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

Friday, November 5, 2010

Parishes joining the Ordinariate will have no difficulty finding a home

Mostly, it will be the one they already have
Wednesday, 3 November 2010

“Hundreds of priests and parishioners,” reported the Telegraph this week, “are expected to take up the Pope’s offer to convert to Roman Catholicism and join a new body for Anglicans who disagree with the ordination of women bishops when it is established next year.” Well, we did know that. But then the Telegraph homed in on one of the expected difficulties in the way of the Ordinariate: where will members of these new parishes actually go to when they have left their often dearly loved church buildings?

One of the very few negative features of leaving the Church of England is that one is leaving a body of church architecture as lovely as any in Europe, and – in this country at least – joining a Church hardly notable for the architectural quality of its church buildings: many, indeed, are downright depressing. And, of course, as the Telegraph reported in its latest piece on the Ordinariate: “Church authorities have insisted that defectors will not be able to retain their parish buildings when they leave the Anglican family.”

However, in what the Telegraph calls “the prospect of a historic compromise”, William Fittall – who might be described as the Sir Humphrey Appleby of the Church of England; he is secretary general of the General Synod – said it would be “entirely possible” for those groups or parishes who join the Ordinariate to be allowed to share their former churches with Anglicans who remain in the Church of England.

I would go further: I think it highly likely...

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