Ordinariate Togetherness

Writes Fr Andrew Bartus:

With the frequency of negative attention towards the Ordinariates, some wonder whether there is a pro-Ordinariate blog still out there. Anglican Patrimony is unashamedly pro-Ordinariate. It always has been, and always will be. As difficult as times may be for those trying to enter the Ordinariates, or for those even within them, the Ordinariates are the way the Church has seen fit to bring about corporate unity of Anglicans and Catholics. Yes, there are challenges and difficulties involved, and many perhaps seem needless and self-inflicted, but we are here to make the best of what we’re given – together. And doing it together, as a English Anglican priest once drilled into me, is the English way. 

Will everyone see things the same way or agree all of the time? Will the leadership always be perfect? No, of course they won’t. But working together to make progress in building the Ordinariates – which means working together to evangelize others with the Catholic faith and fortifying our own – is the purpose of bringing the Anglican patrimony back home into its proper ecclesial context. And as Father Phillips originally said to us well before all of this even started officially, the patrimony is the people.

The thing about the Ordinariates, is that for the most part we really aren’t given anything. We must build it ourselves. Thankfully, many dioceses, pastors, and local bishops have given to us very generously. I must say that the Diocese of Orange in my own case is a fine example of this generosity, and Bl. John’s in Orange County is slowly finding ways of cooperating more and more with the mission of the diocese and the wider Church in Southern California. It will take some years, I predict, before we begin to really look like a “normal” parish that most are used to, but if we don’t try – and try together – it won’t happen…

All of us in the Ordinariates are working hard to make the best of our respective situations – some of us have more resources than others. The leadership is under many constraints, depending on the situation, and most of the time are unable to disclose many important details that would otherwise help the public to better understand why they acted the way they did. Forming an opinion about someone requires all of us to step back and realize that we just do not know all of the background facts surrounding a particular situation; and even those few times where we might be in possession of information that shows someone made a bad choice – the right thing to do is to talk to that person privately and to offer to help them use what good came out of that bad decision for even greater good for themselves and the Ordinariate at large. This approach is much more preferable than making the entire Ordinariate suffer.

The key to all of this is charity…

Where We Are Going Now 

But this is not about placing blame, it’s about all of us in our own ways waking up and taking note and moving on - together. No doubt mistakes have been made by all parties involved and will likely continue to be made, but unless we wish to allow Satan to defeat us and give creedence to our detractors who predict the failure of the Ordinariates, we need to keep brushing off the dust of our fallen comrades, help them back up, and press on – together. And when we find ourselves lacking in wisdom and making a bad decision, we’ll find that they will be eager to treat us the same way.

We don’t have to remain in this situation of the Ordinariate being perceived as uninteresting and uninspiring at best – or being petty and irrelevant at worse. The world needs to hear about the good things happening in the Ordinariate on the ground, for that is the reality for the most part. It is truly an exciting time to live!

I will be sharing the story of the things going on at the mission parish I am honored to serve, and I expect that other Ordinariate priests will contribute stories as well. This won’t be a cheerleading session for the Ordinariates – I fully intend to be honest about the difficulties involved, but the difficulties will always be in light of the good we are trying to achieve.

If you have positive news to share on the ground of an Ordinariate community in your area, please send them to me and I’ll gladly share the good news.

And of your charity, please pray for our three Ordinaries and their leadership teams. The Holy Father has placed a large degree of trust in them and so should we; but they need our prayers and constant support.

The whole post is here, which is well worth reading in full.

 

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About Fr Stephen Smuts
TAC Priest in South Africa.

20 Responses to Ordinariate Togetherness

  1. Terry says:

    A well-written article. The current situation with all the negative news and slants reminds me of the time Germany was reunited. Everyone in East Germany thought their lives would miraculously change overnight. Shops and supermarkets would be overflowing with all the goodies they never had a chance to have, and life would just be so sweet.
    Of course, it wasn’t like that. Yes, there was abundance aplenty but they found they couldn’t afford to buy them! It would take a while and some considerable work and effort for them to be able to enjoy the fruits of re-unification.

    I think it’s the same with the Ordinariates. Too many people were, perhaps, expecting miracles to happen overnight. Yes, miracles can and do happen, but sometimes the good Lord wants us to learn some lessons, hard though they may be, before enjoying the fruits of our labour.

  2. Perhaps young Master Bartus would like to explain how he was motivated by this spirit of cooperation during his short curacies at All Saints, Fountain Valley and St. Mary’s, Hollywood.

    • John Bruce says:

      I’ve met Fr Wheeler, and I can’t believe his interest is in stirring up muck. On the other hand, I’ve had considerable experience with Fr Bartus – MODERATION.

  3. Joseph Golightly says:

    I suspect Fr Wheeler is trying to stir muck up. It does not deserve an answer!

    • Ioannes says:

      Let us think of their best intentions. It can’t be that they’re really bored and internet gossip is all they have.

      If it were true… That would be sad.

  4. Conchúr says:

    Not where else to put this so I’ll put it here. The Australian Catholic blogger David Schutz has posted the following on his blog, Sentire Cum Ecclesia:

    I’ve just received news that eight priests will be Ordained at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne on Saturday, 8th September 2012 at 10.00 a.m. (five for Melbourne and three others) for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.

    http://scecclesia.com/?p=6471

  5. CatholicChurchLady says:

    I am grateful for some positive Ordinariate news right about now! We are slammed nearly every day with some form of “Falk/Hepworth/TAC/ACA/St Mary’s/Extraordinary Form vs Ordinary Form/Another group delayed/Priest too old to ordain/Steenson/Hurd” news that I just want to give up on the blogs altogether. Yes, almost all the people involved in the Ordinariates have made mistakes (Ordinary, priests, and lay people alike). Yes, we would like some things to be different. Yes, some groups are delayed. But every time we rip each other’s heads off or slam someone involved with the Ordinariate, Satan laughs. His ultimate goal is the destruction of the church. All the negativity and accusations only serve to further his cause.

    I think we need a serious dose of humility and repentence…and more than that, a willingness to forgive others in the church. We have disappointed one another. We have hurt one another. Our leadership has disappointed us. But we are still the Church, and we need to act like it. I say this not to preach, because I am the biggest offender of them all. I am just thrilled we may be seeing the dawn breaking in the Ordinariate. Please encourage and support those sharing good news – we need all the hope we can get.

  6. Let’s give Fr. Bartus a break, he only somewhere in his 30′s. And now he is IN the Ordinariate! Let’s move on people!

    • John Bruce says:

      Fr Robert, this reminds me a little of a true-crime show I was watching on TV the other night. A guy who’d covered up for a murder he’d committed 30 years earlier finally confessed. The police brought in the victim’s sister to meet and confront the murderer. The murderer cheerfully confesses again, and then asks “How about a hug?” We can forgive, but hugs may well not be appropriate — and I’ve certainly heard sermons to the effect that forgiving is neither just plain forgetting, nor giving someone a blank check to do the same thing again. Fr Bartus’s conduct – MODERATION – Happyface isn’t the proper reaction.

      • Bea says:

        Wow, John, you just compared whistleblowing to murder. Murder! Let’s just let that bit sink in. if you are representative of St Mary’s parishioners even in the slightest, I am glad for anyone who managed to escape the church. I would say more, but I’m pretty sure you’ll just jump down the throat of anyone who disagrees with you until they finally shut up and you have the last word.

      • Ioannes says:

        Watch out, according to John Bruce, Fr. Bartus is EEEEVIIIIIL! He eats babies, and at night he transforms into a flying half-werewolf, half-shark creature. He got that power from the wicked, wicked Pope of Rome and the Ordinariates. What evil rituals could they be performing in their evil, evil churches? Stay tuned on the next John Bruce exclusive!

      • @John: Unless Fr. Bartus has commited some obvious sin or breach in moral Christian ethics, this is just the “muck and mire” of church life! But we all know that the Episcopal and Anglican ecclesiastical church life has been at a very low ebb for quite sometime. There is simply no perfection in human beings, whether in church or outside the church, and sadly even church life and decorum has become “dung”! So again, let’s move on! How about asking where is the Incarnate life of Christ in the Church today? We know that the redeemed are there, but what is their condition? It is here that both Word & Sacrament must come in, and that cetainly includes preaching, i.e. the Apostolic Kerygma (the gospel message itself)! (1 Cor. 1:21…”It pleased God, says Paul, “by the foolishness of Preaching to save them that believe.” Indeed Christian conversion is about change and regeneration! We see today so much “religion”, but the power of the Gospel, and the Christian life?

        “They will maintain the outward appearance (form) of religion but will have repudiated its power.” (2 Tim. 2:5, NET Bible)

        Here “religion” comes from a “godly” desire, or Godward attitude. Indeed Christian godliness is embodied in and communicated thru the truths of the faith ‘In Christ’. Note the Greek word, “Eusebeia”, a Christ-like piety! Sadly, Western Christianity is well below this standard!

        *Btw, we all must bear this low-ebb in Christendom!

  7. John Bruce says:

    Well, I don’t believe I was making a direct comparison — I was just saying that gee. let’s forgive and forget ha ha isn’t always an appropriate response. And Fr Bartus himself is in a denomination – MODERATION.

    • Tate says:

      Clergymen do have a moral and canonical duty to report alleged wrongdoing, on the part of fellow clergy, to their ecclesiastical authorities. It would be absolutely inappropriate, unethical, and shameful for your priests and/or deacons to not report such things.

  8. Father James T. Moore says:

    As a Catholic priest of the Anglican Use for almost thirty years, I wish to thank Father Bartus for the voice of sanity in his article. May God continue to bless this fine priest as he carries out his work in southern California.

    • William Tighe says:

      I agree — and as one who has the privilege and honor of knowing Fr. Bartus personally, I cannot speak too highly of his integrity, intelligence and commitment to the Catholic Faith and its ineluctable diptych, Catholic Communion with the Prima Sedes.

  9. James UK says:

    Father Wheeler, do you care to actually make an accusation? And did you get your accustation(s) from Fr. Kelley or his supporters as Mr. Bruce clearly did? I can’t believe living in Hawaii would provide enough information for you to make an accusation unless you heard it from someone in Los Angeles!

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