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Saturday, 7 December 2013

An Advent Reflection on Faith and the New Evangelization in light of John Henry Newman's essay: Faith and Private Judgement -

In his essay FAITH AND PRIVATE JUDGEMENT, John Henry Newman, the Anglican convert, speaks about the need for evangelization, the messengers of faith and resistance to the truth of the Catholic faith. He begins:
". . .  the beauty, the majesty, the completeness, the resources, the consolations, of the Catholic Religion, it may strike us with wonder, my brethren, that it does not convert the multitude of those who come its way."
John Henry Cardinal Newman
For those of us recently received into the full communion of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Newman's  next thoughts resonate not only with regard to the wilderness of today's fractured and fracturing Protestantism but with regard to Western society as a whole in so much need of  New Evangelization.  He continues:
". . . . Perhaps you have felt this surprise yourselves; especially those of you who have been recently converted, and can compare it, from experience, with those religions which the millions of this country choose instead of it. You know from experience how barren, unmeaning, and baseless those religions are; what poor attractions they have to say for themselves. 
Multitudes, indeed, are of no religion at all; and you may not be surprised that those who cannot even bear the thought of God, should not feel drawn to His Church; numbers too, hear very little about Catholicism, or a great deal of abuse and calumny against it .
. . . . Now I mean to say that the great mass of men in this country have not this particular virtue called faith, have not had this virtue at all. As a man might be without eyes or without hands, so they are without faith; it is a distinct want or fault in their soul; and what I say is, that since they have not this faculty of religious belief, no wonder they do not embrace that, which cannot really be embraced without it. They do not believe any teaching at all in any true sense; and therefore they do not believe the Church in particular.
Now, in the first place, what is faith? It is assenting to a doctrine as true, which we do not see, which we cannot prove, because God says it is true, who cannot lie. And further than this, since God says it is true, not with His own voice, but by the voice of His messengers, it is assenting to what man says, not simply viewed as a man, but to what he is commissioned to declare, as a messenger, prophet, or ambassador from God. 
In the ordinary course of this world we account things true either because we see them, or because we can perceive that they follow and are deducible from what we do see; that is, we gain truth by sight or by reason, not by faith. You will say indeed, that we accept a number of things which we cannot prove or see, on the word of others; certainly, but then we accept what they say only as the word of man; and we have not commonly that absolute and reserved confidence in them, which nothing can shake. 
We know that man is open to mistake, and we are always glad to find some confirmation of what he says, from other quarters, in any important matter; or we receive his information with negligence and unconcern, as something of little consequence, as a matter of opinion; or, if we act upon it, it is as a matter of prudence, thinking it best and safest to do so. We take his word for what it is worth, and we use it either according to our necessity, or its probability. We keep the decision in our own hands, and reserve to ourselves the right of re-opening the question whenever we please. 
This is very different from Divine faith; he who believes that God is true, and that this is His word, which he has committed to man, has no doubt at all. He is as certain that the doctrine taught is true, as that God is true; and he is certain, because God is true, because God has spoken, not because he sees its truth or can prove its truth. That is, faith ha two peculiarities; it is most certain, decided, positive, immovable in its assent, and it gives this assent not because it sees with the eye, or sees with the reason, but because it receives the tidings from one who comes from God.
John Henry Newman, Oratorian
This is what faith was in the time of the Apostles, as no one can deny; and what it was then, it must be now, else it ceases to be the same thing. I say, it certainly was this in the Apostles' time, for you know they preached to the world that Christ was the Son of God, that He preached to the world that Christ was the Son of God, that He was born of a Virgin, that He had ascended on high, that he would come again to judge all, the living and the dead. Could the world see all this? Could it prove it? How then were men to receive it? Why did so many embrace it? On the word of the Apostles, who were, as their powers showed, messengers from God. Men were told to submit their reason to a living authority. 
Moreover, whatever an Apostle said, his converts were bound to believe; when they entered the Church, they entered it in order to learn. The Church was their teacher [the Magisterium]; they did not come to argue, to examine, to pick and choose . . . No one doubts, no one can doubt this, of those primitive times. A Christian was bound to take without doubting all that the Apostles declared to be revealed; if the Apostles spoke, he had to yield an internal assent of his mind; it would not be enough to keep silence, it would not be enough not to oppose it: it was not allowable to credit in a measure; it was not allowable to doubt. 
No; if a convert had his own private thoughts of what was said, and only kept them to himself, if he made some secret opposition to the teaching, if he waited for further proof before he believed it, this would be a proof that he did not think the Apostles were sent from God to reveal His will; it would be a proof that he did not in any true sense believe at all. Immediate, implicit submission of the mind was, in the lifetime of the Apostles, the only, the necessary token of faith; then there was no room whatever for what is now called private judgement."
Newman goes on to show that the basis of private opinions not grounded in the faith of the Church can only lead to confusion as each person becomes their own pope. 
"No one could say [like the New Agers now do]: 'I will choose my religion for myself, I will believe this, I will not believe that; I will pledge myself to nothing; I will believe just as long as I please, and no longer; what I believe to-day I will reject tomorrow, if I choose. I will believe what the Apostles have as yet said, but I will not believe what they shall say in time to come." No; either the Apostles were from God, or they were not; if they were, everything that they preached was to be believed by their hearers; if they were not, there was nothing for their hearers to believe. 
To believe a little, to believe more or less, was impossible; it contradicted the very notion of believing: if one part was to be believed; it was an absurdity to believe one thing and not another; for the word of the Apostles, which made the one true, made the other true too; they were nothing in themselves, they were all things, they were an infallible authority, as coming from God. The world had either to become Christian, or to let it alone; there was no room for private tastes and fancies, no room for private judgement.
. . . .  And you know that the persistent declaration of the first preachers was: 'Believe and thou shalt be saved': they do not say, 'prove our doctrine by our reason,' nor 'wait till you see before you believe': but, 'believe without seeing and without proving, because our word is not our own, but God's word'. 
. . . .  St. Paul significantly calls the revealed doctrine 'the word of hearing,' in the passage I quoted; men came to hear, to accept, to obey, not to criticise what was said; and in accordance with this he asks elsewhere: 'How shall they believe Him, whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.'
Now, my dear brethren, consider, are not these two states or acts of mind quite distinct from each other;--to believe simply what a living authority tells you, and to take a book such as Scripture, and to use it as you please, to master it, that is, to make yourself the master of it, to interpret it for yourself, and to admit just what you choose to see in it, and nothing more? 
Are not these two procedures distinct in this, that in the former you submit, in the latter you judge? At this moment I am not asking you which is the better, I am not asking whether this or that is practicable now, but are they not two ways of taking up a doctrine, and not one? is not submission quite contrary to judging? Now, is it not certain that faith in the time of the Apostles consisted in submitting? and is it not certain that it did not consist in judging for one's self. 
. . . . There is, I repeat, an essential difference between the act of submitting to a living oracle, and to his written words; in the former case there is no appeal from the speaker, in the latter the final decision remains with the reader.
. . . .  Since men now-a-days deduce from Scripture, instead of believing a teacher, you may expect to see them waver about; they will feel the force of their own deductions more strongly at one time than at another, they will change their minds about them, or perhaps deny them altogether; whereas this cannot be, while a man has faith, that is, belief that what a preacher says to him comes from God. 
This is what St. Paul especially insists on, telling us that Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, are given us that 'we may all attain to unity of faith,' and, on the contrary, in order 'that we be NOT as children tossed to and fro, and carried about by every gale of doctrine'. 
Now, in matter of fact, do not men in this day change about in their religious opinions without any limit? Is not this, then, proof that they have not that faith which the Apostles demanded of their converts? If they had faith, they would not change. Once believe that God has spoken, and you are sure He cannot unsay what He has already said; He cannot deceive; He cannot change; you have received it once for all; you will believe it ever.
Such is the only rational, consistent account of faith; but Protestants [rationalists and freethinkers] laugh at the very notion of it. They laugh at the very notion itself of men pinning their faith (as they express themselves) upon Pope or Council; they think it simply superstitious and narrow-minded, to profess to believe just what the Church believes, and to assent to whatever she will say in time to come on matters of doctrine. That is, they laugh at the bare notion of doing what Christians undeniably did in the time of the Apostles. 
Observe, they do not merely ask whether the Catholic Church has a claim to teach, has authority, has the gifts; -- this is a reasonable question; -- no, they think that the very state of mind which such a claim involves in those who admit it, namely, the disposition to accept without reserve or question, that THIS is slavish. They call it priestcraft to insist on this surrender of the reason, and superstition to make it . . . [and] boast of not being led blindfold, of judging for themselves, of believing just as much and just as little as they please, of hating dictation, and so forth . 
. . . . What they feel now, my brethren, is just what both Jew and Greek felt before them in the time of the Apostles, and what natural man has felt ever since. The great and wise men of the day looked down upon faith, then as now, as if it were unworthy the dignity of human nature: 'See your vocation, brethren that there are not,' among you, 'many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not may noble; but the foolish things of the world hath God chosen to confound the strong, and the mean things of the world, and the things that are contemptible, hath God chosen, and things that are not, that He might destroy the things that are, that no flesh might glory in His sight'.
. . . .  the same Apostle speaks of 'the foolishness of preaching'. Similar to this what our Lord had said in His prayer to the Father: 'I thank Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto the little ones'. 
Altar in Newman's room at the Oratory in Birmingham
Now, is it not plain that the men of this day have just inherited the feelings and traditions of these falsely wise and fatally prudent persons in our Lord's day? They have the same obstruction in their hearts to entering the Catholic Church, which Pharisees and Sophists had before them; it goes against them to believe her doctrine, not so much for want of evidence that she is from God, as because, if so, they shall have not their own cultivation or depth of intellect, and because they must receive a number of doctrines, whether they will or no, which are strange to their imagination and difficult to their reason. The very characteristic of the Catholic teaching and of the Catholic teacher is to them a preliminary objection to their becoming Catholics, so great, as to throw into the shade any argument however strong, which is producible in behalf of the mission of those teachers and the origin of that teaching. 
. . . . They have not in them the principle of faith; and I repeat, it is nothing to the purpose to urge that at least they firmly believe Scripture to be the Word of God. In truth, it is much to be feared that their acceptance of Scripture itself is nothing better than a prejudice or inveterate feeling impressed on them when they were children. 
. . . . If, then, faith be now the same faculty of mind, the same sort of habit or act, which it was in the days of the Apostles, I have made good what I set about showing. But it must be the same; it cannot mean two things; the Word cannot have changed its meaning."
Cardinal Newman goes on to show the unbreakable link between personal faith with the united witness of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church expressed by its single Magisterium (teaching authority) which transcends individual opinion or, what Newman calls, private judgement. 
" Either say that faith is not necessary now at all, or take it to be what the Apostles meant by it, but do not say that you have it, and then show me something quite different, which you have put in the place of it. In the Apostles' days the peculiarity of faith was submission to a living authority; that is what made it so distinctive; this is what made it an act of submission at all; this is what destroyed private judgement in matters of religion. 
If you will not look out for a living authority, and will bargain for private judgement, then say at once that you have not the Apostolic faith . . . and then confess that this is the reason why you are not Catholics. 
. . . . Why do not blind men see the sun? because they have no eyes; in like manner it is vain to discourse upon the beauty, the sanctity, the sublimity of the Catholic doctrine and worship, where men have no faith to accept it as Divine. They may confess its beauty, sublimity, and sanctity, without believing it; they may accept knowledge that the Catholic religion is noble and majestic; they may be struck with its wisdom, they may admire its adaptation to human nature, they may be penetrated by its tender and winning bearing, they may be awed by its consistency. But to commit themselves to it, that is another matter.
. . . . Has faith changed its meaning, or is it less necessary now? Is it not still what is was in the Apostles' day, the very characteristic of Christianity, the special instrument of renovation, the first disposition for justification, one out of the three theological virtues? God might have renewed us by other means, by sight, by reason, by love, but He has chosen to "purify our hearts by faith"; it has been His will to select an instrument which the world despises, but which is of immense power. 
[God] preferred it, in His infinite wisdom, to every other; and if men have it not, they have not the very element and rudiment, out of which are formed, on which are built, the Saints and Servants of God. And they have it not; they are living, they are dying, without the hopes, without the aids of the Gospel, because, in spite of so much that is good in them, in spite of their sense of duty, their tenderness of conscience on many points, their benevolence, their uprightness, their generosity, they are under the dominion(I must say it) of a proud fiend; they have this stout spirit within them, they determine to be their own masters in matters of thought, about which they know so little; they consider their own reason better than any one's else; they will not admit that any one comes from God who contradicts their own view of truth.
What! is none their equal in wisdom anywhere? Is there none other whose word is to
be taken on religion? . . . Is there none to wrest from them their ultimate appeal to themselves? Have they in no possible way the occasion or opportunity of faith? Is it a virtue, which, in consequence of their transcendent sagacity, their prerogative of omniscience, they must give up hope of exercising? 
If the pretensions of the Catholic Church do not satisfy them, let them go somewhere else, if they can. If they are so fastidious that they cannot trust her as the oracle of God, let them find another more certainly from Him than the House of His own institution, which has ever been called by His name, has ever maintained the same claims, has ever taught one substance of doctrine, and has triumphed over those who preached any other. 
Since Apostolic faith was in the beginning reliance on man's word, as being God's word, since what faith was then such it is now, since faith is necessary for salvation, let them attempt to exercise it towards one another, if they will not accept the Bride of the Lamb. Let them, if they can, put faith in some of those religions which have lasted a whole two or three centuries in a corner of the earth. 
Let them stake their eternal prospects on kings and nobles and parliaments and soldiery, let them take some mere fiction of the law, or abortion of the schools, or idol of a populace, or upstart of a crisis, oracle of lecture-rooms, as the prophet of God. Alas! they are hardly bested if they must possess a virtue, which they have no means of exercising, - - if they must make an act of faith, they know not on whom, and know not why!
. . . . It is a matter of grace. There are, to be sure, many cogent arguments to lead one to join the Catholic Church, but they do not force the will. We may know them, and not be moved by them to act upon them. We may be convinced without being persuaded. The two things are quite distinct from each other, seeing you ought to believe, and believing; reason, if left to itself, will bring you to the conclusion that you have sufficient grounds for believing, but belief is the gift of grace.
You are then what you are, not from any excellence or merit of your own, but by the grace of God who has chosen you to believe. You might have been . . . the freethinker of Europe, with grace sufficient to condemn you, because it had not furthered your salvation. You might have had strong inspirations of grace and have resisted them, and then additional grace might not have been given to overcome your resistance. 
. . . .You look up, and you see, as it were, a great mountain to be scaled; you say, "How can I possibly find a path over these giant obstacles, which I find in the way of my becoming Catholic? I do not comprehend this doctrine, and I am pained at that; a third seems impossible; I never can be familiar with one practice, I am afraid of another; it is one maze and discomfort to me, and I am led to sink down in despair." 
. . . . look up in hope, trust in Him who calls you forward. "Who art thou, O great mountain, before Zorobabel? but a plain." He will lead you forward step by step, as He has led forward many a one before you. He will make the crooked straight and the rough plain. He will turn the streams, and dry up the rivers, which lie in your path. 
"He shall strengthen your feet like harts' feet, and set you up in high places. He shall widen your steps under you, and your tread shall not be weakened." "There is no God like the God of the righteous; He that mounts the heaven is thy Helper; by His mighty working the clouds disperse His dwelling is above, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He shall cast out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, Crumble away." 
"The young shall faint, and youths shall fall; but they that hope in the Lord shall be new-fledged in strength, they shall take feathers like eagles, they shall run and not labour, they shall walk and not faint."

John Henry Newman, 'Faith and Private Judgement' from 'Discourses addressed to Mixed Congregations'  1849.


Friday, 6 December 2013

New Ordinariate Mass Rite

We have had a couple of comments and queries about the revised Mass rite for the Personal (Anglican) Ordinariates.  The first official mandated Sunday for its use was December 1,  2013, Advent 1, Year A.

At STM Toronto, due to the celebration of diaconal ordination by Cardinal Collins, we were required to use the OF (Novus Ordo) Mass and so Advent II will be our first day to use the "new Mass".
Cardinal Collins celebrates Ordination Mass at STM, Toronto

It is not, however, new at all. In fact, in most respects, it recapitulates the earliest English forms of the Mass and even restores wording which had been removed from some versions of the BCP as noted by William Oddie in his excellent article in the CATHOLIC HERALD The Ordinariate Liturgy is Even More Splendid . . .

"The prayers translated by Cranmer from the Sarum liturgy, and even two long prayers actually composed by him, together with important elements of the old Anglo-Catholic English Missal (a Cranmerised version of the Tridentine Mass), all celebrated with great care and devotion, and beautifully sung by a small but expert choir (not a voice in it below professional standards), together with the choice of plainchant settings for introit, gradual and alleluias, and the actual Mass setting itself, was at times breathtakingly beautiful." 

Similarly the choir at STM is of the highest quality and has offered such musical settings every Sunday since May 2012. Oddie continues:
" . . . the ordinary of the Mass was sung in Latin, but there’s nothing un-Anglican about that: go to most Anglican cathedrals with a good choir, and you will see that this is common: quite simply, if you’ve got good singers, you want good settings, and they’re nearly all in Latin. And this particular setting can certainly be described as part of the “Anglican patrimony” the ordinariate is bringing into the Catholic Church; it was by Parry, an Anglican composer par excellence, from whom it was commissioned for use in Westminster Cathedral.

I could go on about how splendid it all was. It was not just a voyage of rediscovery, however: it was also a realisation anew of how lifegiving a thing it is to belong to a Church which determines and teaches with authority what theological meaning actually is. Cranmer’s freshly composed prayers (as opposed to his translations from the Sarum rite, as with the Ordinary of the Mass and many of his collects) are sometimes written in deliberately ambiguous language, so as to be acceptable to a distinctly, even dangerously, various public, some members of it — then as now — radically Protestant but many of them still resentfully Catholic at heart. Again and again, you come across phrases which can be read in either a Catholic or a Protestant way. The authorisation of the use of such prayers by the Congregation for Divine Worship, quite simply removes the ambiguities. Take the following, which we all said on Advent Sunday, a splendidly oratorical post-communion prayer by Cranmer, said together by the whole congregation:

ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou hast vouchsafed to feed us, which have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of thy son our saviour Jesus Christ, and hast assured us thereby of thy favour and goodness towards us . . . .

. . . . We Anglo-Catholics, of course, managed to continue using many though not all of Cranmer’s prayers by reading into them, as he had deviously intended us to be able to, a Catholic meaning. But we had no right to do anything of the sort. Now, however, since the [Catholic] Church, the “oracle of God” [as Newman put it - see the following post], has permitted it, we do have the right and indeed the obligation to do so.

It really does make all the difference."

That is certainly our experience at STM, Toronto.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Traditional English Choral Liturgies for Advent, Christmas, Epiphany

Personal (Anglican) Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
 Location:  Sacré-Coeur Church, 381 Sherbourne at Carlton Streets, TORONTO
(Free parking in Church lot)

ADVENT 4:  Sunday, December 22 
1:45 pm   First Public Sung Mass celebrated by 
               Fr. John Hodgins for the CSP Ordinariate (D.V.)

Cardinal Collins celebrates the diaconal ordination of  John Hodgins for STM, Toronto
CHRISTMAS EVE: Tuesday, December 24 
11:30 pm    MIDNIGHT SUNG MASS  
George Malcolm, Missa ad Praesepe
Healey Willan, Hodie Christus Natus Est

Tuesday, December 31 
5:00 pm VIGIL SUNG MASS (fulfils Day of Obligation)
Victoria, Missa O Magnum Mysterium
Hassler,  Dixit Maria

EPIPHANY:  Sunday, January 5                       
1:45 pm  SUNG MASS
                        Christmas and Epiphany Carols 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Ontario Ordination to Priesthood for the Ordinariate

By the grace of God
and at the request of
Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson
Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter

The Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast

Archbishop of Ottawa
will celebrate the Ordination

to the Ministerial Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Saturday, Dec. 14, A.D. 2013 at 9:30 A.M.
The Feast of St. John of the Cross 
 The Heavenly Birthday of The Servant of God
Catherine Doherty of Madonna House, Combermere

The Basilica of Notre Dame
385 Sussex Drive (by the National Gallery of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario CANADA
                    Your prayers and, if possible, your presence are requested.

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.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Ordination to Diaconate in Toronto

With the kind permission of Our Holy Father, Pope Francis I


Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary of 
The Personal Ordinariate of The Chair of St. Peter

Your prayers and presence are invited for the celebration by

His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto,
of the Ordination of 




to the Sacred Order of Deacons under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution 

Anglicanorum Coetibus

For service in the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter,
in unity of faith and full communion with the Apostolic See of St. Peter and 
the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

2:00 P.M. SUNDAY, DEC. 1, 

A.D. 2013

St. Thomas More Sodality


Sherbourne Avenue at Carlton St., Toronto

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Catholic but not Roman

Here is an explanation for the mandated terminology for official Ordinariate signs from a CSP Ordinariate priest sent in an e-mail response to the posting here: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND HER DISTINCT PARTS

I thought you might appreciate this feedback on your most recent posting. I'm pasting below a short bit from the US Ordinariate ministry manual regarding naming and public reference to Ordinariate groups:

So that the Ordinariate has common and uniform terminology for its communities and parishes in traditional and social media, as well as on websites and in other publications, Ordinariate groups will be referenced in this fashion:

a.  For groups that are not-yet parishes: “Saint Augustine Church – a Catholic community of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter”.

b.  For parishes and missions: “Saint Augustine Church – a Catholic parish of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter”.

c.  If further explanation is needed: As an Ordinariate community/parish, we are fully Catholic and in union with the Holy Father, while retaining many elements of our Anglican patrimony. The Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established by Pope Benedict XVI on January 1, 2012 for communities like ours across the United States. (See www.usordinariate.org)

For an explanation as to why the proper and official title of the Catholic Church does not include "Roman" except in the Diocese of Rome, see the previous posting on official documents and names "The Catholic Church and her Distinct Parts".

Received into Full Communion

Three young adults were received into the full communion of the Catholic Church at St. Thomas More (STM), Toronto this past Sunday in the Octave of All Saints.

Entrance to Sacré-Coeur  (home of St Thomas More Church) Sherbourne Ave at Carlton St., TORONTO

After catechesis this Fall using EVANGELIUM these young people from different backgrounds (none of them Anglican) had been attracted to STM and the (Anglican) Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (CSP) by the liturgy, music and teaching offered weekly at Sacré-Coeur Church (Sherbourne at Carlton).


Each had been contemplating the teaching of the Catholic Church and in the course of study, discussion and prayer while working through Revised Edition of EVANGELIUM they came to affirm the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church.

Divided into sections: Creed, Sacraments, Morals and Prayer, EVANGELIUM is providing a very useful method for the New Evangelization that Catholic parishes and communities are engaged in.

Several weeks of meetings before Sunday Mass allowed each of these baptized individuals to prepare for the sealing of Confirmation and First Communion at Sunday Sung Mass. At STM the course is provided for young adults, especially university students from Ryerson and U of T who have already been baptized but have not had catechized in the Catholic faith. STM provides an opportunity to explore the faith in the nurturing context of a small but growing community of faith.

This past Spring, Pope Francis expanded the mandate of the Ordinariates to include ministry and catechesis with baptized Catholics who have not received the sacraments of Confirmation and First Communion.

An invitation has been issued to Ryerson Catholics and U of T students to explore the Christian Faith as presented by the STM Ordinariate Catholic community, while sharing in its worship and patrimony in the rich setting of excellent traditional liturgy and music.

This Sunday the choir offered at Sung Mass the Missa O Quam Gloriosum by Victoria.

The Catholic Church and Her Distinct Parts

The following article is excerpted here in light of the current discussion about how we in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter are to refer to ourselves in relation to the universal Catholic Church and how our liturgical rites which are a "use" of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church should be referred to.  

It has been recommended that we not officially employ the term "Anglican Use".  Perhaps "Ordinariate Use" will find acceptance, though this might be confused with the military or other ordinariates in the Church.  

One thing is clear from the following article, the (Anglican) Personal Ordinariates based upon the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus should identify themselves as in communion with the Catholic Church not "Roman" Catholic.  

Further, we need to explain that we worship using an approved "Use" of the Latin Rite based on Anglican sources.  How one does that succinctly is a good question.

* In the following article the highlighted [brackets], italics and underlining for emphasis are mine.

How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name?

by Kenneth D. Whitehead

The Creed which we recite on Sundays and holy days speaks of one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. As everybody knows, however, the Church referred to in this Creed is more commonly called just the Catholic Church. It is not, by the way, properly called the Roman Catholic Church, but simply the Catholic Church.

The term Roman Catholic is not used by the Church herself; it is a relatively modern term, and one, moreover, that is confined largely to the English language. The English-speaking bishops at the First Vatican Council in 1870, in fact, conducted a vigorous and successful campaign to insure that the term Roman Catholic was nowhere included in any of the Council's official documents about the Church herself, and the term was not included.

Similarly, nowhere in the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council will you find the term Roman Catholic. Pope Paul VI signed all the documents of the Second Vatican Council as "I, Paul. Bishop of the Catholic Church." Simply that -- Catholic Church. There are references to the Roman curia, the Roman missal, the Roman rite, etc., but when the adjective Roman is applied to the Church herself, it refers to the Diocese of Rome!

Cardinals, for example, are called cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, but that designation means that when they are named to be cardinals they have thereby become honorary clergy of the Holy Father's home diocese, the Diocese of Rome. Each cardinal is given a titular church in Rome, and when the cardinals participate in the election of a new pope. they are participating in a process that in ancient times was carried out by the clergy of the Diocese of Rome.

Although the Diocese of Rome is central to the Catholic Church, this does not mean that the Roman rite, or, as is sometimes said, the Latin rite, is co-terminus with the Church as a whole; that would mean neglecting the Byzantine, Chaldean, Maronite or other Oriental rites which are all very much part of the Catholic Church today, as in the past.

In our day, much greater emphasis has been given to these "non-Roman" rites of the Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council devoted a special document, Orientalium Ecclesiarum (Decree on Eastern Catholic Churches), to the Eastern rites which belong to the Catholic Church, and the new Catechism of the Catholic Church similarly gives considerable attention to the distinctive traditions and spirituality of these Eastern rites.

So the proper name for the universal Church is not the Roman Catholic Church. Far from it. That term caught on mostly in English-speaking countries; it was promoted mostly by Anglicans, supporters of the "branch theory" of the Church, namely, that the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of the creed was supposed to consist of three major branches, the Anglican, the Orthodox and the so-called Roman Catholic. It was to avoid that kind of interpretation that the English-speaking bishops at Vatican I succeeded in warning the Church away from ever using the term officially herself: It too easily could be misunderstood.

Today in an era of widespread dissent in the Church, and of equally widespread confusion regarding what authentic Catholic identity is supposed to consist of, many loyal Catholics have recently taken to using the term Roman Catholic in order to affirm their understanding that the Catholic Church of the Sunday creed is the same Church that is united with the Vicar of Christ in Rome, the Pope. This understanding of theirs is correct, but such Catholics should nevertheless beware of using the term, not only because of its dubious origins in Anglican circles intending to suggest that there just might be some other Catholic Church around somewhere besides the Roman one: but also because it often still is used today to suggest that the Roman Catholic Church is something other and lesser than the Catholic Church of the creed. It is commonly used by some dissenting theologians, for example, who appear to be attempting to categorize the Roman Catholic Church as just another contemporary "Christian denomination"--not the body that is identical with the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of the creed.

The entity in question, of course, is just that: the very visible, worldwide Catholic Church, in which the 263rd successor of the Apostle Peter, [Francis I], teaches, governs and sanctifies, along with some 3,000 other bishops around the world, who are successors of the apostles of Jesus Christ.
As mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, it is true that the followers of Christ early became known as "Christians" (cf. Acts 11:26).

Very early in post-apostolic times, however. the Church did acquire a proper name--and precisely in order to distinguish herself from rival bodies which by then were already beginning to form. The name that the Church acquired when it became necessary for her to have a proper name was the name by which she has been known ever since-the Catholic Church.

The name appears in Christian literature for the first time around the end of the first century. By the time it was written down, it had certainly already been in use, for the indications are that everybody understood exactly what was meant by the name when it was written.

Around the year A.D. 107, a bishop, St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Near East, was arrested, brought to Rome by armed guards and eventually martyred there in the arena. In a farewell letter which this early bishop and martyr wrote to his fellow Christians in Smyrna (today Izmir in modern Turkey), he made the first written mention in history of "the Catholic Church." He wrote, "Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" (To the Smyrnaeans 8:2). Thus, the second century of Christianity had scarcely begun when the name of the Catholic Church was already in use.

Thereafter, mention of the name became more and more frequent in the written record. It appears in the oldest written account we possess outside the New Testament of the martyrdom of a Christian for his faith, the "Martyrdom of St. Polycarp," bishop of the same Church of Smyrna to which St. Ignatius of Antioch had written. St. Polycarp was martyred around 155, and the account of his sufferings dates back to that time. The narrator informs us that in his final prayers before giving up his life for Christ, St. Polycarp "remembered all who had met with him at any time, both small and great, both those with and those without renown, and the whole Catholic Church throughout the world."

We know that St. Polycarp, at the time of his death in 155, had been a Christian for 86 years. He could not, therefore, have been born much later than 69 or 70. Yet it appears to have been a normal part of the vocabulary of a man of this era to be able to speak of "the whole Catholic Church throughout the world."

The name had caught on, and no doubt for good reasons.

The term "catholic" simply means "universal," and when employing it in those early days, St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Polycarp of Smyrna were referring to the Church that was already "everywhere," as distinguished from whatever sects, schisms or splinter groups might have grown up here and there, in opposition to the Catholic Church.

The term was already understood even then to be an especially fitting name because the Catholic Church was for everyone, not just for adepts, enthusiasts or the specially initiated who might have been attracted to her.

Again, it was already understood that the Church was "catholic" because -- to adopt a modern expression -- she possessed the fullness of the means of salvation. She also was destined to be "universal" in time as well as in space, and it was to her that applied the promise of Christ to Peter and the other apostles that "the powers of death shall not prevail" against her (Mt 16:18).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in our own day has concisely summed up all the reasons why the name of the Church of Christ has been the Catholic Church: "The Church is catholic," the Catechism teaches, "[because] she proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times. She is 'missionary of her very nature'" (no. 868).

So the name became attached to her for good. By the time of the first ecumenical council of the Church, held at Nicaea in Asia Minor in the year 325 A.D., the bishops of that council were legislating quite naturally in the name of the universal body they called in the Council of Nicaea's official documents "the Catholic Church." As most people know, it was that same council which formulated the basic Creed in which the term "catholic" was retained as one of the four marks of the true Church of Christ. And it is the same name which is to be found in all 16 documents of the twenty-first ecumenical council of the Church, Vatican Council II.

It was still back in the fourth century that St. Cyril of Jerusalem aptly wrote, "Inquire not simply where the Lord's house is, for the sects of the profane also make an attempt to call their own dens the houses of the Lord; nor inquire merely where the church is, but where the Catholic Church is. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Body, the Mother of all, which is the Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (Catecheses, xviii, 26).

The same inquiry needs to be made in exactly the same way today, for the name of the true Church of Christ has in no way been changed. It was inevitable that the Catechism of the Catholic Church would adopt the same name today that the Church has had throughout the whole of her very long history.

Excerpted from The Catholic Answer, May/June 1996?
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