by Peter Jesserer Smith / National Catholic Register
Within a year, four Church of England bishops became Catholic — a decision rooted both in discipleship of Jesus Christ and a realization that corporate unity between Catholicism and Anglicanism was becoming impossible.
THE CHALLENGE for all of us is to encourage each other to come together for this conference and let God speak to us as we seek to serve. ‘Risen, Ascended, Glorified’ will give us time to strengthen both our local and national bonds as this conference is open to all who journey in The Ordinariate both members and those who encourage us. It is very much hoped that pastors will encourage their respective communities to participate and to share with them in what is hoped will be very special days. Particularly welcome to these days are members of The Ordinariate who are far from any group. THE INVITATION is for you to come.
EXCERPT: The General Confession is a gem of a prayer from the Anglican Patrimony received into the Catholic Church. Every time we pray it, we ask God to help us shake loose the grime of sin. The General Confession in the Penitential Rite points us in the direction of the Sacrament of Penance (Confession), “that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
EXCEPRT: For some who knew of my work in the ecumenical world, the decision may have seemed puzzling. For others, it may have seemed a logical progression. I spent many years as a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission...ARCIC produced a series of remarkable agreements on matters that had been seen as Church-dividing: Eucharist, ministry, authority, salvation, moral teaching, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. I would not wish to downplay ARCIC’s achievement. And yet it was compromised again and again by unilateral and unprincipled action in various parts of the Anglican Communion. Over time, I came to observe weaknesses in the Anglican Communion; and as I reflected on these I began to realize, more and more, that what I was looking for was to be found in the Catholic Church.
EXCERPT: Speaking to CNS, Father Nazir-Ali said he thought all four were all united by the convictions they had about authority within the church – where it rested and how that authority was exercised.
EXCERPT: There is a kind of Anglican for whom I maintain a deep affinity, not least because I was in his shoes not long ago. He sees Anglicanism through the lens of the Oxford Movement, branch theories, and Tracts, refers to Roman Catholicism as the “Church of Rome”, thinks his own tribe part of “The Western Church”, feels Newman’s conversion tragic yet relatable, believes his own holy orders valid and apostolic succession secure. For this kind of Anglican – and especially to the ones who are friends of mine - I propose a question, To which version of Anglo-Catholicism do you subscribe?
The United Methodist Church is facing a messy split in 2022 – raising awareness about the Ordinariates could provide many Methodists and the Wesleyan Method a secure and lasting home in the Catholic Church.
EXCERPT: The parish of St John the Baptist in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, where I serve as subdeacon, is an Ordinariate community serving the Philadelphia region. Besides having a Ukrainian Catholic parish up the street for neighbors, we are in proximity to the cathedral of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Following the invasion of Ukraine, we were moved to organize a special votive Mass for peace (or, as the Ordinariate’s Divine Worship Missal calls it, a Mass “in time of war or civil disturbance.”)
EXCERPT: "In a beautiful nineteenth century church, with fine stained glass, Anglican patrimony rather takes care of itself. We use the RSV and sing plainsong and decent hymns and it all feels not dissimilar to when I was a Vicar in Nottingham thirty years ago."
EXCERPT: "We stand with the Archbishop, and the people of the Ukraine in closeness to the country’s 'wounded population'. The invasion of a country, with a democratically elected government, is a matter of deep sorrow, and contrary to all the norms of international relations. Our prayer is for the violence to stop and the invading troops to withdraw."
EXCERPT: An Ordinariate Mass held at Holy Ghost Church in Knoxville was the first of its kind celebrated in East Tennessee: a liturgy in English that also featured the incense, solemnity, and ad orientem worship usually associated with the extraordinary form.
EXCERPT: It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I wish there were more Ordinariate communities in more places, not only to help shepherd more Protestants into the Catholic Church, but also to enrich ordinary Catholics’ lives with additional resources for their sacramental and devotional well-being.
EXCERPT: The general understanding is that revisions to an Apostolic Constitution expand, further define, and possibly magnify the topic the Apostolic Constitution addresses. So, when I heard, from some of my Traditionalist friends, that the pope was gunning for the Ordinariate next, this quickly came to mind. It’s an Apostolic Constitution. That’s not to say the pope can’t change it. He can. But that would be extremely unlikely. If he did anything to it at all, the odds are it would be an expansion, not a reversal.
The Ordinariate Members and Friends of Austin have made strong strides toward meeting the Ordinariate's preliminary criteria for petitioning for canonical status by putting the Ordinariate’s mission from Pope Francis into action through evangelization, discipleship, and providing Christian fellowship.
EXCERPT: With Fr Michael Nazir-Ali, Jonathan Goodall and John Goddard, that makes four Church of England bishops who in the last year have abandoned Anglicanism and asked to be reconciled to the mother church. Some people will look at the tally of converts growing and simply be grateful that such people of proven spiritual calibre have set aside the tragic schism that wounded the body of Christ in these islands and the process of their reconversion. But it is not as simple as the numbers growing.
Ordinariate parishes have to transform themselves into evangelizing communities in order to grow. Sherry Weddell’s Becoming a Parish of Intentional Disciples offers insight into how to accomplish this.