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, April 16, 2012

Anglican Catholics in Canada

On the Sunday of the Divine Mercy of the Lord, the first Anglican group in Canada is received into the Catholic Church with the intent of joining an Ordinariate for former Anglicans. The group includes 40 members of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Ottawa, which has been a member of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) and of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). They were received into full communion with the Catholic Church in St. Patrick's Basilica in Ottawa by Archbishop Terrence Prendercast earlier today.

With Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus (and complementary norms), personal ordinariates can be established in countries where sufficient number of Anglicans wish to enter into communion with the Catholic Church. Similar to a Diocese, an Ordinariate possesses public juridic personality in Canon Law, and has jurisdiction of possibly a whole country. These Ordinariates can celebrate the Holy Eucharist and other sacraments according to the Anglican tradition which have been approved by the Holy See.

Former Anglican bishops who enter an Ordinariate (as Ordinary or not) may receive ordination to the diaconate and priesthood, but only those who are not married can receive ordination to the episcopate. The head of an ordinariate is called an Ordinary. He must receive ordination as priest from the Catholic Church but would have similar power to a diocesan Bishop and be similarly vested. The only difference for Ordinaries who cannot receive episcopal ordination in the Catholic Church is that they cannot perform ordinations.

Canada does not have sufficient members to form a personal ordinariate of its own. Anglicans from the country will join the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in the United States, established four months ago. This is only the second ordinariate for Anglicans, with the first one being the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England, established in 2011. The Canadians will form a Deanery within the Ordinariate, under the patronage of St. John the Baptist, who has special significance to Canada...

read the full post at Sacrosancta Ecclesia.

1 comment:

  1. As joyous as the news this article conveys is, it is, I'm afraid to say, quite incorrect to say that the receptions of ACCC groups into the Catholic Church on 15th April represent the first group of former Anglicans bound for the Ordinariate.

    St John the Evangelist, Calgary, a former Anglican Church of Canada parish, was the first Ordinariate-bound community to be received into the Catholic Church, by Bishop Fred Henry, last December. I know, because I was part of the 60+ group of former Anglicans.

    Msgr Jeffrey Steenson visited Calgary this past weekend to celebrate Mass and to baptise at St John's. You can see the photographs, and other information, at

    Otherwise, this is wonderful news!