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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Former Anglican bishop ordained a Catholic deacon

By Catholic Herald Staff Reporter

Thursday, 22 March 2012

From left: James Bradley; Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary; Robert Mercer; Bishop Alan Hopes; Daniel Lloyd

A former Anglican bishop has been ordained a deacon for the ordinariate.

Robert Mercer, who was received into the Catholic Church in January, was ordained by Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster at Allen Hall seminary in London. He will be ordained a priest on Monday.

Mr Mercer, 77, was Bishop of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, in the Anglican Province of Central Africa. He was bishop for 11 years before leaving the Anglican Communion to join the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, part of the worldwide Traditional Anglican Communion. He served as metropolitan bishop from 1988 to 2005, when he retired to England.

He is one of three former Anglican clergy to be ordained priests for the ordinariate. More than 200 former Anglicans are also expecting to be received into the Catholic Church in Holy Week.

Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, presented Robert Mercer for ordination. Other members of the Ordinariate, together with staff and seminarians from Allen Hall, were present for the celebration.

During his homily, Bishop Hopes said: “Robert, your life has been one of profound commitment and witness. Your formation and ministry within the Anglican tradition have provided you with a solid spiritual bedrock on which your life has been built … You have been a bold witness to Christ and to the truths of Catholic Christianity – often at great cost to yourself”.

“Coming into communion with the Catholic Church through the ordinariate, you bring with you some of the spiritual riches that are to be found in the Anglican church. You take on a new mission in your ministry of bridge building – that of building bridges between the Catholic Church and the ecclesial communities of the Anglican tradition”.

Mgr Newton, speaking after the ordination, said: “It is a great joy to be here today to celebrate Robert’s ordination. We hope and pray that it will be an encouragement to members of the Traditional Anglican Communion – an assurance of the respect and warmth of welcome, which the Ordinariate offers to them and to all Anglicans who are faithful to the vision of Christian Unity”.

Mr Mercer will be ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on March 26 in Portsmouth Cathedral.

from the Catholic Herald.

Hat tip to Mary Ann Mueller

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