The Ordinariate in Scotland

Click here (doc.) for the latest news from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Scotland.

They have a website up here.

Our Ordinary is Monsignor Keith Newton and the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in Scotland have appointed Bishop Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisely, to be the bishop-delegate in Scotland for the Ordinariate The priest responsible for the Ordinariate in Scotland is Father Len Black.

I received a gracious e-mail from Rev’d Stanley Bennie in Scotland just yesterday. I must say it’s great to now be able to put a face to the writer!



Terminology and the Attitude of Some Ordinariate Priests

Fr Michael Gollop SSC is profoundly irritated:

Does anyone else find it somewhat disappointing that when some (thankfully, by no means all) of our friends and former ‘colleagues’ find a new ecclesial home they begin to refer to ‘Anglican ministers’ or ‘vicars’ instead of the terms they would once unfailingly have used to describe those in Anglican orders? It becomes even less explicable when they are part of a body which makes an entirely convincing claim to be able to offer a secure and lasting place for orthodox Anglican patrimony and the only guaranteed safe haven for the Anglo-Catholic tradition.

I understand the precedents; didn’t Bl John Henry Newman use precisely this kind of terminology? Yet this is not the nineteenth century; the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus go out of their way to recognise the displaced catholicity of many in the Anglican Communion, not to mention the undoubted progress that had been made towards reconciliation before ‘the dedicated followers of fashion’ threw additional roadblocks in its path.

Before anyone comments, I’m fully aware of the statements of the Catholic Church on the subject of Anglican orders from Apostolicae Curae onwards. I’m also aware that because of Anglican innovations (the historical irony is painful – so much for ‘the constant Tradition of the primitive church’ in Bramhall’s phrase) the subject will never now be re-examined. Yet those who were once in Anglican orders know better than any that, even if they now have reasonable doubts about the form or intention of their erstwhile ordinations, they were originally ordained as ‘deacons’ or ‘priests’, not ‘ministers’ or ‘vicars.’

I say this extremely reluctantly and without any wish to be confrontational or to seem in any way whatsoever ‘anti-Ordinariate’, just to point out that the minority who express themselves in this way are in danger of provoking unnecessary antagonism among those who wish them and Pope Benedict’s initiative only well. If someone so sympathetic to the Ordinariates can have this reaction, what must be its effect on those who are more undecided?

Of course, it may be said (by some it is often said) that the truth is meant to hurt, and that an uncompromising expression of the ecclesial realities may prove a spur to immediate action, yet the first impression given to those on the receiving end is one of a calculated rudeness and discourtesy, and perhaps to sense in those concerned to dole out this ‘speaking of the truth in love’ more of an overriding desire to find acceptance in their new home rather than any more pressing evangelistic motive towards those they have left, hopefully temporarily, behind.

I would guess that most Anglo-Catholics (for want of a better term) who remain pro tem in Anglican structures are concerned less about the possible defects of Anglican ordinations than about the contemporary and – because of its loss of even a claim to apostolicity in holy order – irrevocable apostasy of a Communion which seemed to be on a path of theological convergence both with Rome and Orthodoxy.

But the last word on this should probably go to St Francis de Sales, not an unsuccessful evangelist in the heartland of Calvinism itself, who remarked that you can catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with ten barrels of vinegar.

While the truth (theology) indeed needs to be brought to bear, as I have noticed on my own blog (and in real life), far more kindness, forbearance and Christian love and charity is needed – on both sides. In fact, I would go as far as to say (the point is made above) that such would go a long way in winning over others to one’s own held position.



Army Chaplain Performs First Same-Sex Marriage

From here:

On a Louisiana army post, an army chaplain has performed the first  same-sex nuptial ceremony involving two lesbian soldiers. Same-sex  marriage is not legal in the state of Louisiana, so the event is being  described as a “religious” ceremony.

The Army confirmed that the ceremony, performed at the Fort Polk army base was not billed as an official marriage.

(Catholic Online) – Rep. John Fleming, M.D. reported that the U.S. Army had confirmed that the chaplain had performed the ceremony a few weeks ago in the base chapel at Fort Polk.

“It is my understanding that this is the first ceremony of its type on an American military base and that is, as it’s reported, it was a wedding ceremony between two members of the same gender who are uniformed members of the Army,” Fleming told

Fleming, who is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Army confirmed that the ceremony was not billed as an official marriage.

“As its characterized, this ceremony occurred only as a religious ceremony, it was not intended or advertised to be a lawful or legal union,” Fleming said. “Such marriages between persons of the same-sex are not recognized by the state of Louisiana, so it can’t be a lawful or legal marriage ceremony.

“That’s a bit distressing in itself, because, why go through this, except for social or cultural experimentation, or to push forward or propagate somebody’s agenda?” Fleming asked.

“I just think it’s inappropriate to use military facilities for that purpose,” he added.

Fort Polk military officials, in addition to the Army Office of Chief of Chaplains did not respond to further inquiries about the case.  A Fort Polk spokesman told the Associated Press described the event as a “same-gender private religious ceremony.”

A Disciples of Christ chaplain performed a “marriage-like” commitment ceremony for the two lesbian soldiers, Dr. Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Freedom says.

“They were very careful in the wording, from what I understand, to make this only a religious ceremony,” Crews says, noting that the Disciples of Christ denomination allows its clergy to perform same-sex “commitment” ceremonies.

“That raises the question about the new DOD policy that allows a chaplain to do a marriage-like ceremony in a military chapel in a state that has a clear definition of marriage in their state law,” Crews says. His organization represents more than 2,500 Christian military chaplains.

In dissent, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), chairman of the Seapower & Projection Forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, loudly denounced the military for allowing the ceremony to be held in a military chapel.

“It is very concerning that a same-sex ceremony would occur on a military base in a state where the definition of marriage has been clearly defined as between one man and one woman,” Akin said.