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

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Ordinariate

The diocese of Lancaster (England) has a very good description of the Ordinariate, including history and notes about the US, Canadian and Australian situation. My thanks to Fr. Smuts in S. Africa for pointing this out on his blog.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
(under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman)

The apostolic constitution that allows for the institution of personal ordinariates for Anglicans who join the Catholic Church was released on 9 November 2009, after being announced on 20 October 2009 by Cardinal William Levada at a press conference in Rome and by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, at a simultaneous press conference in London.

A note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith indicated that the personal ordinariates: "will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. ... pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy. ... (The Apostolic Constitution offers) a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or a bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony..."

Read the rest at the Lancaster Diocesan web site

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