Ordinariate is also for Anglicans who turned RC previously

The Catholic Herald reports that Anglican received many years ago into the Roman Catholic Church are permitted to join the new “ordinariate.”


  1. Since the ordinariate is part of the Roman Catholic Church I don’t see any reason why a Catholic who was formerly Anglican could not join.

    Even “cradle” Catholics who prefer a more formal liturgy with latin hymns, ad orientem posture and altar rails could join but would possibly need to formally join/sign up?

  2. I do hope Dr. Bauerschmidt weighs in here. Since he’s in a town with an Ordinariate community including both Mt Calvary and the All Saints sisters, I’d be interested to hear his thoughts on the matter.

  3. That’s a good question. I don’t think the original intent was to make membership in the ordinariate generally open to non-Anglicans. As a possible parallel, my understanding is (unless canon law has changed) that as a Latin Rite Catholic I cannot join the Ukrainian Catholic Church without applying for a change of rite. I would hope the option of having Latin non-Anglicans join the ordinariate would be available, especially for those who are disenchanted with the OF but aren’t comfortable with the EF. Of course there would be no prohibition of a non-Anglican Catholic attending an ordinariate Mass and receiving Communion.

    1. I think there would need to be some sort of “joining” to keep some order between the groups but I don’t think it would need to be at the level of RCIA however. I remember back in the 70’s some members joining the RC church needing to just make a profession of faith in the sanctuary then welcomed with applause by the assembly.

      1. In addition, I have always said we need to reform what we call ourselves, possibly similar to what the Lutherans use.
        In other words.
        Roman Catholic Church
        RC Latin Rite Synod
        RC Anglican Rite Synod
        RC Ukrainian Rite Synod
        RC Maronite Rite Syndod
        Most Latin Rite Catholics don’t realize we have over 20 different rites under the RC unbrella!

      2. “just make a profession of faith in the sanctuary then welcomed with applause by the assembly.”

        Wow. When I converted (from Methodism) in the 1950s, I first had to take a dozen week course of instructions in which I studied each week a chapter in a manual on Catholic beliefs, then met with a stern monsignor who questioned me closely to ascertain that I both understood the chapter and assented to its content. This seemed somewhat adversarial, as he attempted to ferret out any areas in which I might have reservations that would preclude my admission to the Church. This process was called “taking instructions”, or just “instructing”, as in “How long have you been instructing with Monsignor S?”

      3. Yeah, some of those monsignor’s were really strict!

        Henry, I think that these individuals who made a profession of faith did go through some sort of instruction prior to joining and they were already baptized.
        I think RCIA eventually replaced this rite however.
        If one is already a bona fide Catholic then simply making a profession of faith in one of these other Catholic churches might be something one might do in order to join them. I dunno if that is what is actually done?
        Anybody know?

      4. A profession of faith is all that is needed to switch for an Eastern Christian to become a Roman Catholic. (decided at Vat 2 iirc)

        For others RCIA calls for “no greater burden than necessary. So it is possible that a profession of faith is all that is needed within the RCIA. Not common, because of Confirmation, but possible.

    2. The analogies with Eastern Churches, even those in communion with Rome, are inaccurate. They are all Churches with their own Code of Canon Law. When you become a member of them you are subject to their Canon Law.

      The Ordinariate is most like the Military Ordinate, a separate jurisdiction of the Roman Rite. It is mostly an administrative matter, not a matter of faith or canon law, which determines whether you are in a Military Ordinate, the Anglican Ordinate or a diocese.

      This is a new creation and work in progress, and looking at some of the comments at the Catholic Herald, I think we need to be careful not to read either too much (an eventual world wide Church with its own Rite and Canon Law) or too little ( a temporary transitional measure that will disappear over time).

  4. RCIA is not mandated, and indeed not advisable, for catechized Christians from other traditions. If they have not been confirmed they would need that, but otherwise it’s simply the profession of faith that is called for.

    I hate to disappoint Derek Olsen, but I don’t really have much special insight on this matter. I know Fr. Carlton Jones, who will serve as chaplain to Mt. Calvary until their priests are ordained, and think they are very lucky to have him. He’s very sane and sensible.

    It does strike me that this question of prior Anglican converts joining the ordinariate is primary of significance for erstwhile Anglican clergy who have been ordained as Catholic priests. For them, “joining” the ordinariate would be like being incardinated into a new diocese: they would cease to be under the authority of the local bishop and come under the authority of the head of the ordinariate (in the U.S., Fr. Steenson). For lay people, it might have an impact on things like who officially counts as your pastor with regard to marriage, etc.

    I think the analogy of the ordinariate with the Eastern Rites is quite off-base. The ordinariate is not a sui generis Church, but really a non-geographical diocese with a distinctive liturgy (ETA: see Jack’s comment above).

    1. Deacon, thanks so much for this post: indeed RCIA is NOT best for many Christians. Many who took the “intellectual” path, or at least had a gradual coming-to-peace with their place in the Church would not benefit from being lumped into RCIA. In my case, I needed to know how to “live” the faith as a Roman Catholic, not a grab-bag of doctrine and other things…as so many RCIA programs are. For some reason, there is still this insistence that if you want to be Catholic, you must go through RCIA: surely news to “cradle Catholics” everywhere!

      1. Catechized is the critical word. If you have not been confirmed, you need to be prepared, and most think preparing means catechizing.

        RCIA is more than catechesis. It includes recognizing well catechized individuals and placing no greater burden than necessary by receiving them promptly.

        So if you are a well catechized individual, going through RCIA should mean not going to catechesis , the sessions identified with RCIA. If you did go through those sessions, you were judged to be in need of catechesis. That judgment may have been wrong. You may be wrong about how well catechized you were. In either case, I hope you learned what it is like to live as a Catholic, including how to forgive those who trespass against you and when to pray to be delivered from evil.

  5. I didn’t mean to say that the Anglican and Ukrainian situations are equivalent (“parallel” was a bad choice of words), but it does bring up the question of whether the Anglican Use is considered a variant of the Roman Rite or something a little more different. As it stands now, it appears to be a hybrid of the Prayer Book liturgy and the NO (see the Book of Divine Worship). However solemn liturgies look more like English Missal Anglo-Catholic masses (priest, deacon, subdeacon, e.g.). Liturgically speaking, it looks like there is some latitude currently.

    I thought I saw somewhere that non-Anglicans are not supposed to be part of the ordinariate. I can’t find the reference however. Is there a fear that significant numbers will “escape” the NO in favor of a high-church Mass in English? I suspect there won’t be all that many ordinariate parishes. A possibility would be an ordinariate Mass as part of the regular Sunday schedule of a NO parish, just the way the EF is sometimes done. The added complication, of course, is the differing ordinaries (meaning “bishop”), property issues, divided parishes and problems yet unforeseen.

    1. TC –
      The BDW is not a hybrid BCP and NO. It is essentially the 1979 BCP with a few sections expunged, and a very few things added. It includes rites I and II of the mass, offices, and psalters of the 79BCP. A few things were added, such as: we have but one canon, namely the Roman Canon (in Elizabethan English; the ‘memorial acclamation was added; otherwise it is almost wholly the 79BCP. The one NO influence that you might point to is one that gave many of us apoplexy when we found it foolishly included in OUR liturgy: that is ‘and also with you.’ It’s an interesting irony that the Church has now rectified this comical, silly, invention while the Episcopalians are still stuck with it. As for the actual usage of the BDW’s rites I and II, I believe that only one of our parishes uses rite II. The rest of us use rite one and would be happy to see rite disappear in the proposed revision for the use of all the world’s Anglican ordinariates.

      And, just to clarify a little uncertainty in several comments above. The Anglican Use, now the Ordinariate…. is a part of the Roman Rite, hence the term Use, and ancient one which denotes a specific ‘usage’ of a rite, characterised by distinctive prayers, ceremonial, etc., but still being a ‘sub-usage’ of a parent rite. Such uses were common all over Europe up until Trent, and truth be known many of them were not successfully suppressed for several hundred years later.
      And here someone more knowledgeable than I might clarify a question, namely – we know of course that we have ‘rites’ for several of the monastic orders, for example the so-called Dominican rite and others. I think that these are more correctly understood to be ‘uses’ and not ‘rites’. Would a competent person care to comment on this?

  6. When I went through the RCIA course, there were others in my group that were Christians from other denominations, but they still had to take the months long course, though they didn’t have to be re-baptized.

    I wonder why Anglicans who have become Catholcs in the normal way would want to later join an Ordinariate.

    BTW, I saw a recent post at the Episcopal Cafe that puts the Ordinariate programs in some perspective …. Numbers: Episcopalians who join the ordinariate, Catholics who become Episcopalians

  7. This is certainly confusing to me. I thought the idea was that “Catholic Anglicans” profess to believe everything just as Roman Catholics, with variation in liturgy. It sounds as if they are still quite separate and will remain separate.

  8. Although they are considered part of the Latin Rite
    I think (personal opinion) that they should have their own rite. They have different rubrics, their priests and bishops (monsignors) are married, different canon laws and governance (stewards and lay boards) and they use a different missal (prayer book). Each rite can of course share churches but if these different rites grow there are certainly enough churches available to them considering how we are clustering parishes (ugh) and shuttering churches.
    Keeping all groups separate but equal w/ their own bishops/synods might possibly be a good thing and prevent one rite from bleeding over into another. Even the EF followers could have their own synod and churches if they wished. It certainly would “stick it” to the SSPX and possibly dry them up.

    I think B16 has been open to having various groups under the umbrella or the Roman Catholic Church.

    1. correction:
      I think B16 has been open to having various groups under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church.

  9. I’m amazed to see how often the RCIA is confused with the catechetical and orientation process that prepares the unbaptized for those rites. We call the latter “journey of faith” and find that it is also a suitable preparation process for baptized Protestants seeking full communion and for uncatechized but baptized catholics seeking to complete their initiation. We don’t subject the latter to the scrutinies, but we do lead them to a deeper conversion through their association with the catechumens. It works…..well.

  10. Just a few comments on the various topics here:
    1. RCIA sessions are used in my parish for active, adult Catholics seeking Confirmation, but as a pragmatic matter, not because anyone is blurring distinctions among the various adult groups preparing for sacraments. I know it’s not preferred; but many adult Catholics participating in RCIA sessions as sponsors have found it a valuable, faith-enriching experience, so it seems as if that experience is used as a basis for including other kinds of adults in need of intellectual and formative faith development. I know when I was on the team, we made the different “journeys” very visible in our presentations and retreats.
    2. Former Anglicans previously received into the Roman Catholic Church I believe are the primary population of the Anglican Use Ordinariate. The “preferred parish” for the Ordinary is Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, which was constructed as an Anglican use parish in the mid-90s — after the first time that the “special accommodation” for Anglicans and Episcopalians was declared. They love the Anglican liturgical heritage (they remind me of what EF masses would look like if they were done in English), and they also are very pleased to be Catholic. I understand that the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England is popular among both Catholic and Anglican pilgrims (Paul?), so the name is eminently suitable for the parish.
    3. ISTM that we need to be mindful of the difference between Eastern Catholic Christians “transferring” to the Roman Rite, and Eastern Orthodox Christians joining the Roman Catholic Church. Confirmation is not needed for any of these candidates, but I don’t know whether Catholics transferring from one rite to another need to make a profession of faith, but they are and always were Catholics (just not Roman Catholics). Previously Orthodox Christians are becoming Catholic.

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