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Debate: Will the Ordinariates help revitalise the Church?

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By on Saturday, 2 October 2010

An Anglo-Catholic service at Holy Trinity, Reading (Photo: Daniel Lloyd, courtesy of James Bradley)

An Anglo-Catholic service at Holy Trinity, Reading (Photo: Daniel Lloyd, courtesy of James Bradley)

Anglo-Catholics in England and Wales are preparing to seek an Ordinariate within the next few weeks – possibly even on October 9, the date of Blessed John Henry’s feast day and of his conversion.

Ordinariate groups are already forming across the country. According to the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, they are likely to be “small congregations, energetically committed to mission and evangelism and serving the neighbourhood in which they are set”. As The Catholic Herald said in its leading article this week, future members of the Ordinariate are essentially offering to help revitalise the mission of the Church.

On the other hand, many people fear the Ordinariates could be divisive. They are yet another faction in the Church, with different traditions and liturgy.

So, will the Ordinariates – and specifically the soon-to-be-formed Ordinariate of England and Wales – revitalise the Church? Or will they be just another source of conflict?

  • Victorweston

    as an ex-Anglican I feel sure they will be representing much needed resources for the Catholic Church, and anticipate they will be surprised by a similar warmth of welcome to which I received

  • James Woodley

    Not in this parish. Anything they can do, my pp can do better by far.

  • Jack B

    Revitalize which Church? Two are affected.

  • Jack B

    The communities left behind when the Ordinariate groups depart will have been freed of a faction of dissatisfied members who have been wishing their Church were different. A result may well be to revitalize the more coherent Anglo-Catholic groups left behind and thus sharpen the existing divide that obstructs attempts at unifying Christians.

  • Jhammer

    I am hopeful of this development. It may look divisive, but isn't it really the most significant practical move towards building bridges we have seen this side of the reformation? The Holy See is giving considerable latitude to accommodate disaffected Anglicans, but in addition this is also the Holy See recognising Anglican traditions. Can we also see here a recognition by Rome of the Anglican claim that its traditions have continuity with pre-reformation times? I hope this development will help many people whose families have both RC and CofE members; this is so common in Britain and these 'mixed' families could do with revitalising. I share with Cardinal Hume an appreciation of Anglican forms. I think Pope Benedict wants forms that reassert a profound sense of being in the presence of holiness, and anything that contributes to that has to be good. I think both catholics and anglicans may rethink what it is that separates them, that is a revitalisation too. I share with many ecumenically minded Anglicans the dismay that so much ecumenical work was undone by the outcome of their synod 'votes' (as if truth emerges by votes). It is such a shame that the need for women to be bishops had to take precedence over the unity of the church itself. Much better to Anglicans first in communion with Rome, perhaps contributing to the evolution of the Magisterium – so that we are visibly one and not just singing from the same hymn sheet (oh dear!)

  • tiggy

    The clue may be the fact that this is a CATHOLIC blog!!

  • RaymondL

    There is great irony being witnessed in the Church at this time. Those who wanted to appease the Protestants with the “everything goes” 1970 Norvo Ordo Mass have not attracted any major Protestant denomination back into One True Church in the last 40 years. However, those who have respected the traditional sacred liturgies and practices of the church are bridging the gap right now for Christian Unity. That is true ecumenism.

  • Rajinder Nijjhar

    How could anti christs frocked Fathers would glorify God but Satan.