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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Archbishop Cordileone in London for meetings on Anglican liturgy

January 16th, 2013
By Rick DelVecchio

Archbishop [of San Francisco] Salvatore J. Cordileone is in London for meetings Jan. 16-18 on developing an historic new liturgy for members of the Anglican Church who are choosing to come into communion with the Roman Catholic Church under an initiative by Pope Benedict XVI.

The archbishop is a member of the Subcommission on the Liturgy for the Anglican Ordinariates, a Vatican advisory group that is in the second year of a three-year effort to create proposals for final action by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship. Archbishop Cordileone contributes canon law expertise to the group, which includes other prelates as well as expert advisers.

The rites for Mass, marriage, funerals and seasonal prayers will be implemented by newly formed Catholic ordinariates – similar to dioceses, but with national jurisdiction – for Anglicans joining the Roman church. The Catholic Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, based in Houston, was formed Jan. 1, 2012, and now has 1,500 laypeople across the U.S. and Canada, 35 communities and 24 priests. Ordinariates also have been established in England and Australia.

The liturgies under development are designed to respect Anglican traditions and spirituality while conforming to Catholic norms. Worshippers in the new ordinariates will have a choice of following the Revised Roman Missal or an amended Anglican Order of Holy Mass.

“There’s diversity among Anglican liturgies,” Archbishop Cordileone told Catholic San Francisco. “We’re trying to have a more unified form. They can always use the current form of the Roman Missal, but also they’ll have a more traditional form that’s Anglican.”

The Anglican order of Mass has similarities both to the pre-Vatican II Catholic Mass and to the Liturgy of the Word in the current form. But there are important differences, including a prayer said by the Anglican celebrant at the foot of the altar during the introductory rites and a section called “The Comfortable Words,” where the deacon or priest faces the people and recites one or more sentences from Scripture. In addition, the Anglican penitential rite takes place before the offertory.

In the Anglican Church there is diversity not only in liturgy but also in opinion about doctrine and theology, notably concerning the divinity of Christ, sexual morality and ordination. Women have been ordained in the Anglican communion since the 1970s.

The Anglican communion allows a wide variety of opinion, and diversity over doctrinal matters has grown in the past 50 years, Archbishop Cordileone said. Anglicans who want to join the Latin church are “looking for clarity with regard to teaching,” he said.

“There weren’t Christians who, before the 1960s, didn’t believe Christ was divine, didn’t believe he rose bodily from the grave,” he said. “It really wasn’t that much of an issue. Now that it has become, I think these more traditionally minded Anglicans lament that many of their fellow believers don’t hold to these traditional Christian beliefs and they see that the Catholic Church is. So they want to be in union with the Catholic Church because of those beliefs but they want to retain their Anglican worship and spirituality.”

 From January 18, 2013 issue of Catholic San Francisco.

Hat tip to Rev. Kendall Harmon blogging at Titus One Nine


  1. HUH?
    I thought the process had already gotten under way last year.
    I have a really bad feeling about this. Doesn't sound like he knows much about Anglican liturgy. What has the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco got to do with anything? I see no qualifications for him to be involved. His feud with the Episcopal Bishop of San Francisco doesn't count as points in his favor.

  2. I am concerned about the repeated emphasis above on the "current form" of the Roman Rite being an option for Anglican Ordinariate priests. This is obviously an allusion to Msgr. Steenson's suppression of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite at Anglican Ordinariate churches.

    This is likely a continued violation of these priests' canonical rights, and I hope that one day this horrible decision is overturned in Rome.

  3. The process has been under way. This is from Archbishop Cordileone's own archdiocesan newspaper; it explains the reason for his absence from the see, and gives, it seems to me, a good explanation of what the committee is about. Many reading the article will not have been following this on the blogs. The Archbishop was on the committee prior to his translation to San Francisco. As for the "feud" with the Episcopal bishop, the Episcopal bishop started that off with an ungracious swipe in print.

    I do not think that this anything to do with Msgr. Steenson's decree about the Extraordinary Form; it was the Congregation for Divine Worship which suppressed Rite II of the Book of Divine Worship and said to use the revised Roman Missal for "contemporary language" liturgy. This article simply explains that there is a choice. This article, at least, is simply providing information to what is likely an audience for which the Ordinariate and the Anglican Use is not well known.

  4. Whether it was Msgr. Steenson or CDWDS that is seeking to deny the canonical rights of Ordinariate priests is not the issue. The issue is that their canonical right to celebrate the Extraordinary Form is being squelched contrary to law.

  5. My point, Ryan, is that this article does not discuss the issue of the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinariate in the US/Canada, and the mention of the Ordinary form within the article is not an allusion to the EF. You and I are in substantial agreement about the legality of the decree, but like any such decision by a superior in the Church, it needs to wend its way through the Church's justice system. What is served by bringing up the issue every time the liturgy is discussed?

  6. The reason it's germane here is because of what Archbishop Cordileone said in the article above:

    **“There’s diversity among Anglican liturgies,” Archbishop Cordileone told Catholic San Francisco. “We’re trying to have a more unified form. They can always use the current form of the Roman Missal, but also they’ll have a more traditional form that’s Anglican.”**

    He would not have said "current form of the Roman missal" unless he had in mind an exclusive ordinary form-only Roman Rite option.

    Otherwise, he would have said, "they can always use the Roman Missal, but..."

    He did not.

    So it was he who brought it up, not I.

    1. Lest silence be construed as agreement: determing intention from quotes in a newspaper article is not something I'd bet the house on. I think determining the intended audience is a better way to discern what something means, and the audience here are people unacquainted with the Ordinariate (there is no Ordinariate community in SF or neighboring Oakland). Saying the Ordinariates can use the Roman Missal but they'll also have is pointing out that while the Ordinariates do not presently have a traditional Anglican Liturgy, they will have that option (the English and Australians, after all, don't think of the BDW liturgy as all that traditional, based as it is on both the NO and the 1979 Episcoopalian BCP). Saying they can use the Roman Missal (which is the top choice in England, let us recall) only points out what is being done. I don't think most people would get anything about the EF from this article at all. I certainly didn't, and I'm more aware of the issue than the average reader.

  7. Mr Ellis, the Priests of the ordinariate have every right to say the TLM, or any Catholic liturgy if authorized (Fr. Chalmers said the Maronite Liturgy once, and Fr. Venuti the Byzantine one). But the problem is that if the TLM is made available at ordinariate venues, traditional Catholics will rapidly outnumber ordinariate folks there and the aim of the ordinariate, that is maintaining the Anglican traditions in the Catholic Church, will not be met. Moreover, Anglican/Episcopalian interested in safeguarding their patrimony will not be attracted by a community that's not even remotely Anglican in character and will then not convert at all. Therefore it is normal for ordinariate churches not to be dedicated to any extent to the TLM.
    Your pretends to defend a right those Priests have not been deprived of. In facts, the underlying motive of your outcry is that you see the ordinariate only as a reservoir of Priests to say the TLM and don't care at all about their communities or the Anglican patrimony. If you need the TLM, go to the FSSP! Asking the Anglican ordinariate to provide the TLM is like asking the butcher to deliver you vegetables!

    + pax et bonum

    1. Steve, I'm sorry this has gotten so off-track. My intention was to make a simple point that Arch. Cordileone was being deliberately-precise in his quote. But I do think Don deserves an answer to his points.

      Don, I consider myself a friend of the Ordinariate. I attend Ordinariate liturgies from time to time, and am on the mailing list of both the DC and Northern Virginia Ordinariate communities (as well as the Scranton folks). My typical Sunday Mass is an Ordinary Form, so I'm not the traddie nut you seem to be implying that I am.

      On the substance of what you say:

      1. Latin Rite priests (which include Ordinariate priests) need no special permission from their ordinary in order to celebrate the EF. That was made abundantly clear in both Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae. All that is required for a parish celebration is a stable group of the faithful requesting that form of Mass to their pastor. The ordinary has nothing to do with it, except to make provision for the faithful in a case where their pastor cannot or will not accommodate them.

      Note that this is an entirely differing circumstance from the bi-ritual permissions you mention above. More on that toward the end.

      2. I don't think you have to worry about traddies going to Anglican Ordinariate parishes, registering as parishioners, and then ambushing the pastor with a "stable group" request. That's crazy. Why wouldn't they do that at a regular Roman Rite parish instead, where their right to do so under the law is much more clear? That doesn't happen today, because that's just not a smart way to go about getting an Ex Form in place. If this was the concern of Msgr. Steenson (and his ecclesiastical benefactors in America), then it betrays their ignorance about how these things tend to work.

      3. So let me get this straight--the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (which no one seems to have a problem with Anglican Ordinariate parishes using) is not threatening to Anglican patrimony, but the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is? Why?

      4. As a Latin Rite Catholic, I don't need to go the FSSP or whatever other ghetto you want to assign me to get my TLM. I can go to any priest and request one. Under the law, any priest of the Latin Rite is authorized to provide one. No ordinary can stop him.

      Like it or not, the Anglican Ordinariate is a use of the Latin Rite, not another Rite entirely. If it were set up as another Rite, Msgr. Steenson's decree would make a good deal more sense.

  8. OK, Ryan, let's look at your 4 points.

    1. Latin Rite priests do not have an unfettered right to celebrate the EF. In a parish, it is the pastor who determines if the public Masses at the parish will be EF or OF (Summorum Pontificum Art 5.1); in other venues the Rector (SP 5.5). The legal status of the Ordinariate parishes is in limbo: none have actually been constituted parishes yet, and therefore there are no pastors. So the legal rights regarding public celebrations of the EF are a bit unclear. After the February 2nd symposium, during which Cardinal Wuerl will retire from his role in the Ordinariate and (I suspect) the governing council will be announced, I expect that the legal status of the various communities will be settled, whether as parishes, quasi-parishes or sodalities, and proper pastors named. That will also put the issue of public celebrations of the EF into a new situation where rights are clearer.

    2. It has happened that people attached to the EF have caused problems in host parishes; Father Phillips' experience with such a group at Atonement remains a warning. If people did things the smart way, it wouldn't be necessary for Fr. Zuhlsdorf to so frequently remind people about how to behave; he has written about etiquette in this area many times.

    3. Part of what people consider the Anglican Patrimony is the music: the "Communion Services" of people like Willan, the hymnody, etc. Even in an OF celebration, this can be fully included, along with the ars celebrandi which people are used to. This is not so with EF celebrations: a High (EF) Mass excludes vernacular language music except as processional and recessional hymns.

    4. I refer you to the legal rights outlined in 1 above. Yes, any Latin Rite priest can celebrate a Mass without the people (i.e., a private or non-publicized Mass) according to the EF, which laity may attend as they find out (this necessarily would preclude it being a High Mass, of course). You can go to any pastor or rector and request a public celebration...should he agree to the request, his ordinary has no legal right to prevent it.

    I do not think that Don Henri's explanation of the rationale for Msgr. Steenson's request is unreasonable (whether licit or not); it makes sense, even if it will ultimately, after parish and pastor status are settled, be overturned.