Fantasizing is permitted

The blogmaster of the St. Agatha’s Ordinariate blog, Portsmouth, has been dreaming about potential principal churches for the Ordinariate. Here are his musings:

Scenario 1. Minor growth in the Ordinariate

Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane. This church, close to Trafalgar Square, was built in 1874 and has an English feel. Certainly hassocks would not seem out of place. The Lady Chapel is currently being restored and is to be based on the Holy House of Loreto, housing a newly carved image of Our Lady of Walsingham. I can imagine a painting of the Pope, Queen Elizabeth and Keith Newton being at the back alongside a visitor’s book. Merry Anglican traditions such as raffles, coffee mornings and the annual beating the bounds could take place.

fc9ae-corpus

The Lady chapel scheme

The Lady chapel scheme

Scenario 2. The Ordinariate doubles in size

St Dominic’s Priory, Haverstock Hill built 1883. It is Cathedral size and would be useful for large events such as ordinations. The building is very tall allowing for banners to swing freely and Anglican chant to reverberate. Side chapels, of which there are many, could be dedicated to Our Lady of Walsingham and John Henry Newman. Mass could be celebrated every day with Solemn Pontifical High Mass and Evensong on Sundays. There is a stone statue of Peter that could be coped and wear a papal tiara. The parish rooms can be renamed the ‘Walsingham suite’ hosting talks and clerical meetings. Ecumenical links with local Anglicans would be possible as St Silas, Kentish Town is just a 10 minute walk.

haverstock hillhaverstock hill 2

Scenario 3. Phenomenal Growth

The UK Ordinariate could be divided into two districts/provinces each with a Bishop. Known as the “Basilica of the South Coast religion” St Agatha’s could serve the Southern bishopric including Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the West Country. It’s the only Ordinariate church that was once part of the CofE and served a typical Anglo Catholic slum parish. Many furnishings are by renowned craftsmen such as Comper and Travers and there is a ring of bells. With a restored Lady Chapel and North aisle, opportunities are created for permanent vestment displays. A proposed urban regeneration of the local shopping centre (see artist’s impression) would improve the church setting.

st-agatha-liturgy-1_70549775_nq2oct13stagatha'ssquareAlthough these ideas may seem tongue in cheek, the Ordinariate must have a vision if it is to grow.

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21 Responses to Fantasizing is permitted

  1. Editor says:

    Glad to see my day dreams are being enjoyed by others!
    I’ve posted some photos of receptions into the Ordinariate that took place on May 16th.
    Click on the photos to enlarge them. Portsmouth Mission blog

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    You wrote: The blogmaster of the St. Agatha’s Ordinariate blog, Portsmouth, has been dreaming about potential principal churches for the Ordinariate. Here are his musings…

    I rather suspect that all three of his scenarios will happen as successful evangelism and various external developments motivate others to come into the ordinariates. The external developments are likely to trigger large spurts of growth at discrete times, whereas successful evangelism probably will bring growth that is more continuous.

    Realistically, the present ordinariates are still foundations for their future. The apostolic constitution permits ordinariates to establish their own tribunals to process cases of nullity of marriage, for example — but this requires a sufficient cadre canon lawyers to supply judges, advocates for both parties, a Defender of the Bond, and a Promoter of Justice. Each of these individuals must hold at least a license in canon law (JCL), and a doctorate (JCD) is preferred — and either degree requires at least three to four years of full time study beyond seminary. Thus, it’s pretty obvious that the establishment of tribunals won’t happen overnight — and this does not begin to address the rest of the administrative structure that the ordinariates must establish in due course.

    That said, the apostolic constitution clearly anticipates and provides for substantial evolution of the present ordinariates.

    >> 1. The document clearly anticipates that celibate ordinaries will receive episcopal ordination, and thus will be able to ordain their own clergy.

    >> 2. The apostolic constitution clearly permits erection of more than one ordinariate in the territory of an episcopal conference. Geographical division appears most likely when the time comes, probably with one of the ordinariates being designated an archordinariate to serve as a metropolitan see for the ordinariates within the territory of the same episcopal conference. The establishment of deaneries conforming to the planned division and appointment of the prospective ordinaries as the respective deans probably would precede the formal geographical division.

    But taking this one step further, it seems likely that the ordinariates will become personal dioceses if they gain stability, establish the full administrative structure of a Catholic diocese (including tribunals), and have a sufficient cadre of celibate clergy to supply their own bishops.

    That said, it seems unlikely that the ordinariates will progress uniformly in this sort of development. The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has widely dispersed clusters of communities, so establishment of a deanery for each cluster makes sense. The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has a much smaller territory, so the need for territorial deaneries is not so immediate. And the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross undoubtedly has its hands full with the process for reception of the Church of the Torres Strait, which is in an area where there are very few Catholic parishes and which will substantially increase its size, and thus probably has put most other concerns on the proverbial back burner.

    It’s also important to remember that the time scale for this process is not one of weeks or months or even years. Rather, it’s measured in decades.

    It is fun to watch it unfolding, though!

    Norm.

    • EPMS says:

      Regarding the OOLSC, if “Australia-Wide” is anything to go by, the reverse is true: there are ordinations and an active program of community outreach supporting the existing communities. It is the CTS which seems to be on the back burner.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: Regarding the OOLSC, if “Australia-Wide” is anything to go by, the reverse is true: there are ordinations and an active program of community outreach supporting the existing communities. It is the CTS which seems to be on the back burner.

        Rather, the ordinations (1) are occurring in very small numbers and (2) seem still to be of candidates who were part of the original receptions.

        Most of the clergy of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross seem to have come from the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), so probably did not have a full programme of seminary formation and thus required more than the minimum formation required for former clergy of the Anglican Communion. The ordinations undoubtedly are happening as the received clergy complete their respective programmes of formation.

        Of course, the many clergy of the Church of the Torres Strait (CTS) also fall into this category — another reason why the reception of the CTS will take a while….

        Norm.

  3. EPMS says:

    Assuming Msgr Newton serves until he is 75, ie twelve more years, will there be a pool of celibate OOLW clergy from which to choose an Ordinary who can be elevated to the office of bishop? Should this be the key factor in the selection of an Ordinary? Interesting questions.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You asked: Assuming Msgr Newton serves until he is 75, ie twelve more years, will there be a pool of celibate OOLW clergy from which to choose an Ordinary who can be elevated to the office of bishop?

      That’s an interesting question, to which none of us know the answer.

      The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham clearly is having a good amount of success in generating new vocations in spite of the norm of celibacy, Fr. James Bradley being the first. IIRC, Fr. Bradley is now pursuing a pontifical doctorate here in the States — which means that he is not active in parish ministry — and won’t complete it for a couple more years, and the current seminarians are at least two or three years from ordination. Although several of these individuals theoretically might qualify for consideration in 2027, it seems unlikely that a pope would appoint a presbyter who has less than a decade of pastoral experience to such a position. Rather, it seems more likely that the pope would choose another former Anglican cleric for the position and that the clergy who went to seminary as members of the ordinariate will be in consideration for selection as the ordinariate’s third ordinary.

      Of course, there’s always the possibility that the next ordinary might be a widower, and thus celibate and eligible for episcopal ordination, by the time of his appointment.

      You asked: Should this be the key factor in the selection of an Ordinary?

      The easy answer is that it’s a “key factor” in the selection of a diocesan bishop, so why should the selection of an “ordinary,” who is canonically equivalent to a diocesan bishop, be any different?

      But then, the Vatican decided to erect “personal ordinariates” rather than “personal dioceses” for former Anglicans, at least in part, because the “ordinary” of an “ordinariate” can be a presbyter rather than a bishop, permitting married clergy to hold the office without receiving episcopal ordination.

      Now, the process set forth in the apostolic constitution for selection of a new ordinary is quite clear: the ordinariate’s governing council submits a “terna” of five candidates, from which the pope makes the selection. The governing council has quite a bit of latitude as to its criteria for selection of candidates and the relative weighting thereof.

      As a practical matter, my guess is that a lot will depend upon the availability of bishops to ordain candidates for the ordinariates. If non-ordinariate bishops are readily available for the respective ordinariate’s ordinations, the governing council will deem the status quo to be working acceptably and probably won’t rank celibacy very highly. Conversely, if non-ordinariate bishops prove not to be readily available when the ordinariate needs their services, the governing council probably will see some urgency to the next ordinary being a bishop and thus will nominate candidates who qualify for episcopal ordination — that is, who are celibate. Note, however, that this could include candidates whose wives have died since their Catholic ordinations to the order of presbyter.

      BTW, Msgr. Steenson also will reach his 75th birthday in 2027. The situation is a bit different in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, however. To my knowledge, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has not produced any seminarians yet.

      Norm.

  4. EPMS says:

    The clergy in the OOLSC may have been TAC clergy, for the most part, but that does not preclude their having started out as clergy in the Anglican Church of Australia, as was the case for the most recent ordinand, Ian Wilson. I assume this means he completed a full program of seminary education.

  5. godfrey1099 says:

    On the hard reality side (rather than fantasizing), seven adult people coming into full communion with the Church on a single occasion, in a group of several dozen, seems like fantastic Ordinariate growth for me.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      godfrey1099,

      You wrote: On the hard reality side (rather than fantasizing), seven adult people coming into full communion with the Church on a single occasion, in a group of several dozen, seems like fantastic Ordinariate growth for me.

      It’s clearly better than what’s happening in many diocesan parishes that are considerably larger.

      OTOH, there’s certainly potential for a lot more.

      Norm.

    • EPMS says:

      Thousands of baptised adults join the Church in the UK every year. I would imagine that most of them were baptised in the CofE. Of that number, perhaps a hundred join via the OOLW. The Ordinariate is a niche within a niche. That is not a criticism, just a fact that must be taken into consideration when envisioning the future.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: Thousands of baptised adults join the Church in the UK every year. I would imagine that most of them were baptised in the CofE.

        I’m not persuaded that the assumption that “most of them were baptized in the CofE” is valid or even reasonable for at least three reasons.

        >> 1. The Church of England (CofE) is the official church of England (and probably also the official church of Wales, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wright, and the Channel Islands), but the official church of Scotland is the Church of Scotland, which is essentially Presbyterian rather than Anglican. The British monarch officially ceases to be the titular head the Church of England and becomes the titular head of the Church of Scotland whenever she crosses the border into Scotland, and reverts back when she leaves it. In Scotland, the church of the Anglican Communion is the (Scottish) Episcopal Church — and it is from that body that The Episcopal Church (TEC) here in the States derives both its episcopacy and its name.

        >> 2. There also are many Protestant denominations in England, and many other Protestant denominations present in Scotland. In particular, Methodists, Presbyterians, and the Salvation Army comprise significant percentages of the non-Catholic Christian population of England.

        >> 3. In many cases, the impetus to affiliate with a new denomination is that an individual has moved to a location where his or her previous denomination does not have a presence. As a result, many of those received into full communion come from smaller denominations that have relatively few congregations throughout the country.

        The bottom line is that the CofE probably represents less than a third of the Christian population of the United Kingdom, if that much, and an even smaller fraction of those received into full communion each year in normal diocesan cathedrals and parishes.

        Norm.

  6. EPMS says:

    The Salvation Army does not baptise people, period, so we can cross that source off the list. My number of “thousands” related only to stats from the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, so that crosses Scotland off as well. The population of England and Wales (2010) is about 58 million, of whom about 26 million were baptised in the CofE. So somewhat fewer than half. So perhaps only a thousand former members of the Church of England were received into the Church last year. This does not change the fact that 90% of them did not enter via the OOLW.

    • EPMS says:

      There are currently about 500,000 people attending Methodist chruches in England and Wales. Former Methodists are, of course, eligible to join an Ordinariate, because of Methodism’s origin in the CofE.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: Former Methodists are, of course, eligible to join an Ordinariate, because of Methodism’s origin in the CofE.

        Actually, anybody baptized in any other Christian denomination can enroll in the ordinariate simply by being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church within a congregation of the ordinariate.

        The difference is that those who come into full communion from the Anglican tradition can join the ordinariate even if received into full communion within a normal diocesan parish or cathedral, whereas those who come from other Christian traditions cannot.

        Norm.

      • Dear Norm,

        I don’t know with what justification you make your statement that “anybody baptized in any other Christian denomination can enroll in the ordinariate simply by being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church within a congregation of the ordinariate”.

        The relevant paragraph of the Apostolic Constitution states:
        §4 The Ordinariate is composed of lay faithful, clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally belonging to the Anglican Communion and now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate.

        As far as I can make out, “The Sacraments of Initiation” signifies all Sacraments of Initiation, meaning that the person concerned must also be baptised in the Ordinariate (or, since the amendment in the Corresponding Norms, in the Catholic Church, having subsequently lapsed before all three Sacraments were received), not in another Christian denomination.

        The only baptised Christians admitted are former Anglicans (cf. both AC and the Corresponding Norms) – strictly speaking, only those who were at one time members of the “Anglican Communion”. Your reference to Methodists is therefore also a very generous interpretation of the Constitution – I don’t know whether a canonist would agree.

        David Murphy

        P.S. the only exception to these rules concerns family members of Ordinariate Catholics, who are entitled to become Ordinariate members themselves, wherever they received the Sacraments of Initiation.

        P.P.S. It has just occurred to me that if the Latin text of the Apostolic Constitition is the decisive one, you might be able to make a case for your point of view, since in the words “vel in ipsius Ordinariatus iurisdictione Initiationis Sacramenta recipiunt” no distinction is made between “Sacraments of Initiation” and “The Sacraments of Initiation”.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        David,

        You wrote (emphasis in original): I don’t know with what justification you make your statement that “anybody baptized in any other Christian denomination can enroll in the ordinariate simply by being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church within a congregation of the ordinariate”.

        The relevant paragraph of the Apostolic Constitution states:
        §4 The Ordinariate is composed of lay faithful, clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally belonging to the Anglican Communion and now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate.

        As far as I can make out, “The Sacraments of Initiation” signifies all Sacraments of Initiation, meaning that the person concerned must also be baptised in the Ordinariate (or, since the amendment in the Corresponding Norms, in the Catholic Church, having subsequently lapsed before all three Sacraments were received), not in another Christian denomination.

        The only baptised Christians admitted are former Anglicans (cf. both AC and the Corresponding Norms) – strictly speaking, only those who were at one time members of the “Anglican Communion”. Your reference to Methodists is therefore also a very generous interpretation of the Constitution – I don’t know whether a canonist would agree.

        Your construction of “the Sacraments of Initiation” to sacraments include baptism, confirmation, and (first) eucharist is correct. The mistake here is in construing this phrase in the context of the paragraph that you quoted from the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus to mean that an individual must receive all of the sacraments of initiation within the jurisdiction of the ordinariate. Rather, permissive laws are always construed broadly in Catholic ecclesial law, so any individual who has received any of the sacraments of initiation within the jurisdiction of an ordinariate qualifies for membership therein. Since the Rite of Reception of a baptized Christian into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church includes confirmation, if the candidate is not already confirmed, and admission to communion in the Catholic Church, anybody received into the church through a community of the ordinariate meets this requirement thereby — even if he or she is coming from an ecclesial body that is not part of the Anglican tradition.

        In fact, the original “Complementary Norms” did affirm this, albeit obliquely. Note the first section of Article 5 thereof (boldface added):

        §1. The lay faithful originally of the Anglican tradition who wish to belong to the Ordinariate, after having made their Profession of Faith and received the Sacraments of Initiation, with due regard for Canon 845, are to be entered in the apposite register of the Ordinariate. Those who have received all of the Sacraments of Initiation outside the Ordinariate are not ordinarily eligible for membership, unless they are members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate.

        The “Complementary Norms” constitute an official interpretation of the law and procedures for its implementation, but can neither modify nor derogate from the law itself. The implication of the boldface clause clearly is that those who receive any of the sacraments of initiation within the jurisdiction of the ordinariate are not excluded. And in fact, the so-called “Broglio provision” in the second section of Article 5 goes even further:

        §2. A person who has been baptized in the Catholic Church but who has not completed the Sacraments of Initiation, and subsequently returns to the faith and practice of the Church as a result of the evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate, may be admitted to membership in the Ordinariate and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation or the Sacrament of the Eucharist or both.

        Again, the insertion of this paragraph into the “Complementary Norms” did NOT constitute a change to the law itself. Rather, it was already implicit in the law.

        BTW, there’s an additional nuance to the phrase “within the jurisdiction of the ordinariate” in the paragraph that you quoted from the apostolic constitution that is very significant in this discussion. At least theoretically, the ordinary can depute a non-ordinariate presbyter or bishop to receive a candidate on its behalf in any circumstance where clergy of the ordinariate are not readily available. Such a reception would be “within the jurisdiction of the ordinariate” even though it does not occur in an ordinariate community. And conversely, a reception by a cleric of the ordinariate who is serving as a chaplain to the armed forces or in a diocesan ministry ordinarily would not be construed to meet this requirement, but rather would be within the jurisdiction of the Bishopric of the Forces (U. K.)/Archdiocese for the Military Services (U. S.)/military ordinariate or the respective diocese.

        You wrote (emphasis and boldface in original): P.P.S. It has just occurred to me that if the Latin text of the Apostolic Constitition is the decisive one, you might be able to make a case for your point of view, since in the words “vel in ipsius Ordinariatus iurisdictione Initiationis Sacramenta recipient” no distinction is made between “Sacraments of Initiation” and “The Sacraments of Initiation”.

        In case of disparity, the Latin text always governs in Roman Catholic ecclesial law.

        But that said, my understanding is that the distinction that the distinction between “Sacraments of Initiation” and “the Sacraments of Initiation” in the English translation is artificial because Latin language does not have definite articles.

        Norm.

  7. EPMS says:

    Well, from that perspective, Norm, every one of the “thousands of baptised adults” who enter the Church every year could do so via an Ordinariate, but presumably that was not what was envisioned. .

    • See my reply to Norm’s original statement – I myself do not think that every one of the thousands could enter the Ordinariate, but I really wonder why more former Anglicans do not, even if they are living in the diaspora. One day they might be able to form a group, but not if they never join!

      David Murphy

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: Well, from that perspective, Norm, every one of the “thousands of baptised adults” who enter the Church every year could do so via an Ordinariate, but presumably that was not what was envisioned.

      Yes, they could do so via a community of the ordinariate — but “could” is not what matters. All that matters is what they actually did.

      What’s really envisioned is that one normally belongs to the community and the jurisdiction within which one came into the church, whether that be the local diocese or an ordinariate. Note, in the same way, that those received into the full communion of the Catholic Church through any sui juris ritual church normally belong to that body.

      Norm.

  8. godfrey1099 says:

    Four new members in Toronto (http://peregrinus-peregrinus.blogspot.com), three adults plus two children in Ottawa (https://foolishnesstotheworld.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/pentecost-at-annunciation-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/)… A lot of great news last Sunday, Deo gratias!

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