It was announced by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington a few weeks ago that the American Anglican Ordinariate will be erected on 1 January 2012. Already, it seems that nearly 70 Episcopalian priests are planning on joining the US Ordinariate, whilst a few former bishops have also been tipped to join. Several Anglo-Catholic and Anglican Use parishes will also be expected to seek formal membership of the new Ordinariate once it has been created in just over a week’s time. It appears, too, that a few Traditional Anglican Communion (Anglican Church in America) congregations are keen to join the new structure – which will allow all these Anglican groups to retain their patrimony whilst also entering into full communion with Rome.
Last night, Virtue Online (The Voice of Global orthodox Anglicanism) confidently reported that the former Episcopal Bishop of Rio Grande, Jeffrey Steenson, is expected to be appointed the US Ordinariate’s new Ordinary. Steenson is already a Catholic priest, having left the Episcopal Church four years ago – following an Anglican ministry that lasted over 24 years. He entered into full communion with the Catholic Church in December 2007 during a private ceremony celebrated by Cardinal Bernard Law in Rome’s Santa Maria Maggiore basilica. The former Episcopal bishop was subsequently ordained into the Catholic diaconate 12 months later, whilst Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe ordained him into the sacred priesthood in 2009. The Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe covers roughly the same area as the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande.
Since his ordination as a Catholic priest, Fr Steenson has been actively engaged in preparing for the erection of the US Anglican Ordinariate. He has been seen at several Anglican Use events and conferences, whilst he has also been helping Cardinal Wuerl to implement Anglicanorum Coetibus in the United States – a task that the Archbishop of Washington was asked to carry out by Pope Benedict XVI. In fact, Fr Jeffrey Steenson was actively present when Cardinal Wuerl announced the date chosen for the creation of the US Ordinariate.
It seems that a few recent leaks from inside the Vatican have confirmed that Steenson will most likely be appointed as the first Ordinary for the new US Anglican Ordinariate on 1 January 2012…
Read on here.