September 1, 2013 Leave a comment
The Portal Magazine for September is out.
Published on the first day of every month like clockwork, you can read it online here.
Or download it in pdf. here.
August 31, 2013 2 Comments
The Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) is celebrating the Catholic priestly ordinations on Saturday of two United States military chaplains and former Episcopal priests, both entering the Catholic priesthood through the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, established by the Holy See in 2012 for former Anglican communities and clergy seeking to enter the Church.
Father Joseph Francis Vieira, III, CH (MAJ) USA, was ordained in Grafenwoehr, Germany by His Excellency, the Most ReverendTimothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services.
Father Richard Rojas, Ch Capt USAF, was ordained in Inarajan Guam by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Anthony S. Apuron, OFM Cap., DD, Archbishop of Agana.
In his homily at the ordination Mass for Father Vieira, Archbishop Broglio said the faithful expect the new priest to “ignite a blaze of new evangelization as he is ordained in the Year of Faith.”
Addressing Father Vieira directly, Archbishop Broglio said:
“You will be empowered to nourish the community of faith with the most precious gift she has to offer, the Body and Blood of Christ. No one else can give it and so your contribution will be priceless. For the Army, the greatness of that gift is so appreciated, because it is in short supply. Every Catholic who has been deployed knows the value of what you and your brother priests alone can give. You will, to quote Karl Rahner, ‘lift the chalice with the blood that was redeemed and sanctified in the truth.’”
Click here to read the full text of Archbishop Broglio’s homily.
Father Vieira, a married father of two, holds a Master of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in December 1994 and entered Active Duty with the U.S. Army in July 1995.
Father Rojas, a married father of four, holds a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He has been a military chaplain for eight years.
Father Vieira said:
“It is with great joy that I enter this next stage in my faith journey which has led me ever closer to the Throne of God, through the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church He established. I have been convinced of the veracity of the Catholic Church for many years, but until recently I have been unable to act on that faith. Through the grace of God and the beneficence of the Catholic Church I now have the privilege to serve God in the Church I love. I wish to express my deep gratitude to the Holy Father, Pope Francis; and to my family, for their trust and unwavering support. I also want to thank each of the Military Catholic Communities which have nurtured me as one of their own for over thirteen years as I walked the line between the Catholic and Protestant churches. I have truly come home!”
Father Rojas said:
“I am overjoyed to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.”
August 26, 2013 2 Comments
In the Boston Globe:
Before Mass on a recent Sunday, the Rev. Jurgen Liias stood in a cramped sacristy of a Catholic church with an acolyte and cantor and began a call-and-response prayer of preparation.
Incense smoldered. The men thumped their chests in a gesture of contrition.
The elaborate ritual would seem unusual to most Catholic priests, who pray silently before Mass as they don their vestments, or quietly focus on the sacred work ahead. But Liias, who is 65, is different. He entered the church through a new doorway that lets members of the Anglican Communion return to the mother church in Rome while retaining their congregational communities — and, if they wish, much of their ornate ritual, including old Catholic traditions that Rome changed or left behind.
Pope John Paul II extended to Anglicans, including married priests, the opportunity to become Catholic in 1980. During the next 30 years, 100 or so Anglican priests entered the Catholic Church and were incorporated into local dioceses.
But some in the worldwide Anglican Communion — particularly the Episcopal Church, the religious body’s US province — wanted to make it easier for whole congregations to come in, and to be part of a group of like-minded churches.
At their request, Pope Benedict XVI established special “ordinariates” — basically superdioceses — especially for Anglican priests and congregations. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which spans the United States and Canada, was created last year. It includes more than 30 congregations, including Liias’s St. Gregory the Great, which held its first Mass in April.
“They are on a pilgrimage together, as opposed to an individual journey,” said the Rev. R. Scott Hurd, the ordinariate’s vicar general.
It is a tiny movement so far, with fewer than 2,000 people spread across a vast continent, an infinitesimal proportion of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
In many respects, the ordinariate resembles the Eastern Catholic Churches that returned to Rome from the Eastern Orthodox Church and have been allowed to preserve their own worship traditions and structure.
Hurd said the Vatican created the ordinariate primarily to “promote Christian unity” by bringing Anglicans back into the fold of Catholicism.
He said Episcopalians who are attracted to Catholicism “usually struggle with the breadth of plurality in belief” within the Episcopal Church “and come to appreciate the definitive teachings that are found in Catholicism.”
Liias has spent most of his career at the margins of the Episcopal Church, embracing both charismatic and high-church worship styles, each of which would be alien to most Episcopalians in Massachusetts. An avuncular grandfather who hikes 14,000-foot mountains and has deep experience in the charismatic movement, he is as comfortable speaking in tongues as he is praying the rosary.
He has come to see Catholicism as the center of gravity of Christianity, and an inevitable end point, not only on his own path as a Christian, but for Christianity itself.
“The unity of the church is not only an imperative for the internal life of God’s people but an essential dimension of her evangelical mission,” he wrote in a blog post this year…
Read on here.
August 24, 2013 1 Comment
On 17 August 2013, Fr Peter Cornwell, a married Catholic priest and former vicar of the same church as Blessed John Henry Newman, The University Church of St Mary, Oxford, wrote a surprisingly mean review in The Tablet of Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony: The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham by the distinguished theologian, historian and thinker, Fr Aidan Nichols OP (Gracewing, Leominster, 2013). Fr Mark Woodruff’s response in The Tablet for 24 August 2013 is below.
The book is an extended essay and arose from a remarkable lecture delivered under the auspices of the Ordinariate, as part of a conference on its place and purpose with the work of New Evangelisation. Fr Nichols revisited a familiar and resonant theme of his, that proclamation and evangelisation do not concern only the personal individual but groups and traditions of people, including entire cultures and histories. This understanding, incidentally, lay within Pope Benedict’s presentation of evangelisation on his visit to Great Britain in 2010. Faith alone, he said, answers humanity’s profoundest questions and longings; hence the need and benefit for the constant and public dialogue of faith and reason, between the Church of Christ and society, the state, politics, commerce and culture. With this in the background, Fr Nichols observed that Catholic society in England was made of four main components: the English recusants at the core of the history from the 16th century onwards, the influx of a large Irish Catholic population to cities from Victorian era onwards, a small but influential stream of English converts to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism of whom Newman and Manning are the most symbolic but which continues to the present day, and more recently the international diaspora of the last two decades, especially from India, Africa, the Far East and Eastern Europe (including Eastern Catholics) transforming the complexion of parishes especially in the larger population centres. The one culture that seems, however, not to find expression and belonging in the contemporary Catholic Church in England is England’s indigenous religious culture for almost the last half-millennium. Thus he makes the argument for embracing the liturgical, pastoral, cultural, spiritual, apologetical, homiletical, operational-organisational and academic-theological traditions and patrimony of Church-of-England Christianity, to equip the Catholic Church in England to address, take seriously, resonate with and converse with English public life and culture, as well as its citizens’ religious sensibility, by means of their familiar spiritual language and sensibility.
Where necessary, of course, for reasons of clear exposition of Catholic teaching these Anglican traditions and patrimony need to be duly adapted to meet the fullness of communion within the Catholic Church, but since all internal Anglican traditions, aspects of heritage and customs have been developed and continue in existence within a conversation between the different schools of theological thought and churchmanship, and thus find ways not only to co-exist in Anglicanism’s internal ecumenism but also to find clearer expression over against each other, there is something intrinsically Anglican about the adaptation needed when embracing a new setting for being in communion within the Body of Christ. Fr Nichols’ 1993 book, which looks at the interplay and relationship between the Catholic and Anglican in English religion, state and culture, The Panther & The Hind: A theological history of Anglicanism remains an essential account of Classic Anglican divinity, and the most sympathetic analysis of the now largely occluded Classic Anglicanism tradition ever made by a Catholic theologian.
It is a pity that Fr Cornwell did not acknowledge this in his endeavour to portray the Ordinariate as a mere refuge for Anglo-Catholics escaping a finally uncongenial Anglicanism. Thus he missed the point that, as the Catholic League can testify, its essential form has been proposed for 100 years at least and that his has influenced Anglican ecumenism for good, spread wide what is now shared by all Christians as “spiritual ecumenism”, and placed the cause of Christian Unity, to which communion with the Apostolic See of Rome is integral, at the heart of the Church’s purpose in proclaiming the Gospel to the world and its cultures. After all, it is Pope Benedict who organised efforts and structures for a New Evangelisation in the struggle for the soul of Old Europe, including the societies which have in part emerged from it across the world through the 19th and 20th centuries. The Ordinariates established under Anglicanorum Coetibus and Ad Gentes are part of this New Evangelisation and represent the Catholic Church’s desire, learned from half a century of direct dialogue and ecumenism, to learn and receive for itself what the providential Anglican tradition and its patrimony has to offer. None of this is for an isolated group that looks in upon its own narrow concerns, any more than Benedictinism, Franciscanism or Jesuitism is – it is something borne by some but for the whole Church – and that includes its efforts to reconciliation and unity.
While some of Fr Cornwell’s comments were legitimate debate and criticism in a book review, he made two misrepresentations as to fact, which made it clear that prejudice was the ground upon which he then went on to caricature the persons – the people and priests – of the Ordinariate. It is clear that he can have met few of them. What follows is the letter submitted to the Editor of The Tablet upon submission that Fr Cornwell’s affront needed a riposte. it appeared in The Tablet publised on 24 August, 2013. The final paragraph was, however, not included owing to the need to make space for a subsequent letter from Mgr Andrew Burnham of the Ordinariate which addresses the same point more fully and better. (The term “lively conversation” reflects Archbishop Rowan Williams’ attempt at a positive description of the adversarial nature of Anglican theological and constitutional decision-making in its Synods, and “treasure to be shared” is a quotation from Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.)
Fr Mark comments, “I do not lightly take issue with a brother priest in public, especially one for whom I have the highest admiration. But, since he first expressed these views in 2009 in my hearing and yet, despite eirenic argument to put his concerns to rest, persisted in disseminating them by way of attack on the true motivation and character of his fellow Catholics in the Ordinariate, it is important to say that the cause of Christian Unity is served by airing disagreement frankly towards better mutual understanding and rapprochement in a spirit of friendship, not by caricaturing people acting in good faith.”
To the Editor, The Tablet, 20 August 2013
Fr Peter Cornwell says that Anglican patrimony “in truth has proved to be quite elusive”. Anglicanorum Coetibus III locates it in liturgical books, the Complementary Norms adding the tradition of married presbyters and the pastoral council for consulting the lay faithful formally. Article 10 refers to a larger hinterland of its aspects of particular value. In 2010 I collected a volume of over 30 pieces of comment and analysis, critical and supportive – Anglicans & Catholics in Communion: Patrimony, Unity, Mission. A second volume is in preparation. A Customary containing the Divine Office and Calendar was published in 2012 and permission to celebrate an Order of Mass with elements of the Prayer Book rite was issued this summer. This is hardly elusive.
Nor is it accurate to say that Anglicanorum Coetibus came “out of the blue”. Such provision was explored by prominent Catholic-Anglicans with designated Roman Catholic figures in England and Rome in the late 1980s. And around 2008, a sizeable group of Catholic-Anglican bishops visiting Rome with concerns about the Lambeth Conference and General Synod, even discussing possible corporate reunion, did not go behind Lambeth’s back. What changed was not a papal assault upon the ARCIC method, but Anglicanism’s decision for a fundamental change within the order of bishop. Nevertheless the additional layer of ecclesial incompatibility provides a re-set ecumenical starting point. In this, some have seen a positive opportunity to think through what Anglicans believe the patrimony they offer to the whole Church’s unity in diversity is, in a manner unaddressed before.
Fr Aidan Nichols has pointed out that the prevailing religious tradition of England for nearly five centuries is a large gap in our consciousness of being the Catholic Church for this land and culture: internalising Anglican aspects of tradition through the Ordinariate offers one way of beginning to fill it, even if late in the day. At the same time it is far from the whole story of Anglican-Catholic reconciliation: for evangelisation to be convincing, Christian unity remains unfinished business.
Fr Cornwell’s mocking tale of narrow sectaries escaping to a “granny flat” is an injustice to the real priests and people of the Ordinariate. He will indeed find some former Romanising Anglo-Catholics, but he will also find inner city pastors, middle-of-the-road “Prayer Book Catholics”, scholars, diverse origins and backgrounds, “Vatican II Evangelicals”, country parsons, overseas missionaries – people with an ecumenical instinct who did not live apart but took part in the “lively conversation” of the Church of England, and who are proving no less willing to engage in our diocesan parish life, as much as they want to see the Ordinariate’s “treasure to be shared” make its distinctive contribution. What binds them in the Catholic Church is not shallow preoccupation with liturgical tastes, but the faith that is none other than our own, and acting upon it generously.
Fr Mark Woodruff
August 23, 2013 2 Comments
Here is the Press Release from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:
Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary Move to Permanent Home
The new religious community of the Personal Ordinariate, the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, have a permanent home for the first time since they were received into the full communion of the Catholic Church on New Year’s Day. They are to move on Tuesday (August 27) into a convent in Birmingham which is the former home of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
Mother Winsome, the Superior of the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, said: “We are absolutely overjoyed to have been given the opportunity to live in this convent. We have prayed long and hard and the Lord has opened up this way for us. It is a gift from God.”
The community, established as part of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham adopting the Benedictine rule, includes eleven sisters who had been part of the Anglican Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage Oxfordshire and one, Sister Carolyne Joseph, who belonged to an Anglican community in Walsingham.
With no endowments to keep them afloat financially, the sisters have been living for the last eight months as guests at an enclosed Benedictine abbey on the Isle of Wight. “The abbess and the community there shared their Benedictine life with us and welcomed us into their hearts in the most wonderfully generous way”, Mother Winsome said. “It has been a life of complete harmony and joy and it will be a wrench to leave. But we are pleased beyond measure that our journey of faith has taken this new direction”.
The provision of Benedictine hospitality through retreats is central to the community’s charism. Their intention is to earn a living at their new home by offering retreats and the ministry of spiritual direction.
The Benedictine Sisters on the Isle of Wight have been very kind in offering hospitality to the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is a mark of their generosity to the Church as a whole. The flourishing of contemplative orders is an indicator of vitality in any local Church and such communities have an impact way beyond the confines of their enclosure…
August 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Here are a couple of photographs taken by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham when they celebrated Evensong and Benediction for the Feast of the Assumption last week; they’re in their new church in Warwick Street in the West End. This is what certain Anglo-Catholics in the C of E have turned down, preferring to stay in a denomination which repudiates their vision of the priesthood. Baffling.
July 31, 2013 9 Comments
… the Anglican Communion, Gafcon, FiF and more. Virtue Online:
The Church of England bishop sees the Anglican Ordinariates as a two-edged sword. First, he notes that finally at the highest level, the Church of Rome has recognized the validity of the Anglican Patrimony and a married priesthood in the Western or Latin Rite. He is very well versed in the Vatican documents that outline the Ordinariates and how they will be formed and operated. He has clearly read and thoroughly digested the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and its Complementary Norms and has given them much measured thought.
“That is a major advance; there is no going back on that now,” he said adding that it was a good thing for Pope Benedict XVI to do. However, he is concerned about the Roman Catholic nature of the Ordinariates, how they will eventually play out in time and that there are some built-in shortcomings. He named three.
“First of all, it is quite strange that one ‘episcopal church’ to provide for another ‘episcopal church’ a system which has no bishops in it – a presbyterian provision – because the ordinary is to be a presbyter (priest),” he explained that this could eventually lead to the Latinization of the Ordinariates as they need to turn to the local Catholic diocesan bishop for Apostolic Sacramental care for their clerical ordinations.
He also feels that with Ordinariate clergy being solely trained and spiritually formed at major Catholic seminaries would lead to even more creeping Latinization as the Anglicans are further distanced from their spiritual traditions and Anglican roots.
“What you need is free-standing colleges that would promote the Anglican-Catholic way of doing things in its integrity,” the CofE bishop explained.
Finally, he feels that the Ordinariates’ married priesthood provision would eventually dry up. “I think there has to be an explicit recognition (of a married priesthood) because Anglicans have found married priests valuable for the Mission of the Church, just as they have found celibate priests valuable for the Mission of the Church.
“There are some problems in the Ordinariates, he continued, “but there are also some positive things.”
July 10, 2013 1 Comment
Opponents of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, set up by Benedict XVI to allow ex-Anglicans to worship together with their own liturgy, were so excited when it was reported that Pope Francis, when Archbishop of Buenos Aires, wasn’t keen on the initiative. But if that were ever the case, then he has changed his mind.
This week it emerged that Francis has widened the remit of the Ordinariates in Britain, America and Australia. Until now, only ex-Anglicans and their family members could join the new body. But, thanks to a new paragraph inserted into the Ordinariate’s constitution by Francis, nominal Catholics who were baptised but not confirmed can join the structure. Indeed, the Holy Father wants the Ordinariates to go out and evangelise such people. Put bluntly, this suggests that English bishops who wanted to squash the body – and whose allies were rushing to get to the new Pope in order to brief against it – have been thwarted.
Here’s the fine print, from the Ordinariate’s website:
Pope Francis has approved a significant amendment to the Complementary Norms which govern the life of the Personal Ordinariates established under the auspices of Anglicanorum Coetibus.
On 31 May 2013, the Holy Father made a modification to Article 5 of the Norms, in order to make clear the contribution of the Personal Ordinariates in the work of the New Evangelisation.
This paragraph has been inserted into the Complementary Norms as Article 5 §2:
A person who has been baptised in the Catholic Church but who has not completed the Sacraments of Initiation, and subsequently returns to the faith and practice of the Church as a result of the evangelising mission of the Ordinariate, may be admitted to membership in the Ordinariate and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation or the Sacrament of the Eucharist or both.
This confirms the place of the Personal Ordinariates within the mission of the wider Catholic Church, not simply as a jurisdiction for those from the Anglican tradition, but as a contributor to the urgent work of the New Evangelisation.
As noted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, enrolment into a Personal Ordinariate remains linked to an objective criterion of incomplete initiation (i.e. baptism, eucharist, or confirmation are lacking), meaning that Catholics may not become members of a Personal Ordinariate ‘for purely subjective motives or personal preference’
So there you have it: a ringing affirmation of the Ordinariate’s mission from a supposedly sceptical pontiff. Now what the new body needs is money and perhaps a little more courage to stick its head above the parapet. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have so far declined to organise a nationwide second collection at Mass to help their new brethren. They should do so without delay.
July 9, 2013 18 Comments
Has been complied by frequent commentator on this blog, CatholicLeft.
I thought it might be worth attempting to report on the make up of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter (COSP), in terms of its membership, clergy and prospects in both the USA and Canada.
It is detailed and can be read here.
He lists all the Clergy here.
Parishes that had shown an interest in joining the COSP, yet haven’t. Where are they now?
That list is here.
Several parishes/groups of different jurisdictions expressed an interest in, or support for, the Personal Ordinariate proposed for the USA and Canada. I thought it might be interesting to look at the Google Map of February 2011 and see what has happened to those groups not presently formally aligned (or soon to be)with the now existing Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (COSP) and why that might be…