Release from the Australian Ordinary on the Ordinariate Supporters’ Network

The Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Monsignor Harry Entwistle, has encouraged all Ordinariate members and supporters to join him in developing the Ordinariate Supporters’ Network. This is his message from the “Australia-Wide” newsletter:

Msgr Entwistle“In this the third year of our existence, the reality is that most Catholics in Australia do not know that we exist, or at best have only heard about us in passing,” Msgr. Entwistle said.

“Having established the foundations of the Ordinariate in Australia, we now need to turn our attention to spreading the word as far as possible – this is vital to our Evangelical mission.” “Today I am urging every Ordinariate member to join me in this vital work.”

“There are many people who are supporters of Pope Benedict’s vision to bring the gifts of our patrimony into the Catholic Church, but for many differing reasons are not worshippers with us. My invitation is for those people to become a Supporter by joining the Ordinariate Supporters’ Network.” “I am asking Ordinariate members to ask these people to join the Ordinariate Supporters’ Network. Every group should have forms in their church, and if someone comes just to have a look, then give them a form and invite them to join.” The Ordinariate Supporter’s Network is coordinated by the Ordinariate Chancery, and allows for communication both at a local and a national level. To enhance local communications, each Ordinariate group will receive details of Supporters local to their area.

Monsignor Entwistle added, “As for the Supporters themselves, I am asking each Supporter to become an Ordinariate ambassador. Tell people about the Ordinariate. Help us to spread the word. Have a collection of flyers on hand and give them to people who might be interested, and if appropriate talk to your parish priest about whether you can leave some flyers in the Church.” I am also asking that whenever we have special events, the Supporters support those events as best they are able to.”

The Ordinariate Supporter’s Network enrolment form is available on the Ordinariate website, http://www.ordinariate.org.au , or from the Ordinariate office. The flyer “What is the Ordinariate?” is also available from the Ordinariate office.

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One Response to Release from the Australian Ordinary on the Ordinariate Supporters’ Network

  1. At a cursory glance the Australian Ordinariate’s “Supporters’ Network” resembles the “Friends of the Ordinariate” (FOTO) in the UK. However, there are some significant differences:

    – FOTO understands itself primarily as a financial support system. Events are organised to raise money. The choice of events (preaching visits to parishes, receptions, talks) is also important, but of secondary importance.

    – The Network’s primary aims are solidarity with the mission of the Ordinariate, communication/information about the Ordinariate within the individual supporter’s local or personal sphere and participation in the events or activities of the Ordinariate. (It is interesting that Monsignor Harry does not once refer to financial support.) One might thus say that the supporters “belong” to the Ordinariate in a way which is not necessarily the case with FOTO members, who are recognisably benefactors accompanying the movement from the outside.

    – This is underlined by the fact that the Supporters’ Network is organised by the Ordinariate’s Chancery whereas FOTO has a completely independent structure.

    These are thus clearly two different, equally important projects, and this distinction has caused me to reflect again on what might be the best-suited structure of “membership” of the Ordinariate(s), association, affiliation, support systems, etc..

    Actual full membership of the Ordinariates is restricted by Canon Law (Apostolic Constitution and Complementary Norms).

    But what about those people (mostly cradle Catholics) who regularly belong to the worship community, who participate in Ordinariate activities but are excluded from membership because they do not meet the conditions of the law? As far as I am aware, the US Ordinariate provides for the possibility of “Associate Membership” in this case. I can envisage members of religious communities who come from an Anglican background and who might wish to express close solidarity with the Ordinariate (for example, Ordinariate members who have entered a religious community and thus had to leave the Ordinariate) also being offered Associate Membership. Priests (primarily former Anglican priests) who are not in a position to be incardinated into the Ordinariate because their duties or diocesan allegiance make such a step unfeasible, but who fully support the Ordinariate mission and even participate in it where possible, could also well be eligible to become Associate Members. They might be permitted to celebrate the liturgy according to the Ordinariate Use on appropriate occasions, or with the agreement of their Bishop to use the Ordinariate Divine Office.

    FOTO has introduced a third grouping, the “priests affiliate”. It might make sense to put “Affilate Membership” or “Affiliation” on a more formal footing. The Affiliates, whether priest or layperson, would have a lot in common with the Australian “Supporters”, inasmuch as they would “represent” the Ordinariate in the wider Church, inform about the Ordinariate, support the Ordinariate mission and even participate in Ordinariate events. One might imagine the possibility of groups of Affiliates forming a kind of “oblate” or “third order” network, where they meet (either physically or virtually, via social media) for prayer, exchange and fellowship, for bible study and catechesis in the Ordinariate spirit.

    And then there would be the benefactors and friends – not members of the Ordinariate but supporters and partners, benevolently accompanying the Ordinariate movement from outside. These might be other Catholics, Anglicans who feel unable to make the leap themselves, etc.

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