by Fr John Fleming
One of the many nice things about The Anglo-Catholic has been the ability of the blog to canvass a range of ideas and opinions about things Anglican. I have personally enjoyed contributing to the discussions on Anglicanorum coetibus (and other issues), and the fact that the web master allows the free exchange of different views. It is also to his great credit that he keeps us up to date about what is going on. He now refers to the new Pastoral Statement from Archbishop Hepworth to members of the TAC. His account of the “TAC narrative” is, I believe, not true to what I know to be the facts of the matter.
When I say “I know” it is because, although not a member of the TAC or any other Anglican group, I keep myself well informed from my sources in Australia, England (where I was once a Church of England priest), Rome, Canada, and to a lesser extent the US. Recent developments in the implementation process of which Christian Campbell may be unaware has seen a significant shift in the implementation processes. Moreover, I know that Father Christopher Phillips, fine priest as he is, is in touch with Archbishop Hepworth, and vice versa, to make sure they are working together for the common good.
The process of implementation has not been the same in all 4 countries where it is planned to set up an Ordinariate. The US is in many ways sui generis precisely because of the Anglican Use parishes which exist there and nowhere else.
What Archbishop Hepworth’s Pastoral Statement exemplifies is the strong and continuing commitment of TAC bishops to cooperate with the Roman authorities to see Ordinariates implemented while at the same time being strong advocates for “corporate reunion” and being willing to argue for it. Their concerns have been heard and acted upon. For example, Bishop Elliott has been very open to hearing from Archbishop Hepworth and is working well with him and the TAC to bring about an Australian Ordinariate. The same sort of strong cooperation between the excellent Catholic Bishop Delegates and the TAC is evident in Canada, the US, and England.
It is simply not fair to preempt a wider reading of this very important Pastoral Statement by sketching a partisan and hostile context within which it might be read.
As Archbishop Hepworth so wisely observes in his Pastoral Letter
“As we come to this moment of creating Ordinariates, we are bringing together groups of people who share the twin vision of achieving unity and of bringing the treasure of Anglicanism into the fullness of Catholic Communion. Some groups have been hostile to others.”
He later goes on to give this piece of pastoral advice which all concerned should exemplify if their Christianity is to be truly lived out:
The diversity of Anglican groups now preparing to join Ordinariates is a miracle of grace. Charity and forgiveness are to be the hallmarks of the gathering of Anglican groups. Every group that approaches this with integrity has an equal right to involvement in the formation and development of Ordinariates. None of us owns an Ordinariate. We are each its servant. [emphasis added]
So let us read this very fine Pastoral Statement in a spirit that is free of prejudice and pre-prepared political positions and be truly glad that all concerned are working to further the unity of the Church for which Christ prayed. No pathway to unity has ever been free of difficulties. Thank God that the difficulties experienced by many have now been overcome.
Pastoral Statement from the Primate
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.
There have been exquisite difficulties this year. The implementation of the Apostolic Constitution has posed difficulties including the way in which the text of the Apostolic Constitution should be interpreted. We have discovered how little detailed knowledge we have of the way the Catholic Church does things, and Catholic officials have discovered, I believe, their need to acquire a better and more profound knowledge of contemporary Anglicanism. There have been times when we have felt excluded. We have not been able to see clearly how the Ordinariate will be initiated, or what the processes for clergy and laity will be. That uncertainty led to feelings of insecurity. As and when my duty as Primate required it, I raised a number of serious issues with Catholic authorities to assist the implementation process.
I am now able to say that I am much more at ease with the implementation processes.
In England, Bishop Mercer has had a very productive meeting with the Episcopal Delegate for the Ordinariate (representing both the Bishops’ Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). Twenty-four TAC clergy have indicated their firm intention to seek ordination and membership of the English Ordinariate. Bishop Mercer (a hero of the darkest days of Rhodesian terrorism when he was Anglican bishop of Matabeleland) becomes the sixth Anglican bishop to seek membership of that Ordinariate.
In the United States, the creation of a community of Ordinariate-bound Anglicans from many backgrounds was greatly boosted by the gathering at the Anglican Use parish in San Antonio two weeks ago. The Episcopal Delegate through his hard working (and former Anglican) secretary is gathering information needed for a formal announcement of the timetable. I have created a structure for TAC groups wishing to enter the Ordinariate in the United States to be gathered so that they can pray and plan and wait in harmony. Archbishop Falk, Bishop Moyer and Bishop Campese are involved in that work. They, with other retired TAC bishops in the United States (Bishops Hudson and Stewart), will be entering the Ordinariate. Fifty-one priests of the TAC in the United States have so far indicated that they are seeking admission.
Bishop Garcia of Puerto Rico and Bishop Rodriguez of Central America, with the unanimous consent of their Synods, have petitioned for separate Ordinariates in their respective Provinces.
The Canadian TAC Bishops (Bishops Wilkinson, Reid and Botterill) have petitioned for an Ordinariate. Forty-three of their clergy have so far announced their intention of seeking admission to the Ordinariate with their bishops.
In Australia, the Episcopal Delegate and I are calling all those clergy and laity intending to join the Australian Ordinariate together for a “San Antonio of the South” from 1st – 3rd February. (Canada will no doubt be having a similar gathering, to be called “San Antonio in the Snow”.) The Church of Torres Strait and the Nippon Kristos Sei Ko Kai (The TAC in Japan) are involved in the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution in Australia. My two suffragan bishops (Bishops Entwistle and Robarts), along with the former Anglican bishop of Yokohama (Bishop Kajiwarra) and the Bishop of the Torres Strait (Bishop Nona) and one retired bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia all intend to enter the Ordinariate. In line with its historic autonomy, the Church of Torres Strait is seeking an Ordinariate for its own people, who are now spread throughout Australia. Twenty-eight TAC priests (not yet including the Torres Strait) have so far indicated their firm intention to seek membership of the Ordinariate.
I have been assured that Episcopal Delegates for a number of further regions will be named. I have planned visits to Japan and Latin America in February, and am planning major visits to India and Africa, prior to the naming of Delegates.
I now wish to raise with each member of the Traditional Anglican Communion several very important matters.
1. The “Gathering” of the Anglicans is bringing diverse groups together:
As we come to this moment of creating Ordinariates, we are bringing together groups of people who share the twin vision of achieving unity and of bringing the treasure of Anglicanism into the fullness of Catholic Communion. Some groups have been hostile to others. Some come from positions of power, others from persecution and dispossession. The intensity of the Anglican disputes and the sudden ability to “defame without blame” on the internet have driven many beyond breaking point to the fracturing of the Anglican Communion. Similarly, the fracturing of Anglican groups of people outside the Anglican Communion (whether by conscience or expulsion) is rightly seen as a scandal. Now, we must form a single community in Christ. It is not easy. It will not be easy for some time. Disputes about the elements of our common life, our prayer and liturgy and instruments of governance, could easily at this time overwhelm the initial fragility of our emerging communities.
2. The “Patrimony” of the Anglicans:
The unique pathway into “the fullness of Catholic Communion” provided by the Ordinariates demands a special reverence and continuity with our past. We must avoid the temptation to discard or belittle the treasures of the Patrimony. Each of us, in our application to become a member of an Ordinariate, will be seeking to be Catholics of the Western Church, but with unique ecclesial structures that “gather” us. Aboriginal Australians in ancient times carried the precious glowing embers of fire on their great nomadic journeys, ready to make the campfire around which they would gather. So it must be with us. Burning embers carried by many tribes to make one great fire around which we find warmth and light and community! The Anglican Use in the United States has proudly carried the name Anglican within the Catholic Church for the past thirty years. And soon, so shall we.
3. The example of the United States Anglicans:
For that reason, the gathering of those bound for the United States Ordinariate last week in Texas was of such significance. It was a majestic moment of creating Christian community. It is an example that should be quickly followed.
4. The temptations posed by Anglican ways:
The open governance of Anglican communities, both parish and diocese, recognised and supported by the Apostolic Constitution, is a vital part of the Patrimony. It can also be an occasion of sin, if we resort to power plays. Even in parish vestry meetings, this is not unknown!
5. Our common life in this moment of transition:
There are some Anglican clergy and people who are ready and impatient for their entry into the Ordinariate. Others, the great majority of Anglicans, cannot yet see the possibility. A few have been scornful and hostile. For the Traditional Anglican Communion, “coming into the fullness of Catholic Communion” is a matter of policy of the College of Bishops, as is the acceptance of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the “authoritative expression of the Catholic faith”. “Never” is not an option for any of us. It is of the utmost importance that those who are ready now should hold those who are not yet ready in the deepest bonds of prayer and Christian closeness. And vice versa.
6. The need for fairness and integrity:
We must commit ourselves in every part of our Communion to scrupulous fairness in any role we might have in the creation of the Ordinariates. All those on the Anglo-catholic side of Anglican Synods over the past thirty years will be aware that fairness has too often been lost. We have experienced marginalization, forced expulsion, argument by ridicule, and many other techniques that were needed to win those crucial votes. The diversity of Anglican groups now preparing to join Ordinariates is a miracle of grace. Charity and forgiveness are to be the hallmarks of the gathering of Anglican groups. Every group that approaches this with integrity has an equal right to involvement in the formation and development of Ordinariates. None of us owns an Ordinariate. We are each its servant.
7. The future of the Traditional Anglican Communion:
The Traditional Anglican Communion is committed to maintaining its corporate life, its witness to the fullness of Catholic faith, and its pastoral ministry to Anglicans hurt in the debilitating debates and in the violence of the past thirty years, for as long as such a ministry is needed on the way to Catholic and Anglican unity. Decisions on the ways in which this ministry and corporate life should now be structured, and on the formal relationships between those within and those outside the Anglican Ordinariates, are properly made by the TAC bishops. I am accordingly acting on the petitions of those TAC bishops who have sought a Plenary Meeting of the College of Bishops, and on my own desire to confer with my brother bishops, by calling for such a meeting from the 2nd – 6th May 2011, either in Italy or Australia, depending on some negotiations still taking place. I will confirm the country and city of the meeting before the end of January.
In the midst of the joy and the apprehension, the uncertainty and the longing, we come to the season of Advent. We join in spirit with the great throng of people waiting for the Coming of the Messiah. A people that waited in darkness have seen a great light! We wait, and with the Blessed Newman make our Advent prayer that wonderful first verse of his:
Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom, lead Thou me on! The night is dark, and I am far from home; lead Thou me on! Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I attach two statements that I believe capture the mood and spirit of the moment.
With the assurance of my prayers for each of you,
+John Hepworth, Primate
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Cardinal Levada to the College of Cardinals in Rome last week:
In his second report Cardinal Levada explained the nature and origins of the Apostolic Constitution on the institution of an Ordinariate for Anglican faithful who wish to enter “corporately” into full communion with the Catholic Church. He explained the ecumenical context and the current situation concerning the constitution of Ordinariates, the first of which will be established in Great Britain as announced today in a statement from the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales.
Father Louis Berry (TAC-US) to the recent meeting of Ordinariate-bound Anglicans in Texas:
“Be witnesses to the beauty of holiness, the splendor of the truth, and the joy and freedom born of a relationship with Christ.” Spoken in Westminster Cathedral, these words of Pope Benedict XVI summon us all to our true vocations as Catholic Christians. In speaking of the relations between Anglicans and Catholics he stated: “It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all.”
Whether raised in the Anglican tradition or having come to love and treasure the beauty and rich spirituality of that tradition as adults, we hear and respond to the Holy Father’s summons. Both for those who recognize that they are still imperfectly incorporated into Christ’s body, the Church, and for those who already reside safely in its bosom, the Holy Father has crafted a unique means by which we can provide the witness he speaks of and by which we can most fully and efficaciously bring to the Church, and thus lay at our Lord’s feet, the treasures of our Anglican patrimony. That means is the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and the erection of the Ordinariates for which it makes provision. The process for erecting an Ordinariate for the United States of America has commenced. We pledge ourselves to the support of that process and to the Ordinariate which will issue from it. We likewise pledge our faithful support to our Pope and to the Ordinary whom he chooses to shepherd us.
Rare indeed is the opportunity now given to us, especially to those of us who are yet only within the penumbra of the Catholic Church. We are allowed a role not only in better securing our own redemption by securely engrafting ourselves into Christ’s body, we can as well participate in the redemption of a tradition, a culture, a heritage, an ethos; indeed of a multiplicity of national and ethnic memories and histories.
We have knocked at the doors of Holy Mother Church and those doors have been flung wide for us; a spiritual feast awaits; we hear the choirs of angels from within; the Holy Spirit calls to each of us: “Enter and discover your true meaning and purpose; enter and find true life; enter and find true peace.” How can we respond other than with: Yes Lord! Yes Lord! and then again, Yes Lord!
The Primate’s Statement Makes News
The leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) has disclosed that over 150 clerics in his group, including 17 bishops, hope to enter ordinariates within the Catholic Church in the coming year.
Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth, in a message to members of the TAC, expressed high hopes for the success of the ordinariates—although he revealed that the past year’s negotiations have not always proceeded smoothly.
“There have been exquisite difficulties this year,” Archbishop Hepworth conceded. “We have discovered how little detailed knowledge we have of the way the Catholic Church does things, and Catholic officials have discovered, I believe, their need to acquire a better and more profound knowledge of contemporary Anglicanism.”
However, as plans for the ordinariates advance, the TAC leader reported that 24 priests and one bishop of his group plan to seek ordination to the Catholic priesthood in the English ordinariate, which is to be formed early in 2011. In the US, Hepworth said, 51 priests and 5 bishops (three of them retired) will seek to join a new ordinariate.
Two Anglican bishops in Central America are asking for ordinariates, the TAC leader disclosed. In Canada, three TAC bishops are seeking an ordinariate, and 43 Anglican priests hope to join.
Archbishop Hepworth invited TAC members from Australia and neighboring countries to a meeting that will be held in early February, for those hoping to see an ordinariate established there. He said that 6 Anglican bishops and 28 priests have already indicated their interest.
Recent Polemics on ‘The Anglo-Catholic’
You can read about it all over there on:
- The TAC and the Ordinariates: Reflections on a Recent Exchange by Dr William Tighe
- The limits to legitimate discussion by Catholic Bloggers by Fr John Fleming
I particularly appreciate Fr Fleming’s penultimate remark:
The other matters (…) need not, and should not, be discussed on a blog. They are matters which only the Holy See can resolve.
I’ll be watching the comments, so please be careful what you write!
A Step Backwards for a Better View
Unless one decides simply no longer to go to church, it is possible just to accept whatever comes along in the way of women bishops and priests, sex-sex marriage and all that is happening in the general ethos of church life, liturgy and every other aspect.
Beneath the veneer of inclusivity and tolerance, there lies the cobra that will defend its political territory at all costs and will expend all its energy and wealth to extend that territory. Revisionist Anglicanism is neo-gnostic, ideological, illiberal, ruthless, and antagonistic to all forms of dogmatic Christianity. Neuhaus’s Law is amply confirmed in the common life of every revisionist diocese: “Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.”
Some Anglo-Catholics have been tempted to join various conservative Evangelical organisations. I have no experience of the various Southern Cone or GAFCON groups, but they do engage in practices of which conservative Anglo-Catholics disapprove, such as lay eucharistic presidency. I remember as a teenager going to my sister’s Evangelical Anglican prayer group after Evensong at the other main parish of my town where I sung in the choir. I felt so ill at ease with a religious expression I felt I could never interiorise and contemplate as a musician and one attached to the beauty of Catholic church culture. I don’t judge Evangelical Christians, as many of those people find God and holiness, but I cannot relate with that way.
In 2005, the American Episcopal Church was still melting down and reeling to and fro and staggering like a drunken man, at its wits end. Now, five years later, the mask is off for many more people, as is happening in England.
We are certainly brought to seek to define our identity and patrimony, because the ground is dissolving under our feet. This is where the clamour for classical Anglicanism among some of the more sectarian groups arose. Their religion was not mine as a little boy and an adolescent. I felt the same way as I knew some of the traditionalist Catholic groups and had long conversations with priests ordained in the 1940’s and 50’s. They are not what we were. Objectively, to be “Anglican” simply is to be a Christian who has been formed by the Great Litany, the General Confession, the Prayer of Humble Access, and the psalms of Coverdale. It is within this Prayer Book discourse that Donne and Herbert, Hooker, Andrewes and Taylor all have their place and significance. Who could deny that, even when we have been influenced by the mainstream Catholic tradition?
This may remain at the basis of our post-Reformation identity, though a strict observance of their Cranmerian basis clashes with our aesthetic and intellectual sensitivities faced with the colour and wealth of Catholicism. We struggle with cognitive dissonance as we balance our aesthetic sensitivities with our intellectual handing of a fundamentalist or a ‘revisionist’ world view.
The idea of Anglican uniatism goes back to the nineteenth century, whether aspiring towards union with Rome or branches of Eastern Orthodoxy prepared to accept a western liturgy or aspects of Anglican / Medieval English spirituality. Respectively, both solutions have been available to those leaving Anglicans in some places for some time, but have not become universally accepted. The movement in England was brought to a dead end through the machinations of Cardinal Merry del Val and Apostolicæ Curæ. Orthodoxy anywhere outside the United States has never been fertile ground for Anglican / Western Orthodoxy until the establishing of groups in Australia and England that are even more marginal and eccentric than the Continuing Churches.
Where those two solutions have not been available, the alternative to staying in the Anglican establishment has been the Continuing Church. At the risk of being seen by others as schismatics or ‘little children’ playing church, clergy and laity have done their best to continue as Christians in the traditions that were their patrimony. The denigration of Continuing Anglican Churches, I feel, has been blown out of all proportion. Thus we are compared with some vagus bishop – for example a ‘typical’ frustrated seminarian who got himself ordained and consecrated and is now calling himself a Metropolitan Archbishop or Patriarch without the least community or ministry.
Continuing Churches come in different shapes and sizes, and I don’t want to go into details of all of them. The TAC came from the same source as many of the other major ‘alphabet soup’ communities, namely the Chambers episcopal succession and the Affirmation of St Louis. In 2006, Dr William Tighe wrote his famous piece in 2006 on Continuing Churches, which apparently was noticed by Rome. Do such communities have a future? It is difficult to tell, and that depends on whether they make it to second and third generations, with significant numbers of people being ‘cradle continuing Anglicans’. The traditionalist Catholic Society of St Pius X has achieved that stage, and will still be around in hundreds of years time – though it will change considerably. The Petite Eglise is still around in France, though increasingly weak in corporate identity terms, with their young people running off and marrying Catholics. It all reminds one of the Amish in Pennsylvania, who are still remarkably coherent despite some concessions to modernity. I don’t accept the ‘join-the-ordinariate-or-die’ blackmail.
Is Continuing Anglicanism sectarian? What does sectarianism mean? Is sectarianism the simple fact of being separated from the ‘mainstream’ parent body or a behavioural pattern involving the manipulation of the weak and totalitarian control by a ‘guru’? Terms need to be precise and unemotional. I have little experience of most continuing Churches, but I have always found people in the TAC no less ‘normal’ than in any Church. I find no totalitarian mind control in the TAC – anywhere – and I am always mindful of the essential respect we must have of freedom of conscience. The article to which I refer defines the concept of the sect by – the ability to define and maintain a clear identity.
Just think about that a moment, and you will understand the insidious and perverse mind of many of our critics!
With whom are we in communion? We are obviously not in communion with those who don’t want to be in communion with us and who want us to die or grovel as people unworthy of freedom, life or the pursuit of happiness. We are in communion – by desire – with the Catholic Church, and we wish to realise that communion visibly by being received as a community into the Catholic Church, even if we are moving together with several other like-minded communities.
The Internet is festooned by those who take themselves for canonists and inquisitors, but who yet confuse essential distinctions. I have already written an article on these matters in Anglican, Anglican and Anglican in regard to giving a name to that with which we identify regardless of purely institutional and canonical considerations.
One cannot be “catholic” simply by claiming to be such. But, one can be Catholic by desire as in the case of a catechumen seeking baptism. This quality of those who seek Catholic identity and membership of the institution in spite of human obstacles must be respected. There is no point in rubbing our noses in – Until such time, they will remain Protestant sects, no matter how catholic their doctrine and liturgy. This is not the way Pope Benedict XVI thinks of the question, and nor did John Paul II or even Paul VI think that way. With the armchair canonists, we are dealing with people who are not Catholic because they refuse to accept that the Church of our time is open to those to whom it was previously closed. Vatican II was very necessary if the Church herself was not to become a sect!
The most recent information coming in seems to indicate a real opening by the Holy Father to all groups of Anglicans, including Continuing Churches with our so-called ‘sectarian’ corporate identity. I have faith that truth and justice are now the order of the day, and that sectarian shenanigans are being banished as mist under the morning sun.
Breaking News from Australia
Also, The Australian – Anglican priests to say mass facing east. I love this one – Priests in Australia’s new Anglican Ordinariate will celebrate mass facing east, away from their congregations, using 500-year old liturgies. There’s nothing new in that, when you think that the present Pope often says Mass ad orientem and as a Cardinal celebrated the old Roman rite for ceremonies with the Fraternity of St Peter. That liturgy is a lot older than a mere 500 years! True, we use eastward-facing altars, as do the Anglican Use Catholics in the USA.
The news is spreading, even to the Anglo-Catholic with And Now, Australia! by our old friend Fr Christopher Phillips. He and I both say – independently – that we got confirmation of the authenticity of the report, respectively from Bishop Elliott and Archbishop Hepworth, using almost the same words! Quite a coincidence…
Archbishop Hepworth wrote this as a comment in The Anglo-Catholic:
The numbers in Australia do not at this time include priests of the Church of Torres Strait (a separate Province of the TAC) which is also seeking an Ordinariate. There are sensitive issues of Islander autonomy to be considered there. Nor does it yet include FIF and Anglican Communion clergy seeking membership of the Ordinariate in Australia. The Anglican wars are played hard in some Australian dioceses, and the timing of announcements is important for the protection of these clergy and parishes. In the new Implementation Committee, there are three places for the TAC, and three for FIF/Anglican Church of Australia.
Here is the original media release from The Messenger.
* * *
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Thursday, 16 December 2010, 9:56 (EST)
At a recent meeting in Melbourne convened by Catholic Bishop Peter Elliott, Episcopal Delegate for the Ordinariate, and Traditional Anglican Archbishop and Primate John Hepworth, the Australian Ordinariate Implementation Committee was formed.
This ground breaking and historic initiative was unanimously agreed to by a working party including clergy of the Anglican Church of Australia and official representatives of the Traditional Anglican Communion in Australia. They resolved to work closely together to bring to fruition their shared desire to be in full communion with the Catholic Church through the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus of Pope Benedict XVI.
“I was heartened and moved by the spirit of good will and cooperation at the meeting which represented the major Anglican groups.” said Bishop Elliott. “This convergence of heart and mind opens the way for establishing an Ordinariate in Australia next year. There is every reason to be optimistic that our goal for unity will soon be achieved.”
Archbishop Hepworth said, ”The long years in which we have had conversations with the Holy See and with other Anglican groups, which the Holy Father recognized in creating Anglican Ordinariates, will now become a reality. The Australian Ordinariate will exist in a matter of months. I urge Anglican clergy and people to consider with seriousness this unique offer of the Holy Father.”
A national gathering open to interested Anglicans and Catholics will be held in St Stephen’s College, Coomera, Queensland, 1-3 February next year. Details of the gathering may be found on this site soon and www.themessenger.com.au
Bishop Peter Elliott: 03 9576 9145
Archbishop John Hepworth: 08 8278 3832
More News from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Also see Deborah Gyapong’s commentary on Bishop Elliott Adds More Details on Australian Ordinariate.
* * *
Bishop Peter Elliott, Friday 17 December 2010
Australian Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church may have the opportunity by Pentecost 2011, Episcopal Delegate for the Ordinariate Bishop Peter Elliott told Kairos Catholic Journal yesterday.
Reflecting on the historic announcement of the Australian Ordinariate Implementation Committee formation on 16 December, Bishop Elliott said once the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has determined and decreed that an Ordinariate be established in Australia, it will be inaugurated through public Eucharistic celebrations. “These events will happen around the country,” he said. “But people do not have to enter at that time. The Ordinariates will always remain open to welcome new members and friends. Once the Ordinariate is established, any Catholic will be able to receive the sacraments in an Ordinariate church.”
Bishop Elliott said it was difficult to estimate the numbers who will enter the Ordinariate, but in the beginning small groups will inaugurate the parishes.
Bishop Elliott said membership of the Australian Ordinariate Implementation Committee was still being finalised but it will include representatives from the Anglican Church of Australia, the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia (Traditional Anglican Communion) and the Catholic Church. The committee will take up practical issues, including the timing of the reconciliation of lay faithful, how best this can be achieved in accord with the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and local conditions.
“The committee will deal with practical matters such as property, finance, as well as legal questions so that the Ordinariate will be in accord both with Canon Law and Civil Law,” he said. “Because the Australian Ordinariate covers a whole continent, it is a rather more diverse and complex project that forming an Ordinariate in the United Kingdom.”
Bishop Elliot said the national gathering in Coomera, Queensland in February 2011 would be an opportunity for interested Anglicans and Catholics to come together, to get to know one another and to discover more about the ways the new faith community will form and grow.
“We will explore what the Holy Father’s describes as ‘Anglican patrimony’, which the Ordinariate will treasure and maintain,” he said.
Bishop Elliott said a similar festive gathering was recently held in San Antonio, Texas, for people planning to enter the US Ordinariate.
Words of Hope and Comfort
If the upcoming liturgy will not cause Mr Perkins to die of apoplexy, we can be sure it will be good! Let us indeed pray for the Roman authorities doing everything to see that Anglicanorum coetibus is safely implemented and done in a way that will serve ordinariate-bound Anglicans in all countries and practical situations. The Archbishop writes thus.
It is indeed full of hope, and the prayers of people like yourselves have sustained us. There is a process underway to determine the Anglican rites that will need to be authorised for use when the Ordinariates are proclaimed by the Holy Father, in addition to the longer process of the official publication of the “Liturgical Books of the Anglicans”. As with all things concerning the Ordinariates, this is under the guidance of the CDF. As centuries of history doubtless indicate, it is much safer to pray for the CDF than to mess with it! I trust this process, and having read much of Mr Perkin’s supportive debating, am sure the result will fail to cause apoplexy. You will appreciate that this is a matter for prayerful support, and that when the matter can be made public, it will be.
Peter Perkins answered our Archbishop thus:
Your Grace: Thank you for your very kind assurance. It is not every day that someone of my standing receives a direct address from a Primate! What you have written gives me great cause for hope, and I will ask our community here to pray assiduously for your efforts and those of the Traditional Anglican Communion. But what you have written is assurance enough for this closing week of Advent, a time of prayer, mortification, and hope.
There are other comments encouraging the Archbishop and thanking him for persevering despite the many attacks against his character. Again, I can only say that I’m proud to be one of his priests. Perestrioka and Glasnost seem now to be prevailing over at The Anglo-Catholic!