Msgr. Steenson’s Statement on the appointment of Bishop-elect Lopes

November 24, 2015
by Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson

msgr steensonWhat wonderful news from the Holy See this morning, that Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Steven Lopes to be the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter for Canada and the United States!

This is the happy outcome of much careful consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to whom I first made this request almost a year ago. I welcome this news with all my heart, for the Ordinariate has now progressed to the point where a bishop is much needed for our life and mission. A bishop will help to give the Ordinariate the stability and permanence necessary to fulfil its mission to be a work of Catholic unity, whose roots are to be found in the great texts of the Second Vatican Council.

That the Ordinariate would ultimately be headed by a bishop has been the intention of Anglicanorum coetibus, the apostolic constitution under which we were established in 2012. It is indeed an encouraging sign that we have reached that goal. With the inauguration of our new missal, Divine Worship, on the first Sunday of Advent, the time seems especially propitious.

It was on the occasion of my reception into the Catholic Church in 2007 when I first met Msgr. Lopes, and we have worked closely together ever since. There is no one who knows better the work of the Pastoral Provision and the Ordinariates: those entities created in response to Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Msgr. Lopes has been deeply involved the Anglicanae Traditiones Commission, charged with identifying “that liturgical expression which has nourished and maintained Catholic faith amongst Anglicans throughout the period of ecclesial separation and which in these days has given rise to aspirations for full communion with the Catholic Church.” He is thus uniquely qualified to be our first bishop.

It is particularly noteworthy that the Holy Father’s appointment is the culmination of a process for selecting an ordinary laid out in Article IV of the Complementary Norms of Anglicanorum coetibus. This provides for a significant consultative process that begins with the Governing Council of the Ordinariate presenting a terna of candidates. I am grateful to the members of the Governing Council, who accomplished this task with discernment and discretion.

I am grateful, too, for the encouragement, wise counsel, and support of the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops during these first four years of the Ordinariate’s existence. I will always treasure the friendships made with these bishops. Their warm welcome for us pilgrims has certainly deepened the joy we know as Catholics.

– Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary Emeritus

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Msgr. Steenson’s Statement on the appointment of Bishop-elect Lopes

  1. May God bless Mgr Lopes in his new mission!

  2. Viola F. Hayhurst says:

    To add to Monsignor’s comment that we are in fact “Pilgrims”… it is so fitting that this appointment has happened so near the 400th year anniversary of those other Pilgrims who landed on Cape Cod’s shore in November, 1620. In its honor, anniversary preparations are now being made on “both sides of the Pond” and the “Mayflower ” is being reconstructed in the UK to sail again. For those not that familiar with the voyage, a must see is tonights documentary, “The Pilgrims”. This Rick Burns film, part of the series “The American Experience” , will air this evening (the 24th) on PBS stations nationwide in the States , and again on Thanksgiving day at 9:30 P.M. The “Strangers” those Englishmen still largely aligned with the Church of England actually outnumbered the better known “Separatists” or dissenters from the C of E on this voyage. And Myles Standish— a “Stranger” is thought to have been a “closeted Catholic ” !

    • Msgr Harry Entwistle says:

      I do not know whether Myles Standish was a closeted Catholic, but his family pew, a wonderful private square box-like creation, was and I presume still is, present in St Laurence’s Church of England church, Chorley, Lancashire, where I attended as a young boy.
      Msgr Harry Entwistle OLSC

      • Viola F. Hayhurst says:

        How interesting. Some sources placed his Catholicism as “rumor” at the hands of the Irish Catholic migrants in Boston but than we have this Mayflower Society genealogical statement, “Though one of the Pilgrims, he was no Puritan. He came of the old Roman Catholic family of Standish of Duxbury Hall, in the English county of Yorkshire. ” Ref.

        When I viewed the above documentary its leading “voice of authority” was the British journalist , Nick Bunker….. who after thoroughly researching the story of the Plymouth Colony….. using original Dutch and British documents… wrote his gem, “Making Haste From Babylon. The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World. A New History” (Knopf: New York, 2010 ). I am re-reading his book and it is fascinating in its details with many references to English Catholicism including the “Northern Rising” (p. 134) and the “Flight of the Earls” (pgs. 162-3, 194,199, 208-210). The American side of the story has been somewhat sanitized to say the least !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s