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launching the US Ordinariate

The pope has announced Fr. Jeffrey Steenson as the ordinary of the new “Anglican” Ordinariate in North America (The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, under the protection of Our Lady of Walsingham). Although (being married) he is not allowed to become a bishop, he will be allowed to dress up as a bishop (even though, according to the church he now belongs to, he has never been a bishop – as the Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grand he had not been ordained at all).

“It’s the largest reunification effort in 500 years,” (sic.) said Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the ordinariate.

Most in-the-know commentators point out that all the fuss being made is about a small number of people actually leaving Anglican churches, and that most reasonably sized Episcopal dioceses would have more exRC clergy and laity than the whole of the new Ordinariate!

Some are intrigued that, having previously put such energy into propaganda about the inferiority of Anglican (protestant!) “liturgy” and the huge issues with married clergy, RCs are now not only welcoming both, but their new English translation for all RCs is often more Cranmerian than contemporary Anglican liturgy.

But the “Anglican” Ordinariate isn’t the only option on the “Anglican” market. Someone, with more time than I have currently, might enjoy creating a flow diagram of your options.

As well as the “Anglican” Ordinariate (which is pope-accepting “Anglicanism” – I know there will be some who see that as an oxymoron) here are some others:

There’s “Anglican” with a Rwandan flavour (I’ve been to Rwanda – I can imagine that “flavour”). It’s hard to keep up – but even the Rwandans appear to have fallen out with this flavour! So I guess there will be Rwandan-accepting “Anglican” Rwandan flavour, and Rwandan-not-accepting “Anglican” Rwandan flavour on the market. Then there’s Nigerian “Anglican” flavour (anyone who knows anything about how Nigeria works will not need further help to understand this one).

For our flow diagram we need gay-accepting, male-only-clergy “Anglicans”. With a “religious order” for everyone; and without. Gay-rejecting, male-only-clergy “Anglicans”. Gay-accepting, both-gender-clergy “Anglicans”. Gay-rejecting, both-gender-clergy “Anglicans”. With and without the “religious order” component. Then all that in the “catholic” and in the “reformed” options, as well as the option that includes both “catholic” and “reformed”.

Here are some of the options, complete with websites (it’s hard just from the websites to have any idea how big these “organisations” actually are – some probably have six members, all “ordained”, meeting in someone’s bedsit):

Anglican Catholic Church, American Anglican Church, Anglican Church in America, Anglican Church of Virginia, Anglican Episcopal Church, Anglican Orthodox Church, Anglican Province of America, Anglican Province of Christ the King, Christian Episcopal Church, Diocese of the Great Lakes, Diocese of the Holy Cross, Episcopal Missionary Church, Holy Catholic Church–Western Rite, Orthodox Anglican Church, Reformed Episcopal Church, Southern Episcopal Church, United Anglican Church, United Episcopal Church of North America.

And if you want to have bishops but understress the “Anglican”, you will find more options here. Sincere apologies if I have left out your favourite or own particular flavour. You can add it in the comment box below.

Make sure you don’t miss the following video (H/T to Learn from Nature):

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11 thoughts on “launching the US Ordinariate”

  1. Excellent, Bosco. I want a diagram, too, because I have a hard time of it keeping all the ‘flavours’ straight in my head. The diagram would need monitoring to keep it up to date as groups continue to merge and divide.

    The video is brilliant.

    June Butler

  2. Hi Bosco,
    “as the Episcopal bishop of the Rio Grand he had not been ordained at all”… According to Wikipaedia: Steenson served as curate at All Saints’ Church in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, and St. Andrew’s Church in Grand Prairie, Texas. And his scholarship is impressive…
    Best wishes
    Heather K

    1. Thanks, Heather, for your comment. But I’m not exactly sure what your point is. According to the church Jeffrey Steenson is now a member of, he held all those positions as a lay person. He was only ordained, according to them, after joining the RC Church – unless you are suggesting he was ordained by them “conditionally”. It would certainly be interesting if you could show that. Blessings.

    1. Just to clarify, Heather, Jeffrey Steenson was an Anglican bishop – so yes, certainly was ordained when he was a curate, rector, etc. in The Episcopal Church. From the Anglican perspective. But the RC Church does not accept those ordinations. Hence, when he became a Roman Catholic, he was regarded as a layman. Does this make my sentence make more sense? Maybe I wrote it a bit cumbersomely, and a bit “tight”. Blessings.

  3. I hear the Roman Ordinariate for Aussie Anglicans who can’t handle the via media but can handle Papal Infallibility, is also being established in Melbourne. When will it be New Zealand’s turn, I wonder?

    1. It is a fascinating question, Steve. I would struggle to think of many who would be interested – so it’s possibly too small a group even to discuss it as an option? Do let me know when more happens about your Melbourne story. Blessings.

  4. It appears that Canada will not have its own ordinariate, because the numbers wishing to convert are not sufficient. Thus the Canadians will be part of the US ordinariate.

    It’s unlikely that New Zealand will have its own ordinariate, unless there’s a surprising flood of Anglicans to Rome. New Zealanders who wish to convert will probably be placed under the wing of the Australian ordinariate.

    June Butler

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