Anglican Ordinariate Ready to be Launched

Damien Thompson reports here that the Anglican Ordinariate will be set up in England by the end of the year and the USCCB reports that in the USA Abp.Donald Wuerl is to oversee the process of setting up the ordinariate. Christian Campbell over at The Anglo Catholic blog is gung ho to join the ordinariate, but gives the news that three of the Anglican Church of America bishops who signed the Portsmouth Declaration (this was when a group of bishops from ACA along with other Anglican breakaway groups who make up the Traditional Anglican Communion signed the Catholic Catechism and said they wanted to be Catholics) have now backed out and want to join up the Anglican Province of America instead. I think I’ve got that right, but to be honest, the bewildering number of Anglican schisms and mergers and break ups and new confederations and alliances is pretty hard to keep track of. If you can be bothered to read this Anglican bishop’s letter Christian Campbell has it here. It basically says, “Rome didn’t really give us what we wanted. We didn’t want to be Catholics with Anglican liturgy. We wanted Rome to recognize our orders and have inter-communion with us. Also, I don’t really believe all of the Catholic faith like I said I did. I signed the Catechism and said I wanted to be in communion with the Bishop of Rome because that was mostly sort of what I wanted. But now I’m going to forget about that and seek unity with some other continuing Anglican groups again, so ta ta. It was nice talking to you, and Holy Father, of course I still really respect you and all that, and I really do believe in the demand for Christian Unity and that you really are the head of the church and oh yes that’s all wonderful.”

Meanwhile you can look up some other Anglican responses. Some of the English ones sound like this: “We are most grateful for the Holy Father’s generous concern for us in this, our darkest hour, and we wish to prayerfully consider all that he has written and then offer our response. We value highly his words of appreciation and love for our Anglican patrimony and we too do not wish to sacrifice the great riches we enjoy as Anglicans. However, the exact meaning of ‘patrimony’ has yet to be decided and we wonder what it might be that we would bring with us. Surely we will bring the riches of our intellect, our learning and our musical and liturgical traditions, but are not our ancient buildings also part of our patrimony? Would we really be able to claim that we are bringing our patrimony if we did not also bring our material goods and buildings?” In other words, “You mean I’d have to give up my beautiful old Anglican church and rectory and the nice cathedrals and stuff to be Catholic? Fuhgeddaboudit.

As you can guess, I’m weary of all the Anglican teasing and flirtation. However, I respect all those who are better men and better Christians than I am. The patience of the Holy Father and those with whom he’s working is an example to me. I’m pretty well impressed that the Holy Father thinks it worth the trouble. It’s going to take an awful lot of work to reconcile these individuals and groups, and the groups are likely to be small in number and (I’m afraid to say it) divisive in character. Still, how bewdiful that the Pope of Christian unity is willing to make an effort even for a few lost sheep to be reconciled–especially when so many of them continue to evidence a distasteful pride, and a seemingly willful rejection of the Holy Father’s generous call to unity.

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    yerCampbells are 'gung-ho' I don't wonderstill 'don't mention the war'EVER AGAIN

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    andjust read Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethicsgood Padremoral 'incontinence' and mental incompetenceis their dealbeen there done thatho hum

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    this is a real surname of a lovely young man and his wife I know:Campbell-StewartI CHOKED ALMOST TO DEATH ON A SIP OF WHITE WINEwill wonders never cease?hope not

  • flyingvic

    OK, so let's talk about honesty and integrity.When Pope Benedict says that he is in favour of the unity for which Christ prayed, what he actually means is, "Unity will happen when YOU come and join US."There is not a hint of a suggestion of a possibility of an idea that the Church of Rome might at any stage in any period on any subject have been to the slightest degree under the palest shadow of being within a hair's breadth of a misunderstanding of the totality of God's truth. Well, thank goodness for that, I say! What a good job that there's no distasteful pride involved on the side of Rome!

  • Andrew

    Indeed father, the actions and statements of these bishops is enough to make any man sick to his stomach.Still, there will be many coming in. Please give them a chance to show that they are not all "divisive in character". It is better that these guys drop out now. There will be enough problems in the Ordinariate without fifth column protestants. I do wish they were honest earlier.You were right in your earlier prediction that if the pope responded positively to any petition, that it would split that group. I see now that without a great deal of preparation with time and energy spent, a substantial change in any group of people will fail in large part.Still, the Ordinariates will accomplish the stated goal of Anglo-Catholics for nearly a century. I do think that once in the Catholic Church, this group will be a force for good and not ill.

  • romishgraffiti

    When Pope Benedict says that he is in favour of the unity for which Christ prayed, what he actually means is, "Unity will happen when YOU come and join US."Actually, that's what I always thought he meant. No subterfuge here as far as I'm concerned.

  • Etienne

    I am with Romishgrafitti. Christian unity, to be anything other than Anglicanized "nicey-nice", must mean that we are united with, and in, the Church founded by Christ. That happens to be the Catholic Church. I mean, what else are we supposed to say?I think some people are put off by the Pope being straight forward and clear. Not his problem. Theirs.

  • Brian

    Fr. Longenecker, I remember you making the comment a while back which was along the lines of, "If Anglicans want to become Catholic, then they should go to RCIA and convert like everyone else." Correct me if I am wrong, but your reasoning seemed to be something along the lines of they must be willing to embrace Catholicism rather than sitting back and waiting for Catholicism to embrace them. At the time I was a little skeptical of what you said, not because I didn't think you were knowledgeable, but because I dared hope that the "Anglo-Catholics" truly wanted to embrace Catholicism, to sell everything they had for the pearl of great price so to speak. Your original thoughts have now become somewhat prophetic for me because the Pope has offered them something spectacular and they are waffling. It is all reminiscent of the rich man who asked Jesus, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" and when Jesus told him to sell everything and give to the poor (in addition to obeying the law), he walked away very sad because he was very rich. Indeed Blessed John Henry Newman, who gave up everything for this pearl of great price, is the example par excellence for Anglicans who wish to enter the Catholic Church. May he intercede for us all.

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    primus inter parespopey 'chief executive of the bishops of the Church'I have always said along with that little known Catholick apologist:St. Cyprian

  • Gail F

    "As you can guess, I'm weary of all the Anglican teasing and flirtation. However, I respect all those who are better men and better Christians than I am. The patience of the Holy Father and those with whom he's working is an example to me. I'm pretty well impressed that the Holy Father thinks it worth the trouble."Me too. That is why he is the pope right now, I think. Can you believe he stood right in Westminster Abbey and Lambeth Palace and all those places and said, "I am the successor of Peter"? Blows me away. And at one (Westminster?) he wore a stole of Leo XIII's! But he is not proud. Standing in a land where so many Catholics were martyred, he said "come on home." He welcomes them just as he does all the SPPX folks. Unity is what matters now. He gets it, and he reminds us all that it is better to love our "separated brethren" than it is to complain about them. Although I do my share of complaining, he reminds me not to neglect the loving.

  • Gail F

    "When Pope Benedict says that he is in favour of the unity for which Christ prayed, what he actually means is, "Unity will happen when YOU come and join US.""Umm… Yes. That's exactly what it means. Now, as far as Catholic and Orthodox ecumenical talks goes, there is a lot to work with on doctrine, and I can see joint statements that refine some Catholic teachings by incorporating Orthodox understanding of doctrine. But as the Anglicans don't have any universally accepted doctrines of their own (isn't that what the whole infighting among Anglicans is about?) it's hard to have any discussions on them. If the Anglicans say "you're wrong," it isn't exactly possible for the Catholics to say, "you're right." As long as Anglicans can vote on what they believe, ecumenical dialogue will go on forever.

  • Dcn. Andrew Bartus

    Our parish is one that is serious about coming into the Ordinariate: Saint Mary of the Angels, Hollywood.Don't give up hope. Not all Anglicans are merely flirting. Pray for us!Dcn Bartus

  • Anthony Brett Dawe

    uh…excuse me good Deacon 'Bart'where were you twenty years ago when the real deal descendents of the Church of England in the Colonies of North America all went Roman and Orthodox?cut the hubris mate'Hermes I sent his purpose to restrain'I do feel much better I must say that you now see fit to come save us all from the wascally woemans and ornery Orthodox.Via Media don't mean Hollywood media…geddit?Voices From Russia- brill blog