Friday, 21 January 2011

Ordinariate roundup

The Bishop of Rochester has issued a pastoral letter on The Ordinariate and related issues.

Update, now available as a PDF from the Rochester site.

The Bishop of Chelmsford and the RC Bishop of Brentwood have jointly issued a letter. See press release, Roman Catholic and Anglican Bishops pledge to continue to work together, and the letter itself is in a PDF file.

The Church Times has a leader: In God’s deep counsels, some better thing. There is a news report at Ordinary time begins for ex-Anglicans at Westminster Cathedral.

The transcript of the press conference given last Monday by Fr Keith Newton can be read here.

Cardinal Walter Kasper gave a speech last Friday. The full text of it is available at His Eminence Walter Cardinal Kasper’s address to the Archbishop.

So I know well, that the day of tomorrow is not an easy one for you. It is not a day of victory for one side, it should be for both a day of penance, that though all good will on both sides till today we were not able to fulfill the will of our Lord as we should. But I want to assure you, the Holy Father, my successor in the Pontifical Council and the Roman Catholic Church as a whole are willing and decided to continue the way of sincere dialogue we started after the Second Vatican Council now more than almost fifty years ago.

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At present there's no sign of +James Roffen:'s Pastoral Letter on the Rochester Website. It may take a week or two.

Posted by: Nicholas Kerr on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 12:43pm GMT

Well lots of nice sentiments finally coming out but not much action. Is it a case of say one thing and do another? Or will they actually allow sharing? So far the signs are that these letters are not really worth the paper they were printed on but I remain open to the possibility of being wrong

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 4:42pm GMT

Father Newton's interview about the new Ordinariate in England and Wales seems rather downbeat. Is he trying to lower expectations?

On the number of parish groups: "I’d guess it will be about two dozen groups. Mostly around the South of England in the province of Canterbury; some in the North but not many."

On the number of priests, Father Newton says "probably between fifty and sixty priests. But they’ll not all be stipendiary. Some of them will be retired."

On the size of the congregations: "Some of the groups may be a dozen or twenty, some may be 60 or seventy."

However, Ed Tomlinson's blog is much more upbeat, hoping especially for momentum in a worldwide Ordinariate: "the Ordinariate is now gathering momentum and reaching out accross the world! Can there be any doubt that this is a movement of the Holy Spirit? It really is exciting to watch it unfold. Perhaps all of us are underestimating the effect it will have on the future?"

I suspect that Father Newton knows more than Father Ed, and has a more realistic view of, at least, the immediate future.

Posted by: badman on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 6:35pm GMT

"Or will they actually allow sharing?"

When the Bishop of Rome shares authority as one bishop among equals, Ed! ;-)

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 7:16pm GMT

Ed
"Or will they actually allow sharing?"
As in sharing buildings?
I don't know why this keeps coming up as something to whip the CoE with. It was the Roman Catholics who have made it very clear, after all, that they expect those who join the Ordinariate to go to local RC churches.
With that, I expect the conversation is closed.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 7:51pm GMT

Imagine a Roman Catholic priest leaving to become an Anglican vicar...he would not have any chance of sharing his former building.

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 8:40pm GMT

'The Archbishop of Westminster has on several occasions made public his view that Ordinariate congregations should worship in Roman Catholic parish churches.'

- from +Roffen.

Does the archbishop's opinion count for anything, Ed. ?

Posted by: Lister Tonge on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 9:10pm GMT

"How to realize unity, which is not at all identical with uniformity, a unity without fusion or absorption (John Paul II) so that we become more and more one Church and nevertheless many churches remain (J. Ratzinger)? We know that this touches the problem of primacy, which for both is not an easy one, because it – besides all the theological questions, which arise – is so deeply rooted in consciousness of this country and its history and in our Catholic convictions too.'
- Walter, Cardinal Kasper -

Cardinal Kasper, in his eirenic speech to the ABC and others, here enunciates an important truth at the heart of the 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church' of Jesus Christ. That there is more than one branch of this Church, each with their own individual charsisms - with equal validity - is a reality which the Roman part of the Church Universal is not too ready always to admit - never mind speak about.

That 'unity' is not the same as 'uniformity' is something that each member of the 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church' needs to constantly bear in mind. So, Thank you, dear Cardinal Kaspar for reminding us all of this fact of life.

This is a lesson, also, for those proud prelates of the Global South who have already separated themselves out (in the GAFCON set-up) from the rest of the Anglican Communion Provinces, on account of their differences in understanding of the Gospel imperatives.

Take note here from a R.C. Church official who has now recognised, in public, the realisation that the only unifying element in the Church is faith in her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ - who has become the Rock of our Salvation.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 21 January 2011 at 10:28pm GMT

Ron - Cardinal Kasper's comments are deeply challenging to all of us. When he speaks of unity without uniformity he is talking about communion -the ultimate goal of the ecumenical movement. Such communion is possible without "fusion or absorption" but this is why he raises the "problem of primacy". A clear example of what he is talking about is the English Ordinariate. He does not mean that we just carry on as separate churches doing our own thing - we are called to so much more than that.

Posted by: William on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 8:56am GMT

@Ron Smith

Cardinal Kasper is very much an ex official in the Vatican, and his views are much more those of the 70's and 80's than of Benedict XVIth and the "new" Curia. Because of the heretical trends in traditional protestant denominations the ecumenical future is in structures like the Ordinariate rather than ARCIC diplomacy!

Posted by: Antony on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 9:04am GMT

I think this is the best commentary on the Ordinariate so far:

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=106836

Posted by: Tom Selmes on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 9:18am GMT

It's worth reading the "Ad clerum" from Stephen Cottrell alongside the joint letter.
http://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/assets/files/comms/Ad%20Clerum%20regarding%20the%20Ordinariate%20-%205.1.11.pdf

He specifically does not rule out church sharing but sets boundaries for this. Looks similar to the response from Rochester - as other posters have said, it is not the Anglicans who are saying "no" to the principle of church sharing agreements, although the boundaries that are set, for good pastoral reasons, may not be what all those who are thinking of a move to the Ordinariate may have hoped for.

Posted by: Rosalind on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 11:49am GMT

"I don't know why this keeps coming up as something to whip the CoE with. It was the Roman Catholics who have made it very clear, after all, that they expect those who join the Ordinariate to go to local RC churches."

Well, the RCs may have said that, but the converting Anglicans evidently had other ideas in mind. You know how they are with taking direction from Church hierarchy...

Neither in the US nor the UK has this been completely about the principles involved; some amount, even if it's under the radar in the UK for the most part, is about property.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 1:08pm GMT

Well said Antony....I have just read the Bishop of Rochester's letter...its a very nice way of saying get lost Ed and co.

I do hope you will leave the Church and the vicarage graciously.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 2:06pm GMT

If I quit my job, can I keep my office?

After all, I've got everything there arranged just the way I like it, and the view from the window is very nice.

Posted by: JPM on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 2:34pm GMT

"Can there be any doubt that this is a movement of the Holy Spirit? "

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 7:11pm GMT

"Because of the heretical trends in traditional protestant denominations the ecumenical future is in structures like the Ordinariate rather than ARCIC diplomacy!"

The Ordinariate may (MAY) have a future, arguably. But whatever it is, Antony, it ain't ecumenical.

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 6:47am GMT

It was Archbishop Vincent Nichols who suggested that there should be no church sharing....he actually has no authority over the Ordinariate. The ordinariate is directly under Rome.

Whilst I wish them well..it amazes me that Rome has created an autonomous local church for so few people. I looked at the Ordinariate Portal and I think there will not be that many groups of laity joining. At first they said 50..then it reduced to 34 and now its down to 24. On the Ordinariate portal there are 7 groups listed..apparently there are no takers in Wales.

Yet on these claims the hierarchy of England and Wales gave them £250,000 of cash! At least bishops in the Church of England could not do that without the permission of Synod.

Posted by: robert ian williams on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 6:54am GMT

"It was Archbishop Vincent Nichols who suggested that there should be no church sharing....he actually has no authority over the Ordinariate. The ordinariate is directly under Rome." - RIW -

For what it's worth, Robert, this sort of 'divided Authority' is what we are used to in the Anglican Communion. So from you remark, I take it that Rome is not entirely under the thumb of Papa Benny In any event even the Pope of Rome can do absolutely nothing about demanding Anglican churches or other facilities to augment the inner workings of his tame Ordinariates.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 10:00am GMT

No our authority is not divided Ron, as both are answerable to the Pope.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 8:05pm GMT

Much ado about nothing - well little.

I cannot understand the fuss - just do it !
All this breast-beating nonsense about so-called 'unity' ! It is just a hankering after control and command. But the RC church can't even control its own ministers when it comes to abuse and acting out with juveniles and children. Brian Darcy spoke well about this on radio 4 yesterday.

I was delighted the cardinal had the manners and good-taste to refer to his denomination and 'the Roman Catholic church' too.

'heretical trends' ? Good lord are we living in the middle ages or C17th !


Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 24 January 2011 at 4:04pm GMT

Laurence....How do you micro mangage in a church of 1,300,0000,000 souls and a priesthood of 475,000 persons. You seem to have one obsession in life attacking the Catholic Church. Even I see the good in some Anglicans.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 24 January 2011 at 8:45pm GMT

I am having a re-think about the Ordinariate.

Thinking that perhaps I have been / am wrong.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 8 February 2011 at 10:47pm GMT

If, at a particular church, the majority of a congregation, together with their vicar leave to join the Ordinariate, it is probable that the residue will not make a viable parish. How will they maintain the building and pay the bills?

Posted by: Paul Hargreaves on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at 5:38pm GMT
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