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, March 16, 2012

Anglican Catholics and the experience of the Ordinariate

More than two years ago, Pope Benedict XVI published the apostolic exhortation Anglicanorum Coetibus, that allows groups of Anglicans to collectively convert to the Catholic Church while still keeping their Anglican identity.

It envisaged the creation of structures called 'Ordinariates' for returning Anglicans.

The first such Ordinariate was established last January in the United Kingdom.

One year after its creation, about a hundred of its members have come to Rome for a week, to celebrate the anniversary.

To date, fifty seven priests and three deacons have joined the Ordinariate, together with over one thousand lay people.

Two hundred more faithful will be received this year.

Twenty of the Ordinariate's priests are still being trained.

Mgr. Keith Newton, a married Anglican priests and father of three takes stock of this unprecedented experience in the relationship between Christian Churches in the West...

Read the rest of this interview with Msgr. Newton, originally published last week, on the web site Clerical Whispers.

Hat tip to Fr. Chadwick's "English Catholic" blog.

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