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

Friday, December 11, 2009

Anglicans thinking of Rome 'must not become a sect'

December 11, 2009
By Trevor Timpson

Discontented Anglicans who convert must not become a "sect" within the Roman Catholic Church, a senior Catholic clergyman dealing with church unity has warned.

Anglicans who object to plans for women bishops are considering the Vatican's invitation to become part of a special section - an "ordinariate" - within the church in England and Wales.

Monsignor Andrew Faley, Assistant General Secretary of the English and Welsh Catholic bishops' conference, told the BBC News website that ordinariate members would be expected to co-operate with their local bishop and the life of their local Catholic parish...

Read the rest at the BBC News. Read this in conjunction with Christian's exposition below, which strikes me as taking a much closer look at the canonical issues than comes across in this interview.

My question about the term "sect" in this post is just what does Msgr Faley mean by it? A sectarian attitude would involve not only a generally separate life, due to distinct customs and jurisdiction, which are part of the ordinariates, but also an attitude of superiority. After all, when a new church is carved from an old, the new church generallly regards itself as better or purer than the old church body. (Donatism is one of the truly persistent heresies.) But a separate life need not include such an attitude: the Eastern Catholics demonstrate that. And there needs to be a distinct life for the ordinariate parishes if they are to maintain the Anglican Catholic patrimony which can be shared with the wider Church.

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