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, November 12, 2009

Rome opens arms to world's Anglicans

13 November 2009
By Anna Arco
The Vatican has released an eagerly awaited document outlining the Pope's provision for Anglican groups wishing to enter into full communion with Rome.

The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus ("On groups of Anglicans") was published on Monday, two weeks after the Vatican announced a new provision for Anglican communities that wish to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their Anglican identity. The document, which introduces a new legal structure called a Personal Ordinariate, was accompanied by a set of complementary norms, clarifying some of the points outlined.

As expected, Anglicanorum coetibus did not revise the discipline of priestly celibacy - an issue that was hotly debated when the Apostolic Constitution was first announced. Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified last week that priestly celibacy would be observed in an ordinariate, but that married men could be ordained on a case-by-case basis. A day before the document's publication, Pope Benedict XVI strongly affirmed the Church's commitment to priestly celibacy during a Mass in Brescia, Pope Paul VI's birthplace...

Read the rest in The Catholic Herald.

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