Holy See Approves First Ordinariate Liturgical Texts

For Immediate Release: July 3, 2012
Holy See Promulgates First Liturgical Texts for Ordinariates

The first liturgical texts approved for worldwide use by the Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans have been promulgated by the Holy See.

The Order for Funerals and the Order for the Celebration of Holy Matrimony are to be used by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter in the United States and Canada; and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.

The new liturgies replace existing texts, including those from the Book of Divine Worship. Drawn from the classical Anglican prayer book tradition, the texts incorporate elements of the Anglican patrimony now in the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, noted, "This is an important moment in the development of our distinctive liturgical and ecclesial life. We saw the world stop to watch the Royal Wedding last year, now a very similar and beautiful liturgy is available for use in the Ordinariates of the Catholic Church — it is a great privilege for us to be part of that obvious working-out of practical, receptive ecumenism".

The liturgies were promulgated by the Congregation for Divine Worship on June 22, 2012, the feast day of the English saints of the Reformation, John Fisher and Thomas More. They will be implemented in accordance with local civil law requirements in the various nations, with immediate use in the United States and Canada.

"We welcome with gratitude these texts, which bring into Catholic liturgical life some of the most beloved and memorable texts in the Book of Common Prayer. These texts have blessed and comforted generations of English-speaking Christians and will be deeply appreciated in the Ordinariate communities," said Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary for the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.

The new texts were developed under the guidance of Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia OP, who served until recently as the Secretary for the Congregation of Divine Worship. Archbishop DiNoia, now the Vice President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, has been re-appointed as chair of the Holy See's Anglicanae traditiones Commission tasked with developing the new liturgical texts for the Personal Ordinariates. The Reverend Uwe Michael Lang, CO, who also just stepped down from a post with the Congregation for Divine Worship, will also continue his role in the development of the texts.


Texts: www.usordinariate.org/ord_news_new_rites.html

Video interviews with Monsignor Andrew Burnham: www.vimeo.com/UKOrdinariate

English Wisdom: Triumvirate

Here's another contribution from former Our Lady of Walsingham parishioner, Vincent Uher.  This piece, for me at least, begs the question of when and how are we to see Governing Councils in the Ordinariates come to be.  Under Anglicanorum cœtibus, the Governing Council of a Personal Ordinariate has considerable sway, its approval necessary for a number of key pastoral decisions, such as erecting a new parish or advancing postulants to Orders.  These are unusual limits placed on the power of a Catholic Ordinary (and my only guess is that this was intended to be a nod to Anglican synodal government), but they are clearly mandated in the primary legislation and norms.  Presently, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is "governed" by the Ordinary, his assistant, Fr. Scott Hurd, and (truth be told) several "interested" Catholic bishops.

In England, at least, there has already been established some form of collegiality and aid to the Ordinary, Msgr. Newton.  It is this temporary arrangement which Mr. Uher addresses his latest piece and which we propose for our reflection.

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English Wisdom: Triumvirate

I think my family and friends in Britain have been blest greatly with a triumvirate at the head of your Ordinariate in Britain. While one must necessarily be appointed to make the final decisions, having a council of three at the top is a far better situation than having one leader in isolation. Even if in Britain this is more ad hoc than a canonical structure, I would hope this sort of triumvirate model would become the norm for the Ordinariates. Msgr. Newton has shown great, great wisdom through it.

Of course, it would be different in North America and in Australia. My family and friends in Australia might imagine the Ordinary being named and then two others raised up (as Monsignors of the Protonotary Apostolic or something like it) who would perhaps be former bishops in TAC, the Australian Anglican Church or former priests of the same. It would be incredibly wise to create from the marvellous incoming Church in Torres Strait such a Monsignor to serve in this triumvirate.

In North America it would make sense to create such a triumvirate under Msgr. Steenson as well. The territory is vast, and the Ordinariate is not the only expression of the Anglican Patrimony in the Catholic Church in North America. By way of example, a former Anglican Catholic bishop in Canada would make an excellent choice as another Monsignor with oversight for the Canadian deanery. And it would be prudent and very wise to make the senior pastor of the Pastoral Provision parishes also a Monsignor with similar oversight responsibilities among those in the Pastoral Provision but serving in concert with his brother in Canada and together with Msgr Steenson's leadership of the Ordinariate.

I offer these thoughts to my family and friends who are far more influential than I. No one seems much interested in what a lay hermit in Texas thinks of these things. So I entrust the ideas to you if they are worthy. The one thing that has become clear to me is that a single Ordinary with a Vicar General and an office assitant is an irreduceable minimum that should have been given more provisions for the journey by Rome. It is too small an organisational model to be effective with so great a missionary task.

I know some will say, But look here! In North America, the Ordinary has got health insurance for us this May. And look at all of the men being ordained through the training programme he developed. I am in no way trying to take away from these stellar achievements. One should applaud the Ordinary right heartily for being willing to take up a task where Rome provided no money and the USCCB offered no immediate help with Insurance from the get go. We see that as an historian and a scholar he is absolutely the right person for all of these tasks at the onset. There are other considerations though where he would be well served to have brothers — a Msgr. 'Canada' and a Msgr. 'Pastoral Provision' with which to work in this common mission.

What has developed in England from Msgr. Newton's excellent leadership and vision is clearly a model worth repeating. And it really is worth reapting everywhere an Ordinariate is established or where they might be a mixed situation like that in North America … say in India for example. My family in India have some very clear thoughts about these things, but sadly… and it is sad that this is the case across the board, there is only the most limited collaboration with the Laity in Christ of the Anglican Patrimony, a matter that should be corrected post haste. Bishops and priests don't make the Church. Jesus Christ and all of His Faithful make the Church.

Msgr Newton: "Future of Ecumenism"

Msgr Keith Newton from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will be speaking at St. Mary Magdalen, Brighton, on Thursday, 24 May at 7:30 p.m. His topic will be on the "Future of Ecumenism," and is part of the series of talks commemorating the 150th anniversary of the parish.

It is unclear if there will be a video or recording of Msgr Newton's talk, but the best source of information about that will be at the 150th Anniversary site.

Ordinaries Respond to Australian Ordinariate News

Here's the news release from the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter website:

U.S. Ordinary Welcomes News of Australian Ordinariate

Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary of the U.S.-based Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, welcomed the announcement that a personal Ordinariate is to be established in Australia on June 15, 2012:

“The news that the Holy Father will establish a Personal Ordinariate in Australia, the third in the world, is truly wonderful, as it marks another important step toward Catholic unity.

“I offer my prayers, good wishes and encouragement to all those who will become part of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, and I pledge the support of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.”

The Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross will be the third Personal Ordinariate created by Pope Benedict XVI following the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus to serve Anglican groups and clergy seeking to become Catholic while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage and tradition.

The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012, and is based in Houston, Texas. Sixty Anglican priests are in formation to be ordained Catholic priests. The first ordinations will be in June 2012.

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Msgr. Keith Newton of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales also responded:

Ordinary welcomes Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross

12 May 2012

It was announced yesterday that a Personal Ordinariate will be established within the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on 15 June 2012. This will be the third Personal Ordinariate to be erected by Pope Benedict XVI following the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.<

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross will be under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury and will be headed by an Ordinary, who is yet to be named.

Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, said, "This is great news for the Church in Australia, and for those from the Anglican tradition who are seeking to fulfil the goal of full visible unity with the Apostolic See, whilst maintaining essential elements of our Anglican tradition".

"A close bond already exists between the Ordinariate here in the UK and our brothers and sisters of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. It is my hope that similarly strong ties can be established with our Australian counterparts, especially as we look forward to the publication of a common liturgical use".

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne said, "I hope that those former Anglicans who have made a journey in faith that has led them to the Catholic Church will find a ready welcome".

Personal Ordinariate to be established in Australia on 15 June

The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, announced today that Pope Benedict XVI intends to announce the establishment in Australia of a Personal Ordinariate for Former Anglicans to commence on 15th June 2012. This new community will have the status of a diocese and will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury.

A Grand Day Out

St James' Spanish Place -- A Bastion in Marylebone

St James' Spanish Place, in Marylebone, London, has more space devoted to it in Pevsner's 'London' (Vol 3: London NW) than even All Souls Langham Place, a few pages earlier.  So it is an important building.  But better than that, on Sunday evening it was the place to be.  Crowds came from Ordinariates out in the shires, some form beyond Canterbury in the Southeast, from deepest Essex, and we took a contingent from Bournemouth (a three-hour ride in a mini-coach) to celebrate a glorious Evensong and Benediction, and listen to our Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton.

He reminded us just how far we have come in such a short time.  He promised even better things as more and more former Anglicans come into the Catholic Church through the Holy Father's inspired provision of Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Edward Goldie's chef d'oeuvre: reminiscent of Pearson's style

One of the things we might have missed on leaving the Church of England was 'Forward in Faith'.  That organisation enabled Anglican Catholics to meet (at the National Assembly, and in local groups) and make common cause.  Now it looks as though this is being replaced for us by the Ordinariate.  Last year's Walsingham Pilgrimage brought many of us together, and last night there were so many old friends to see.

Fr Ed Tomlinson ponders how to loot the Sacristy

We heard how well the Groups are going in Hemel Hempstead and in Deal, and what new things are starting in Croydon and Maidstone. There were so many former leaders of the Catholic movement in the Church of England; the one-time Master of SSC, Fr Christopher Colven, now proprietor of the church where we were worshipping; Fr Geoffrey Kirk, originator of Forward in Faith; Sister Wendy of the Famous Three; Francis Bown once a neighbour and colleague of mine in Hull, now a lay Catholic who is a regular worshipper at St James' — and so many others, who will I hope not be offended if I fail to mention them.

After the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament

The Choir reminded us of some of the glories of the Anglican tradition: Parry's thrilling "I was Glad" for the introit, Bernard R The ose's Responses, Stanford's Mag & Nunc in C.  The only complaint from my Group was that they wanted to sing more hymns to sing themselves — maybe an Office Hymn?  But the hymn which the Ordinariate claims as its own, "Praise to the Holiest", sung to Somervell's great tune, was some compensation.  After all, Cathedral Evensong is not a sing-along.

We are ready for our close-up, Mr de Mille

Our contingent from Bournemouth had spent a busy day; many had set off for Mass before 9am, and did not return home until near 11pm.  We had been interviewed by the Editors of The Portal (now the official magazine of the Ordinariate of OLW) for the hour after Mass.

'And nothing but the truth, remember.' (Ronald Crane)

What a memorable day January 15th turned out to be.  Now we look forward to the Ordinariate's Chrism Mass, our likely next big gathering (on April 2nd, we think).  See you there.

Another Anglican Bishop Answers Pope Benedict's Call to Unity

From James Bradley:


Another Anglican bishop answers Pope Benedict's call to unity

Former Anglican monk and bishop, Robert Mercer, has been received into the full communion of the Catholic Church by Monsignor Keith Newton through the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

On Saturday 7 January, Mgr Newton celebrated Mass according to the Book of Divine Worship at the historic church of St Agatha’s, Portsmouth, by kind permission of the Reverend John Maunder, who cares for the Traditional Anglican Communion faithful in that area.

Mgr Newton said, 'It is a great privilege to receive Robert into the fullness of Catholic life. He is a man of unimpeachable moral stature who, through his ministry in Africa and with the Community of the Resurrection, brings many valuable treasures of Anglican life into the Catholic Church'.

Robert Mercer was born in Zimbabwe and has been a member of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, for 49 years. From 1977-89 he was the Anglican bishop of Matabeleland and from 1989-2005 he served as a bishop of the Traditional Anglican Catholic Church of Canada. He retired in 2005 and became the Episcopal Visitor to the Traditional Anglican Communion in the UK.

Six former Anglican bishops have now been reconciled to the Holy See through the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

The Genesis of Anglicanorum Coetibus

The following paper was presented by Dr. William Tighe at the 2011 Anglican Use Conference, which took place at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Arlington, Texas.

The Genesis of Anglicanorum Coetibus


The title which is given to my presentation in the conference program, “The History of the Movement,” is very convenient for my purposes, since it gives so very little away and allows me under its rubric to speak about almost whatever I please. In fact, what I will be (mostly) speaking about is the background and origins of Anglicanorum Coetibus (AC), its genesis in other words. And here I must make a disclaimer: a good deal of what I shall say involves speculation, informed speculation to be sure, but if a skeptic should dismiss it, or parts of it, as “guesswork” I would be hard-pressed to rebut him — but one reason for this is that some of the information on which I shall build my conclusions has reached me over the years with injunctions of confidentiality about its sources. Also, as much due to considerations of length and the avoidance of excessive complexity, as for any other reasons, I shall not discuss, except passingly, events subsequent to the appearance of AC in October/November 2009, and the thorny and contentious issues connected with its implementation.

How far back should such an account go? Should one treat the various phases and reports of the ARCIC process from 1970 (or 1967, if one includes the preliminaries) onwards, and the high expectations of an imminent “sacramental reconciliation” between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church that accompanied this process until well into the 1980s, or even later? I think not, except to note that for a brief time there seems to have been a real possibility that Rome would reconsider its 1896 condemnation of Anglican Orders in the bull Apostolicae Curae, a possibility dashed by the Anglicans’ acceptance of the pretended ordination of women. Should one discuss in detail the insistence on the part of the Roman authorities from 1973 onwards that the pretended ordination of women to the priesthood (and, later, episcopate) would form an insuperable obstacle to the realization of this goal? Not really, save to note two or three important aspects of this matter: first, that this “Roman caution” was for a long time expressed, however definitely, in a very low-key manner; secondly, that down at least to the end of the second phase of the ARCIC process around 2007 both the Anglicans and Catholics involved in the process seem to have colluded (at least corporately) in avoiding any discussion of the question of the pretended ordination of women itself or of its bearing on the ARCIC process, despite the fact that from the time of the end of the first round of that process in 1981 it appears to have been realized, and desired from the “Roman” side at least, that the issue would need to be addressed (even though ARCIC has never to this day addressed itself to the issue); and, thirdly, and (for my subject most importantly) that in its ecumenical dealings with the Anglican Communion Rome always regarded the Church of England as the “bellwether” Anglican church, that is, the one whose actions in Rome’s eyes represented the Anglican Communion as a whole. Thus, as regards the pretended ordination of women, while Rome stated as early as 1973 that the acceptance of this innovation would make the hopes with which the ARCIC process began incapable of realization, the fact that women were purportedly ordained to the priesthood by the Anglican Diocese of Hong Kong in 1971, the Anglican churches of Canada and New Zealand in 1976, the Episcopal Church in 1977 (after earlier uncanonical ordinations in 1974 and 1975), and so forth, and even the first purported consecration of a woman as an Anglican bishop in 1989 in the Episcopal Church, seems to have left Rome “unfazed;” and even though Rome sought for the English bishops to make a “wide and generous response” to those Anglicans, especially clergymen, who would seek admission to, and frequently ordination in, the Catholic Church after the Church of England General Synod’s rather unexpected approval of the measure opening its priesthood to women in 1992, it seemed at first at least half inclined to believe that the ARCIC process could continue with “business as usual.”

It was only in July 2006, almost three years after the Episcopal Church’s consecration of a pseudogamously partnered man as Bishop of New Hampshire that Walter, Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), the Vatican’s “ecumenical office,” delivered an urgent address to the House of Bishops of the Church of England imploring them to proceed no further with measures allowing for the appointment of woman bishops, as such a measure would render impossible the realization of previous Anglican and Catholic ecumenical aspirations. (I shall return to this episode further on in this presentation.) Cardinal Kasper had a reputation, perhaps not undeserved, for being interested primarily in cultivating ecumenical relations with representatives of the historic Protestant churches, such as those that made up the Lutheran World Federation or the Anglican Communion, to give two examples, and rather less with conservative or dissident groups stemming from those traditions, and reacting to their perceived liberalism, such as the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, or the various “jurisdictions” that make up “Continuing Anglicanism,” and this address to the Church of England’s bishops was almost the “last hurrah” of this type of Catholic ecumenism. Almost — for there was to be a last farewell to it at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

All this said, the remainder of my presentation shall tell “three stories:” the story of the Traditional Anglican Communion’s approaches to Rome; the story of England’s Forward-in-Faith organization and its dealings, or the dealings of some of its member bishops and clergy, with Rome; and, finally, and perhaps most significantly, the almost completely unpublicized story of the secret discussions between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome and some English Anglican bishops in 2008 and 2009.

Continue reading "The Genesis of Anglicanorum Coetibus"

Very Big, Texas

Once upon a time in Texas

Texas has a great history, and nowhere more than the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolis.  Once it was all oil and cattle.  Those are still there, but Texas is also high-tech, and where the Church is concerned it is making history.  Perhaps the largest (so far) of the Anglican Use communities in the USA is in San Antonio.  Not so large, but equally important to the Church in the States — and beyond — is the Pastoral Provision parish of St Mary the Virgin, Arlington.  That church and congregation was one of the first to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Catholic Church.  Now they are eagerly looking forward to being part of the Ordinariate in North America.

This week they are hosting a Conference at which two Englishmen are among the many distinguished speakers, Msgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the English & Welsh Ordinariate, and John Hunwicke, redoubtable former Vicar in Oxford and soon (we hope) to be a Priest of the Catholic Church.

Both their addresses are recorded and may be heard via the Ordinariate website.  Msgr Keith gives a rundown of where things are now in the United Kingdom, and speaks of his hopes for the future.  He also encourages us to ensure that as Ordinariates are established across the world we shall deepen and extend our ties of friendship.  Certainly I found huge enthusiasm to learn about the way the first (English) Ordinariate was going, when I visited Arlington three months ago.  Since then, of course, there has been huge progress, and it is worth listening to Msgr Keith's take on events.

John Hunwicke gave a masterly account of part of our Patrimony, a part which non-Anglicans, and perhaps even non-Englishmen, find hard to understand.  He told how Dom Gregory Dix was thoroughly disliked by the hierarchy — because he had both wit and scholarship on his side.  Now does that remind you of anyone?  He spoke about Ronnie Knox and his devastating dismembering of Pilgrim's Progress (the work of "pseudo-Bunyan") using the techniques of Biblical analysis popular in his day.  I should like to hear him, sometime, on Knox's proof that "In Memoriam", attributed to Alfred Lord Tennyson, was in fact written by Queen Victoria.  He had the audience rocking with laughter when he spoke about Bishop Headlam being locked in her Wendy House by his wonderful young grandaughter.  I do hope and believe that the Catholic hierarchy can understand our English sense of humour, for otherwise the future of the Ordinariate might be beset with difficulties.

Hunwicke Attentive (at Allen Hall)

There are more addresses and events recorded, but time has prevented me from viewing all of them yet.  That will be a pleasure to savour after the two Masses in Southbourne where I preach this evening and tomorrow.  Meanwhile, if you have a moment, do latch on to the Anglicanorum Ustream site (but remember the time difference if you want to hear a live broadcast).