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, December 30, 2011

Doors open for Anglicans to join Catholic Church

December 29, 2011


New Year’s Day ushers in a new era for Roman Catholics and members of the Anglican Church who will have the opportunity to enter into “corporate reunion” with the Holy See.
An apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, issued by Pope Benedict XVI, will lead to the creation of “personal ordinariates,” geographic regions similar to dioceses but typically national in scope.
Parishes in these ordinariates are to be Catholic yet retain elements of the Anglican heritage and liturgical practices. They are to be led by an “ordinary” who will have a role similar to a bishop, but who may be either a bishop or a priest.
The Vatican’s action was in response to repeated and persistent inquiries from Anglican groups worldwide who were seeking to come into sacramental communion with Rome.
Some are currently part of the Episcopal Church and others, though Anglican, are not part of the Episcopal Church. Ordinariates seek to provide a way to enter in “corporate reunion” as a group and not simply as individuals. This would allow them to retain their Anglican liturgical heritage and traditions, and to have their own leadership structure, accountable to the Pope alone...

In anticipation of the move, local Anglicans have established St. James, a mission congregation of the pro-Diocese of the Holy Family, headquartered in Orlando.
“Anglicans may retain distinctive aspects of their spiritual and religious patrimony, while enjoying full communion with the See of St. Peter,” explains St. James mission administrator Nicholas Marziani. “This very new and innovative development in the Roman Catholic Church embraces Anglicans seeking union with the Holy See in a manner unprecedented in history,” Marziani continues.
Anglicanorum coetibus is new in two ways: It applies to the world, not solely the United States, and it allows Anglican groups to be received into the Catholic Church — not through a local diocese, but through a new entity, an ordinariate which, though similar to a diocese, is national in scope and is fully responsive to Anglican liturgical and other traditions.
The St. James mission congregation meets 4:30 p.m. at the House of Prayer, across from the Nombre de Dios Mission grounds for Saturday Evensong. Other services will be conducted as the ongoing liturgical year warrants. At present seven community members attend Evensong, and it is anticipated that potentially up to 100 Anglicans and current Catholics interested in the Anglican Patrimony will join the mission congregation when the Holy Eucharist will be offered this coming summer upon the completion of Marziani’s seminary training and ordination to the Catholic priesthood...

Read the rest at St.

Hat tip to the Three Rivers Episcopal blog of the Rev. Dr. James Simons.

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