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Church reveals fine details of ordinariate

By on Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Fr Marcus Stock, general secretary of the bishops conference, left, pictured during the bishops’ ad limina visit last year    Mazur/

Fr Marcus Stock, general secretary of the bishops conference, left, pictured during the bishops’ ad limina visit last year Mazur/

Personal ordinariates for groups of Anglican converts around the world are likely to develop their own missal according to traditional Anglican use, an English Church official has said.

Fr Marcus Stock, the general secretary of the Bishops of England and Wales, said that while an ordinariate in Britain would be likely to follow the Roman Rite, he expected that there an Anglican use of the Roman Rite would be developed.

Fr Stock said: “When we are talking about the ordinariate we’re not just talking about England and Wales but for across the world and I’d be surprised if something isn’t developed for use for all the ordinariates. I don’t think they’ll develop particular ones.

“There will be an Anglican Traditional Use, such as there is in the United States who use the book of divine worship, which again they might simply adapt that for use in ordinariates around the world.”

He said that Anglican patrimony and tradition did not only refer to the missal used in Mass, but also to things like Evensong and Morning Prayer “and a slightly different form of the Breviary than the Roman rite would use and additional funeral rites and marriage rites which might reflect a particular tradition in the Anglican communion”.

“So it will probably be more of a sacramentary than a missal, which will have different rites,” Fr Stock said. “That’s a long-term project.”

The ordinariate in England and Wales, which is due to be established by a decree from the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, will have a principal church which is to serve a similar function to a diocesan cathedral.

Fr Stock said: “They will need a place to meet, to have meetings and gather as a group. Not a cathedral as such, but a principal church, it’s called in the constitution, where the members of the ordinariate can gather for the celebration of liturgies and where the ordinary will be based.”

The bishops have been on the look out for a church of sufficient size, capacity and centrality to serve as the principal church for the ordinariate.

Fr Stock said: “Like any diocesan centre, you want somewhere where people can get to easily, so that’s all being looked into at the moment. And that will hopefully not just have the church, but also accommodation for the ordinary and a bit of luck some additional facilities for social meeting and some offices for the ordinariate.”

While the bishops’ conference has pledged £250,000, which is in a restricted fund of the Catholic Trust for England and Wales at the moment until the ordinariate is actually established, Fr Stock said that funding for the ordinariate has also been coming in from other sources. He cited charities, individuals and communities which have pledged “not insubstantial amounts” to assist the establishment of an ordinariate.

He said that financing the ordinariate would clearly be “a major strategic concern for the ordinary when he is appointed and his council when that is constituted”.

Fr Stock said the rapid ordination of the three former Anglican bishops who were received into the Church on the first of January and will be ordained priests on January 15, was a unique situation.

He said “The pastoral arrangements that have been put at the inception of the ordinariate are to recognise the fact that there is a pastoral need for those men who have been ministering to the congregations hitherto need to be making their journey into the Catholic Church and that’s why these provisions have been put into place. Of course those men who are going to have to be prepared for the Catholic priesthood—things to do with canon law and pastoral practice that they need to get used to and need to learn those things. But it is a recognition that fundamentally we need to keep these groups together to meet their spiritual needs.”

When he was asked whether it was a step forward from the pastoral provision which was granted to former Anglican clergymen in the 1990s thanks to the efforts of Cardinal Basil Hume, Fr Stock said: “I think it’s recognised that that may have been a weakness at the time, that there wasn’t a recognition of the need for their pastors to accompany the people, but any priest who has been parish priest will tell you that after a bit time the priest and people get very close. It’s important sometimes for priests to accompany their people.”

The ordinariate represents a completely new canonical structure which is similar to a military diocese, but allows groups of Anglicans who wish to keep their patrimony to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Members of the ordinariate will be fully-fledged Catholics of the Roman Rite – this means they are not like the Eastern ritual churches which are in communion with Rome. Ordinariate priests will be able celebrate Mass normally in Catholic churches and Catholics attending ordinariate Masses will be able to receive Communion there.

Fr Stock today issued an extensive guide to the ordinariate on behalf of the Bishops of England and Wales.

  • Berenikebationah

    “this means they are not like the Eastern ritual churches which are in communion with Rome. Ordinariate priests will be able celebrate Mass normally in Catholic churches and Catholics attending ordinariate Masses will be able to receive Communion there”

    Bit misleading, this, suggesting as it does that Catholics of one rite cannot normally receive Holy Communion in another rite. It is true that a priest ordained in one rite may not celebrate in another without the relevant faculties being granted. But for the rest, any Catholic can participate in the Eucharist celebrated in any rite by any Catholic priest, and, as far as I know, any Catholic priest can concelebrate in any rite (or act as deacon, etc.), and can celebrate in his own rite in any Catholic church.

  • Arthur

    Surely the Trustees of the church of Christ the King, Gordon Square, London WC1H 0HG, would permit its use as the Principal Church of the Ordinariate. Though this church has been much used for Anglican Worship, I do not believe it is a church of the Church of England, having been founded by the ‘Irvingites’. Unless its status has changed in recent years, the permission of the Bishop and diocesan authorities of the Diocese of London would not be required.

  • David

    My understanding is that the ‘Irvingites’ wont allow the Catholic Church to use any of its buildings.

  • John-of-Hayling

    Excellent position – but failing that there is another (non-metropolitan) solution:

    The TAC in Portsmouth already has a huge church – St Agatha’s. It is conveniently situated within easy walking distance of the Catholic Cathedral (for all sorts of resources) and may be inspected at the forthcoming Feast of Title on Saturday Feb 5th when the preacher will be Fr Colven of St James’s Spanish Place.

  • Neville DeVilliers

    Furthermore, if Roman Catholics can switch to the Melkite rite, receive the sacraments, marry, or be ordained to the Melkite Catholic priesthood, and have their funeral conducted in a Melkite rite church, why can’t these Catholics do the same in the Anglican Ordinariate? Latin-rite priests seeing Anglican clergy (priests and seminarians) converting, taking wife and children with them, going on to the Catholic priesthood, while they themselves are left holding the empty bag of celibacy, and their contract with the Church left unamended by Rome strikes me as terribly unfair.

    The Ordinariate is a potential source of disunity as much as it may be the answer to Pope Benedict’s prayer for building a strong bridge to unity.

  • Kyriakos

    Dear Neville DeVilliers,all Catholics are Roman Catholics.This article is misleading.Roman Catholic Church is the official name of the whole Catholic Church not of the Latin Catholic Church.

  • Neville DeVilliers

    What you mean Kyriakos is all baptized Christians are Catholics at the moment of their baptism. All Catholics who owe allegiance to the Pope of Rome in the Catholic Church ARE NOT considered Roman – rite Catholics, nor do they wish to be called “Roman Catholics”. Just try calling a Maronite, Syrian, or Ukrainian rite Catholic “Roman” and you’ll discover it for yourself.

  • Neill

    Portsmouth is not central enough and, although the first ordinariate congregations seem likely to be from the Canterbury Province, we have to remember that it has to cater for congregations in the whole of England and Wales. Furthermore, there will be some isolated communities in Scotland that may be allowed to belong if there are not enough numbers to justify having their own ordinariate. My suggestion is to look near Birmingham where the road and rail network has good links to the rest of the country.

  • Dg Celtic

    This whole Ordinatiate thing is a nonsense – these people dont want to leave their Anglican roots and join the RC Church otherwise they would do just that – like any other Enquirer who wishes to take their faith journey further, It would seem to me, and many of my fellow RC friends & I number Clergy among them, that they just want to have their cake & eat it. From the articles in the National Press over the last few weeks it would appear they have little respect for the Church of England from which they come, or for the RC Church they wish to join. Leave your old ways behind & join the RC church properly, not the RC Church as you would like it. As a hymn in the RC repertoire says ‘leave your fishing nets & boats upon the shore, leave the people you have known, and the PLACES you have known, leave the crops that you’ve grown…… leave old ways behind……& follow me. If they did this, then this rediculous Ordinariate would not even be needed or discussed.