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Tuesday 28 August 2012

Reluctant Anglicans (6) - Culture and Sharing

A few words now about recognizing elements of Anglican Patrimony. But first we need to set the stage by acknowledging the contributions of Anglo-Catholics and especially those who have been identified as Anglo-Papists (or Anglo-Papalists).

Allow me to quote from A Tactful God by Simon Bailey (Gracewing, 1995) a biography of Dom Gregory Dix, an Anglican Benedictine monk of Nashdom Abbey in the UK.  Dix is perhaps the best know Anglo-Papist whose work, especially The Shape of the Liturgy has been studied now by generations of Catholics to the present day. Bailey writes:

"His life would be in the Church of England, his life and work and prayer would be for unity, for greater and deeper catholicity, for ways and paths and new routes through the mountains of Anglican indifference, ignorance and hostility and of Roman superiority, isolation and lack of interest." p. 50 -- Now that is a worthy patrimony in itself.

In the spirit of Dom Gregory we look then at such matters as liturgy, ordination and the value of ordained service to God in the Anglican tradition as these patrimonial elements are now being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

To begin with we look again at the shape of liturgy and what elements of Anglican use are being incorporated into the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite being prepared for approval by the Holy See.  

Secondly, but related to the liturgy, we look at the value and recognition of the ministry of Anglicans being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church, what they bring and how they are received with honour.

Dom Gregory Dix as a lifelong Anglican usually celebrated the Tridentine Rite (Latin) Mass as his daily celebration but he conformed for Sundays and Feast Days to the rites used within the community or parish where he served - - and these varied. 

Dom Gregory could live as an Anglican, as have so many, without the Book of Common Prayer and in a community which used the Tridentine liturgy along with other liturgical forms which belong to the Western (Latin) Church of which they understood themselves, as many still do, to be members of by virtue of Baptism (and Confirmation -- pace Dix). 

The issue of Orders as defined by Rome was clearly a concern for Dix and it would be interesting to see how he would view the obvious recognition of past Anglican ministry implicit in the designation of former Anglican bishops as monsignori in the ordinariates (an honour recognizing long service in the ordained ministry usually of 20 years or more).

The notion that those many priests and parishes in the East End of London and similar places around the world did not use explicitly Catholic liturgies for Mass with episcopal permission, as some have claimed in recent postings, is simply not the case. Bishops would often preside at non-BCP liturgies e.g. from the English/Anglican Missal (though, of course some would not).

The many Anglican bishops have (and continue to) give implicit permission for the celebration of rites for Mass which are in complete conformity with the requirements of the Holy See. Given the welter of Anglican views on jurisdiction, the permission of a local bishop is all that is necessary in the eyes of Anglo-Papists to validate their recourse to the Roman Rite of the Western Church. In fact, most have believed that local permission is advisable but not necessary since their recognition of the Holy See and its mandates for liturgy come under the immediate jurisdiction of the Holy Father.

Make of this what you will, this is how many priests and parishes have proceeded for decades and in some cases with highly effective and fruitful ministries which are now recognized personally by the Holy Father in the making of individual former bishops prelates of honour thus representing the hundreds of faithful Anglo-Papists who laboured to lay the groundwork for  Anglicanorum Coetibus.

In light of the recent discernment with regard to Anglican Use in the Ordinariates Msgr Steenson has rightly, in my view, determined that the EF in its current form is not part of the Anglican Patrimony since the English Missal tradition has translated and adapted the precursor of the current EF for Anglican use in English.

As others have pointed out, however, there is nothing to stop an individual priest or an interested group in an Ordinariate from celebrating the EF on occasion and for particular purposes outside of weekly Sunday Mass which in an AU/Ordinariate parish or sodality should properly be the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite as approved by the CDF.

EF rites are available to AU/Ordinariate priests and people in these circumstances just as they are to other priests of the Roman Rite. Msgr Steenson, to my understanding, has forbidden nothing in this regard.

In summary, the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite (AU) as being developed for approval will share in the universal character of the Mass and other rites. The AU will properly express doctrine in this regard. It will also incorporate elements of Anglican Patrimony in terms of sacral English language for ritual and biblical texts and the Anglican musical and choral traditions as they have developed over the past centuries as distinct from but complementary to other musical and ritual traditions.

All of this development and sharing is an articulated goal of the Holy Father for the mutual enrichment of communities gathered together in the Catholic Church.

Sunday 26 August 2012

Reluctant Anglicans (5) - Anglican Use of the Roman Rite

A posting at the Psallite Sapienter http://psallitesapienter.blogspot.ca/ suggests that the following elements from The Book of Common Prayer tradition will be considered for the AU/Ordinariate rites, some of which have been included in editions of THE ENGLISH (ANGLICAN) MISSAL:
  • the Commandments or Summary of the Law, with response;
  • the Anglican wording of the Kyrie and Gloria in excelsis;
  • the [Roman Rite OF] Collects in traditional language;
  • the traditional system of readings (for such as still use them);
  • the Anglican wording of the Creed;
  • the Prayer for the Church, amended;
  • the Penitential Act, comprising a lightly edited Invitation, Confession and Absolution (non-sacramental, of course);
  • the Anglican wording of the Sursum corda, Preface, Sanctus and Benedictus;
  • the Catholic first half of the words of administration of the Sacrament (though this is all but identical to that found in the traditional Roman Mass);
  • the long Prayer of Thanksgiving after Communion;
  • the final blessing, “The Peace”.

PS goes on to say:
Unsurprisingly, all this, barring the traditional one-year cycle of readings for such as want it, can already be found in the current Book of Divine Worship for the Anglican Use, albeit in the particular wording found in the U.S. Episcopalian tradition, drawing on the U.S. 1928 and 1979 B.C.P.’s.

The BDW incorporates all these elements into the general structure of the modern Roman Mass, with some more traditional features, such as "The Lord be with you" immediately before the Collect, not at the start of the Mass as in the Ordinary Form.

It is reported that the forthcoming new edition of the BDW will be updated to conform to the new translation of the Prayer over the Gifts (now called the Prayer over the Offerings) for each Mass, the Offertory prayers, the Memorial Acclamations, and above all the new phrasing of the words of consecration; this should take away that most unpleasant feature of the BDW, the clunky fashion in which the language used slips from sacral to banal and back again.

Over at Deborah Gyapong's excellent blog Foolishness to the World http://foolishnesstotheworld.wordpress.com/ we find the following points raised (bolding is my own).

 1.  Although the “English Missal” (Sarum Rite , etc.) [The Use of Sarum i.e.  the use of Salisbury is a "use" of the Roman Rite like the current Anglican Use and not a stand-alone Rite as are, for example, the Ambrosian or Mozarabic Rites which are distinct rites of the Western Latin Church] are of historical interest to liturgical scholars in the development of the Anglican patrimony, they apparently are not in current use to any degree among those who are coming into the Catholic Church to form the new ordinariates. Thus, it does not seem to make much sense to discuss approval of those forms for the ordinariates. Rather, it’s the current practice of worship that is at the core of the patrimony of the ordinariates. Nonetheless, the historical point of reference may be useful in discerning which version(s) to keep if several versions of a prayer remain in current use.

2. That said, the liturgical forms for the ordinariates do need to address legitimate differences in the current practices of those who are coming to the ordinariates in a manner that allows those coming into the Catholic Church to form the ordinariates to embrace them as their own. The open question is whether one best does this by providing multiple versions of the ordinariate liturgy or by providing options within a single form, but that question is in the hands of the committee charged with preparation of the ordinariate liturgy.

3. It’s pretty obvious that any deficiencies in the orders of worship previously employed by those who are coming into the ordinariates will need to be rectified in the orders of worship that will gain approval for use within the Catholic Church. This simply is not negotiable, especially if it may affect the validity of any of the sacraments. But overall, whatever emerges from the process probably will be a major improvement over the current Anglican form of the liturgy — that is, the 1983 Book of Divine Worship with certain modifications.

Some of these and many other topics are taken up in Msgr Burnham's Book Heaven and Earth in Little Space. He also deals with Anglican celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite which is common in the UK. 

Saturday 25 August 2012

Reluctant Anglicans (4) - Patrimony in Liturgy

It seems to be agreed by many of those within or entering AU and ordinariate parishes and sodalities that the official texts along with rubrics for the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite which are to replace the Book of Divine Worship (BDW) will go a long way to answering questions about Anglican Patrimony.

On the principle of lex orandi lex credendi the new AU liturgies for Mass, the Offices, Sacraments and pastoral offices will convey the Catholic faith in an Anglican expression. Will these rites be formulated in patrimonial, traditional, sacral or modified "Prayer Book language"?

If the first AU rites already approved in the UK for marriage and funerals are to be an indicator, traditional (sacral) language will be at the forefront. Many agree that there would be no need for other modern language AU options since these are available with The Ordinary Form (OF) of the Roman Rite which may be used by AU/ordinariate parishes, groups and individual clergy (in both Latin and English).

Many have suggested that a slightly modified form of The English (or Anglican) Missal would serve for most liturgies, this form of the rite being essentially The Extraordinary Form (EF) of the Roman Rite in sacral English. Others continue to debate the revival of the pre-reformation Sarum Use of the Roman Rite in some form.

Questions also arise concerning the Breviary. Naturally AU and Ordinariate Anglicans are welcome to use The Roman Breviary in either English or Latin but would something like a revised form of The Anglican Breviary find a home in AU/Ordinariate parishes, monastic communities and sodalities? (e.g. What are the All Saints sisters using in Maryland?)

Will  Morning and Evening Prayer in a new edition of BDW serve for those who follow the pattern of the Anglican office?

What about communities that want the full English Breviary and/or an Office of Readings but do not want the Roman Breviary in its current English translation? What direction will the ordinaries give to clergy on individual and group recitation of the office?

Of course the issue of The King James Version of the Bible (KJV or AV) seems to have been settled for the moment. The Catholic Version of the Revised Standard Version is approved as a text for use at Mass. Could there be a provision made for use of a Catholic version of the KJV for offices and personal use? Certainly there is an argument to be made that it carries much Catholic patrimony and would require only some editing in certain places.

King James I and the following Stuart monarchs certainly had Catholic sympathies to varying degrees. I do not know what publication copyright provisions would apply for a revised Catholic version of the KJV but there have certainly been various attempts like the New King James Version of some decades ago and so it seems that the text is in the public domain at least outside of the UK. Someone will no doubt have the facts on this.

These are some more substantial questions which have been raised by those posting in various places. Your constructive comments are again invited.

Friday 24 August 2012

Reluctant Anglicans (3) - Facts

Following is some useful information and factual references posted by commentators on various blogs in response to the questions from "Reluctant Anglicans" re. the Ordinariates:


In a partial answer regarding the Economics issues, the CSP pubished a statement on its website regarding property ownership and how it works. It can be found here: http://www.usordinariate.org/parishproperty.html. This is a very useful resource to anyone who has questions regarding parishes and their entry into the Ordinariate, and specifically addresses many of these concerns.


The expression “synod” comes from the Greek for “meeting” and in the Catholic Church it is broadly synoymous with “council” And there is a whole long list of important synods in the history of the Church perhaps begining with those held at Antioch and Carthage from around 250 AD and certainly including the Synod of Whitby in 664AD. The institution survives and works in the Catholic Church and in Orthodoxy. So far as the Catholic Church is concerned, there can be diocesan synods, and also meetings of national episcopal conferences all of which are provided for by canon law. At diocesan level the functions of the synod are advisory. The authority is that of the bishop.
But various non-Catholic Churches have adopted with word “synod” to denote their own meetings and the confusion arises because in scuh bodies, the expression has different meanings. In the CofE, the supreme legislatative authority is vested in Parliament – Church law is what parliament says it is. But the authority has been delegated to “general synod” – a kind of mini-parliament with three houses, bishops, clergy and laity. and it is that form of governance which has proved a disaster.
The ordinary of an ordinariate is a voting member of the national episcopal conference. The Ordinary has identical powers over those subject to his jurisdiction as diocesans have to those subject to their jurisdictions. The Governing Council and Finance Council of the Ordinariates function in the say way as the equivalent diocesan institutions and the same provisions of canon law apply.
The single difference is that when it comes to the choice of an ordinary, the compilation of the “terna” of names to be submitted to the Pope is not undertaken by the Apostolic Nuncio but to a deliberative vote of the Governing Council. Hardly revolutionary. That’s broadly similar to what happens for Eastern Rite Churches too.
Canon law is quite precise.
See Canon 331 “The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.
See also Canon 372:
Ҥ1. As a rule, a portion of the people of God which constitutes a diocese or other particular church is limited to a definite territory so that it includes all the faithful living in the territory.
§2. Nevertheless, where in the judgment of the supreme authority of the Church it seems advantageous after the conferences of bishops concerned have been heard, particular churches distinguished by the rite of the faithful or some other similar reason can be erected in the same territory.”
And as with Apostolic Administrators – the Ordinary is provided with the full powers of a Bishop which he exercises by delegation. The only difference is that when an Ordinary is not in episcopal orders, he cannot ordain priests – he issues dimmisoral letters to a bishop, just as one bishop often does to another. One may expect that in the fullness of time, there will be Ordinaries in episcopal orders.

The excerpt below is from canons 211 to 214 of the Code of Canon Law (CoCL) which provide for a lay voice at the diocesan or ordinariate level in all Latin Rite Catholic churches. 

This council is mandated and gives a voice on a wide range of pastoral matters in the diocese while leaving matters of doctrine and jurisdiction to the bishop and the Magisterium.  

Unlike Anglican synods which have taken unto themselves the role of redefining doctrine, the Ordinariates will follow the guidelines set out in the CoCL. 



Canon 511 
In every diocese and to the extent that pastoral circumstances suggest it, a pastoral council is to be constituted which under the authority of the bishop investigates, considers, and proposes practical conclusions about those things which pertain to pastoral works in the diocese.

Canon 512 
§1. A pastoral council consists of members of the Christian faithful who are in full communion with the Catholic Church—clerics, members of institutes of consecrated life, and especially laity—who are designated in a manner determined by the diocesan bishop.
§2. The Christian faithful who are designated to a pastoral council are to be selected in such a way that they truly reflect the entire portion of the people of God which constitutes the diocese, with consideration given to the different areas of the diocese, social conditions and professions, and the role which they have in the apostolate whether individually or joined with others.
§3. No one except members of the Christian faithful outstanding in firm faith, good morals, and prudence is to be designated to a pastoral council.

Canon 513 
§1. A pastoral council is constituted for a period of time according to the prescripts of the statutes which are issued by the bishop.
§2. When the see is vacant, a pastoral council ceases.

Canon 514 
§1. A pastoral council possesses only a consultative vote. It belongs to the diocesan bishop alone to convoke it according to the needs of the apostolate and to preside over it; it also belongs to him alone to make public what has been done in the council.
§2. The pastoral council is to be convoked at least once a year.

The specific provision in Anglicanorum Coetibus for lay invlovement in the councils of ordinariates is as follows with my comments in red. 


§ 1. The Ordinary is aided in his governance by a Governing Council with its own statutes approved by the Ordinary and confirmed by the Holy See.[17]

§ 2. The Governing Council, presided over by the Ordinary, is composed of at least six priests. It exercises the functions specified in the Code of Canon Law for the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors, as well as those areas specified in the Complementary Norms. 

Does the provision for "at least six priests" leave the door open for lay consultants on the Governing Council as well? Likely the ordinary would want to have a canon lawyer who would at least attend some meetings of the Council in some capacity - many of these are laymen.

§ 3. The Ordinary is to establish a Finance Council according to the norms established by the Code of Canon Law which will exercise the duties specified therein.[18]

Again, lay members are important if not essential for transparent administration of finances. It is also important that the Ordinary and the clergy be at arms length from finances to put them beyond any question with regard to these matters which are often scrutinized very carefully these days. See the article in the latest edition of the  ECONOMIST magazine which is highly critical of the Catholic Church's financial dealings.

§ 4. In order to provide for the consultation of the faithful, a Pastoral Council is to be constituted in the Ordinariate.[The Code of Canon Law - see above] 

Thursday 23 August 2012

Reluctant Anglicans (2)

The questions presented here in the first "Reulcant" post have caused quite a flury of comment on other blogs. I will attempt to summarize some of the constructive comments since our purpose is to seek clarification for those sincerely seeking to respond to our Lord's prayer that we all may be one.

So, here is a partial summary with the caveat that any condensation will be incomplete and since, as repeatedly mentioned, this is a process which is unfolding over years there are no easy, much less permanent, responses apart from those which are made by the CDF and other agents of the Holy See.

With this in mind, here we go with a first attempt at summary.

1. Authority

A number of posts have raised concerns about "private judgement" in relation to questions of authority. Some have pointed out that, amongst others, J.H. Newman held that there was a role for and necessity for the Church to elicit the voice of the laity in the determination of many matters including the reception of doctrine.

As it applies to the Ordinariates there are a number of matters which affect how this role might be defined in the governance of parishes, sodalities and ordinariate structures generally.

Anglicanorum Coetibus outlines clearly that it is expected that the councils and committees which are to be part of the structure being erected will reflect the engagement and contributions of laity in oversight at various levels. This has been a developing part of Anglican patrimony which will continue in the Ordinariates.

For Newman consultation with and participation by the laity is an important aspect of faithful discipleship as it relates to the stewardship which we collectively share for the Church Militant. In no way does consulting the laity detract from the proper role of doctrinal development and definition through the Petrine office or the role of the Magisterium in governing. In fact, the role of laity was seen by Newman as complementary to the Magisterium and as a sign of a vibrant Church with an educated laity - something Newman stove for in his work to establish a Catholic university in Ireland and in other aspects of his ministry.

The role of the laity as an aspect of patrimony is not then to be confused with the issue of "private judgement" in matters of doctrine.


Due to time constraints, posts on this topic will continue at irregular intervals. For those interested there is much more discussion on the "The Anglo-Catholic" blog and Fr. Smuts' blog amongst others.

Time does not allow a full digest of the constructive comments made there so discussion here will be selective but those who post comments to this blog will receive full consideration and, as stated, constructive comments will be posted here.

More to follow.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Why are some Anglicans reluctant about the Ordinariates?

This begins a series of posts which will seek to address questions that people have about the process of entering into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariates being erected to receive Anglicans.

Barriers at St. Peter's, Rome

There are, of course, many reasons for the reluctance of many Anglicans and others to enter a process for reception through the ordinariates.

Anglicanorum Coetibus (AC) is the Apostolic Constitution crafted by Pope Benedict XVI to allow Anglicans, the Anglican patrimony and those drawn to the Church through the Anglican ethos to share full communion in response to our Lord's prayer that we all may be one, ut unum sint.

AC is a thoughtful, realistic and generous ecumenical response to requests made over the past thirty years by Anglican bishops and faithful to enter into full unity with the Catholic Church while retaining those elements of Anglican culture and tradition which conform to the Catholic faith.

This post will list some of these concerns and future posts will seek to address these from a Canadian perspective.

First a few facts and estimates:

- To date there are eight bishops worldwide (by my count which may be out of date) who have been received into full communion and ordained.

- Around a hundred priests (with more in process) have been received and ordained

- Something going on a couple of thousand lay Anglicans have been received or are in a process to be received into the three ordinariates that currently serve the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia.

These numbers, though small, change monthly. Generously, the Holy Father has bestowed the rank of prelate of honour (Monsignor) upon each of the received former Anglican bishops following their ordinations.

Three of these former Anglican bishops have been created "ordinaries" that is leaders with jurisdiction for those who enter the non-territorial personal ordinariates erected:

1. Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (OOLW) for England, Scotland and Wales

2. Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (OCSP) to include jurisdiction for those received in North America including Canada and the USA

3. Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross (OOLSC) for Australia and, presumably, contiguous regions

These ordinaries act with authority and jurisdiction like that of bishops of a diocese without the limitation of geography within the respective Episcopal Conferences to which they relate e.g. Msgr Steenson of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter acts in concert with the conferences of bishops in Canada and the USA.

On a personal level, for example, an individual person received into the Ordinariate in Toronto comes under the same "ordinary" jurisdiction as someone in Houston,TX i.e. Msgr Steenson and does not come within the jurisdiction of the Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto though, naturally, the ordinary and the cardinal co-operate in every way possible to promote the unified witness of the Catholic Church.

Anglican Use Mass celebrated on Sundays at Sacré-Coeur Parish in Toronto

All of this should indicate that there is a warm and generous welcome for Anglican clergy and people. Some Anglicans and others, however, demur, delay or have additional questions about the process for a variety of reasons and from varying circumstances. A few have decisively (for now anyway) decided to continue as Anglicans or Anglican Catholics or Anglo-Catholics as they variously describe themselves.

These articles will begin to explore some of the concerns that people have in a non-partisan manner by listing questions that have been raised. Together we seek some answers or responses to the many details that an unfolding process presents.

Clarification has been the purpose of all of the postings on this blog and so your responses and other questions and constructive comments are invited. These will be vetted and presented to advance the discussion and illuminate what, as we have said, has been and will continue to be a developing process with many twists and winds along the "narrow way" that we are called to by the Gospel.

To record some of the concerns of people, I have been compiling a list over the summer of 2012. Here it is for your consideration.

1. Authority

Is there still a place for the voice of the laity in the Ordinariate?

Will the Ordinary have real control over the administration and assets of the Ordinariate which, in the case of Canada and the USA, is spread over a continent.

What role will the local bishops have and can Anglican patrimony be restricted by an unsympathetic bishop?

Is there any way that conservative Anglicans (those who have evangelical sympathies and others) might be persuaded to enter into full communion?

2. Liturgy

Will the liturgy be familiar to Anglicans or will there be such changes that worship feels foreign?  Will the great Anglican musical tradition be nurtured and developed within the Ordinariates?

Will the RSV and King James (A.V.) bibles be used? Is it a "deal breaker" as some have said if the KJV is not used at Mass?  Can the KJV be used for other services, the Offices, group and private devotions, etc., even if the RSV is the authorized text for lections at Mass?

Will priests be required to use the approved Anglican Use of the Roman Rite or will they increasingly move to the Ordinary or Extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite?  Who decides?

3. Economics

What assets will groups be able to bring with them and what say will they have in the use of these assets.  With whom will the deeds for property reside?

Will small communities be able to afford to pay priests a living wage? Will priests have to work for the local RC diocese dividing time between Anglican Ordinariate congregations and other parish or chaplaincy work?

Will there be support from local dioceses and conferences of bishops in terms of health care, pensions and retirement care for priests and other employees of the Ordinariate?

4. Culture and Sharing

Pope Benedict has expressed his concern that Anglicans bring their patrimony with them to share with other Catholics. How will this happen?  What form will this sharing take or will Anglicans be absorbed into the larger Western Rite Catholic community eventually?

Will young men who marry continue to be approved for ordination?  Will the seminaries make allowance and provision for married candidates for ordination?

How will formation for the clergy of the Anglican ordinariates take place? Will everything be centred in Houston?

Will the Anglican Use parishes such as Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, TX be included ultimately in the ordinariate? What will relations between AU and Ordinariate parishes and groups be in the meantime?

So, we welcome your thoughts on these matters and your further questions as we seek to follow our Lord in the way of unity under the guidance of the Holy Father and of those entrusted with the implementation of AC.

In light of the many ups and downs of any movement to unity within the Body of Christ we would do well to keep in mind the words of a young Ordinariate member:

"An Apostolic Constitution is for the ages. It will be here for any remaining Anglicans in 200 years."