expectations. Still, God is faithful in all things. Lift up Christ our God and ask the Blessed Virgin's intercessions.

    1. Alice, You always say sensible things :)

      What we all need more than anything, bar none, within ourselves, is sanctity. Love for others, Our Lord and Our Lady firstly and others second, and sanctity within, permeating our entire life. This combination is the evangelistic tool to win the world. They are the root structure from grows all the other fruitful branches. grafting branches onto faulty rootstocks will result in failure to establish. The root must be sound.

  18. Despite everything it is surely a good thing that people here (people who, I'm sure, have an acute sense of history) can talk about setting men 'on fire' without any suggestion of irony whatsoever, especially when one considers what the CDF's predecessors got up to. Well done!

  19. I have been thinking about the cradle Catholics who over the years have joined the Pastoral Provison parishes, referred to here as Anglican Use parishes. The Pastoral Provision itself did not deal with this question and so these Catholics came to be considered and to consider themselves as parish members. Then along came Anglicanorum coetibus which specifically rules out cradle Catholics joining the Ordinariate.

    So what was to happen with these faithful who now assumed they were "Anglican Use"? None of the official documents has dealt with transferring from one use of the Roman rite to another and this is obviously something that needs to be addressed rapidly.

    So I am assuming that the authorities are currently basing their decisions by anaology on The Code of Canon Law as it refers to the transfer from one Church sui juris to another (e.g. from a Latin rite Church to an Eastern rite Church.

    Here Canon 112 §1 and 2 is quite specific. It states:
    "§1 After the reception of baptism, the following become members of another autonomous ritual Church:
    1° those who have obtained permission from the Apostolic See;
    2° a spouse who, on entering marriage or during its course, has declared that he or she is transferring to the autonomous ritual
    Church of the other spouse; on the dissolution of the marriage, however, that person may freely return to the latin Church;
    3° the children of those mentioned in nn. 1 and 2 who have not completed their fourteenth year, and likewise in a mixed marriage the children of a catholic party who has lawfully transferred to another ritual Church; on completion of their fourteenth year, however, they may return to the latin Church.
    §2 The practice, however long standing, of receiving the sacraments according to the rite of an autonomous ritual Church, does not bring with it membership of that Church."

    This would suggest one can transfer only with the approval of the Holy See, which according to the Canon Law of the Eastern Churches can be delegated to both ordinaries in certain cases (just like the transfer of incardination for a priest) – both bishops or ordinaries must agree.

    1. The ordinariate is not a separate rite so these canons are irrelevant to the ordinariate. A number of members of ordinariate communities, according to media accounts, are cradle Catholics, but ones that have been in the communities for many years as Anglicans. Cradle Catholics who are part of an established diocesan parish and did not leave for the Anglican Church cannot register, but they can attend Masses and other events.

    2. For the most part, whether or not someone that has attended an Anglican Use parish for many years can officially be part of the Ordinariate (versus being a member of the parish community) does not seem to have great importance. It is more a case of the parish itself, with any guaranty that it may continue on as Anglican Use being best met by the Ordinariate (though the charter erecting them as personal parishes may also give some guaranty depending upon whether or not a priest will continue to be provided).

      But there are cases that would be of some importance. Consider that Our Lady of the Atonement and its school have been in existence for years. A young man may have been baptized at the parish, received his First Communion and Confirmation there, spent his entire school life through high school there while attending daily Mass according to the Anglican Use. If he feels he has a vocation to the priesthood or diaconite, is he to be told that he is not an official member of the Ordinariate and therefore must pursue his vocation through the diocesan offices and be assigned to any parish with the exception of one that is of the Anglican Use?

      There would also be a question of who may be married using the Anglican Use Liturgy. That might also depend upon whether you are an Ordinariate member or under the jurisdiction of the diocese.

  20. This goes out to Christian. I'm not sure what the real discussion is here, but I'm concerned on some of these Anglican parishes sites on Shane's map of the Ordinariate who wants unity and what there saying! For example, from their offical site at Saint Columba's in Fernley, Nevada: Saint Columba's thrives as a traditional parish in its Anglo-Catholic expression. The parish applied in May 2011 (over a year ago) for entry into the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter and has received no response whatsoever. Also what about The Anglo-Lutherans that were promised to also enter the Ordinariate who now have come into full communion with the NAORCC? or Saint Columba's in Lancaster, California had on their website they were joining the Ordinariate and had the Vatican's flag as a sign of becoming Catholic and now it shows nothing about the Ordinariate or talks about it anymore. I'm not saying they will not enter, I'd just like to see or hear the process of these parishes or their journey into the Church. Sorry if I misunderstood the article, but these are my concerns anyways, and I ask you because of your knowledge on Anglo-Catholics. I don't really post comments here but do visit here daily.

    1. It seems that the Anglo-Lutherans were told by the CDF that they should contact Cardinarl Wuerl's office (prior to the official establishment of the Ordinariate), and that then Msgr Steenson told them that they were outside the scope of Anglicanorum Coetibus and should contact the CDF office. Basically it would seem that since they were not officially part of the Anglican Communion, it may be that it seemed outside of the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate.

      Something similar occurred in the rejection letter to St. Mary of the Angels. There became a question of what ecclesiastical authority there had been exercised over them. So it would seem that if your group were coming more directly from the Episcopal Church, it might be recognized that you were under some authority. If you were more independent, then you might be considered being an "Old Maid" and Msgr. Steenson is not interested in that game. Some of it seems a rather arbitrary application of such rules. There may have been some clarification required of the paragraph in Anglicanorum Coetibus that read:

      "§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."

      Does "originally belonging to the Anglican Communion" exclude those that are not officially part of it, such as in the Continuing Anglican Communities? Though it seems the answer was no it does not, there may have been some initial confusion particularly in the U.S. Shortly after the erection of the Ordinariate, it seemed Fr. Hurd was still saying in interviews that there was a cutoff date in which some that had entered full Communion with the Catholic Church prior to that date were not eligible, and it could be that they were considering that it only applied to those that were part of the Episcopal Church (in the U.S.) as of the date of the constitution. That seems to have been corrected, but may still leave some questions.

      1. From a National Catholic Register article after the initial press conference introducing the new Ordinary: "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."

        It seems that after a year or so of working on the implementation, in the U.S. it was still an issue that some felt necessary to be answered. That is just the question of whether former Episcopalians who had already joined the Catholic Church could be "card-carrying members". They might not have even asked about former Episcopalians who had not joined the Catholic Church but rather the ACA or some similar association.

        That there may be a check box on a form to allow for the possibility that one may become a member of the Ordinariate, I don't know if anyone has yet to receive acknowledgement that they are indeed now a member of the Ordinariate.

        1. Whether or not some of this remains an issue isn't clear, I've not noticed any statements from Fr. Hurd to indicate the issue is no longer at the top of his inbox but has been resolved. Fr. Hurd expressing some doubt about such issues even after the Ordinariate was erected might explain why not everyone is moving at the same pace. In the case of the Anglo-Lutherans, it seems like the CDF was willing to leave the response up to the Ordinariate and then the Ordinariate sent it back while indicating they had no jurisdiction.

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