The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Constitution for Anglican Converts Released

BY Edward Pentin
November 22-28, 2009 Issue | Posted 11/14/09 at 12:04 AM

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has published an apostolic constitution that allows for groups of Anglicans to come into communion with the Catholic Church while retaining their heritage and traditions.

The decree, Anglicanorum Coetibus, was signed by Pope Benedict XVI on Nov. 4, the memorial of St. Charles Borromeo. An apostolic constitution is usually legislative, with binding authority on the entire Church. Accompanying the decree were a list of complementary norms and an explanatory letter. News of the document’s preparation had been announced by the Vatican Oct. 20.

In a Nov. 9 press release, the Vatican said the apostolic constitution introduces “a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing personal ordinariates,” autonomous jurisdictions within the Church that are headed by a ordinary. It added that the papal decree “opens a new avenue for the promotion of Christian unity while, at the same time, granting legitimate diversity in the expression of our common faith.”

The document explains how this historic act came to be...

Read the rest at the site of The National Catholic Register.

Hat tip to Fr. Christopher Phillips

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