From Fr. Chori Seraiah's blog (h/t Fr. Smuts):
I have been fairly silent lately. Yes, I have been busy, but there is more to it than that. It has been difficult for me to hold my tongue, but it was necessary. New events have occurred and I am able to answer the questions that many have been asking. My former parish St. Aidan's here in Des Moines has made its final decision and chosen not to join the Ordinariate after all. They will remain Anglican and Bp. Louis Falk is remaining with them (any questions about the parish itself should be directed to them and not to me). It has been a very difficult time for them, as they had come to realize that the Ordinariate was not what they wanted (at the same time that I was in the process for ordination–not an easy task for any parish). I am happy to say that there is no strife between the parish and I (or my family either). Each of us realized that we were not on the same path, and yet there is peace between us. I ask everyone to pray for them at this time.
I, on the other hand, am happily serving as a substitute hospital chaplain (a very rewarding ministry!) for the next few months, and in the meantime I am seeking to begin an Ordinariate community here in Des Moines. Anyone interested in being a part of this, please let me know by contacting me at my email address listed to the left side of this page. I am especially seeking any Anglicans/Episcopalians who are interested in what the Ordinariate has to offer; Lutherans may also find something of interest in this venture.
It is sad news to see Archbishop Louis Falk is not joining the Ordinariate and that St. Aidan's has decided not to join either. I have never met him, but I know he was a staunch advocate of Christian unity when he was Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). He was one of the three Anglican Church in America (ACA) bishops who welcomed Anglicanorum coetibus.
Fr. Anthony Chadwick, my former blogging partner at the now defunct The English Catholic, posted some rather trenchant observations about the price the Traditional Anglican Communion paid for its bid for unity.
We in the TAC got well and truly burned. The captain at the helm looked at only one thing – his compass bearing, and to hell with the rocks, fog and other ships. The ship was wrecked. Rome said to us “Yes, but as dismantled spare parts“. They would filter, screen and sift us, have every single priest send in his application and have his vocation re-evaluated from zero all over again. The rest – all that doesn’t matter just as long as they don’t tell anyone that they are institutionally dead. And by the way, forget it if you’ve already read the book, seen the film and been there! Some shipwrecked sailors are now picking through the bits of broken mast, pieces of companionways, barrels of preserved food and shreds of torn sails – looking at what they can salvage, and then rebuild. Those courageous men and women have my esteem and prayers, and they do not have to listen to the voices of those who have become Roman Catholics “Come in, the water’s warm“. “Just be patient and wait. Rome thinks in centuries“. Forget it. Either go over or stay and rebuild, or go somewhere else.
It’s in the nature of things: the small entity approaches the big entity because it is unable to compete. Big entity considers only one thing – what is useful to it and how it can get bigger and richer. There is no idea of helping the small entity in some way.
The whole exercise has left behind such pain and bitterness. The TAC did ask for some form of corporate reunion but the only corporate reunion that ended up on offer was parish by parish, reconstituted after individuals had converted. I do not blame Archbishop Hepworth for his overly expansive interpretation of Anglicanorum coetibus. As fine a mind as Fr. Aidan Nichols' told me he didn't see why the document could not cover the corporate reunion of a diocese or even a province.
For many the unfolding of the Ordinariates' character might seem too much like absorption, too much like a loss of identity for those hoping for corporate reunion of some kind.
Thankfully for us we have not experienced our coming into the Catholic Church as a loss of identity at all. Our celebrations of the Eucharist on Sundays and everything else we do is not much different from what we did before we became Catholic. We have guest priests now, but they love our patrimony and are doing their best to help us maintain it as we wait for our own clergy to be ordained as Catholic priests.
But this was not an easy journey. For some it has proved impossible, at least for now.
Let's keep our comments respectful and measured, seeing as I trust most of us do hope for the Ordinariates to be successful and that eventually those who are unsure now might find them truly places where Anglican identity and patrimony are flourishing within the Catholic Church.