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Cardinal: ordinariate ‘is Pope’s project’

By on Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cardinal Levada speaking in the Throne Room at Archbishop's House, Westminster (Photo: Mazur/

Cardinal Levada speaking in the Throne Room at Archbishop's House, Westminster (Photo: Mazur/

One of the Vatican’s most senior cardinals last night urged Catholics to support the ordinariate, saying it was a personal project of Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), was speaking at a fundraising event sponsored by the Friends of the Ordinariate and The Catholic Herald.

During a short speech he said the ordinariate was viewed by the Vatican in a similar way to the Ambrosian Rite, a form of liturgy that is at least 1,200 years old, used by about five million Catholics mainly in Italy.

He said the ordinariate “is really his [the Pope’s] project”, and described it as a “important new structure in the Church”.

The cardinal said: “We all want to give the support of our prayers to the ordinariate. In these delicate times there is a need for financial support.”

Mgr Keith Newton, the leader of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, said the ordinariate was a “small and fragile plant”.

He said that £50,000 had been raised already through advertisements in The Catholic Herald. “In the long term we want to be self-financing,” he said. “We rely on people’s generosity.” Mgr Newton said in July that the annual running costs of the ordinariate would be £1 million.

The Personal Ordinariate of England and Wales was formally established by the CDF in January for Anglicans who wished to enter into full communion with Rome while retaining some of their Anglican patrimony.

In a letter at the time Cardinal Levada said it was a “unique and historic moment” in the life of the English Church.

Guests at the reception included the bloggers Fr Tim Finigan, Fr Ray Blake, Fr Sean Finnegan and Joanna Bogle.

Also present were Downton Abbey creator Lord Fellowes, former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Guthrie, and historian Eamon Duffy.

The event was hosted by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster in the Throne Room at Archbishop’s House, Westminster. It was organised by Peter Sefton-Williams, a trustee of the Friends of the Ordinariate and chairman of Aid to the Church in Need.

  • Amette Ley

    Naturally it is a personal project of the Holy Father – he represents the Good Shepherd and is doiing what he should – going to look for lost sheep and bringing them home.

  • AgingPapist

    So, where’s the liturgy?  Months of speechifying, visiting by prelates and priests, endless receptions and parties using our money, and they still don’t have an idea what the Mass and Divine Office will look like?  Let’s get a move on here.

  • Paul Waddington

    Let us pray that the Ordinariate grows and grows.  It is the best thing that has happened to the Church in England for many decades. 

    I am shure that Pope Benedict XVI will come to be known as one of the really great popes, and his creation of Ordinariates will be one of the things that he will be remembered for.

  • Adrian Johnson

    Like the poet says, “Nothing Beautiful ever hurries” —but I think you will probably be able to see Mass celebrated  in this usage  within a year.  The Liturgy of the Ordinariate will look something like the Anglican Use (AU) Liturgy in the USA  in the AU parishes which for the past 25 years have been using several  options from the “Book of Divine Worship”.  The BDW  is the Vatican – approved version of the Book of Common Prayer. The first edition is subject to further revision in both in the USA and the UK. The Anglican Use liturgy is contemplative and beautiful–, it appeals to Catholics and non-Catholics alike who want a more formal, less “casual” liturgy.  The American Parishes often use Latin Gregorian chant  or Anglican Chant to accompany the English-language Mass; tend not to have altar-girls, receive communion on the tongue, kneeling.  The Anglican Use parishes tend to express the “New Evangelism” through top quality sacred art both ancient and modern.  Some parishes feature and promote the theology and spirituality of icons to deepen interior prayer. All tend to promote regular reception the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and all are producing proportionately more vocations to the priesthood and religious life from their young people than the Novus Ordo parishes around them.    

  • AgingPapist

    The Liturgy of the Ordinariate will look something like the Anglican Use
    (AU) Liturgy in the USA  in the AU parishes which for the past 25 years
    have been using several  options from the “Book of Divine Worship”.
    I think the BDW has the best liturgy in English anywhere.  However, I would hope the Novus Ordo features in the BDW will be dropped, especially the offertory prayers.  I have been reading that this is under consideration by Rome.

     A reworking of Cranmer’s own 1549 eucharistic prayer, or a revision of the 1928 BCP eucharistic prayer might be a worthy replacement for the NO canon in the Ordinariate’s liturgy. Then all the NO anaphoras or eucharistic prayers could be dropped other than a revised Roman canon.

     While I don’t see the entire Sarum usage being adopted in the final decision on the liturgy, there are key features of it truly worthy to be considered for the Anglican liturgy AND by the Roman rite itself.  Perhaps, permitting the celebrant to select from several options provided to him.  I have in mind the celebrant’s private prayers for the offertory and the communion.  Maybe we’ll see the Sarum color scheme and Lenten practices adopted too.

    The Anglican Ordinariate’s liturgy may very well be the key to unlocking the full, rich patrimony of the Roman rite, and serve as a model for future reform of the entire Roman liturgy.  Leading, hopefully, to the publication of the “Missal of Benedict XVI”.  In my view,  Benedict’s own missal, his own touch, is the only way the present liturgical civil war has any chance of ending.

  • Wolfgang Munster Schnozle

    Sounds like a bit of hand washing to me putting the fiasco firmly where it belongs.

    Everyones knows the ordinariate has failed and is kept alive only by misapropriated funds given by anglican worshippers.