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, February 28, 2011

Address of Bishop Elliott to Australian Investigators of the Ordinariate

Ordinariate Festival, Holy Family Parish, Como,
Perth, Western Australia, February 26, 2011


Receiving Gifts and Bringing Gifts to the Ordinariate

Bishop Peter J. Elliott
Auxiliary Bishop, Melbourne

Anglicans on the way to full communion in an ordinariate are already discovering that they are part of a surprising adventure of faith. I refer not only to the step of personal commitment, but to a wider and deeper corporate experience of unity in the Faith that comes to us from the Apostles. This Faith of the Church is secured by being “in communion” with the Successor of St Peter.

What some nervous Anglo Catholic may imagine as coming under tighter control, with a narrower vision, is in reality quite the opposite. Catholic unity in faith is a broadening experience – entering a wider domain with endless vistas, yet knowing all the while that here there is always a secure parameter which Chesterton once compared to a garden wall giving children the security to play and be happy. While that is true, I would prefer to emphasize the authoritative point of reference at the centre of the Faith of millions.

This point of reference was identified and celebrated in a magnificent gesture of commitment, when the bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church in Fr Dolling’s historic church at Portsmouth in October 2007. Their action was prophetic, anticipating what would appear two years later in Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, where we read “The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate...”

Read the rest of Bishop Elliott's address at The Anglo-Catholic blog.

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