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

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It was Pope Paul’s idea to preserve an Anglican heritage within the Catholic Church

By William Oddie
Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Everyone, at the beginning of the week, was expecting an announcement from two Anglican bishops that they had resigned their episcopal office and that they would soon be received into the Catholic Church in preparation for joining the Ordinariate soon to be established; and we all knew that there were other bishops in the pipeline. But not many expected five in one go: unsurprisingly, it caused something of a stir, though not exactly jaw-dropping astonishment.

By now, the choreography of this process has become fairly clear. What is less understood is its nature. Some cradle Catholics still just don’t get it. Why do they want their own little enclave: if they want to be Catholics, why don’t they just join? What is this stuff about an Anglican “patrimony”? Isn’t that just what they want to get away from?

The first thing to say about the usage of Anglican “patrimony” is that it wasn’t coined by an Anglican, but by Pope Paul, in the days before the aspiration of an eventual corporate reunion of Canterbury and Rome (always, with the benefit of hindsight, an impossible dream) had been rudely shattered by the Anglicans’ unilateral decision fundamentally to redefine their orders in a way impossible for Catholics ever to accept...

Read the rest of Dr. Oddie's article at The Catholic Herald.
Hat tip to Brother Stephen Treat, O.Cist., writing at the Anglo-Catholic blog.

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