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USA Ordinariate for former Anglicans

[Image: cardinal_wuerl_fr_steenson.jpg]
Cardinal Wuerl (left)
and Fr. Steenson (right)


First Sunday of January 2012:
Feast of the Holy Family

On November 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued the document Anglicanorum Coetibus which hastened the conversion of certain Anglican groups to the Catholic Church. He constituted specific parishes into a juridical Ordinariate (a centralized government equivalent in rank to a local diocese) as an integral part of the Catholic Church.


Since then, Wales has also created its own Ordinariate. Now it is the turn of the United States to open the way for Anglicans to join the Catholic Church as a group. When Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington D.C., presented the report to his confreres, they expressed some concerns about the juridical and pastoral connection with the local Ordinaries. They were also concerned about which Anglican traditions would be preserved and judged compatible with the Church's liturgy.

It is significant that the Cardinal had little to say by way of clarification on these two essential matters. He was much clearer regarding circumstantial things, like the head of this organization and its leaders. The Ordinary will be Fr. Jeffrey Steenson, a former Episcopalian bishop who converted in 2007 and was ordained a Catholic priest. His position of Ordinary would grant him a seat at the United States Bishops’ Conference, but since he's married, he could not be ordained a bishop. At the start, there could be as many as 100 Anglican priests ready to be ordained as Catholic priests and about 2,000 faithful. At least two entire Episcopalian congregations would be integrated right away, both from Maryland, including St. Luke of Bladensburg, which would be the Ordinary See.

It is interesting to consider this piece of news in light of the Pastor’s Corner we wrote in May 2011 on whole Anglican parishes turning Catholic overnight. Our concerns are similar to those expressed now by some United States bishops. Here are the remarks we had mentioned then:

    The main aspect is that a singular status is given to former Anglicans who always took the Church of Christ to be an invisible reality. This Ordinariate, created within the British (now United States) Episcopal Conference, enjoys a semi-independent situation, unlike any other in the Western Catholic hierarchy.

    It is a whole parish which becomes Catholic together with its Anglican pastor. But conversion to the Catholic Faith is a personal act and an individual profession of the Faith should be required and insisted upon. Submitting only to a text and not to a living authority who interprets the text is quite dangerous for someone who has been raised with the erroneous mentality of sola Scriptura.

    The law of celibacy is weakened as we may soon see a multiplication of legitimately married priests in the Latin Rite. As a matter of fact, the Ordinary in the United States Ordinariate will be a married priest. Doesn't the papal document leave the door open to ordain married laymen to the priesthood?

There is little doubt that the American Church authorities are voicing their worries about potential tensions and insubordinations in an already fractured Catholic Church. This issue of authority is so much more crucial as the Catholic Church is losing both visibility and credibility by the day..
I doubt the law of celibacy is being weakened.

Only converting Parish Priests can remain married. If a young man wants to become a Priest in the ordnariate, he has to be celibate. There is an article on it, and when I find it, I'll post it.
I would welcome a married clergy.  Think it's a great idea.  As long as, ya know, it's not two dudes.
(01-11-2012, 07:21 PM)LoyalVIews Wrote: [ -> ]I doubt the law of celibacy is being weakened.

Only converting Parish Priests can remain married. If a young man wants to become a Priest in the ordnariate, he has to be celibate. There is an article on it, and when I find it, I'll post it.
Well put.
Who wrote this, anyway?


My observations as someone who was baptized into the Catholic fiath via an Anglican Use church:

-It was expected that a married priest would be named Ordinary way back when Anglicanorum Coetibus came out in 2009. The provisions in the document itself allow for it.

-I was a little surprised that Steenson was named the Ordinary for the U.S. because he entered the Catholic Church only in 2007 and has only been a validly ordained priest since 2009. My pastor has been a validly ordained priest in the Anglican Use since the beginning of all that in 1980, but wasn't named Ordinary. Weird.


Quote:This Ordinariate, created within the British (now United States) Episcopal Conference, enjoys a semi-independent situation, unlike any other in the Western Catholic hierarchy.

Opus Dei? The Society of Saint Pius X? The military ordinariates? Sounds like sensationalism.

Quote:The law of celibacy is weakened as we may soon see a multiplication of legitimately married priests in the Latin Rite. As a matter of fact, the Ordinary in the United States Ordinariate will be a married priest. Doesn't the papal document leave the door open to ordain married laymen to the priesthood?

I personally prefer married clergy at the diocesan and parish levels, but no, the document only allows married laymen who were already serving as Anglican ministers to be ordained as priests. This is no different from the Pastoral Provision in 1980.
(01-11-2012, 07:44 PM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]I would welcome a married clergy.  Think it's a great idea.  As long as, ya know, it's not two dudes.

I am up in the air on this I see good points and bad points to each side. My big problem is that as soon as you start liberalizing the celibacy law "two dudes" probably won't be far behind.
As I understand it married Priests in the Anglican rite are just a first generation thing any newly ordained Priests will be celibate. I could be wrong though.
(01-11-2012, 07:56 PM)The Dying Flutchman Wrote: [ -> ]As I understand it married Priests in the Anglican rite are just a first generation thing any newly ordained Priests will be celibate. I could be wrong though.

As I said, it applies to married men who were formerly Anglican clergy. I was baptized into an Anglican Use parish, but I could not become a married priest that way.
(01-11-2012, 08:00 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-11-2012, 07:56 PM)The Dying Flutchman Wrote: [ -> ]As I understand it married Priests in the Anglican rite are just a first generation thing any newly ordained Priests will be celibate. I could be wrong though.

As I said, it applies to married men who were formerly Anglican clergy. I was baptized into an Anglican Use parish, but I could not become a married priest that way.

Were you formerly Anglican? I came to Catholicism through High Church Anglicanism in 2002.
(01-11-2012, 08:04 PM)The Dying Flutchman Wrote: [ -> ]Were you formerly Anglican? I came to Catholicism through High Church Anglicanism in 2002.

No, I've never actually been an Anglican. The Anglican Use church was simply the most traditionally-minded parish in the entire city and didn't have criminally bad taste.
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