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

Monday, January 18, 2010

“Train up a child in the way he should go…”

There’s a wonderful line in Anglicanorum coetibus which makes it clear that we’re supposed to “…maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.” (Ang. coet. III)

It’s fairly obvious that to do this, we need parishes. Lots of them. We need parishes in every major city, and we need them in towns and villages. Until and unless people have the opportunity to become part of a community which is actually carrying out the mandate to “maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions,” then the sharing of the treasure will be sporadic at best. It’s in the parish setting that the liturgy lives on a daily basis, and it’s in the context of the parish that the priestly and diaconal ministries are most frequently exercised. Parishes will be the key component in the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus.

I want to make another suggestion, however, which I believe will be fundamental to maintaining and nourishing the Anglican patrimony, and which will be a major means of its growth. Schools. I’m absolutely convinced that if the Ordinariates establish schools as part of their parishes, our patrimony will flourish...

Read the rest of Fr. Phillips' essay on The Anglo-Catholic blog.

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