Anglican Ordinariate Proceeds Apace

Heraldry of Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Pope Benedict XVI, respectively

On the heels of Pope Benedict’s well-received visit to the United Kingdom came the announcement last week of the CDF’s appointment of Archbishop Donald Wuerl, of Washington, as its delegate, “to guide the incorporation of Anglican groups into the Catholic Church in the United States.”

Yeah. It’s a big deal. And today, NETNY, Brooklyn Diocese-run channel that broadcasts, among other things, the nation’s only daily Catholic news program, scored an interview with Wuerl that helps clarify what the Ordinariate means for both Anglicans and Catholics, and how many Anglican congregations and parishes will be proceeding toward full Communion with Rome, and what the process will look like.

This is not about individual “conversions” but about how whole parishes may be incorporated into Communion with Rome, while maintaining their heritage, their liturgy and music (and anyone watching the gorgeous Evening Prayer at which Pope Benedict participated while in England will understand their desire to maintain it). Wuerl does a good job of laying out the basics.

The tireless Rocco Palmo caught the interview for the rest of us:

“Currents”: Archbishop Donald Wuerl on Anglicanorum Coetibus from Rocco Palmo on Vimeo.

Deacon Greg, who just happens to be the news director over at Currents, is feeling a little punny about it all.

It occurs to me that Benedict XVI, for all that he is derided as a “conservative” by some, and for having given the TradCaths “their own liturgy” (that would be the Latin mass), is actually being quite liberal and broad-minded in all of this, giving Catholics greater options in worship than they have ever had, before; he’s downright multi-cultural in his celebration of diversity!

Teasing aside, I’m going to make one of my famous predictions, so hold on to your hats (hey, come on, I predicted that Hillary would cry on camera before the 2008 New Hampshire primaries!) I predict that eventually the beautiful Anglican Rite will top the Novus Ordo in popularity and attendance. I think the Latinists will keep to the Latin mass, but that we’ll see a slow migration by many Catholics, away from the Novus Ordo and the OCP hymnal and toward the exalted language and more classical presentment of the Anglicans. For those Catholics dissatisfied with the NO, but not inclined to Latin, the Anglican Rite will become the irresistible alternative that brings back “some” of babies thrown out with the bathwater “in the Spirit of Vatican II.”

Or (this is an extended prediction), we’ll see some parishes adapt a little, maintaining the NO, but perhaps reinstalling the altar rails, or ditching the handclaps and tambourines, for a bit more reverence.

Either way, it’s going to be quite a shake up.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is also writing on the Ordinariate.

The UK Benedictine Nuns of Holy Trinity Monastery wonder about it all:

We must remember that our God is a God not of confusion but of peace. Only those who know first-hand the agony of uncertainty and division will really understand how painful the present time is. May God enlighten and strengthen all who seek his will in sincerity of heart and grant them his peace.

Also, while attending the Church Up Close seminars in Rome, I had the pleasure of listening to longtime Vatican-based journalist John Thavis discuss the ins-and-outs (and ups-and-downs) of covering the Vatican and the Papacy. He anticipated Benedict’s success in the United Kingdom, because he knew that the pontiff’s authenticity would resoundingly defeat the overdone media-drawn caricatures, as it did. He sums up the visit in this very good CNS video.

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