Ordinariate in England & Wales not growing

Four years after the promulgation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Coetibus, the leader of the ordinariate in England and Wales admits that it’s not growing.

A recent article in The Tablet quotes Msgr. Keith Newton in his Chrism Mass homily:

“We must be honest and say the ordinariate has not grown as much as we hoped it might. The vision has not been caught … We must communicate our message much more widely and with more vigour and enthusiasm.”

While receiving a fair amount of attention, the ordinariate has always been a very small group. Various sources place the current membership of the ordinariate in England and Wales at a mere 1,500, but with a relatively high number of priests at 85. That’s roughly one priest for every eighteen people! It seems that Anglicanorum Coetibus has wooed far more clergy than laity.

Interestingly, the ordinariate just published it’s first official liturgical book, Divine Worship: Occasional Services, which was released at the end of March. The ordinariate also published a slightly-less-than official liturgical volume, The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham in 2012.

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77 comments

  1. 1,500? That’s the population of a medium-sized parish. AC has clearly “wooed” far more laity–by an 18 to 1 margin, but still.

    What is the future for the ordinariate? To inspire dioceses peopled by the numbers of a medium-sized parish? To explore other offerings like an indult for MR2? LA apologists might suggest that CARA can’t conduct a poll on something they adore, but I think we can all agree we could find 1500 English-speaking clergy alone who would sign up for MR2 yesterday.

    And what does it mean to have so many priests catering to 1500 when rural and mission parishes in the mainstream Roman Rite go wanting for the sacraments? Maybe this was clergy thinking up solutions for clergy, and had nothing to do with liturgy.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #1:

      And what does it mean to have so many priests catering to 1500 when rural and mission parishes in the mainstream Roman Rite go wanting for the sacraments? Maybe this was clergy thinking up solutions for clergy, and had nothing to do with liturgy.

      Think women priests.

      1. @Paul Inwood:
        “think women priests.” You’re kidding!… when talking about the ordinariate

        Most (if not all) of those in the Ordinariate are there because they are anti women priests. They are largely (in political party terms) a one-issue party … the issue being precisely the ordination of women as priests.

        If the RCC began ordaining women, those in the ordinariate would have to find somewhere else to go! One of the Orthodox churches, perhaps?

    2. @Todd Flowerday – comment #1:

      It would be a mistake to assume priests within the Ordinariate are not serving people within the normal Roman rite, as well as those who form part of the Anglian Use.

      Financial considerations, apart from anything else, make this a requirement.

      1. @Scott Smih – comment #5:

        It would also be a mistake to assume that all priests within the Ordinariate are serving people within the normal Roman rite.

        Some indeed are, and have made real efforts to be part of the wider Catholic community. That has been wonderful to see. Others, however, have been very reluctant to do so, and have (for example) cited unfamiliarity with the Roman Rite as a reason. I am aware of cases where a community that joined the Ordinariate, though small, was loaded with money, so finance is by no means always an issue.

      2. @Paul Inwood – comment #6:

        Paul,

        And I would not make such an assumption. For example, my understanding is the Ordinariate has a number of retired or nearly retired priests, for which the excuse you provided would be satisfactory (though it would be very strange if it were being provided by younger priests).

      3. @Scott Smih – comment #5:
        The Ordinariate will die a natural death because a community of 1,500 faithful cannot provide adequate financial support for 85 secular priests, many of whom have wives and children.

      4. @Rom Kiul – comment #7:

        The Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is providing a sizeable subsidy for the Ordinariate each year. If they decided to stop, then yes, the Ordinariate is far from financially self-sufficient and would have severe survival problems.

        It seems unlikely that there will be further significant migration to the Ordinariate in E&W, if for no other reason than the Book of Divine Worship imposed by Rome, which is vastly different from anything which the majority of those who have already joined would wish to use.

      5. @Paul Inwood – comment #12:
        The BDW has already been superseded by the Order of Mass for the Ordinariate, which allows one to do pretty much what was found in The English Missal, apart from the lectionary. And the modern Roman Rite, which many English Anglicans who joined the Ordinariate were already using, is also an allowable option. So I don’t think the liturgy is the issue, at least not for Anglo-Papalists.

      6. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #14:

        Sorry if I was not clear. My point was not what liturgy is being used, but that a particular liturgy has to be used.

        Of the three groups in my diocese who “came across” in the first wave, one was using the BCP, one was using the 1973 Roman Missal, and the third were used to doing whatever they liked. None of them would have welcomed what they are now required to use.

      7. @Rom Kiul – comment #7:
        Te risks that the Ordinariate clergy have taken in giving up their former financial security shows their commitment to their faith.
        The desire to retain certain Anglican practices suggests that they do not wish to repudiate all that they did in the past. As they were trying to follow Christ, albeit in a way we consider deficient, let us be generous in welcoming these people into the Catholic church. We may indeed learn something from them.

      8. @Rom Kiul – comment #7:

        The Ordinariate may well die a natural death, but if it does so, it will be because it failed to evangelise, not due to its priest to laity ratio.

  2. I wish I could remember where the post was, but it was on this blog… the person pointed out how we bend over backwards to the right-leaning members (LA, Lafaves, SP etc…) but left-leaning are barely tolerated or excommunicated. So spot on.

    1. @Sean Whelan – comment #2:
      I concur with your comment. Perhaps – as Pope Francis continues to unfold his new way of “being Bishop of Rome,” we may begin to see a redress of this imbalance.

  3. As an interesting side note, I attended Mass this morning at Our Lady of the Assumption & St Gregory on Warwick Street in London. The crowd was quite small indeed.

    With an ad orientem liturgy that includes prayers at the foot of the altar, a faux Tudor rendition of the Roman Canon, and the last gospel, I think that most rank and file Anglicans would have a very hard time feeling at home within the ordinariate. Actually, I think a standard Roman Rite liturgy would feel far more familiar for most.

    It’s telling that those responsible for the ordinariate liturgy have, with the exception of the Revised Common Lectionary, completely ignored all liturgical developments in the Church of England that date from after the Oxford Movement.

    It’s clear that the ordinariate is geared towards a very specific sort of Anglican – namely, the high Anglo-papist type – which is a far cry from the standard cathedral or parish mindset and liturgy. If the ordinariate is not growing, and was geared towards a small sector of Anglicanism in the first place, I can’t see how it will last longer than a generation or two.

    1. @Chase M. Becker – comment #8:

      Chase,

      My understanding is that, in the main, the standard Roman Rite is used by the Ordinariate in E&W. Indeed, in the Forward in Faith type communities which entered the Ordinariate, the standard Roman Rite was their normal usage while still within the COE.

      The Anglican Missal type mass is, again in my understanding, more common in the US Ordinariate.

    2. @Chase M. Becker – comment #8:
      I think that most rank and file Anglicans would have a very hard time feeling at home within the ordinariate. Actually, I think a standard Roman Rite liturgy would feel far more familiar for most.
      ————————————————————–
      I think you’re right. The EPUSA 1979 rite or the 1928 BCP, and the Novus Ordo-style “Common Worship” of 2000 for the UK are used in most parishes. The Ordinariate has nothing to offer these Anglicans other than a refuge for a tiny number of Anglo Catholics who were always outside the mainstream of worldwide Anglicanism.

      Some Roman Catholics seem to prefer the Ordinariate liturgy as an alternative to the pre-Vatican, all Latin Mass, and the Pauline rite, but there aren’t enough AO parishes here in the U.S. or Canada where they will ever be able to attend this new liturgy. Unless Latin rite clergy are able to seek bi-ritual faculties to use the AO liturgy.

      It would be interesting to know how many converts from Anglicanism even bother to affiliate with the Ordinariate. Also, how great is the demand amongst Catholics for adopting the Anglican rites as an alternative to the NO or the pre-Vat2 Mass? I doubt there is that much interest today, but who knows?

      1. Brian Palmer :“Some Roman Catholics seem to prefer the Ordinariate liturgy as an alternative to the pre-Vatican, all Latin Mass, and the Pauline rite…”

        I was thinking about this same topic as I attended Mass yesterday.

        I think that the ordinariate liturgy has attracted much attention in certain quarters precisely because it is viewed far more as the “reform of the reform” par excellence, rather than a pastoral/liturgical accommodation for former members of the Church of England.

  4. The failure of the Ordinariate and the failure of the “sacred vernacular” theory under-girding LA demonstrate that the cardinal (later pope) in question suffered from a profound lack of insight.

  5. I think Chase’s analysis of the limited appeal of the Ordinariate to garden-variety Anglicans is probably correct. At the same time, I think we all ought to try hard not to indulge in Schadenfreude.

  6. “their commitment to their faith”

    I wonder what faith that is exactly – not Catholic, not Anglican. Many believe the main reason they joined the Ordinariate was to escape gay and female bishops.

    Speaking of money, I recall B16 donated $250,000 to the Ordinariate.

    1. @crystal watson – comment #15:

      While off topic, yes it was in large part to escape “female bishops”, though gay bishops were never really a problem for anglo-catholics. The culture was, and is, reasonably camp. However, even in the case of “female bishops”, it is not misogyny but apostolic succession which was the driving force.

      It is a truism nothing can be understood without history, and that is very much the case for anglo-catholics. The argument about if one could stay in the COE, while holding anglo-catholic views, has since the time of John Henry Newman and Leo XIII been about if the COE has apostolic succession. “Female bishops” relate directly to that, and therefore have driven the few people who still care about such things out of the COE.

      And since the nature of the “one holy catholic and apostolic church” is in fact part of our basic creed, I would argue a concern for it shows one to have the Catholic faith.

      [Full disclosure – I formerly attended an anglo-catholic parish, which did not join the ordinariate in my home country, and thus have individually joined my local mainstream Catholic parish. My wife and I are however still involved in some of the volunteering and outreach at my former Anglican parish].

    2. @crystal watson – comment #15:
      Thank you Crystal
      My post should have begun: “The risks…”
      I meant the faith that they as individuals have. They were, I believe, required to assent to the Catechism of the Catholic Church before being ordained. As converts they are likely to have considered the matter carefully. I suspect that they have fewer caveats and doubts than many brought up as Catholics.
      The CofE made some provision for those who did not accept female bishops. My sense of what happened was that the Synod has allowed its faith to be decided by popular opinion rather than theological considerations. A “Make it up as you go along” faith would seem, to those who take their faith seriously, no faith at all.

      1. @Peter Haydon – comment #23:
        Re: “As converts they are …”

        Sometimes we have a basic language problem, which may or may not belie a serious theological inadequacy. As believers, we convert to Christ. Not Paul, Apollos, Peter, or Henry VIII. Or some favorite modern guru like JP2 or Pope Francis. That’s not to suggest there may not be serious issues between Christian leaders and their followers. But it’s not a matter of conversion, and all too often it is a matter of being flawed human beings, not a matter of faith in God.

        I think the schadenfreude concern is valid, but on the other hand, we can observe, can we not? Does the Ordinariate serve a true purpose in the realm of faith, loyalty, liturgical practice, or ecumenism? Or does it serve misogyny, prejudice, clericalism, or narcissism? How is it judged? Where are fruits to be found?

      2. @Todd Flowerday – comment #24:

        Todd,

        And by recognising where the fullness of the Truth and unity revealed by Christ resides on earth, in communion with the sucessor of St Peter, I did take a further step in my conversion to Christ.

        But once again, this is off topic. If you are interested in exploring this further, perhaps you could start a new topic on your own blog, and I could comment there.

      3. @Todd Flowerday – comment #24:
        Todd
        Converts from the CofE. Undoubtedly they were trying to follow Christ when in the CofE. They thought it better to switch/ convert / change to the Catholic church. At the most simple level they changed the earthly authority under which they carried on. I meant only that.
        As for the value of the Ordinariate I think it too early to judge. Presumably the fruits will take time to ripen.

      4. @Peter Haydon – comment #33:
        I would also presume that fruit needs time to ripen. I would hope that fruits would be discerned as more than numbers. Or a relatively large percentage of clergy. Will the Ordinariate be known for not-women, not-gays, and such? Will it contribute through composition in music or art or architecture, through evangelization, through its authors, poets, or mission work? Will its leadership guide exploration of singular charisms not in evidence in either the Roman or Anglican Church? Or will this be shown to be a pipe dream of an elderly pope, and a misguided theology? What are people in the Ordinariate saying about their experience? Is this being shared in the wider Church?

      5. @Todd Flowerday – comment #35:
        Hello Todd
        I have little first hand to go on there as there are no ordinariate clergy near me. I do look at Fr Hunwicke’s blog which occasionally mentions his fellow clergy.
        I suspect that, like the diocesan clergy it will be all male.
        Unlike the diocesan clergy a high proportion are married and that might serve as a model.
        Unless there is lots of money the Ordinariate will be unable to do much by way of architecture.
        I suspect that many of the Ordinariate help plug gaps for diocesan clergy so there is a contribution there.
        By offering a different liturgy they contribute to diversity and may thus help enhance liturgy for all.
        I would not be surprised if the greatest contribution comes through theological thought.
        It seems that the ordinariate members asked pope Benedict for a means of joining the Catholic church such as this so it may not be fair to say it is a “pipe dream of an elderly pope.”

      6. @Peter Haydon – comment #36:
        Thanks for responding directly, Peter. Count me as suspicious of a clergy-heavy fruit tree. For all that, the 85 could bond together and form a religious order. Otherwise, you mentioned a priest blogger, male priests, married priests, supply priests, and priests petitioning a pope.

        I was thinking more the Ordinariate contributing composers, architects, artists, and such. Are we expecting lay people coming to the fore as theologians, or will these be all priests also?

      7. @Todd Flowerday – comment #38:
        Who, apart from God, knows Todd?
        I suspect that the diversity that they bring to the church will be unwelcome to those set in their ways. Like Saki’s Unrest cure it may do us good despite ourselves.

      8. @Peter Haydon – comment #48:
        I’m not sure what I have to do with this thread.

        I’m also not sure why I wouldn’t welcome the work of an Ordinariate composer or architect. Despite what seems to be annoyance on your part, I’m going to persist in the same sort of questions I’d ask any specialized community. Do these Anglo-Catholics have an authentic gift to bring to the wider Church? Or is it a self-contained body, celebrating itself, its Anglo-reform2, its lack of women clergy, and such? Does it have a charism of, say, Dorothy Day, whose Catholic Worker communities offer a distinctive take on Catholic pacifism and outreach to the poor?

        Like it or not, there are associations with groups like the Legionaires and Opus Dei–late 20th century folks who attracted positive attention from popes, and negative response from others from envy or suspicion.

      9. @Todd Flowerday – comment #49:

        Does it have a charism of, say, Dorothy Day, whose Catholic Worker communities offer a distinctive take on Catholic pacifism and outreach to the poor?

        I volunteer at soup kitchens, staunchly oppose the death penalty, and admire Dorothy Day’s bold criticism of the grave pitfalls of capitalism. I am also a high church Roman Catholic. Dorothy Day was converted through the Tridentine Mass, no?

        Todd, your generalizations and implications are overly broad. It’s important to note that a church community can support the poor though material and spiritual aid while living the gospel through reform2 liturgy. I am tired of repeating that my very high church parish has a sea of persons of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and situations in the pews. Progressives do not own the right to minister to diverse communities. I am tired of this worn trope.

        Like you, I am also uncomfortable that the Ordinariate has been founded in part because of an reactionary opposition to women Anglican priests. There are still Anglican parishes today where women priests struggle to reclaim their full roles as celebrants of the Eucharist. This occurs despite the 40-plus years after the admission of women to the presbyterate in this tradition. I have long thought that an Anglican parish must welcome women priests to say the Eucharist, especially if this is the will of the vestry and parishioners.

        When I worshiped with the Prayer Book, I also supported a woman priest’s right to celebrate Mass. Even though I have reverted to Roman Catholicism, I still support the right of women Anglican priests to celebrate the Eucharist in their tradition simply because this is the great consensus of the tradition today. The Ordinariate has attempted to sever Anglican liturgical tradition from living Anglicanism, and therein lies its great pitfall.

      10. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #50:

        Jordan,

        Those involved would I think instead say the Ordinariate has attempted to reclaim the Anglican liturgical tradition for the broader Catholic Church.

        It also must be remembered, from the standpoint of those within the Ordinariate, the unfortunate outcome of female priests and bishops. For a serious anglo-catholic, female priests and bishops means there is no mass or sacrament or church, just a horrible sacrilege. This may not be a pleasant statement, and but there can be no hope of understanding what has brought about the Ordinariate if we ignore this understanding in many of its members.

      11. @Scott Smith – comment #51:

        Those involved would I think instead say the Ordinariate has attempted to reclaim the Anglican liturgical tradition for the broader Catholic Church.

        Not a few Roman Catholics contend that Thomas Cranmer’s 1551 Prayer Book (which is a prototype for later Prayer Books) not only removed the Canon but explicitly stated that the Holy Communion service was in no way to be interpreted as a Mass. I understand that Anglo-Catholics, beginning in the 19th c., have interpreted the Holy Communion service as a Mass. Still, wouldn’t it be more honest for clergy-converts to Roman Catholicism to celebrate Mass according to one of the two missals currently authorized by the Holy See? (I am aware that many Anglo-Catholic converts in England have used the Ordinary Form even before union with Rome). I find the desire to meld the Prayer Book with the Mass befuddling, given the antagonistic history between the Roman Mass and the Prayer Book Holy Communion service.

        I have read a draft of the Ordinariate liturgy, and I realize that it does not contain prayers from the Prayer Book which are objectionable from a Roman standpoint. Still, the historical and theological clash is unavoidably noticeable.

        This may not be a pleasant statement, and but there can be no hope of understanding what has brought about the Ordinariate if we ignore this understanding in many of its members.

        My nuanced position on Anglican women priests, and Christian women clergy in general, is one of charity and appreciation. I appreciate their teaching and preaching talents, even if my tradition does not accept women clergy. What disturbs me about some Ordinariate clergy and laity is the definition of existence by the assignment of other clergy to not just a less-than position, but a position of antithesis. Sure, those who are joined to the authority of the Holy See have their internal disagreements (PTB !). Isn’t it better to focus on how our expression of charity and mercy through the Mass extends through and around those we disagree with, rather than live the faith in a constant opposition of anger?

      12. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #52:

        Jordan,

        To your first point, I would say this is a baby / bathwater situation. To the extent some people find value in say the language of Crammer and some of the Sarum Use texts he translated, I don’t see why that must be lost because Crammer happened to a heretic. Not, it must be said, that either of those things particularly appeal to me.

        To your second point, at the end of the day the various Anglicans bodies can do whatever they want, and we should still deal with them in a spirit of charity and mercy. Indeed, my family still helps out at our old Anglican parish, in respect of their charitable activities.

        However, in the spirit of truth, both my Anglican friends and I are clear that we think each other in serious error (much fun is had trying to talk each other out of these errors over a few drinks). There can be no charity, no mercy, indeed no real friendship without honesty and truth.

      13. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #50:
        I’m not offering any generalizations at all. I’m asking questions. The basic question is this: how does a specialized group of believers within the Body identify itself as fruitful? For a parish, I would say its evangelical activity within its neighborhood. For a religious community, the loyalty to and effectiveness of the founders’ charisms.

        If the purpose of the ordinariate is to exemplify Anglican liturgy, fine. But Anglicans do that, more or less. If it’s about union with Rome, fine. But Catholics do that, more or less. Should we be looking exclusively to the interior of the Church, in its unity, theology, and liturgy? Or do we live in an age where the greatest need is not in shoring up who’s standing under what banner on what hill, but on addressing the large numbers, for example, of British Christians who no longer worship on Sundays nor seem to have an active faith life.

        Dorothy Day was an example, by the way. Her visage does not fly on my banner, so to speak. But I would honor her as I would, say, Christopher Wren or Cardinal Newman. If the Ordinariate cooperated with God’s grace in such a way that great apologists or artists or writers or theologians were patently obvious fruits of the movement, then the action of the Holy Spirit would be clear.

        That it hasn’t happened yet isn’t surprising, given the movement is in its infancy. But quite often we bandy about the notion of fruitfulness. Fruitfulness in a modern context, I would suggest, must include evangelization through some medium, such as the arts, or social justice. It could happen through clergy, but more likely through the laity. Are such inner movements being cultivated? Or does the movement see itself as a “completed” project, a little space carved out within the Body? I’m not critical. Just curious.

      14. @Todd Flowerday – comment #57:

        Fruitfulness in a modern context, I would suggest, must include evangelization through some medium, such as the arts, or social justice. It could happen through clergy, but more likely through the laity. Are such inner movements being cultivated? Or does the movement see itself as a “completed” project, a little space carved out within the Body?

        It’s important to not neglect evangelization through the cultivation of the intellect. The growth of the intellect in turn gives rise to artistic endeavor and the desire for social justice, among other fruits. However, a revolution of art, architecture, letters, and literature rests on a solid foundation of inquiry and a love of this chase.

        My intellectual experiences in postmodern Catholicism have often disappointed me. I have had to supplement my experience of the postmodern Catholic life with further education and reading. Ironically, non-Catholics have been my strongest supporters of my great interest in Latin. Still, most of my learning about Catholic faith and belief has been from my nose in a book, rather than not-well-preached sermons or the (often entirely neglected) opportunity to catechize through explicit instruction on the content of hymns. This neglect is not new — certainly, poor preaching and catechesis plagued the preconciliar Church as well. Now is an opportunity to seize the edification of minds. I fear that this opportunity will be squandered as well, regardless of the form of liturgy celebrated.

        Evangelization, whether in the neighborhood or on CTV, requires not a pretty cut bloom of charisma or a bouquet of a passing feeling of belonging to a community which is based on emotions. Rather, minds and souls require the substantial nourishment of a hearty soil which will sustain the beauty and profundity of the faith. This soil is an fermenting active mind.

      15. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #74:
        I hear you, brother.

        As a person formed in the sciences as an undergraduate, I had my fill of the house of reason, no longer feeling really welcome there by the end of my studies. I found that I loved astronomy, not necessarily or primarily because of the physics of stars, but because of the beauty they revealed in God’s created universe. Baruch 3:35 is my inspiration.

        I found the house of the Church more welcoming because I could use my mind, but not necessarily the oft-expected cold intellect of the world.

      16. @Todd Flowerday – comment #49:
        Todd, I’m not sure if you realise that the charism of Anglo-Catholicism, despite all of its pomp and ceremony, is distinctly oriented towards social justice and the first Anglo-Catholic clergy ministered to some of the poorest areas of London. Even in my own city (Sydney, Australia) the few Anglo-Catholic parishes in this very low church diocese maintain this charism , ministering to people from all walks of life. I always like to think that the fact that the Anglo-Catholics insist upon maintaining high quality music, ceremony and theological instruction is a tremendous sign of respect for the downtrodden who frequent such parishes – just because you are a drug addict or homeless does not mean you can’t appreciate the most sublime elements of our Catholic tradition.

        I find some of the opposition to the Anglican Ordinariate to be motivated by ignorance of the richness of its charism which is very much steeped in a sacramental evangelic outlook and a certain pre-Vatican II sectarianism that insists upon uniformity of Catholic worship (if you want to be Catholic you HAVE to accept the Roman missal) and a certain theological purism whereby rites have to be “logical” and be free from any “stain” of heretical connotations. We need to get over this and start respecting the need for some more freedom in this “broad” church that is the Catholic Church. The fact that certain people are attached to “harmless” local traditions, as St. Augustine says, should NEVER be an obstacle to their conversion. It is an act of charity on our part to be as welcoming and accommodating as possible. If you don’t like this liturgy, you are not forced to participate – you can choose an infinite number of parishes that celebrate the Novus Ordo. But if you are a Catholic with antiquarian tastes, more often than not, you have no choice and are forced to participate in liturgies that do not fit your spirituality. This is an injustice.

      17. @Daniel Canaris – comment #54:
        ” We need to get over this and start respecting the need for some more freedom in this ‘broad’ church that is the Catholic Church.”

        I can’t deny it. But there are more than 85 Roman Rite priests in England who would prefer MR2 to MR3. And more than 1500 Catholics, too. Who determines worthiness of such “freedom,” and who clamps down on it?

        My problem isn’t that Anglo-Catholics are getting it. My problem is more with the crackdown on liturgy since the 1990’s.

      18. @Todd Flowerday – comment #58:
        I agree with you Todd on this. I hate the “top-down” approach which forces liturgical forms upon unwilling congregations (It all started with the Council of Trent and was made worse with the liturgical periti of Vatican II). But I think complaining about Anglican Ordinariate is not helpful as if anything it is a model for reform for the future Catholic Church: the possibility of a married clergy and liturgical diversity that reflects the patrimony of particular culture developed even outside of the Roman tradition.

      19. @Daniel Canaris – comment #59:
        I would hope the Ordinariate is more than a shelter for Anglican rebels. A model for future reform? If so, it’s going to have to be a lot more evangelical. So far, we have a high priest-to-lay ratio, very little growth, and people still trying to figure out liturgy. I’d rather see future liturgical reform along the lines of grace-inspired artistic creativity. Instead of splitting off a splinter and hoping for the best, what if we actually discerned fruits as they were emerging in the Roman Church, and devoted resources to it from there?

        As for the unwilling congregations, I suspect you’re talking about council resistance: the curia and the fading Euro-aristocracy. Catholics worldwide embraced mostly everything about 20th century liturgical reform: frequent Communion, hymnody, the vernacular, dialogue Masses, modern musical genres, Penance form III, deacons, RCIA, anointing of the sick, participation, lay people in ministry, female altar servers.

        What we lack is a tradition for discerning movement and progress in the spiritual life. I’m not sure I’d want to see a total balkanization of the Roman Rite, as much as I prefer MR4 above 2 above 1 and above 3.

      20. @Todd Flowerday – comment #49:
        Todd
        “Despite what seems to be annoyance on your part…” Sorry, you did not annoy me and I did not intend to convey annoyance. It is right to ask questions.
        Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth (since retired) said that he was initially suspicious of the Ordinariate but had changed his mind, I think this was after meeting members of the Ordinarate.
        Cheers, Peter

      21. @Todd Flowerday:
        Hello Todd: I attended Mass (with at least four hundred others)at Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston (Principal Church of the American Ordinariate) on a Spring visit to that city and left profoundly inspired. The wide ethnic cross section and reverent worship of the community
        was uplifting. This parish (in reference to a comment about fruits of the Ordinariate) is also the main USA conduit for funds to “Let the Children Live”, an apostolate initiated by a priest while still Anglican which provides foster care, education etc: to poor youth in Columbia.

  7. Crystal – have the same reservations. Our diocese and parish now has a married Anglican priest with family. He was added to the staff by eliminating a lay position even though he did not have the same educational background nor was he finished in the transition process. Both the pastor and the diocese failed to be transparent about his background and why he was assigned to our parish. He is now the third priest on staff (highly unusual) and collects a salary and half as both priest and adult formation director. He continually talks about social justice and yet, like your comment, wonder what kind of social justice in terms of ecumenism, gay rights, and the role of women in the church?
    Finally, his written materials in the monthly newsletter reveals a theology that basically parrots the Baltimore Catechism.
    Example – read his piece on priesthood:
    http://www.stritaparish.net/documents/Monthly%20Newsletters/SRT_JUN13_WEB.pdf

  8. The Ordinariate in England is certainly doomed to be subsumed into the wider Catholic mainstream. At the same time, considerations of how large a flock is being drawn in by the (admittedly rather bizarre) provisions of the Ordinariate rite are somewhat wide of the mark. The real gift of the Ordinariate to the Catholic Church in England and Wales lies in the ‘thinking outside the clerical box’ that the priests of the Ordinariate bring. Granted, they are just as ‘clerical’ (perhaps more so) as our own dear clergy, but they have received a much less dictatorial formation than is available in most Catholic seminaries, and they are (necessarily) much less cowed by their episcopate. Some of their insights are very pertinent – precisely because, for all their ‘Roman’ posturing, they are more authentically English than the bulk of the Catholic clergy. And, as many a Roman prelate has forlornly opined, ‘The Anglican Church is a club whose membership is closed to us.’ We would do well to consider this peculiar combination of matches and mis-matches!

  9. Bill – thanks for the link 🙂

    Scott – about apostolic succession … that’s kind of a joke, as the Anglicans are already considered by the Catholic church to have gone off the rails on that subject. The majority of Anglicans don’t seem to have a problem with women bishops and apostolic succession.

    Peter – I think NT Wright made a good case for the validity of women bishops when Cardinal Kasper tried to doom them … “Women Bishops: A Response to Cardinal Kasper” … http://www.fulcrum-anglican.org.uk/articles/women-bishops-a-response-to-cardinal-kasper/

    1. @crystal watson – comment #25:

      Crystal,

      The Roman Catholic Church did consider that, but Anglo-Catholics did not, and their belief in this regard was what allowed them to stay within the COE. For example, after Leo XII decided Anglican orders were void, anglo-catholic sought old catholic bishops whose order were recognised by Rome to assist in their ordinations (the so called Dutch touch).

      It may be a joke for you, but it was a serious matter of conscience for many people for a long time, including myself at one point.

  10. I didn’t mean to be offensive, it’s that I guess I find it hard to believe that apostolic succession and not sexism is the reason many Anglicans did not want women bishops, given that they themselves were charged with invalid succession. But that may just be because I don’t take the subject of apostolic succession seriously myself.

    1. @crystal watson – comment #29:

      Crystal,

      Sorry, I did’nt mean to sound offended! Certainly no offence was taken.

      This sort of stuff can come off with an angel on the head of a pin vibe to those who are not interested, I get that.

    2. @crystal watson – comment #29:
      Crystal
      I think that the Ordinariate clergy take these things seriously. Fr Hunwicke put on his blog a letter he had written to a potential member of the Ordinariate who feared that the requirement for ordination in the Catholic church implied that all his earlier work was invalid. It is worth a read.
      It is not necessary to agree with them to respect their sincerity and the serious way they treat their faith. Think of the non-jurors whose oath to James II prevented them from switching their loyalty to William and Mary. I hope that if I were put to the test I would put conscience before interest.

  11. Eye, beam, etc.

    Established churches are notoriously bad at evangelism, and diocesan statistics over time frequently bear it out. They don’t know how to do so because they haven’t felt the need to do so in centuries. I’m not speaking simply about growth, as population shifts (immigration) and natural growth (kids) don’t really reflect growth by evangelism. The ordinariates and the rest of the church will have to win people over one soul at a time, and it can be done with grace and charity.

  12. Hello Todd,

    Maybe this was clergy thinking up solutions for clergy, and had nothing to do with liturgy.

    Or maybe they really didn’t know enough to know *who* would take advantage when they made the offer.

    The reality is that, given the powerful and relentless opposition put up by most of the bishops in England and Wales, it was always going to be harder to bring over entire communities than it would be to bring over priests. In North America, add in ferocious battles over control of property and resources by the Episcopal Church (in England, every Ordinariate community had to forfeit their church, because a State Church can’t have its property alienated).

  13. Chase,

    As an interesting side note, I attended Mass this morning at Our Lady of the Assumption, St Gregory on Warwick Street in London. The crowd was quite small indeed.

    No doubt – and the same is true in most Ordinariate parishes and communities in North America and Australia as well.

    But the same is also true of Anglican parishes in general. They’re usually very small, and usually on the older side. It is not a surprise to see that the same would be true of the Anglican communities who came into the Ordinariates.

    With an ad orientem liturgy that includes prayers at the foot of the altar, a faux Tudor rendition of the Roman Canon, and the last gospel, I think that most rank and file Anglicans would have a very hard time feeling at home within the ordinariate. Actually, I think a standard Roman Rite liturgy would feel far more familiar for most. It’s telling that those responsible for the ordinariate liturgy have, with the exception of the Revised Common Lectionary, completely ignored all liturgical developments in the Church of England that date from after the Oxford Movement.

    Yet this does not take account of the fact that, Chase, that the bulk of UK Ordinariate communities celebrate the Novus Ordo as their regular Mass. That’s what they did as Anglicans, and that’s what they are allowed to do now under Ordinariate rules if they prefer contemporary language liturgy. They celebrate the Novus Ordo.

    In North America, the situation is different, because the situation of Anglicanism in North America has also been quite different – and more diverse. Here, there was much greater use of the old BCP and even the English Missal by many Anglican parishes, and those form a much larger share of the Ordinariate over here.

    In the end, the solution for survival is the same on both sides of the Pond: We must evangelize, and we must grow. The obstacles here are manifold: Anglican discomfort with evangelization, episcopal opposition, lots need to educate about who we are.

    1. Richard Malcolm :“…the bulk of UK Ordinariate communities celebrate the Novus Ordo as their regular Mass.”

      That does help a bit to put things into perspective.

      I suppose it could helpful to look at the ordinariate liturgy as analogous to Rite I in the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer and the standard Roman Rite as similar to Rite II.

  14. crystal watson : The Ordinariate seems a kind of uniatism – very unecumenical. It won’t get support from Francis … “The Church universal needs Anglicans ..” … http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2013/03/the-church-universal-needs-anglicans-pope-francis.aspx

    Hello Crystal,

    For what it’s worth, that’s certainly not the perspective of those in the Ordinariate, who feel this was, in fact, extraordinarily ecumenical. Not least because there has been a clear messaging to keep the lines of communication and friendship back into the Anglican world open by Msgrs. Newton and Steenson.

    What could be more ecumenical than to say: You can be part of the Church while keeping so much of your liturgical and cultural patrimony. You don’t have to become just another diocesan Catholic.

    Of course, if ecumenism is defined as recognizing you as Catholic while you *also* keep your own doctrine, that vacates the the term of any meaningful content, just as it vacates “Catholic” of any meaningful content.

    To convert, to move from one denomination to another, is no easy thing for those who take their faith seriously, especially if it has been handed down through the generations. How much more so is this the case for entire communities to do so? Not least because the Episcopal Church has taken the stand of fighting to the death over property in every single case. In our case, we only won after a couple years of legal battles and the better part of a million dollars. Other parishes have not been so lucky.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #42:
      …the Ordinariate, who feel [their movment] was, in fact, extraordinarily ecumenical.

      I think there is a language chasm here with the word ecumenical. Some ordinariate people appear to see ecumenism as, more or less, everyone becoming a “Roman Catholic” – similar to the sentiments inspiring the prayers for the “Conversion of England” which were in use each Sunday in the 1950’s. One problem with this view is that, I guess, a large majority of actual Roman Catholics do not fit the model imagined, and furthermore, the church has pursued for many years paths of exploring differences between the churches and trying to resolve them. In recent years also the inspiring approach of Receptive Ecumenism has been offered from the Catholic church to help in the work of ecumenism at all levels.

      It becomes harder to talk at all if we use words in such different ways!

  15. The BDW has already been superseded by the Order of Mass for the Ordinariate, which allows one to do pretty much what was found in The English Missal, apart from the lectionary. And the modern Roman Rite, which many English Anglicans who joined the Ordinariate were already using, is also an allowable option. So I don’t think the liturgy is the issue, at least not for Anglo-Papalists.

    Hello Deacon Bauerschmidt,

    1. I would agree on the latter point. If you are an Ordinariate community, there is wide range of options, liturgically. The liturgy is not what is keeping any disaffected Anglicans out.

    Here in the Baltimore/DC area, where we both dwell, the diversity is on full display. There are four Ordinariate communities. Mount Calvary in Baltimore has long been a high Church Oxford Movement community, and remains so. Christ the King in Towson comes from charismatic Episcopalianism, and only uses the Novus Ordo. Similarly, St. Timothy’s in Catonsville (which finally lost its church in a legal battle with the Episcopal Diocese) is evangelical, and generally has used the N.O. for the most part; St. Luke’s in Bladensburg is somewhere in between, using the Ordinariate Missal, but not always with all of the high church options.

    The problem is that very few people know about the Ordinariate, and if they do, they easily assume it is not for them, but rather only for those weaned on sherry and vestry meetings (if they even know what those are). It is a formidable challenge for outreach.

    2. The Ordinariate Missal, as you probably know, is a work in progress. The Ordinary of the Mass is complete, as is the lectionary and the calendar, but the propers remain incomplete. It is hoped that these will be done by next spring, and the Missal formally published in book form (right now we are using binders). For example, this year we still lacked (and still lack) any liturgies for Holy Week, and the Ordinariate was left to suggest using the old BDW liturgies and propers.

  16. One last post, this time to Peter:

    Unlike the diocesan clergy a high proportion are married and that might serve as a model.

    I am not quite certain about the numbers in the UK, but in the US, there are roughly 45 Ordinariate priests (by my count), and I believe all but four of them are married. There are, at last check, about three dozen Ordinariate communities in North America, mostly in the US. Given the numbers in administration or on other assignments (at least a few in the Military Archdiocese), that leaves no real room for slack in extra manpower, with the extra wrinkle of having to relocate an entire family in most cases if they need to transfer a priest to run another parish. In the UK, of course, they have a much higher proportion of priests to laity.

    All that said, the signals coming from Rome are that the first wave was not intended as a model for the future. The norm going forward will be focused on celibate vocations, though there may be occasional exceptions when the priest applying is already an ordained Anglican minister and seems well formed.

    The married clergy do pose an extra challenge in some cases in terms of financial support. Some still have school-age dependent children (quite a few, in fact, in a few cases). While many have outside jobs for additional financial support, it’s still a burden on what are, with few exceptions, rather small communities, with endowments often drained down by lengthy legal battles for their property with Episcopal dioceses.

    As a side note: Of the original half dozen “Pastoral Provision” Anglican Use parishes that came into the Catholic Church in the 80’s and 90’s, only one remains outside the Ordinariate – Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio. It is so large that its lay membership would more than double the entire Ordinariate size (it even has a K-12 school). I believe it will eventually come in, but it has its own peculiar reasons for delaying entry. OLA grew from nothing, a model for all of us in our own growth.

  17. @Richard Malcolm – comment #42:
    …the Ordinariate, who feel [their movment] was, in fact, extraordinarily ecumenical.

    Pope Benedict’s launch of the Anglican Ordinariate was akin to a hostile take-over, a co-opting, that was politically rather than religiously motivated. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Holy See was left out of the plan for the Ordinariate and the Archbishop of Canterbury was not even consulted or told about what was to happen … “Lambeth Palace ‘implacably opposed’ to Pope’s Anglican plans” http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=11397#.U2fjOMfYJZs … And the move was so unecumenical that “the British ambassador to the Vatican warned that Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to Anglican opponents of female priests to convert en masse to Catholicism was so inflammatory that it might lead to discrimination and even violence against Catholics in Britain” … http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/10/wikileaks-pope-anglicans-catholics

    Why, would these disaffected Anglicans who joined the Ordinariate only apply to do so when the vote for women bishops came up in the Communion, why did they not just convert to Catholicism if they always believed as Catholics do? And if they still wanted to be Anglicans but couldn’t agree with Anglican doctrine, they could have joined conservative Anglican dissenters like GAFCON. But the Ordinariate is neither fish nor fowl, a kind of hybrid that seems to be based on the disaffected Anglican priests’ desire to have no women or gay bishops while retaining their own status, and on B16’s desire to undercut the Anglican Communion.

  18. A very quick comment: it is a pleasure to see both Richard Collins and Jordan once again writing on these pages. A warm welcome back!

  19. Crystal is probably right that it was

    crystal watson :when the vote for women bishops came up

    that the idea of the Ordinariate was planned in Rome.

    In the event, the Ordinariate appears to be many things. In my locality, I haven’t experienced it as explicitly against women’s ordained ministry except for one individual’s off the cuff remark which was so extreme as to rule itself out for taking seriously.

    Generally, and with social justice and democracy in the church, our new colleagues are positive, and there have been many expressions of appreciation of their contributions. I think they themselves are still working out what their work could be in the future, and perhaps their circumstances are one foretaste of the “mess” which Pope Francis has recommended in the church.

    On the liturgy side, there must be huge variety according to different groups and locations. I have not experienced with it the parts of the Anglican liturgical tradition which would be welcome to me personally, such as an alternative to RM3(!), choral evensong or the old prayers.

  20. Hello Crystal,

    Pope Benedict’s launch of the Anglican Ordinariate was akin to a hostile take-over, a co-opting, that was politically rather than religiously motivated. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Holy See was left out of the plan for the Ordinariate and the Archbishop of Canterbury was not even consulted or told about what was to happen …

    One of the common criticisms of discourse within the Church is that it has become too hostile, too political – too ready to question to motives of others. And this is especially aimed at more conservative and traditional bloggers.

    Which is why it is a shame to see you express such a view that questions motives of those involved here.

    Remember: This all started because Anglican groups went to Rome, not the other way around – the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) and FiF bishops both went to Rome on their own initiative, to seek a corporate solution, if one could be had.

    And Pope Benedict obliged them with a creative solution that granted them much of what they requested. Why is this a bad thing? These people, lay and priests, wanted to be become fully Catholic without giving up everything they had known, and the communities they had. The Ordinariate made that possible. So why is this a bad thing? As it was, many still had to give up the churches that had been part of their families going back many generations (especially in England).

    It is true that certain curial bodies were cut out of the decision-making process. I find the criticism of this curious, given how little love there seems to be for the Curia in these quarters. Or is it loved only when it shares certain theological views?

    Why, would these disaffected Anglicans who joined the Ordinariate only apply to do so when the vote for women bishops came up…?

    Obviously, they oppose women bishops (as they should). But that was only a final straw. They could, as you say, have gone to a continuing Anglican church instead. But they came to Rome.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #61:
      “Why is this a bad thing?”

      This is not a perfect analogy, but imagine a woman who is having problems with her marriage. She come to you for advice, and you make her you fifth wife. You don’t attempt to reconcile her with her husband. You don’t support her in achieving independence. You instead ask her to be subject to your demands, which are pretty similar to those of her husband that she found burdensome.

      The things that are bad about the Anglican Ordinariate are similar to what is bad about such counseling. As innocent as the Vatican may seem, it is ignoring the patrimony of these Anglicans, of facilitating schism and encouraging an individualism that is at odds with the idea of a Church.

      As far as evangelization goes, I am all for it, but I do not see much chance for the Ordinariate to evangelize. They should not be reaching out to Catholics or Anglicans, but only to pagans. True pagans, not some made up category of “baptized pagans.” If the Ordinariate relies on that kind of a denial of baptism, they will wither.

  21. Jonathan Day : A very quick comment: it is a pleasure to see both Richard Collins and Jordan once again writing on these pages. A warm welcome back!

    I confess I’ve been busy, and as you can see, it took an Ordinariate discussion to bring me back from hibernation.

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Jonathan! It is much appreciated.

  22. Todd Flowerday : @Richard Malcolm – comment #61: “Why is this a bad thing?” Perhaps because nobody else is getting the same treatment. ‘Cept holocaust deniers, schismatics, …

    I confess the response that comes to mind is the Matthew 20 parable of the workers in the field…why should we begrudge goods things given to others? It seems to lack charity.

    But a lot of this is obviously a doctrinal question. It always comes back to that, doesn’t it? For example: Some folks here favor ordaining women. Ordinariate Catholics obviously don’t. So the former see the latter as unwelcome reinforcements for the other side of the debate.

    And it’s also a question of perspective. If you want to find people who believe they’ve received the short end of the charity and justice sticks from the Church over the years, you will find it hard to beat traditionalists, who have felt frozen out for five decades, and treated in some appalling ways. If you follow the trad commentary this week on Cardinal Mueller’s address to the LCWR leaders, for example, the usual reaction is: “It is still nothing like what is being inflicted on the Franciscans of the Immaculate.” Fr. Sean Fagan is given restored faculties, and Fr. Manelli (founder of FFI, age 81) is still under house arrest, unable to even visit the graves of his parents. So it is, as I say, a question of perspective, too.

    Well, I am not going to begrudge the mercy being given to Fr. Fagan, an elderly priest in poor health. I think if you could get to know some of the folks in the Ordinariate – people who in many cases had to go through small sorts of hell to get where they are – you might feel similarly.

  23. Hello Cathy,

    I think they themselves are still working out what their work could be in the future, and perhaps their circumstances are one foretaste of the “mess” which Pope Francis has recommended in the church.

    There *is* a lot of that. A lot of “working out.”

    What’s interesting is that for all the talk of preserving the “Anglican patrimony,” what that patrimony will be may actually end up being some tertium quid, something new and different in some ways. This is because most of these communities are too small to be viable as they are. If they are around ten years from now, they must grow, they must evangelize – which are new things to most Anglican communities (let us be honest). Which means that, before long, most of the people in the communities will be new people that have come over since the reception into the Ordinariate, people with diverse backgrounds. Indeed, in my Ordinariate parish, the majority of the people in the pews at the main Sunday Mass are, in fact, “post-2012 people” – people who have joined the community since it came into the Ordinariate.

    In the UK, Msgr Newton points to different circumstances, more extreme than ours in the US – they have no property, and they have fewer laity as a percentage against the clergy. They share space with existing Catholic parishes. This presents a special challenge for building up the Ordinariate in Britain.

    On the liturgy side, there must be huge variety according to different groups and locations. I have not experienced with it the parts of the Anglican liturgical tradition which would be welcome to me personally, such as an alternative to RM3(!), choral evensong or the old prayers.

    As I noted above, there *is* a considerable diversity in the US. Communities coming into the Ordinariate come from very different situations – Episcopalian parishes, some high church, some charismatic; some continuing Anglican groups; and some old Pastoral Provision parishes. But most do not use RM3, and most have Evensong.

  24. One last post, Todd:

    Or do we live in an age where the greatest need is not in shoring up who’s standing under what banner on what hill, but on addressing the large numbers, for example, of British Christians who no longer worship on Sundays nor seem to have an active faith life.

    That’s a fair point, Todd. Yet the reality is that neither the Church of England, *nor* the Catholic Church in England & Wales, has to date been remotely effective in reaching those people. And given the theological proclivities of most of the leadership of both bodies over the last five decades (and more), I wonder if it is offbase for me to suggest that doubling down on theological and liturgical liberalism is going to be the way to do it. What it has produced so far is less of everything – less priests, less religious, less laity at worship.

    That said, I also do not have illusions that a sudden offering of the 1945 Missal or Sarum Rite (or, yes, the Ordinariate Missal) would require regiments of constables to keep the people at bay (though I think the growth would be more than you would expect). Britain is an affluent, libertine, materialist society. Most of the people there who identify nominally as Christian are, in effect, baptized pagans.

    All that said…

    The basic question is this: how does a specialized group of believers within the Body identify itself as fruitful? For a parish, I would say its evangelical activity within its neighborhood.

    This is an excellent observation, and I share it in full.

    I would define “neighborhood” very broadly, of course. It must include the people on your street, but it should not be limited to that. The Ordinariates *must* evangelize if they are to survive. They do not have the resources, or the inertia, that regular Catholic parishes do.

    Fr. Christopher Philips founded one of the first Anglican Use parishes in the US back in the early 80’s. He started out with 16 people. Today he has a couple thousand, & a K-12 school. There’s a model for us.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #66:
      Thanks for engaging, Richard. But yet I’m not suggesting putting everything into liberalism. I’m asking questions. These questions seem to bother Ordinariate supporters and traditionalist Catholics. They are only questions.

      What traditionalists, Anglo-Catholics, and religious sisters (by the way) do in their own communities is up to them, and hopefully, the result of a good discernment. I don’t get the sense that Pope Benedict was a discerning sort of guy. He struck me as a thinker, a deep thinker, but not one who was patient with the long view of things.

      And yes, some traditionalists have been treated very badly. It is the nature of the Roman institution to treat people badly. They have done so for centuries. It’s human nature.

      Am I in the same boat as Cardinal LeFebvre because he didn’t come to the defense of Yves Congar?

      Even if it meant 50 billion traditionalists were released from dungeons to overwhelm the modern Roman Rite, I would support it. Why? Because prisons for champions of conscience is evil. And because I have faith in the working of the Holy Spirit that liturgical reform is sound, valid, and called for. And that supporters of the TLM are essentially off-base.

      But if they can convert that pagan Britain, more power to them. Literally.

    1. @crystal watson – comment #67:
      I don’t know whatever happened to this Muller/Benedict XVI plan. I’m not sure there are as many Lutherans as disenchanted with their church over women in the minitstry as we see in Anglicanism. The Scandinavian and many German churches with some clearly “high church” practices (including reservation and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament) are perfectly comfortable with the idea of a woman pastor amidst all their smells and bells.

      For that reason alone, the Vatican may not be so eager to push the idea of a Lutheran Ordinariate. What’s more, Pope Francis seems to barely tolerate the Anglican version. So why would he get excited about having a similar arrangement for Lutherans?

  25. Another example – the Catholic church providing a home for disaffected Anglicans who don’t want women bishops in the Ordinariate is sort of like the SSPX providing a home for disaffected Catholics who disagree with Vatican II. The Vatican hates this, hates the idea that the SSPX is growing through its bishops making more bishops, and has been trying until recently to fix this by absorbing the SSPX.

  26. Evangelising – that’s hard to see from a body that self-identifies by what it rejects.
    I personally find it tough that space is made for ex-Anglicans to worship how they want, and for Tridentine massers to worship how they want, but I am only allowed to worship in a fractured, tortured and unworthy version of my mother tongue.
    Why are those of a traditional frame of mind generally accommodated and not others?

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