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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Further responses to the announcement of Pope Benedict's Apostolic Constitution

From Times Online, Ruth Gledhill writes an article about the retired C of E bishop of Rochester:
Will Michael Nazir-Ali go to Rome?
A number of people have been asking whether Dr Michael Nazir-Ali might be among those who take the road to Rome under the arrangements announced yesterday. If married bishops are to be permitted, which admittedly seems unlikely, he could conceivably emerge as the ideal ordinary for Anglicans under the new Apostolic Constitution.
A former Catholic, he was received into the Anglican church into his country of birth, Pakistan, at the age of 20. He is married with two children and has just retired as Bishop of Rochester in order to work with the persecuted church.

Read the rest at The Times Online.


From the First Things blog, "The Anchoress", we have a continually updated blog posting:
Pope: Anglicans, Liturgy, Welcome
As I and others guessed yesterday, the announcements coming out of Rome and London today are big but not all that surprising. Damian Thompson has the first threadbare report:
The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict is setting up special provision for Anglicans, including married clergy, who want to convert to Rome together, preserving aspects of Anglican liturgy. They will be given their own pastoral supervision, according to this press release from the Vatican:
“In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony.”

This is very big. If this reconnection is well-facilitated, we may see the entire African arm of the Church of England (which is currently its most vibrantly-growing branch) cross the Tiber, and that will be a very interesting development, especially as Catholics are exposed to the Anglican-use liturgy, which will remind many of everything they loved about the Latin mass, but in the glorious language of the Anglican liturgy. This may accelerate the already-growing movement within the Catholic church to correct some of the liturgical excesses and errors we’ve seen in the last 40 years.

Read the rest at "The Anchoress" blog.


Father Christopher Phillips, pastor of the Anglican Use parish of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, writes on his blog Atonement Online, a typically thoughtful post which answers a key question that has popped up among many people: 'How is this different from the Pastoral Provision/Anglican Use communities now in existence in the US?'
I've been asked how this idea of a Personal Ordinariate is different from what we already have in the Pastoral Provision. Here's an imperfect analogy: it's kind of like the difference between living in an apartment and living in a house. What do I mean? As things are now, we have a wonderful home in the Catholic Church. We have a beautiful liturgy. We have a marvellous church and school. We have a terrific archbishop who readily expresses his respect and affection for us. We're extremely fortunate. That's not the case in many other dioceses. There are bishops who have made it clear that they don't want an Anglican Use parish in their jurisdiction, and there have been many cases where requests have been flatly refused. Many chancery officials view the Pastoral Provision as being temporary, and will do very little to assist Anglican clergy and they completely ignore the inquiries of Anglican laity. As it is now, the Anglican Use depends upon the charity of the local ordinary. That's a very shaky foundation for building anything permanent. A landlord can eventually get rid of an unwanted tenant. A home-owner has a whole lot more stability.

Read Fr. Phillips' entire post at Atonement Online.


Father Dwight Longenecker has several posts on his blog Standing on My Head which are worth reading through.


Father Ernie Davis, who pastors a parish which includes an Anglican Use congregation in Kansas City, writes:
People have asked me to help help them understand the new Apostolic Constitution and how it differs from the Pastoral Provision under which I was ordained a Catholic priest. Please remember that this is very new and the text has not been released yet.
First, the Pastoral Provision is local and provisional. The Pastoral Provision is in effect in the United States and provides a process by which former Episcopal or Anglican priests may be considered for ordination in the Catholic Church, temporarily suspends the discipline of celibacy during the lifetime of the priest's wife, and allows for groups of former Episcopalians to retain some of their liturgical traditions using an approved modification of the Book of Common Prayer called the Book of Divine Worship. The Pastoral Provision is also in force in Great Britain, but British bishops have not approved an Anglican based liturgy. The Pastoral Provision does not apply in the rest of the world, although individual priests may convert and be considered for ordination on a case by case basis. Second, the Pastoral Provision has a limited but indefinite time-frame. Its purpose was to allow Anglicans to be absorbed into the Catholic Church. An Apostolic Constitution is issued at a much higher level of authority and is not intended to be time-limited. So it is quite possible that the Pope envisions that an Anglican community will exist within Catholicism for quite some time and even provides the possibility of separate Anglican tracks within Catholic seminaries to provide for future continuity.

Read his comments in full at his blog How Can I Keep from Singing?".

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