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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Ecclesiastical Delegate for Pastoral Provision; USA Ordinariate date announced.

by His Excellency, Kevin W. Vann

For the Catholic Church in the United States, today marks an important movement towards greater diversity and at the same time a reaffirmation of the universality of what Jesus Christ established. On the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which falls on Sunday January 1, 2012, a Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans (Episcopalians) who wish to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church will be erected. This follows the January 15, 2011 establishment of a Personal Ordinariate in England and comes just before an official announcement about progress towards the erection of a Personal Ordinariate in Australia.

Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Ecclesiastical Delegate for the establishment of a Personal Ordinariate in the United States, prepared remarks for the full body of Bishops at the USCCB meeting in Baltimore. Many questions remain to be answered and there is no rush to frenetically and prematurely answer questions to hypothetical situations which may or may not bear out. For the moment, what we know is that the Holy Father, in an audience granted to His Eminence William Cardinal Leveda, approved the erection of an Ordinariate in the United States.

Along with the announcement of an Ordinariate, Cardinal Wuerl also announced that I have been appointed the new Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision by the CDF. I succeed Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark and am grateful for the trust placed in me to participate in this historic fraternal embrace of those Anglicans who seek the same. Thank you to Cardinal Levada, Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Myers and so many others for their support and friendship as I move forward on this journey.

From Bishop Vann's blog Shepherd of Fort Worth.

Hat tip to Rocco Palma, writing at his blog Whispers in the Loggia.

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