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An ANGLICAN Ordinariate

Anglicans in Peru are setting up an Ordinariate for Roman Catholic priests who are keen to join the Anglican Church. Anglicans accept the validity of those priest’s orders. Exploration is also under way to incorporate independent catholic bishops. Many of these clergy may bring their congregations with them.

In little over a decade the diocese of Peru has grown from having four priests to having 35 priests. 10 RC priests are exploring joining the diocese. Similar movements are happening in Uruguay, Ecuador, and Argentina.

William Godfrey, the Bishop of Peru, thinks that Pope Benedict XVI’s positive words about Anglicanism may have helped the move.

Around the world Anglicans are not keeping statistics about this, but estimates are that for every person moving from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism there are four moving in the other direction.

I have never been taken in by the numbers-hype associated with the RC “Anglican” Ordinariate and the contention sometimes that up to three quarters of a million were heading Rome-wards. The “Traditional Anglican Communion”, which was supposed to be one of the main sources for the RC Ordinariate, is not as big as it claims, and is not moving across as anticipated. [The website for the first Ordinariate to be set up is a free wordpress.com site. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but read between the lines…]

The movement from RC to Anglicanism has not caught the attention of the media. The opposite is full of drama which sells. The RC Church does not accept that Anglicans are members of a church so they speak of Anglicans joining the RC Church as “joining the church”, and “converting”. RC priests becoming Anglican are described as “going rogue”. Photographs of Anglican bishops dressed as laymen being ordained deacons make for better sales.

Bishop Geoffrey Rowell, Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe recently wrote in the London Times

At the end of November I was privileged to have an audience with Pope Benedict, and was able to say to him that, as an Anglican bishop, standing in the catholic Anglican tradition, I — with others — wished to continue to witness to the catholic identity of Anglicanism, and received his encouragement to do so. The Anglican patrimony is not just a matter of hymn books and liturgy, of evensong and the English choral tradition, important as those things are. It is a sacramental way of living out a catholic identity, expressed in relation to the community and in a wise application of moral ideals to personal and pastoral realities. It is what the Churches of the East have sometimes recognised as a Western Orthodoxy. Above all it is about a faithfulness in a way of Christian living that expresses the beauty of holiness, which is about transfiguration into the likeness of Christ, living out… [Peter Meiderlin’s] maxim: “In essentials unity, in doubtful things liberty, and in all things charity.”

In the NZ Anglican Church, anxiety about dropping numbers and aging congregations has led to abandonment of liturgy and a loss of confidence in Anglican ways of taking services. While in NZ the RC Church is one of the few that is actually increasing, Anglicanism here looks more to more protestant approaches than RC models. There is no great energy around to try and see how we can do liturgy better. So if/when RCs in NZ are, for example, dissatisfied with the new English translation of the Missal, in this country they would find it more difficult to find a home within Anglicanism than is being described in Peru or in the quote of Bishop Geoffrey.

Peru’s Anglican Diocese’s includes amongst its characteristics:

The teaching of the catholic faith, based in the Holy Scriptures, shaped by the early Church Fathers, and held and proclaimed by the Church, under the guidance of its bishops in the apostolic succession, for 2,000 years.

H/T Peter Carrell & from there catholicity and covenant

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12 thoughts on “An ANGLICAN Ordinariate”

  1. The Ordinariate Portal is not the official web presence of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, but a blog run with the support of the Ordinariate until an official web presence is established.

  2. IMHO, this is another example of how Anglicanism is often more catholic than the Roman Catholic Church. Unity in diversity.

    I very much appreciated how these movements within the church are not viewed as conversions and priests are not re-ordained. The church is the church; and some people have chosen to live it out in another community than the one of their upbringing; this Anglican ordinariate affirms that.

  3. 🙂

    Not is a smug way, but in a happy, affirmed way.

    I am a refugee from Roman Catholicism. Leaving my familial heritage over matters of conscience was arduous and grievous.

    After being an ecclesial orphan for over a decade (it takes some doing to get over ingrained, Irish distrust of Anglicanism), I am now at-home, among meaningful liturgy, deep discipleship, saints, even monastics, and challenged to grow as a Christian in the Episcopal Church.

    Eucharist from Gk. εὐχαριστία, eukharistia “thanksgiving, gratitude.”


  4. Hermano David|Brother Dah•veed

    Reading the links to the ACA I see rapidly that this is becoming as spiteful a division as any other that we have witnessed here in North America. The part of the ACA departing the for the RC are labeled as abandoning the communion of the ACA and echos of many other familiar phrases!

  5. I was once part of a wonderful Anglo-Catholic parish. Many of the members were officially RCs, but had either decided that the local RC parish wasn’t for them, or had had some kind of disagreement with Rome, and so found a welcome at our church instead. Nevertheless, they often never got around to being officially received into the Episcopalian church. This didn’t pose a problem for anyone, until one such parishoner died, old and full of years.

    At the back of the church, there was a columbarium, and the late parishoner had asked in her will for her ashes to be placed in it. Suddenly the local RC parish priest appeared! He was not at all happy at the idea of an Episcopalian church as the resting place of the mortal remains of one of his flock. Our priest made suggestions, and they were all rejected until someone came up with the idea of getting the RC priest to dedicate part of the columbarium as sacred ground from the RC point of view. Then the parishoner’s ashes could be placed there, and everyone would be happy.

    The question was soon raised: how would the two sections of the columbarium be demarcated? They decided on a cardboard structure, like a coffer dam. At this point, my friend who was relating the story added, “So evidently, both priests were of the opinion that cardboard is a sufficient boundary to restrain the movement of the Holy Spirit.”

    She paused, and then said, “Wait a moment. Don’t mitres have a cardboard frame inside…?”

  6. Fr Gerard Barry

    I am fascinated by the claim that for every one Anglican becoming a Catholic, four are moving in the opposite direction, Really? Where is the evidence of this of even some anecdote? In my 20 years of priesthood, I have seen decline, often in both Churches, but the best that can be said is that the movement is one for one.

    The offer of a Peruvian Ordinariate for former Roman Catholics caused apoplexy among ex-Catholic priests in my recent visit to South America. A fair summary would be: “If I wanted to be Anglican, I would have joined them when I left the Roman Catholic Church. I want to go back home – but they won’t let me”.

    Some of the confusion is that the former Catholic Priests and their communities thought the Ordinariate was a way back for them – it isn’t. The Peruvian mischief won’t really work.

    To Brian, can I say that it is, at best, inappropriate to use the word ‘refugee’ to describe leaving your former Church – I have worked with refugees; whilst you describe your journey as arduous and grievous, it doesn’t really compare it to that of people forced from their homelands under threat of death.

  7. Reece Thomson

    Bosco, I know this is an old post but just came across it. I fully agree with the state of liturgy in the Church in New Zealand. I left the Roman Catholic Church, in New Zealand, in 1966, and became an Anglican ( my heritage on my father’s side of the family). I moved to Australia then to the US and continue to be an Episcopalian in an Anglican-Catholic parish. However each time I come home I have noticed incremental moves to a more Protestant style of service in the Anglican Church. There are five parishes in my home town and one used to have traditional liturgy but is now completely charismatic. Of the other four only two had any resemblance of Anglican Liturgy, that reduced to one, and now none. It is like being in a wilderness when I am home now. Not a comfortable feeling, and EVERYONE is older than me!!
    On the subject of the move in the opposite direction – Rome to Anglican my home parish has at least a third of the congregation being former RC’s and with every Catecumenate class it continues to grow. We have had one move to Rome.

    1. Reece,

      my parish is between a quarter and a third former members of the Church of England so my point still stands about ‘between church’ movement. The sadness is that this numbers game is considered of any relevance when the most important issues are the loss in faith of so many.

  8. I NZ born, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1971. In 1987 I was received as a priest into the Anglican diocese of Auckland. Since then I worked many years as a ecumenical Health Care Chaplain. I enjoy much of the NZ Anglican liturgy (in te reo Maori and NZ English) which is very anglo-catholic including our sense of fellowship. However I do miss the more modern and meaningful hymns in the catholic church. I also miss not being able to help the Catholics out with their widespread shortage of NZ priests. I wonder if accepted into the Personal ordinariate of the Southern Cross I could then help out the Catholics too?!

    1. Thanks, Michael. I see no reason why we would not use, and why you might not encourage the use of, “the more modern and meaningful hymns” in NZ Anglicanism. My understanding is that, (unless one is celibate?), one could not move from RC to Anglican and then back to the RC Ordinariate and function there as a priest. I also cannot imagine a priest holding both RC faculties and an Anglican licence or Permission to Officiate. As for being able to help out with priest shortage – I don’t know about your diocese, but in our Anglican diocese, there is a shortage of well-formed priests willing to take up roles. Blessings.

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