At Westminster Cathedral this Saturday, another milestone for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will be reached, with the ordination of another 17 former Anglican priests as deacons on their way to the Catholic priesthood. The ordination Mass will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster. “I have been informed”, says the author of the excellent A Reluctant Sinner blog, “that it has been quite some time since Westminster Cathedral will have witnessed the ordination of so many men at the one Mass.”
This is a good opportunity, therefore, to ask once more a serious question, which I asked recently in Faith magazine: the answer I gave ought to have evoked some kind of response from the powers that be (at whom it was aimed): it predictably aroused, however, a resonant silence from that quarter. The question is this: what is happening, exactly, in and to the ordinariate, whose first anniversary has now passed? I had always assumed that the ordinariate would begin in a small way, consolidate over a year or so, and then find itself growing naturally as Catholic-minded Anglicans perceived it to be a real alternative to an Anglicanism increasingly under liberal Protestant domination. Is the ordinariate showing signs of fulfilling the potential many of us had hoped to see realised?
Well, it’s too early to tell. But there’s no doubt that there are certain things needed if Anglicanorum coetibus is to take concrete and permanent form here: one of them is that the existing hierarchy should in the early stages help and cooperate with it, while at the same time rigorously respecting and fostering the new jurisdiction’s absolute independence. The question now is whether this – or the reverse – is actually what the hierarchy is doing.
As I have already written in this column, I am beginning to wonder if the warm welcome with which even formerly hostile members of our hierarchy greeted the establishment of the ordinariate was genuine. Was their conversion authentic? Or were they being devious? Is the truth that their warm words were what they knew the Pope wanted them to utter, but that their true intention, hidden this time, in contrast to their open hostility to the original “Roman Option”, was to allow the whole thing to get under way and then quietly and over time to strangle it? I think that is the real truth.
If it is not, why, unlike the new American ordinariate and the even newer Australian ordinariate (who were both assigned a church building on their erection), has the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham still not been given a principal church?...
Read the whole article at The Catholic Herald.
Hat tip to Fr. Stephen Smuts.