Monday, 11 November 2013

Four from Ontario for priesthood in the CSP (Anglican) Ordinariate

Msgr Jeffrey Steenson has announced that four more Canadians (former Anglican priests) will celebrate their ordaination to the Catholic priesthood for the Personal (Anglican) Ordinariate  of the Chair of St. Peter (CSP) to serve in Toronto, Oshawa and the Ottawa region.
Former Anglican priests ordained for the Catholic priesthood in the Ordinariate

A father being ordained priest. His little son is imitating Daddy.
The four Ontario men are: Kipling Cooper (Ottawa), Douglas Hayman (Spencerville) John Hodgins (Toronto) and James Tilley (Oshawa). Each has completed a course of study in the areas of moral theology, ecclesiology, canon law, sacramental theology and liturgy.

The course is offered by St. Mary's Seminary in Houston TX (a part of St. Thomas University) where the CSP Ordinary, Msgr. Steenson teaches Patristics. The course is designed to cover areas of Catholic teaching with which Anglicans may not be familiar and  assumes that their degrees and training in Scripture, history, pastoral theology and other ecumenical disciplines meets Catholic requirements.

Over 1000 former Anglican men have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood over the past 20 years - many of them  married.
The initial sessions, held in Houston, were followed by a series of weekly Saturday day-long lecture sessions along with discussion in a virtual classroom on the internet using the Polycom web system. The technology is funded by the Knights of Columbus.

This is the second Ordinariate programme for candidates for the Catholic priesthood in North America. Over 40 men have previously been trained and ordained for CSP North America. The latest course included men from around North America and the Caribbean.

Msgr Steenson (centre), Ordinary of the CSP Personal (Anglican) Ordinariate with two of his supporters, US Cardinal Wuerl (left) of Washington DC and Cardinal DiNardo of Houston TX (right).
After extensive psychological, medical and other assessments, along with a complete record of ministry and personal life, including letters of support from their wives, the dossier for each man was approved with a votum (approval) sought from the local Catholic bishop as well as the Ordinary, Msgr Steenson. When complete and approved, each dossier then went to the Congregation for the Doctirine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome for final review and approval. The CDF oversees the Anglican Ordinariates.

Married men are ordained to the priesthood in the Ordinariates with dispensation from the discipline of celibacy. This is a requirement for married Anglican priests and bishops, though not for deacons in the Roman (Latin or Western Rite) of the Catholic Church. Like Ukrainian Catholics along with other Byzantine and Greek Catholics (who are also in communion with Rome), priests (but not bishops) of the Anglican Ordinariates may be married, though they may not marry or remarry after ordination and, in the case of the Western Church, each case must be personally approved by the Pope.

In order for dispensation from the rule of celibacy to be given, each man's dossier was approved personally by the Holy Father, Pope Francis I, who authorizes each married candidate for ordination. Though surprising to some Western "Roman" Catholics the practice of ordaining married men to the priesthood is not a matter of doctrine but of discipline in the West.  It is normal, and in fact the rule rather than the exception, in Eastern Catholic Churches. There are, for example, numerous married Catholic priests in Toronto serving the Ukrainian Catholic and other eastern churches in communion with Rome.

Well over 1,000 former Anglican priests worldwide, have been ordained to the Catholic priesthood in the Roman Rite over the past 20 years. Many of these men have been married. The norm of celibacy continues to be the rule throughout the Latin Church of which the Ordinariates form a part.

The Toronto Anglican CSP Ordinariate congregation - St. Thomas More (meeting in downtown Sacré-Coeur Church) will have their own priest working with them as well as assisting with work in the Archdiocese of Toronto.

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