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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another scholarly look at the Anglican Use, and a new resource for you

This morning I was contacted by Fr. Jose María Chiclana, a priest of Opus Dei in Spain, who let me know that the doctoral thesis he had been working on, titled "LA CONSTITUCIÓN APOSTÓLICA ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS: LOS ORDINARIATOS PERSONALES PARA FIELES PROVENIENTES DEL ANGLICANISMO" ("The Aposotolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus: The Personal Ordinariates for the faithful coming from Anglicanism") had been accepted summa cum laude. Our congratulations to Father. He also let me know that his thesis will be published in book form.

I had provided some texts to Fr. Chiclana during his work, which he kindly acknowledged, along with his acknowledgement of assistance by others,  many of whose names you will recognize in the translated section of his introduction below. But of further interest is the Spanish-language web site he refers to in his introduction, which, for those of us who read Spanish, will provide a great deal of information about not only the Personal Ordinariates but other personal structures within the church which have been arranged for the benefit of the faithful.

I do not wish to end this brief introduction without thanking in the first place Professor Jorge Miras, for agreeing to direct this investigative work, and for the optimism, hard work and generosity that he has lent to overcome every stumbling block that appeared during this study. I have a special debt of gratitude for Professors Antonio Viana, Edward Baura, Felix Maria Arocena and Juan Ignacio Arrieta for their help with various difficulties that, thanks to the, were overcome. Also, especially for Professor Luis Navarro who has suggested to me solutions to discrete problems and has helped me find important sources. I also thank Professor Ghirlanda for his willingness to entertain my questions during the meeting we had in Rome. The help I have received from Fr. Mark Woodruff and Steve Cavanaugh has been fundamental in acquainting me with many diverse aspects of Anglican tradition. In this same sense I wish to thank Monsignor Andrew Burnham, Gordon Read, Fr. David Chapman, Fr. John Pitchford, Gerald Soane, Mark Fischer, Fr. James Pereiro, professor Hans Feülner and William Oddie for their collaboration in helping me understand certain aspects of Anglicanism and helping design a bibliography of adequate scope. I cannot fail to thank Margaret Chalmers, chancellor of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter for her generous dedication to my many questions which arrived to her from Spain in the most unexpected moments. She always responded rapidly from her Blackberry. In the same way, I wish to thank the Ordinary of the Chair of St. Peter, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, for his willingness to help and in be cited in numerous documents. In my study of the Pastoral Provision, Fr. Christopher Phillips, Fr. Paul Sullins and Duane Galles have helped me greatly, and have always attended to my needs with generosity and provided me whatever facts I asked of them. Also of great help to me has been the disinterested work of Deborah Gyapong, Fr. James Bradley, Anthony Chadwick, Christian Campbell and Shane Schaetzel in their blogs where they have speedily reported on the life and doings of the Personal Ordinariates. I have also benefited from the work of Santiago Álvarez and José Antonio Araña on the web site, where I have been able to find a well-ordered and complete bibliography. 
The forthcoming publication of Fr. Chiclana's work also serves to remind us that the Personal Ordinariates, although rooted in the Anglosphere, are not an exclusive concern of English speakers, as Msgr. Steenson noted as well in a recent blog post "Our First Hispanic Group".


  1. Steve,

    I've seen the leaked "Approved Text" in it's entirety, but I haven't seen a post-October 10th approved version. I'm fairly confident they're the same, but it would be nice to see it.

    Do you know of a link? I've looked everywhere online to no avail. Thanks & God bless!

  2. Hi Jon,

    I don't think the text is available online. FWIW, I haven't seen it myself. The US Ordinariate clergy are on retreat Oct 22-25 and a major focus of their time in Florida will be the approved liturgy and its implementation.