Is there really no way for a “regular” Cradle Catholic to join the Ordinariate?

Following a comment from EPMS, I went to the facebook page of Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church, Irvine, an Ordinariate parish in Orange County, California, and  watched this video:

Here we see Dustin Vu, a regular worshiper at Blessed John Henry Newman for some two years, who is going off to seminary to study for the priesthood “for the Diocese of Orange”. This is a young man who has spent perhaps his most decisive formative years as a young Catholic worshiping and collaborating in an Ordinariate parish, whose vocation has been “cultivated”, as Fr. Andrew Bartus puts in, in this Ordinariate parish, yet is beginning to train for the diocesan priesthood and not the Ordinariate priesthood. Why, you may ask, is this?

I am assuming that Dustin just does not fulfil the conditions for Ordinariate membership. As a cradle Catholic who completed the sacraments of initiation outside of the Ordinariate, the only way that he could qualify to become an Ordinariate Catholic would be to be a member of the family of a member of the Ordinariate. and this is probably not the case. The Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus state:

“Those who have received all of the Sacraments of Initiation outside the Ordinariate are not ordinarily eligible for membership” (Complementary Norms, Article 5, § 1)

but do not clarify how “ordinarily” is to be interpreted. Are exceptions possible? It is not evident whether and under which conditions a person who has taken part in the activities of the Ordinariate for a longer period can apply for a transfer. So it would seem almost always to be the case that “once a cradle Catholic, always a diocesan Catholic”. This may seem unfair, even ludicrous to you, but that is the legal canonical position, as far as I can make out.

And this appears all the more strange if we study the Decrees of Erection of the Personal Ordinariates. where a simple, unbureaucratic method of leaving the Ordinariate and becoming a diocesan Catholic, i.e. a transfer in the other direction, is clearly provided for:

“If a member of the faithful wishes to leave the Ordinariate, he must make such a decision known to his own Ordinary. He automatically becomes a member of the Diocese where he resides.” (Decree of Erection of the Ordinariate of OLW, § 10)

To my mind, it would facilitate matters no end, if Rome provided for a method of qualifying to enter the Ordinariate after a number of years, perhaps five (or two for an adolescent).

David Murphy

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36 Responses to Is there really no way for a “regular” Cradle Catholic to join the Ordinariate?

  1. Matt C says:

    I completely agree! A cradle Catholic of the Latin Rite can, for a good reason, join one of the Eastern Catholic Churches becoming subject to their Bishop. Why shouldn’t it be the same for joining the Ordinariates?

    • William Tighe says:

      He must first obtain the permission of his Latin Catholic bishop, and then that of the bishop of the diocese of the Eastern Catholic church which he desires to join, of course.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Professor Tighe,

        You wrote: He must first obtain the permission of his Latin Catholic bishop, and then that of the bishop of the diocese of the Eastern Catholic church which he desires to join, of course.

        There are two situations in which Catholic ecclesial law permits transfer from one ritual church to another.

        >> 1. One may transfer to the ritual church of one’s spouse.

        >> 2. If one previously transferred to the ritual church of one’s spouse and the marriage has ended, there is no need for permission to return to one’s previous ritual church.

        Any other transfer from one ritual church to another requires an indult granted by the pope himself. The pope normally does not grant such indults without favorable recommendations from the respective diocesan bishops of both ritual churches.

        Norm.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Matt,

      You wrote: A cradle Catholic of the Latin Rite can, for a good reason, join one of the Eastern Catholic Churches becoming subject to their Bishop. Why shouldn’t it be the same for joining the Ordinariates?

      It is not so easy. Except in the cases of transfer to the ritual church of one’s spouse or reversion to one’s previous ritual church after the end of a marriage, any formal transfer from one ritual church to another requires an indult from the pope himself.

      Of course, any member of the Catholic Church may assist in liturgical services and receive the sacraments in any Catholic ritual church, without restriction. One’s affiliation with one ritual church or another affects only matters of ecclesial governance.

      Norm.

  2. EPMS says:

    As a matter of principle, this idea seems very good. From a practical standpoint, at least for the moment, the Ordinariates can offer stipendiary positions to only a handful of clergy. Because of this, many men ordained for an Ordinariate are doing exclusively diocesan ministry, military chaplaincy, etc. Welcoming a young candidate who would qualify for diocesan ordination into an Ordinariate might be inappropriate if one could not offer him a chance to exercise his ministry in an “Anglican” context. But who knows what the future may hold? Especially if the requirement of celibacy is rigorously maintained, cradle Catholics who have worshipped in Ordinariate parishes could be an important source of vocations.

    • EPMS,

      You yourself know how important it is for the Ordinariate to recruit new young priests.

      Many of the current Ordinariate priests are quite elderly, so that in a few years’ time there is likely to be a serious dearth of priests.

      Several Ordinariate communities, even now, are without pastors.

      There is no way that the Ordinariate can begin to try to set up new communities in locations where there is no Ordinariate group at the moment if there are not sufficient priests to do this exploratory, evangelistic work.

      For an Ordinariate priest to find employment in a diocesan chaplaincy or parish is not counter-productive. This is an enormous help for the dioceses, who are spared the expense of training these men, and it helps the Ordinariate in its role to bring into the Church at large the treasure of the Anglican patrimony.

      So I see no reason whatsoever why a maximum of priests should not be ordained for the Ordinariate, whether or not they come with a group or are needed to pasror an Ordinariate community at this particular point in time.

      David Murphy

  3. victor2378 says:

    I disagree. We are born / baptized into certain conditions like gender, family, talents and disabilities, and also ritual church membership. These conditions are the gifts God outfitted us with for our pilgrimage through life. We can well assume that He did so for a reason, that – if I am born off Greek-Catholic parents – this is my culture, my heritage, and I should embrace it and not look to the other side of the fence, no matter how much greener the grass seems to be. There is no doubt that the “Anglican” heritage has much to offer, but doesn’t the “ordinary Roman” heritage do so, too? Let the young man go to the diocesan seminary, and let him become a priest. He might enrich his heritage by what he learned from the ordinariate parish.

    • EPMS says:

      Going down this road might lead to the conclusion that if one were “born and baptized” an Anglican one should embrace that rather than swimming the Tiber.
      Pursuant to my original point, it occurred to me that one of the reasons the door from Ordinariate to diocesan membership seems to be strictly one-way might be the fear that switching to the Ordinariate could be perceived as an entrée to the priesthood for a married layman. Of course it remains to be seen whether any such, even card-carrying Ordinariate members, will be accepted for ordination anyway, but I assume the guidelines were drawn up with an eye to settling any qualms on the part of those concerned about the optics of the initial influx of married priests.

      • victor2378 says:

        Not at all! There is a difference between being part of a branch of the One Catholic Church and belonging to a heretical sect. I know these words are not popular any more, but I think there is no doubt that – at the very least in its current state – the Anglican Communion is heretical. It is your moral obligation to become part of the Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic church. No similar obligation exists in regard to the manyfold ritual churches which form this one Catholic church. Don’t you agree?

      • This is indeed possible, EPMS.

        The Apostolic Constitution does indeed permit the ordination of married men on a case-by-case basis, but each one would have to be approved by the Pope personally (as does the ordination of any married former Protestant minister). The norm is and remains the celibate priesthood.

        I am not aware that any married layman who is not a former minister has even been proposed for ordination to the priesthood.

        David Murphy

      • Rev22:17 says:

        David,

        You wrote: The Apostolic Constitution does indeed permit the ordination of married men on a case-by-case basis, but each one would have to be approved by the Pope personally (as does the ordination of any married former Protestant minister). The norm is and remains the celibate priesthood.

        At least in principle, any Roman Catholic diocesan bishop also may petition the pope for permission to ordain married men on a case by case basis — but, again, the pope would have to approve each one personally. Of course, the rationale for granting such permission would have to be pretty compelling. Nevertheless, this is precisely what happens in the case of former Protestant ministers.

        It appears that there is a chink in the armor of celibacy. The present pope has indicated that he is open to further relaxation of the norm of celibacy for diocesan clergy, but that he wants the initiative to come from the episcopal conferences, each taking into account the situations and the prevalent attitudes in their territories.

        You wrote: Of course it remains to be seen whether any such, even card-carrying Ordinariate members, will be accepted for ordination anyway, but I assume the guidelines were drawn up with an eye to settling any qualms on the part of those concerned about the optics of the initial influx of married priests.

        Remember the old westerns where an indigenous American character inevitably would remark, “White man speak with forked tongue,” when attempting to deal? So, too, in the wording of the documents: it’s clear that those who drafted them would prefer celibacy to be the norm, but they are not sure that it is workable within the ordinariates — and failure of the ordinariates clearly would have worse consequences, especially for ecumenism, than a relaxation of the discipline of clerical celibacy! In the Vatican’s view, failure of an ordinariate simply is not an option.

        That said, any relaxation of the norm of celibacy in the territory of an episcopal conference certainly will extend to an ordinariate within the territory of that episcopal conference.

        Norm.

  4. Joseph Golightly says:

    He/she could marry an Anglican and get in that way. Attendance at an Ordinariate Mass does fulfil the obligation so doing that and contributing financially and in other ways would meet the needs of the individual. They just would not have their name in the book?

  5. John Bruce says:

    Isn’t there an implication here that “membership” in the Ordinariates is akin to being a member of an exclusive club? As Mr Golightly has pointed out, any Catholic can fulfill mass obligation at an Ordinariate mass, and my (Latin Catholic) donation to an Ordinariate group was not returned.

    So what is the benefit of being a “member”? Isn’t the point of AC to receive Anglicans in groups? In theory, the only thing they would have in common would be their original membership in the group. This would be purely for the purpose of receiving them as Catholics in bulk, and making their clergy eligible for Catholic ordination, mutatis mutandis.

    What is the ecclesial benefit down the road?

    • You are right that the original thrust of the Apostolic Constitution is to permit groups of Anglicans to remain together and to continue to be pastored by their former Anglican priest. But if this were the only purpose of the Ordinariate, it would not have been necessary to create a separate jurisdiction, as remaining in groups and then being integrated into a diocesan parish was already provided for in 1993 for those leaving the C of E after the 1992 vote to ordain women to the priesthood.

      As I have said elsewhere, the Ordinariate is not merely a “decompression chamber” providing a painless way of entering the Catholic Church.

      It has a much more important role of receptive ecumenism – encouraging other Christians to bring with them their faith history, and many of the elements of sanctification from their patrimony into the Catholic Church as a treasure to be shared. This is diversity in unity or “united – not absorbed”. It is the Catholic Church opening herself completely, indeed transforming herself to incorporate important gifts from other ecclesial traditions. This is indeed revolutionary and it is an endeavour which nearly all former Anglicans and many cradle Catholics can identify with. Indeed it is the reason why I myself entered the Ordinariate some 40 years after I became a Catholic.

      David Murphy

    • Rev22:17 says:

      John,

      You asked: Isn’t the point of AC to receive Anglicans in groups? In theory, the only thing they would have in common would be their original membership in the group. This would be purely for the purpose of receiving them as Catholics in bulk, and making their clergy eligible for Catholic ordination, mutatis mutandis.

      Oops, I missed the subtle gist of this on first read.

      No, the purpose of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus goes far beyond simply receiving Anglicans in groups, providing for ordination of their former Anglican pastors in the Catholic Church, and allowing their former Anglican pastors to continue to be their shepherds. Rather Anglicanorum coetibus clearly envisions the following.

      >> 1. The children born to members of an ordinariate will “receive the Sacraments of Initiation within [its] jurisdiction” (Article I, Section 4) and thus will remain members thereof, thus sustaining the membership of the ordinariate perpetually.

      >> 2. Upon ordination, members of an ordinariate normally will become part of the clergy of that ordinariate rather than of the local diocese (Article VI, Sections 2 & 4), thus sustaining the clergy of the ordinariate perpetually.

      >> 3. The primary worship of ordinariate congregations would use “the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church” (Article III), thus providing a clear and permanent place for the Anglican manner of worship within the Catholic Church.

      >> 4. Each ordinariate will continue to grow through reception of additional congregations and individual members, most especially from the ecclesial bodies of the Anglican Tradition, as well as through its own works of evangelism, again welcoming those who “receive the Sacraments of Initiation within [its] jurisdiction” (Article I, Section 4).

      >> 5. Religious orders of the Anglican tradition may also be a part of the ordinariate (Article VII).

      In fact, there has already been extensive provision to receive Anglican congregations with their pastors, and to allow them to remain together as intact communities, as part of the local Roman Catholic diocese. Here in the States, several such congregations came into the Catholic Church under the so-called “pastoral provision” beginning in 1983, and a much larger number of former Anglican clergy came into the Catholic Church without congregations under this provision. The rub, however, is that there is no provision for dioceses to train replacement clergy in the Anglican tradition. While one might expect that diocesan bishops would seek to assign former Anglican clergy to such congregations, the plain reality is that the ability to do so depends upon some level of continuing influx within the local diocese. By contrast, the ordinariates will train clergy from within their own ranks in the Anglican tradition, hopefully assuring a steady supply.

      You then asked: What is the ecclesial benefit down the road?

      The immediate benefit obviously is the establishment of a place within the Catholic Church where those who come from the Anglican tradition can find a permanent home home, with familiar worship, familiar pastoral practices, and clergy who fully understand their circumstances.

      When understood in the wider context of ecumenism, however, the ordinariates clearly are a model for reconciliation of Christians from the many Protestant groups that have their own traditions of worship. It’s not too difficult to envision establishment of ordinariates for former Lutherans, for those who come from various bodies of the so-called “Reformed” tradition, and even for those who come from various Anabaptist communities. Many of these denominations use liturgical rites that would be sacramentally valid if celebrated by clergy with valid orders and proper intent or, at worst, that could be made so with only a few minor edits. (To give you an example of how this works, I think that the most significant changes in going from the Anglican order of mass to the order of mass of Divine Worship are (1) the insertion of the mention of the pope (from “We pray for N, our bishop,…” to “We pray for N, our pope, and N, our bishop,…” or something similar) and the substitution of the current English translation of the words of institution in the Roman Missal for the words of institution of the Anglican text.)

      Norm.

      • If you need a better proof for the desire that the Ordinariates remain a permanent feature of the Catholic Church, then take Pope Benedicts’s own words from Anglicanorum Coetibus:

        “We desire that our dispositions and norms be valid and effective now and in the future” (admittedly the original omits the bold type).

        Norm, the changes necessary to make the eucharistic theology of the BCP Communion Service conform with Catholic doctrine were slightly more comprehensive than you tend to suggest, but the main thrust of what you say is correct.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        David,

        I said, parenthetically: (To give you an example of how this works, I think that the most significant changes in going from the Anglican order of mass to the order of mass of Divine Worship are (1) the insertion of the mention of the pope (from “We pray for N, our bishop,…” to “We pray for N, our pope, and N, our bishop,…” or something similar) and the substitution of the current English translation of the words of institution in the Roman Missal for the words of institution of the Anglican text.) (emphasis in original; boldface added)

        You replied: Norm, the changes necessary to make the eucharistic theology of the BCP Communion Service conform with Catholic doctrine were slightly more comprehensive than you tend to suggest, but the main thrust of what you say is correct.

        In fairness, I have not seen the new Order of Mass of Divine Worship yet so I’m basing my comments on the Order of Mass in the original Book of Divine Worship promulgated about three decades ago for the parishes erected under the so-called “pastoral provision” here in the States (which, unfortunately, is no longer available on line). I have seen comments indicating that the latest revision might not allow a few of the options admitted by the earlier edition, but I have not seen anything that my original statement was not in fact correct — that is, that the two changes that I cited in the Anaphora are in fact the most significant changes.

        This may be picking nits, I’m not sure that any of the changes were necessary for validity. The mention of the pope is an expression of a relationship of eucharistic communion, but nobody disputes the validity of the eucharist in the churches of the Orthodox Communion, which also does not have this mention. Also, the Catholic Church admitted a different English translation of the words of institution from the adoption of the first edition of the present ordinary form in 1969 until the adoption of the current English translation in 2011, thus proving that the exact translation presently used in the Roman Rite is not necessary for validity. Thus, one must show that the words of institution in the Anglican form of the rite would invalidate the sacrament even if the principal celebrant has valid orders. I doubt that any of the other differences even come close to a possibility of invalidation.

        Norm.

      • I am sorry to disagree with you, but apart from the things you mentioned, which are perhaps the most obvious differences for an observer, the most significant (and the decisive!) changes are the theological changes – for example, the restitution of the sacrificial nature of the Mass which is denied by Protestants. That is why not only the words of institution are taken from the Catholic Mass but the whole Canon of the Mass (admittedly in Elizabethan English so that one might think it is Cranmerian). Instead it is based on a translation of the Roman Canon made by Miles Coverdale, which is not Anglican and not in the Book of Common Prayer.

  6. Rev22:17 says:

    David,

    You wrote: Are exceptions possible?

    In the Catholic Church, exceptions to matters of ecclesial law (as distinct from matters of divine law) are always possible. Of course, the authority for granting such exceptions may well be the pope personally.

    As it pertains to membership in an ordinariate, your incomplete quotation from the Complementary Norms is merely a clarification of the Section 4 of Title I of the apostolic constitution itself.

    §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.

    However, the rest of the section that you quoted incompletely already contains a very important exception. Here is the full provision (emphasis mine).

    §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.

    So we already see “members of a family belonging to the ordinariate” as an exception to the norm of the law itself. And in this context, the word “family” must be construed broadly: it need not mean, literally, mum, dad, and their children. In fact, this wording could be construed to include those who belong to parishes established under the so-called “pastoral provision” here in the States if their parish were to transfer to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

    So, are there other circumstances in which a Roman Catholic who received all of the sacraments of initiation outside the jurisdiction of the ordinariates might join an ordinariate?

    Most assuredly — but such situations are not readily identifiable, nor are they likely to occur in sufficient numbers to justify a general exception. The Vatican will handle such situations case by case, as they arise.

    Incidentally, this is an issue where there are likely to be further developments in the Torres Strait after the reception of the Church of the Torres Strait into the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. The local Catholic diocese has very few parishes in the region, so any non-ordinariate Catholics who reside in the region are likely to turn to the parishes of the ordinariate for pastoral services simply because the diocesan parish and clergy are not accessible. In this situation, it is very likely that the pope will grant indults for those who request it to transfer to the ordinariate.

    You wrote: And this appears all the more strange if we study the Decrees of Erection of the Personal Ordinariates. where a simple, unbureaucratic method of leaving the Ordinariate and becoming a diocesan Catholic…

    Note that those who leave an ordinariate in this way continue to meet the criteria for membership, and thus can return to an ordinariate at a later date. This is particularly relevant for those who live in areas where there are insufficient numbers to establish an ordinariate community: they could leave the ordinariate for now and return if the membership grows to be sufficient to establish a community.

    Norm.

    • Dear Norm,

      Are you suggesting that my selective quotation from the Complementary Norms was in some way purposefully deceptive? It most certainly was not. (You were not a very complimentary Norm yourself here!)

      The Complementary Norms speak of “ordinarily” and that was what I wanted to point out – nothing more. I mentioned the specific exceptions which are named in this canonical instrument. My point was and is: What provision is there, if at all, for a cradle Catholic who does not fulfil the exception criteria, to become an Ordinariate member? You too do not know the answer to this, referring perhaps to the necessity of obtaining a decision from the Pope himself.

      Canon 32. §1 of the 1990 Code of Canons of Oriental Churches on the other hand makes a specific provision for transferring to a Church sui iuris:

      “32. §1. No one can validly transfer to another Church sui iuris without the consent of the Apostolic See.”

      I am missing a specific provision of this kind in the Apostolic Constitution and its Norms – and perhaps some more generous exceptions.

      David

      • Rev22:17 says:

        David,

        You asked: Are you suggesting that my selective quotation from the Complementary Norms was in some way purposefully deceptive?

        No, not at all. I was simply pointing out that your quotation stopped short of an explicit exception. I presumed that fact to be an oversight rather than an indication of nefarious intent.

        You said: The Complementary Norms speak of “ordinarily” and that was what I wanted to point out – nothing more.

        Back up a step. Catholic ecclesial law follows the Roman legal tradition, in which the law itself is the rule for normal circumstances foreseen by the legislator. In the Roman legal tradition, the law is never absolutely without exception, with the obvious caveat that the Catholic Church cannot admit exceptions to matters established by divine law, such as the indissolubility of marriage. The crucial point, however, is that a legislator cannot write a law to encompass situations that the legislator cannot, or at least does not, foresee. In case of doubt, recourse is to the legislator to clarify the intent of the law. And in a case involving two separate “juridic persons,” recourse is to the common superior — which normally means the pope, in a case involving two dioceses or equivalent jurisdictions of the Roman Rite.

        You asked: My point was and is: What provision is there, if at all, for a cradle Catholic who does not fulfil the exception criteria, to become an Ordinariate member?

        Again, recourse in a matter that involves two dioceses or equivalent jurisdictions is to the common superior — that is, the pope.

        That said, there are some situations that would warrant exceptions to the norm that “cradle Catholics” who are not married to ordinariate members cannot join an ordinariate.

        >> 1. Consider the case of a “cradle Catholic” who obtains a degree in theology or pastoral ministry, finds employment in an ordinariate parish or chancery, and works there for an extended period of time. It probably would make sense for such an individual to transfer to the ordinariate, but I’m not aware of any such cases that have arisen as yet.

        >> 2. In the earlier post, I mentioned the situation of lay “cradle Catholics” who live in areas where there are no diocesan parishes. Again, I am not aware of any such situations yet, but such situations probably will arise in the Torres Strait region following the reception of the Church of the Torres Strait. It makes little sense for those who don’t have reasonable access to their diocesan parishes to be excluded from an ordinariate that is better able to serve them.

        But, again, exceptions such as these will unfold over time and will get written into law, or at least into the complementary norms, when they become prevalent enough to warrant explicit mention in the applicable documents. In the interim, the Vatican will handle requests on a case by case basis.

        You wrote: I am missing a specific provision of this kind in the Apostolic Constitution and its Norms – and perhaps some more generous exceptions.

        As it pertains to matters of ecclesial governance, the authority for granting an exception to a law is the legislator. In this case, the legislator is the pope, so it is the pope who can grant exceptions.

        Norm.

  7. John Bruce says:

    I’m wondering if the subtext of this post is that Mr Vu, who is entering seminary to pursue a vocation, will not be eligible to become a celibate, next-generation Ordinariate priest. It appears that Mr Murphy would wish that some sort of exception could be made for Mr Vu or his family so that this could happen

    I’m assuming that, since there is a large Vietnamese community in Orange County, CA, Mr Vu comes from a Vietnamese traditionally Catholic family. As a newcomer to the Catholic faith, I’ve begun to see that traditionally Catholic families see vocation in a different context, often with an expectation that one or more sons in each generation will become priests. My wife and I recently participated in a prayer cycle sponsored by our local Knights of Columbus for vocations in our diocese.

    Whether or not the Vu family participated in Ordinariate masses for the past couple of years wouldn’t have a whole lot of relation to the family’s attitude toward nurturing vocations, which is a lifetime and generational issue. It seems to me that this would stem from many decades of faith formation in the Church and the family.

    As a result, I’m puzzled by Mr Murphy’s apparent implication that it’s somehow “not fair” that the Ordinariate can’t hitchhike on this in order somehow to snare a vocation It seems to me that if the Ordinariates are to generate next-generation celibate vocations, they will need to come from the faith formation of Ordinariate families. Whether this will ever happen is an open question.

    • Mr Bruce, I resent your suggestion that the Ordinariate would wish to steal a vocation from the diocese. My thought was about Mr Vu himself, who has become a member of the Ordinariate worshiping community.

      Anglicanorum Coetibus as it stands would not permit him to join the Ordinariate, even if he wished to. That is what I considered unfair, not that the Ordinariate could not rustle some seminarians from the diocese – and I believe my post made that very clear.

      David Murphy

      P.S. The Ordinariate in the UK has, by the way, already generated several celibate vocations – the seminarians are currently studying in Oxford. So I would be grateful if you were to remove the sneer from your tone.

  8. EPMS says:

    I notice that Fr Joshua Whitfield, currently serving in a diocesan parish, is described on its website as having been ordained under the Pastoral Provision: http://stritaparish.net/people/rev-joshua-whitfield He was of course one of six clergy from the Episcopal diocese of Ft Worth ordained together for the OCSP in 2012.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: I notice that Fr Joshua Whitfield, currently serving in a diocesan parish, is described on its website as having been ordained under the Pastoral Provision: http://stritaparish.net/people/rev-joshua-whitfield He was of course one of six clergy from the Episcopal diocese of Ft Worth ordained together for the OCSP in 2012.

      It’s certainly possible that the parish staffer who wrote the item to which you linked on the parish web site knows other clergy ordained under the so-called “pastoral provision” is not aware of the distinction between that and the ordinariate.

      But practically speaking, this distinction is of little real importance if he is engaged in full time parish ministry for the local diocese. The only real difference is the signature on his celebret.

      Norm.

      • There is an important difference in practice. A Pastoral Provision priest is a regular Diocesan priest – any Anglican traits would be regarded as idiosyncracies, remnants from a past which one would expect to disappear with time.An Ordinariate priest on the other hand belongs to an organisation whose spirituality is defined by its former Anglicanness. Like a Franciscan would continue to be a Franciscan even if working in a Diocesan situation (indeed even if he is a Cardinal) so it is with a priest of the Ordinariate. Only those Pastoral Provision priests who lead “common identity” parishes are permitted to use the Divine Worship liturgy, Daily Office, etc. .

      • Rev22:17 says:

        David,

        You wrote: There is an important difference in practice. A Pastoral Provision priest is a regular Diocesan priest – any Anglican traits would be regarded as idiosyncracies, remnants from a past which one would expect to disappear with time.An Ordinariate priest on the other hand belongs to an organisation whose spirituality is defined by its former Anglicanness. Like a Franciscan would continue to be a Franciscan even if working in a Diocesan situation (indeed even if he is a Cardinal) so it is with a priest of the Ordinariate.

        Yes, of course.

        You wrote: Only those Pastoral Provision priests who lead “common identity” parishes are permitted to use the Divine Worship liturgy, Daily Office, etc. .

        Actually, clergy ordained under the so-called “pastoral provision” probably can use the Divine Worship liturgy in certain situations such as (1) in “private” celebration, (2) when serving an ordinariate or “pastoral provision” congregation in the absence of its pastor, or (3) for other just cause. Here, “just cause” could include anything from a wedding or funeral of former Anglicans who request that form of celebration to catechesis of the faithful on the provisions which the Vatican has granted for former Anglicans who are now part of the Catholic Church. You are quite right, though, in saying that such clergy cannot use the Divine Worship liturgy in the normal course of their parish ministry unless they are assigned to so-called “Anglican Use” parishes.

        Norm.

  9. EPMS says:

    Yes, as we see here http://www.sttheresenorth.org/uploads/3/1/0/5/3105930/914500_april_19_2015.pdf Fr Sly’s identity as an Ordinariate priest is acknowledged despite the fact that he seems to be functioning as a full time Priest Associate in a diocesan parish.

  10. I am an Australian of British, Anglican heritage. But I was not christened as an infant because my father wanted me to be free to make my own decisions about religion. After a long journey, I received all the sacraments of initiation in the Orthodox Church, a few years before the Ordinariate was established. Around two years ago, I came to the conclusion that it is improper for us not to be in communion with Rome. (Please don’t debate this topic here but suffice to say that even the historic witness of Eastern Fathers supports this.) Shortly afterwards, I realised that religion is expressed through culture. As such, simply translating into the equivalent Eastern Rite Catholic Church would fail to help me grow into the person whom God made me to be. Aside from that, the nearest parish is around a thousand kilometres away. Consequently, I made contact with the Ordinariate parish not far from here. Having spoken with the Monsignor, he advised me to contact the Ordinariates in the other countries to see whether they had met anyone in a similar situation and to speak with the local auxiliary bishop, who is a canon lawyer. The British Ordinariate was polite but couldn’t help. The American Ordinariate was dismissive and made me feel as though people who hadn’t been baptised Anglican weren’t welcome. The auxiliary bishop, to skip the details, basically responded that it may be possible for me to move from Orthodoxy straight into the Ordinariate, if I received permission from the Pope. As such, I wrote to Pope Francis some months ago and am awaiting a reply. Nonetheless, you are very right that the Ordinariate ought to be treated like the Eastern Rites in this sense. While visiting other rites is fine, one ought not to change rites on every whim. But at the same time, one should be free to change rites should good reason exist upon receiving permission from one’s bishop and the bishop of the rite to which one wishes to transfer. This transfer process should apply with regards to the Ordinariate too. Without it, young souls end up spiritually trapped and unable to discover the path God made for them to walk in. Please remember me if your prayers.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Michael,

      You wrote: The auxiliary bishop, to skip the details, basically responded that it may be possible for me to move from Orthodoxy straight into the Ordinariate, if I received permission from the Pope.

      I think that the auxiliary bishop is correct. Those received into the full communion of the Catholic Church from any church of non-Roman rite normally belong to the corresponding sui juris ritual church, even if received within a community of another ritual church, and thus must obtain permission from the pope to transfer to another ritual church unless they marry a member of that ritual church.

      There is another significant nuance to this: the churches of the Orthodox Communion and the ancient oriental churches have valid apostolic succession and valid sacraments, including confirmation/chrismation and sacramental communion, so reception into the Catholic Church does not include completion of the sacraments of initiation (which it does for Protestant and Anglican Christians). Thus, you don’t even have the canonical loophole that those who complete the sacraments of initiation within the jurisdiction of the ordinariate may become members thereof.

      You wrote: Nonetheless, you are very right that the Ordinariate ought to be treated like the Eastern Rites in this sense.

      The canonical distinction is that the ordinariates actually are part of the Roman Catholic Church rather than a separate entity, so a decision to join or to withdraw from an ordinariate by those who are eligible for membership therein is not a transfer from one sui juris ritual church to another.

      Norm.

      • Peace Norm,

        Just to clarify, currently I remain in the Orthodox Church as I like to know the path I’m setting out on is clear before I begin. I’m aware of the matters of validity you mention yet thank you for explaining this for others. You’re correct about the “canonical loophole”.

        You’re correct about the canonical distinction. This is why I said the Ordinariate ought to be treated “like” the Eastern Rites. I realise the situation isn’t exactly the same but for practical purposes in regards to this matter, it would be reasonable and beneficial to souls for the Ordinariate to be treated in a manner similar to the Eastern Rites. Sorry if I was unclear in this regard.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Michael,

        You wrote: Just to clarify, currently I remain in the Orthodox Church as I like to know the path I’m setting out on is clear before I begin.

        We all like clarity, but our Lord has never provided clarity to his disciples. Rather, his call is quite simple: “Follow me!” We know that Heaven awaits at the end of the journey, but we have no way to know what we might encounter along the way. Either we answer the call or we don’t.

        In your situation, you should know that there is nothing that prevents you from participating in the liturgy and receiving the sacraments in any parish of Roman rite, whether of an ordinariate or a local diocese, even if you canonically belong to another sui juris ritual church. There may be certain issues arising from differences in the liturgical calendars, but it’s likely that any obligations connected therewith would not apply if the nearest parish is as remote as you indicate.

        You continued: I’m aware of the matters of validity you mention yet thank you for explaining this for others. You’re correct about the “canonical loophole”.

        Great! I was not certain of the level of your awareness, and it’s always good to explain these issues for others who might not understand in any case.

        You wrote: You’re correct about the canonical distinction. This is why I said the Ordinariate ought to be treated “like” the Eastern Rites. I realise the situation isn’t exactly the same but for practical purposes in regards to this matter, it would be reasonable and beneficial to souls for the Ordinariate to be treated in a manner similar to the Eastern Rites. Sorry if I was unclear in this regard.

        No, you were not unclear at all.

        There may well be a sui juris ritual church of the Anglican tradition at some time in the future — but not until there’s a reconciliation with the See of Canterbury which, for historical reasons, would become the major archbishopric of such an entity. There are presently several sui juris ritual churches of Byzantine Rite and at least a couple of Coptic Rite, so one cannot argue that each rite can have only one ritual church. Unfortunately, so-called “progressive” changes over the last couple decades in the Church of England and in other provinces of the Anglican Communion make such a development seem a lot less imminent now than thirty or forty years ago.

        But whenever such a development occurs, the authority to approve such a transfer probably will rest with the pope personally.

  11. Thank you for your charity Norm. It’s more complicated than this though. In order to become a religious of any kind, one needs to be in the correct section (if it may be called that) of the Church. Please, do not rush me. The Lord has ever been patient with me.

    While I admire your hopefulness, I can’t see any reconciliation coming with the See of Canterbury now that the ordination of bishopesses is practised by Anglicans. Were a sui juris church to arise out of the Ordinariate, I think this would be a good thing, but many souls need converting first.

  12. FR. WILLIAM PATRICK HANNIGAN says:

    I note that several priests have been ordained within the various Ordinariates, however, I have not been granted that permission thus far. I hope and pray that in this year of Mercy, mercy will be shown to me and I will be ordained within the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. My Catholic Bishop and Priests friends also hope and pray that this will happen this year. COME HOLY SPIRIT. Anon.

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