Thinking Anglicans

US Ordinariate is announced

A year after the Ordinariate was established in England and Wales, the corresponding announcements have been made in the USA.

Rocco Palmo Upon This “Rock,” An Ordinariate Is Born

In an unprecedented Sunday announcement — a significant sign of Rome’s degree of seriousness about the effort — the Vatican’s press bulletin gave official word of the erection of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, encompassing the territory of the United States. The national quasi-diocese for the entering groups is the second of its kind, following England’s Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was launched a year ago this month.

Fr Jeffrey Steenson, 59, the former Episcopal bishop of Rio Grande ordained a priest of the archdiocese of Santa Fe in 2009, has been named the founding Ordinary. A married father of three and Oxford-trained patristics scholar who’s been serving until now as a professor at Houston’s St Mary’s Seminary and University of St Thomas, Steenson’s appointment is effective immediately…

George Conger Jeffrey Steenson to lead the Anglican Ordinariate in the U.S.

The Vatican has appointed the former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande to head up the American branch of the Anglican Ordinariate.

On 1 Jan 2012 the Vatican announced that Fr. Jeffrey Steenson had been named the Ordinary for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The American branch of the ordinariate will be based in Houston, Texas and is the second national jurisdiction for former Anglicans established under the provisions of Pope Benedict’s 2009 apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus”.

A second former Episcopal clergyman, Fr. Scott Hurd, who was received into the Catholic Church in 1996 and is presently a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, has been appointed vicar-general of the ordinariate for a three-year term, the Vatican announcement said…

The website of the American Ordinariate is here.

Update

The situation with respect to Canada is discussed here by Rocco Palmo On Day One, The Ordinariate Spreads North.

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Jakian Thomist
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Great news! I think there will much goodwill and support from the full spectum of christian communities. Such a fresh expression of faith is most welcome!

Robert Ian Williams
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Robert Ian Williams

A veritable lifeboat to the rock of Peter for our separated brothers and sisters. As Anglicanism further disintegrates theologically. Please come aboard.

Andrew
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Andrew

Two married priests! What most Catholics of my acquaintance say the Roman Church needs most.

It is telling that the ordinariate is based in Texas, far from traditional Catholic and Episcopal centers.

I think the Episcopal Church will be little affected. Perhaps ACNA could be induced to join up too.

JCF
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JCF

While I can’t wish this project success—a backstab (coup de grace?) to Vatican 2 ecumenical efforts—I do respect that they’re not trying to steal property. There will be those who leave TEC for the Ordinariate, but there were/are/will be MANY more (raw #s and %) who leave the Peter-wouldn’t-recognize-it Roman Church, for TEC—where the Holy Spirit still Lives AND Moves. All in God’s Good Time, there will be unity. Not “under” anybody (least of all the Bishop of Rome!), but IN Christ. I no longer expect to live to see it, in the flesh (youthful me 30 years ago did,… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

This must surely be another blow to those U.S. Roman Catholic clergy who would dearly like permission to marry. Although the Ordinariate is a sort of ‘Papal Peculiar’, with it’s own rules and regulations, it still owes it’s existence to the Roman Magisterium, which forbids it’s own clergy to marry! No doubt, the Pope’s elevation of Fr. Steenson – an ex-Episcopal Bishop – to the role of Head of the Roman Catholic Ordinariate in the U.S., will provoke more questioning of the R.C. attitude towards married clergy and the need for celibacy. This follows on from the dissatisfaction of some… Read more »

Brian Ralph
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Brian Ralph

I feel for married catholic men who have an interest in entering the priesthood.

Malcolm French+
Guest

From what I know about the leading figures in the UK and US expressions of the Ordinariate, it strikes me the leadership of the American group conducted themselves with far more integrity. Steenson acted on principle and went to Rome. The UK ex-bishops held onto their sinecures right until their nests were feathered.

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

As a former RC, who crossed the Tiber 36 years ago after my first 31 years within Rome (including 19 years of RC education), I wish those departing well. However, I think that any objective and honest person would find that many more are leaving Rome for Anglicanism than are heading in the opposite direction. We all go where the Spirit leads, and I have ceased to contend that there is “one way” to God; what arrogance it would be to try to contain what God really wants of us. My own belief continues to be that the Church envisioned… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
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Adam Armstrong

RIW said “As Anglicanism further disintegrates theologically.” Anglicanism has never been a Church like Rome with one enforced theological position, often with a vengeance. Since its inception, Anglicanism has embraced many differing viewpoints, which is called “comprehensiveness’ Some have called it genius. Anglicanism hasn’t changed, even thought it has been able to embrace change as God’s will and the Church has been greatly blessed. The gifts and the wholeness women bring to ministry cannot be anything but good and of God, which no one can doubt. The openness of Anglicanism to women as priests and acceptance of gay people as… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

JCF has it right, IMO. I know many US Roman Catholics who have been joyfully received into the Episcopal Church…but I am unaware of any among my Episcopalian friends–even the most conservative–who have expressed any interest in crossing the Tiber in the other direction.

bi
Guest
bi

“It is telling that the ordinariate is based in Texas, far from traditional Catholic and Episcopal centers.”

???

I can’t speak for Roman Catholicism first-hand, but my impression is that they have a very strong base in Texas, both Anglo and Hispanic. The Episcopal Church has always been very strong in Texas.

(Or do you just mean that Texas is geographically far from Washington DC and New York City? So?)

Curtis
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Curtis

Good. Give those sneering Catholics a place to go so some JOY can happen among us Episcopalians after they’ve gone.

Locuste Iste
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Locuste Iste

@Good. Give those sneering Catholics a place to go so some JOY can happen among us Episcopalians after they’ve gone.
Posted by: Curtis on Monday, 2 January 2012 at 4:31am GMT
The Protestant Episcopal Church must be a joyless sect if its happiness depends on only 1400 people leaving.
Joy after they’ve gone? I don’t think so!

Jeremy
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Jeremy

In point of fact, many of the 1400 left TEC long ago.

The willing departure of a few malcontents can make life much more pleasant for those who choose to remain.

Ask those who attended General Convention 2009.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I imagine the numbers in the US ( and Canada?) will be more than in the UK not so much because some Episcopalians may join but because there are so many groups of ex-Anglicans to draw on that have had an independent existence for 30 or more years. We dont hear much about these groups in the UK ( though there is a small outpost of the Anglican Catholic Church here in Canterbury), are they likely to join the Ordinariate and what sort of numbers do they muster these days?

Adam Armstrong
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Adam Armstrong

Locus Iste said “The Protestant Episcopal Church”, so he is being clear on what he thinks of Anglicans/Episcopalians. The word “sect” is a clue. Curtis is going too far, but listening to conservative Roman Catholics who enjoy calling everyone else hell-bound heretics does get tiresome. Not exactly an attitude that comes from a sense of joy, unless that joy is feeling superior.

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

Yes, in spite of opinions by people such as Robert Ian Williams, the real spirit of the Second Vatican Council is most embodied in various branches of Anglicanism such as The Episcopal Church in America. The true reform that Vatican II began is being carried out in Churches that are NOT Roman Catholic. The right wing elements within Catholicism are fighting to the death. The Catholic Church of Vatican II no longer exists within the power structures of Rome. It is a dying “imperial” model of Church and it is not going to survive this century unless it has a… Read more »

Locuste Iste
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Locuste Iste

@Adam Armstrong:
With Episcopalian Curtis being so un-Christian about his fellow Episcopalian and Anglican Christians, I don’t blame them for leaving for the Chair of St Peter where they will be welcomed Home.

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

The Anglican Catholic Church in the UK ( a very tiny group) is very anti the ordinariate, as is its USA parent body.

So far there are 4 Episcopal parishes intending to join the Ordinariate with about 130 members in total..that is 4 out of 7,300.

At least 30 of these are former Catholics reconciled to the Church.

The vast majority of Mass attenders at the Anglican Use which will join the Ordinariate are former Catholics! They can’t be registerd as Ordinariate members.

Doug
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Doug

Given the near universal scholarly acceptance of the gospel of Mark as the first gospel written and the large and growing rejection of Matthew 16:18-19 as an authentic Jesus saying, it’s hard to imagine any longer a valid argument being constructed for the necessity of recognizing the Pope as head of the Church, let alone being infallible. Of course, such arguments were never valid to begin with, but it’s getting harder for RC’s to pretend these days.

If anyone feels it necessary to join the RCC, I suppose they’ve done themselves no harm, though.

Locuste Iste
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Locuste Iste

The Ordinariate is a safe haven for orthodox Anglicans lost in the alphabet soup and will always be open for business. It has made a strong start in England and the news from America this week is very exciting. For many people is is a hard choice to make – with lots of reasons for staying. Many Anglicans in England, are attached to their buildings, thinking that a pre-reformation or old building somehow validates their orders and services. The new American Ordinary today quoted Pope Gregory the Great: “For things are not to be loved for the sake of places,… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
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Adam Armstrong

@Locus Iste-You can hardly consider Curtis to be a typical Episcopalian and you certainly cannot attribute the desire to join the Ordinariate to him. Yes, he is uncharitable and I don’t support his comment. However, he has not cornered the market on uncharitableness. There are many fine, loving charitable Christians in the Episcopal Church and, I would hope, in the Roman Church as well. Right-wing Romans who enjoy consigning people to eternal damnation for not belonging to the “One True Church” are hardly charitable either, but neither are they typical. One hopes.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

‘…a strong start in England…’ Really? I thought I read recently that the numbers are 50 priests (how many of those are retired and drawing their CofE pensions?) and about 1000 laity. Then there are their well publicised financial difficulties, the recent appeal for money and the alleged purloining of the resources of the CBS. Of course there may be some more when the Women bishops issues is resolved and their perception of the satisfactoryness of the ‘protection’ afforded to the tradionalists. Nevertheless the Ordinariate in England is just a year old and it’s a bit rich and a bit… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

From my own observations, on this and other blogs, the most visceral anti-Anglicans are those who were themselves once Anglican. I guess it’s par for the course, but not very helpful – especially when they affect to be ‘clued-up’ on the present-day Church, offering outdated information on their previous faith community.

I suspect, too, that they do not inspire very much confidence in their new sodality, often being seen to disparage the defects of their new Church.

Locuste Iste
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Locuste Iste

@Adam Armstrong:
Although a Catholic, I have happily never come across “Right-wing Romans who enjoy consigning people to eternal damnation for not belonging to the “One True Church”” and I totally agree that they are as uncharitable as Curtis.
I’m not sure what a typical Episcopalian is and only have models such as Curtis to study, although I understand that some Episcopalian bishops have been very kind and understanding to Ordinariate-bound Anglicans.
I sincerely hope that Curtis is not typical! He puts himself across as anti-Christian.

Richard Grand
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Richard Grand

In the Canadian “National Post”, a right-wing pro-Catholic paper (founded by a convert, the incarcerated Conrad Black), the following appears “The year 2011 offered the Catholic world a number of big news stories: the implosion of the church in Ireland; the first indictments of Catholic leaders, including a bishop, in the tragic clergy sex abuse saga; the initiation of reform movements by Catholics priests in Ireland, Austria, Germany, United States and Belgium; and the Vatican-forced impementation of the new Roman missal”. The article is about the rift between conservative bishops and theologians, and the severe condemnation of a book by… Read more »

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

@Locus Iste: well now, that depends on what you mean by ‘orthodox Anglicans’ doesn’t it? Through the centuries most Anglicans have held that the only ‘belief test’ was the creed(s), not a magisterium or proclamations about events which the Bible knows not.

JCF
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JCF

“There is only one right way to go – but people must find that path in their own conscience.” – Posted by Locuste Iste

FWIW, my (Scripture, Tradition, Reason-formed) conscience is telling me your “only one right way” is Wrong, Locuste. Anglicans don’t submit to the Bishop of Rome. If they do, they cease to be Anglican.

[Now, a united church w/ the Bishop of Rome as First-Among-EQUALS *might* be another matter. I’m not sure that’s the “only right way”, however…and at any rate, I don’t expect to live to see it. OCICBW.]

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

I gather from a comment made on another blog, that Jeffrey Steenson was ordained an RC deacon by the disgraced, pedophile-enabling Bernard Law. Less fastidious about the church he has joined, than about the one he has left, it seems.

Nat
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Nat

“@Locus Iste: well now, that depends on what you mean by ‘orthodox Anglicans’ doesn’t it? Through the centuries most Anglicans have held that the only ‘belief test’ was the creed(s), not a magisterium or proclamations about events which the Bible knows not.”

Didn’t someone once say, “I will make no windows into men’s souls”?

Jerry Hannon
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Jerry Hannon

For Locus Iste, who posted “There is only one right way to go – but people must find that path in their own conscience,” I’m afraid that you are giving in to a human tendency to imagine that they can contain God. You are very much, I contend, like those who feel that God created the earth and all around it in seven literal days. That is a human construct, and a failure — or an inability — to recognize all that God is and does. Just as the human construct of seven days does not contain God’s time, your… Read more »

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

Now, a united church w/ the Bishop of Rome as JCF assserts “First-Among-EQUALS might be another matter. I’m not sure that’s the “only right way”, however…and at any rate, I don’t expect to live to see it.”

This is faundamentally flawed.. the eastern orthodox say exactly the same thing and can’t even agree to have Christmas day on the same day!

The Papacy is a jurisdictional primacy or nothing at all.

Locuste Iste
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Locuste Iste

@Richard Ashby: There are something like 57 former Anglican priests now in the Ordinariate. There are also five former Anglican bishops – and a sixth is joining this coming Saturday. Not a bad crop for just the first year! My local Anglican vicar rejoices if he gets 25 people on a Sunday morning. He thinks he’s done well! “Ordinariate in England is just a year old and it’s a bit rich and a bit early to proclaim its success”. Well most people would say its a bit early to proclaim its failure too. The Church of England has had almost… Read more »

Prior Aelred
Guest

I agree with Robert Ian Williams.

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

What about the estimated 300,000 ex Catholics in TEC and the estimated 700 former Catholic priests serving as Episcopal ministers?

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

RIW: The papacy is the bishopric of Rome. Historically, prior to the fall of the empire, it was never considered anything else. It became something more when the church picked up the reins of empire (wrongly, IMO). As for differing as to the date of Christmas, the eastern church also differs as to the date of Easter most years. It hardly matters–both dates are completely artificial. For the former, it is far more likely (based on biblical evidence like the shepherds keeping their flocks in the field overnight) that Jesus was born in late spring than mid-winter. For the latter,… Read more »

Richard Grand
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Richard Grand

Locus Iste said “look at the sorry state it’s in today – its attendance only saved by Christmas / Easter”. No Church is anywhere near perfect. It’s easy to be negative about the shortcomings of any church-it’s really a cheap shot to comment on the “state” of the CofE based on attendance. There are probably more nominal Anglicans than nominal members of other churches in England, based on simple demographics. It is meaningless and crude to make a game out of comparing numbers of church attenders as a measure of which Church is “better”. Some U.S. “megachurches” have huge numbers,… Read more »

Josh L.
Guest
Josh L.

There is no mass exodus of Episcopalians to Rome, and there is no exodus of Catholics to the Episcopal Church. Due to the fact that the Catholic Church in the US is growing and the Episcopal Church loses more than 50,000 members per year.. for every 1 Catholic that comes to the Episcopal Church, more than 1000 Episcopalians leave for other churches.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“The Papacy is a jurisdictional primacy or nothing at all.” – Robert I. williams – Well you said it, Robert, you can’t blame anyone else. On the other hand – non-Roman Catholics recognise that the Pope has a jurisdiction – among those who claim to be subject to the Roman Magisterium. However, I submit that there are other Members of the body of Christ for whom the Pope has no jurisdictional authority. He is just another bishop – the Bishop of Rome. Plain and simple. Jesus has ways of saving the world that do not depend upon the sanction of… Read more »

Locuste Iste
Guest
Locuste Iste

@Ronald Smith:
Even the Bishop of London recently recognised the Pope as the Patriarch of the West in his recent plea for his priests to refrain from using the new Roman Rite.
Many Anglicans on here remind me of Stevie Smith’s poem, “Not Waving but Drowning”.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“Due to the fact that the Catholic Church in the US is growing and the Episcopal Church loses more than 50,000 members per year.. for every 1 Catholic that comes to the Episcopal Church, more than 1000 Episcopalians leave for other churches.” The RC church in the US is growing through immigration from the Catholic countries of Latin America, not from attracting converts from other religions or the unchurched. If the US had large-scale immigration from the UK or Australia or any other nation with a large Anglican population, then you’d see the Episcopal Church growing the same way. Given… Read more »

maark wharton
Guest
maark wharton

That is an interesting point you make there. I think the Gospels are clear than beneath the cross of Jesus were John, Mary and some other women. So in fact, most of the apostles did run away. It is also interesting because to imply that the papacy is somehow invalid because of the sins of the first pope sounds to me like Donatism. To quote your own articles of religion “ The sacraments are not rendered ineffectual by the unworthiness of the minister” If anything, the papacy is incredible because of the weaknesses and sins of the first pope and… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

Josh said “Due to the fact that the Catholic Church in the US is growing”. The growth of the US Roman Catholic Church is due to immigration, especially due to Hispanics, who will soon be the majority of Roman catholic attenders. In the former bastions of the RC Church in the northeast and midwest, the Roman Church is closing large numbers of parishes and many are id dire straits. It is also true that large numbers of “cradle” Catholics move elsewhere or drop out-the largest denomination in the U.S. is “former Roman Catholics”. Whether or not people leave the Episcopal… Read more »

Robert ian Williams
Guest
Robert ian Williams

Pope Benedict has officially ended using the title patriarch of the West.

If you look at the statistics of the Episcopal Church you will see that they receive about 3 to 5 catholic priests and thousands of laity officially every year. The latter are put under the category, receptions.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Brings to mind a story of my father’s about his eldest sister bursting into the kitchen, excitedly shouting “There are thousands of cats in our back yard!”

“Thousands?” asked her mother.

“Well, there’s ours and another.”

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

The Papacy is a jurisdictional primacy or nothing at all.

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Wednesday, 4 January 20112

oh dear, well it certainly ain’t the former !

‘Nothing at all’ seems a bit harsh though.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

the sins of the first pope ‘

One simply must challenge the unbelievable assersion that Peter was ‘the first pope’. Next you ‘ll be telling us the other disciples were his cardinals !

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“2 Corinthians 12. 9 “for my power is made perfect in weakness”.” – Mark Wharton –

Precisely, Mark! This is why the claim of supremacy made for the Roman Patriarchate – through people like RIW here – cannot be based on reality, but rather the weakness common to us all. Perhaps this is why the Pope calims to be The Servant of the servants of God – other parts of the Church.

Stan Zorin
Guest
Stan Zorin

Father Ron Smith : “From my own observations, on this and other blogs, the most visceral anti-Anglicans are those who were themselves once Anglican.”
There is nothing new under the sun. All of the fanatical haters of the Catholic church at the time of the religious revolution of the 16th century were former catholics.