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Rome expected to take five years to approve Personal Ordinariate liturgy

By on Thursday, 16 February 2012

Mgr Keith Newton presides at a service marking the first anniversary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (Mazur/

Mgr Keith Newton presides at a service marking the first anniversary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (Mazur/

Members of the personal ordinariate will have to wait up to five years for Rome to approve their liturgical texts definitively, it emerged this week.

It was originally thought that the Vatican would give the texts definitive approval within two or three years.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has already given interim approval to all the ordinariate’s liturgical texts, except for the rite of Mass. These texts include the Calendar, Divine Office, marriage rite and funeral rite.

But the CDF has now asked a commission of scholars to scrutinise the Mass text. The commission held its first meeting last month.

Canterbury Press will publish the ordinariate’s interim approved texts later this year in a book called The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham.

As the texts are provisional rather than definitive, Mgr Keith Newton, the leader of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is expected to establish their status in a pastoral letter to members of the ordinariate.

Pope Benedict XVI announced the creation of the personal ordinariate in his apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in November 2009. He said that he had established the new structure for groups of former Anglicans “to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church”.

  • Anonymous

    How long is going to be before one of the usual suspects tells us that this delay is all the fault of the English bishops?

  • Church Papist

    So still no church building and now a five year wait for a liturgy which will enable the Anglican patrimony to be used in Ordinariate Masses. Five years?! How hard can it be? Let’s hope our Ordinariate brothers and sisters are gifted with the virtue of patience.

  • Rjmvidal

    A five year wait for the vatican that is fast

  • Nat_ons

    Too true – look at the ‘New’ Missal, nearly ten years before we hand the beautiful CTS books in our hands .. and that was on existing, and already long used, Latin texts!

    Still, only plants that spring up and wither as swiftly put on an immediate show of glory; the Holy Ghost prompts deeper roots for prolonged growth .. the vicissitudes of St. Augustine’s efforts at Canterbury witness this.

    Mgr Newton and the divinely-graced Ordinariate as a whole, I feel sure, understand this spirit, and will not shrink from the sacrifices it brings.

  • Church Papist

    But hasn’t the Vatican already approved an Anglican Use missal for the US? So they’re not exactly starting from scratch.

  • Robert Andrews

    The problem, Church Papist, is that very few outside the US will touch the Book of Divine Worship – even as a stopgap. The Australians certainly don’t like it, nor it seems do the Brits (who seem to prefer the modern Roman Rite anyway). I hope that Rome will allow some sort of interim rite before the 5 year wait is up.


  • Sszorin

    5 years is very fast.

  • Alban


  • Alan

    What I would be interested to know is: will non-Ordinariate Catholics be allowed to attend Ordinariate Masses, if they prefer it?

  • Anonymous

     Of course, and vice versa. Who would stop them and why? The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walshingham is part of the Catholic Church of England and Wales.

  • Parasum

    But ther seems to be 0 sense of urgency. OK, so there are only about 20 people in the SCDF: but if the staff is that small, why not employ more people ? There is a difference between being a dilatory, lazy, procrastinating, slow-coach, and following the Holy Spirit. The Apostles dis not wait five years after Pentecost before the started evangelising. Rome always hurries when it wants to – as in the Bishop Morris case. Its tortoise-like turn of speed speaks volumes for its opinion of the importance of the Ordinariate’s needs.  Five years is more than enough for the converts in the Ordinariate to decide that Rome is, after all, not for them.  The 1970 Missal, which was used far more widely than the Ordinariate books are likely to be, was prepared much more quickly. If the Vatican were in the US, & not in Italy, there would be no such sloth-like torpor from the SCDF. Americans know the meaning of hard work.

  • Parasum

    Can’t see the bishops liking that. This will be as much of a subtraction of Catholics from the number of those using the V2 missal as the use of the pre-Concilar missal has been. The English bishops were not keen on Catholics using the pre-Conciliar Missal for that reason; so they are not likely to be in favour of widespread Catholic use of the Ordinariate’s books.

    If there are not priests enough as it is, to offer according to the pre-Conciliar Missal – are there going to be enough of them to offer according to the books used by the Ordinariate ? Where there are no priests, there can by definition be no Mass-offerers. regardless of how willing the Pope or other bishops may be for the pre-Conciliar Missal, or that of the Ordinariate, to be used.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

     I would assume that diocesan priests will not normally be allowed to celebrate Mass using the Ordinariate Missal; unless the Pope creates it as a second Extraordinary Form. While that seems unlikely who can rule it out?

    There would be nothing to stop any Catholic, ordained or lay, taking a full part in an ordinariate liturgy as a member of the congregation, but there may be some territorial issues if for example a couple who had never been Anglicans wanted to have their children baptised in an ordinariate parish.

  • Benedict Carter

    Why not tell the Ordinariate to use the Sarum Rite, extinguished at the so-called “Reformation”. 

    That would be a true renewal of the Church in the English-speaking world, not the post-Vatican II “renewal” masquerading as total destruction and oblivion we have now. 

  • Benedict Carter

    What “Anglican patrimony”? What is it, exactly?

  • Steaphenbrian

    Anglican patrimony is love of Evensong, gin and lace and of course being able to bring your wife with you :)