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 3, 2010

Pastoral Statement of Archbishop Hepworth, Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion

Saint Andrew’s Day 2010

The creation of the first Ordinariate for Anglicans under the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Benedict XVI has been announced. As anticipated, for a host of symbolic and historical reasons, the first Ordinariate will be in England.

A second Ordinariate has this week been announced for Australia.

This must surely rejoice the generous heart of the Holy Father. Anglicanorum Coetibus is a response to many overtures from Anglicans (including our own Petition) in the years when the hopes of ARCIC (the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission) for unity faded. It is also a response to the disintegration of the Anglican Communion over the past thirty years. And it is above all a recognition that many Anglican communities have come, in the ecumenical journey of the past hundred years, to a faith and a sacramental life that is fully Catholic. In the beautiful phrase of the Holy Father, they were ready to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner.

This is a moment to reflect on the prophetic wisdom of Pope Benedict. It is a moment to thank him for his daring trust that Anglicans would respond. It is a time to intensify our prayers for him. May the Lord protect him, and give him strength!
It is also a time to remember in our prayers the Archbishop of Canterbury, who acknowledged recently in Rome the prophetic witness of this initiative.

It is expected that announcements about the other two countries initially involved in preparations for the Anglican Ordinariates (Canada and the United States) will soon be forthcoming. It is also important that the rest of the Anglican world is quickly reassured that the Apostolic Constitution has a global reach. In our own Communion, four further Provinces have already passed resolutions seeking the formation of an Ordinariate...

Read the statement in full at The Anglo-Catholic blog.

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