Monday, October 25, 2010

Down the Ordinariate Line

I think the Ordinariate is going to be the most exciting thing in the life of the Catholic Church in this country since the restoration of the Heirarchy, what ever the numbers of those coming acrosss the Tiber it is going to have dramatic consequences.

I have been reading Fr Sean's posts on the Ordinariate, well worth going through them if you haven't yet done so.
What fascinates me is what the Catholic Church is going to look like in this country in five years time. I put up a post a few days ago asking:
Why the Catholic Church in this country is unable to sustain itself?
My point was we are dependant on convert Anglican clergyman.
I understand that our local seminary had an intake of eight students this year, of which four are former Anglican clergy and two former Anglican laymen. These are not members of the Ordinariate, though presumably they could opt into that before ordination.
Converts tend to have an interest in an accurate presentation of doctrine both in teaching and in its liturgical presentation. Having put up with a load of nonsense in the dear old CofE, they tend to be a bit intolerant of it in the Catholic Church.
It has been announced that the kindly convert Bishop Alan Hopes (I think he is the only convert bishop) will be in charge of the Ordinariate, for the time being, until their own clergy can take over. That means Ordinariate clergy will be on the Bishop's Conference.
Fr Sean suggests money will be a problem and suggests Ordinariate clergy will have to find employment, the obvious areas of employment will be filling already existing Church jobs, such as school and other chaplaincies, or diocesan curial jobs, or even Eccleston Square. Who knows someone might notice this on their website:"Like any family, the Church has several branches. Each is different (Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican to name but a few) but all share a common source: Jesus Christ. In the past, as in the best of families, we’ve been divided."  It is a bit of 19th century Anglicanism but isn't actually what the Catholic Church teaches about its unique role.

There will also be a fair amount of interaction between the Ordinariate and non-Ordinariate parishes, the sharing of churches, and presumably clergy. Also I expect there will be a certain fluidity of congregations, the laity moving between churches. Like the Traditional Mass I presume Pope Benedict expects a gravitational pull of Ordinariate and non-Ordinariate Churches. For Benedict everything seems to be about de pluribus.

My real interest is what is going to happen to future converts are they going to opt for the Ordinariate or the non-Ordinariate? If it is former what will happen to the latter?

9 comments:

dillydaydream said...

"It is a bit of 19th century Anglicanism but isn't actually what the Catholic Church teaches about its unique role"

Then what, may I ask in all humility, is it doing on the Bishops' Conference website?

And where is the message welcoming the brave souls who are responding to the Pope's offer?

donbtex said...

A fellow parishoner here in the States commented recently (regarding the Pastoral Provision in the US)
"Solving the priestly shortage, one Anglican (Episcopal) priest convert at a time"
I feel the Catholic Church world-wide will be blessed by the infusion of those joining the Ordinariate.

Mike said...

"Like any family, the Church has several branches. Each is different (Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglican to name but a few) but all share a common source: Jesus Christ. In the past, as in the best of families, we’ve been divided."

I’m just reading Ronald Knox’s “The Belief of Catholics”. He makes it quite plain that the claim of the Catholic Church is unique and that we are not just “another” Church. They didn’t have to put up with the above nonsense in 1927.

Moretben said...

The resurrection of Anglo-Catholic "branch theory" among RC's is fraught with irony. Most commonly, it is an expression of simple indifferentism; in other circumstances, such as the recent mass-convertion of 3 million Bolivian Indians to Orthodoxy, it's deployed as an instrument of Roman imperium. "Your Excellency, are you concerned about the rapid growth of the Orthodox Church among the poor and the indigenous peoples of South America?"

"No, no, no - it's good that people should investigate the teachings of the Eastern tradition of our Church."

pelerin said...

On another website a commenter has written that he thinks that those at Eccleston Square are bordering on the dreaded H word. Could this lead to threats of suing?

Am I wrong to believe what Mgr Knox wrote rather than the Bishops?

Independent said...

19th century Anglicanism was not all that keen on Methodism. The Tractarians and the Old High Church Party certainly did not believe that the Methodist Church was a branch of "the Church". The Branch theory included Rome, the Orthodox, and the C of E.

RJ said...

At a stretch, I suppose one could say it affirms the partial communion there is between Christians owing to their baptism, but it is misleading to refer to the Methodist or Anglican communities as Churches. 'Branches of the Church'? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say: loosely constituted communities of Christians in partial communion with the Church but lacking some of the essential elements?

Independent said...

Vatican II ,with the text of which one assumes the Eccleston Square people are familiar, is quite clear on the matter of churches and "ecclesial communities". On my reading of it, it says very much what RJ affirms, and which the present Pope has reiterated. However perhaps the authorities are merely being polite.

RJ said...

Maybe the passage was penned by a layperson (not a bishop, even if it is "their" website), perhaps one who has attended theology courses where these distinctions are not made clear.