Wed 22nd Oct 2014 | Last updated: Wed 22nd Oct 2014 at 08:20am

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

Ordinariate priests honoured by Pope

By on Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mgr Robert Mercer with Mgr Keith Newton, left, and Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster

Mgr Robert Mercer with Mgr Keith Newton, left, and Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster

Pope Benedict XVI has elevated three priests of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to the rank of chaplain of His Holiness (monsignor).

Mgr Edwin Barnes, Mgr Robert Mercer and Mgr David Silk have all received the honour from the Holy Father, recognising their former ministry as Anglican bishops.

Mgr Barnes and Mgr Silk were received and ordained via the Personal Ordinariate in 2011, while Mgr Mercer was received and ordained earlier this year.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, said: “By establishing Personal Ordinariates, Pope Benedict is seeking to be generous in making provision for those Anglicans who wish to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In every possible way he has sought to recognise the fruitful Anglican ministry which we undertook before entering the Catholic Church; this honour for these three distinguished men is a further sign of our Holy Father’s love and warmth toward this project.”

The announcement was made this morning as the clergy of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham met for their summer plenary at Allen Hall, the diocesan seminary of the Archdiocese of Westminster.

  • Mark Zorab

    Please can you inform the news agencies to get the name of Fr EDWIN Barnes corrected. Many congratulations to him and former Bishop David Silk!

  • The Catholic Herald

    Thank you for pointing that out. It has now been corrected.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    It was bad enough in the Middle Ages when the Church copied titles which were used by tyrants  who lorded over the ordinary people and gave them out to senior clerics, but for us to continue to use them is an embarrassment. Could you imagine Our Lord making the apostles into Monsignori?

  • Mark

     Monsignor is a French word meaning my lord in the secular sense. You speak as if the middle ages was the most barbaric time in history. The truth is that slavery was the order of the day under the Roman Empire and the ancient Celts, before Catholicism in England, conducted human sacrifice and ritual killing. Medieval serfdom where people at least had some rights was a great improvement on slavery and barbarism.  Will you criticize Roman or Celtic  paganism or are you just anti-catholic?

  • Daclamat

    Don’t they look daft, said Jesus sitting on a donkey

  • Maria

    “In the meantime I have carried my load to Rome and have been wandering the streets of the Eternal City for a long time.  I do not know when I will be released, but one thing I do know: that the exclamation applies to me too: “I have become your donkey, and in just this way am I with you.”  -  p.156 of Milestones by Joseph Ratzinger

  • Patrick_Hadley

     Why do we give our leaders high-falutin secular titles? Why do they accept them? Should they not be examples to the faithful (and to the world) of genuine modesty and humility?

  • born catholic

    Did they cross over expecting and being promised the papal honour? or did they cross over because they believed in the Catholic church? Or were they running away from the Anglican church with all their relative morality and ultra tolerance of gay bishops and gay and lesbian priests?

  • Patrick_Hadley

     We must not be like the elder son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. We may have toiled long and hard in the pews and never disobeyed Church laws but not been given so much as a Bene Merenti to celebrate with our friends; but that is no reason for us to begrudge a party and an honour to those who have in the past strayed from the one True Church. They were dead but are now alive, they were lost but now are found.

  • born catholic

    reply to Patrick Hadley..Sorry I am not as tolerant as you. I feel all this ordinariate business and also a personal prelature for the SSPX makes the church more complex and we are “bending over backwards” to accommodate people. It proves Benedict XVI is a good shepherd and is diligently finding ways to go after the LOST SHEEP but it leaves a MESS or CHAOS behind after his death.
    Everyone can do his our her own thing under the UMBRELLA of the Catholic Church. Well esteemed Christian brother Hadley, that ends up not being Catholic or Universal at all but rather like mixtures of different types of pooridge…. and we end up looking like the Episcopalian church…

    The SSPX will claim they are high order Catholics, the majority of us in the middle the mainstream cradle to grave Catholics and the ordinariate as the Low Order Catholics. Is that the scenario. being a German, this pope also wants to rehabilitate his fellow German Martin Luther and was the first Pope to visit Luther’s monastery and early seminary during his last visit to His homeland of Germany. So we should expect another ordinariate SOON for the Catholic-Lutherans?

  • Patrick_Hadley

    I think you may have missed a certain amount of irony in my post.

    After all when the prodigal son returned to his father he knelt down before him and said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” He did not demand a separate fine house in which to live so that he could keep his distance from the elder son, and carry on with most of his old ways.

  • born catholic

    Christian Brother Hadley, in the parable of the prodigal son, our priest said recently in his sermon that they were all prodigal. No just the youngest son who is normally described as so…But the elder son was also prodigal andthe priest even said that the father was a prodigal father. That’s a family of prodigals.

    Anyway we must agree to disagree…Wait the Pope wants he gets….But its all a muddle to me. No more on this score. In fact many of the comments are a waste of time. We blow off steam but the hierarchy and the clerics take no notice. Least of all in the Vatican which these days seems to just “lurch from crisis to crisis”.

  • Maria

    Dear Born Catholic,
    I think we should understand that even as a family, the unit cell of the society, there are disagreements.  We disagree to agree.  I belong to a very big family.  You can’t imagine how siblings fight (aunt and uncles) but at the end of the day, my grandfather have the last say.
    If you can read the story of Pope Benedict (at least 4 books), it is unbelievable with a great mind how obedient he is.  I always thank God in my prayers that I am born in this era of great popes (Leo XIII to current).  They only follow what Christ wants, One Church, all gathered in His name. 
    As a Catholic, I do not want anybody too as it is just a headache but we have to do our part as Catholics, obedient to Christ’s words just as the vivid example of our Holy Father, Vicar of Christ.  We need to support our Holy Father.  Pope Benedict did not forget us, this is the reason we have New Evangelization and the upcoming Year of the Faith.  This is for us Catholics.
    The Anglicans who joined us are not called Anglicans.  They are called Catholics but they can keep their traditions.  It is just like going to a relative’s house, respecting the house’s traditions but as a family, there is common to both families.
    As for Lutherans, there were talks but only Pope Benedict was able to make in roads. 
    Note that I did not read (yet) that our Catholic faith was compromised except when PJPII read/recited with Orthodox Patriarch the Greek version of the apostles creed.  

  • Bc234

    Dear Maria,
    Thank you for your submission. We are compromising a lot….I saw a picture of a deacon in the ordinarite in full PRIESTLY vestments. Imagine a deacon in PRIESTLY GARB! Now in our RC church our deacons, married or otherwise are only allowed to wear their cassocks and stoles, no VESTMENTS.

    Another Msgr of the reconciled brethren was allowed mitre, pectoral cross and crozier and he brought along his wife…I tot great no wonder he is SO SO HAPPY reconciliation with the Catholic Church entirely ON THEIR TERMS with their wives and OUR PRIESTS HAVE TO BE CELIBATE. Why in heavens do we allow that?

    Sorry its a mess. What happens when this Pope dies in NOT SO LONG A TIME, because day by day he look frail and couldn’t attend long trips like to Dublin? Will the next Pope become cold on the ordinariate? if so what happens to their pastors and their followers? They would be in no-man’s land..

    We should accept them ON OUR TERMS meaning all their married priests as DEACONS only because of their married status and all their single priests as PRIESTS LIKE OURS because of their celibate status.

    Now perhaps you can explain how come Pope Benedict has done a remarkable U-turn? When he was Cardinal Ratzinger at the CDF he issued in the former Pope’s name a document called Dominus Iesus (circa 2000) which stated categorically that the priesthood, church and faith of the Anglicans and all other Christian and non-Christian denominations was NULL AND VOID. And ten years later (circa 2010) he changed his mind to accept them into our fold? I really couldn’t comprehend all these SPIRITUAL U TURNS!

  • Mam31

    Dear Maria,

    I follow this paper because I want to keep in touch with Christian developments and here and in the TABLET we have the unvarnished facts. I also like to read the comments because it reflects the thinking of the modern Christians especially the youth and here the British priests and bishops tell it “like it us” so its refreshing not to be pandering to Rome…

    I am a Muslim and have read a lot about different religions and the popes. But I take issue that all of them were great from Pope Leo 3 onwards. You can argue that when the Italians or Romans “captured” the church they brought into the church all the negatives – their corruption, guile, cunning, backstabbing, gossiping, manipulation into the institution. Yes they led the Roman Empire to be conquered and increased the number of Catholics but I am not sure that quantity equals quality.

    What of the Borgia popes? Were they good? What of the Popes who had mistresses and illegitimate children? What of the Popes who appointed their relatives and friends as cardinals? One even had a couple of his young nephews as cardinals. Now really these are almost like altar boys before puberty. How much religion would they know?

    What of the Popes that ordered “THE CRUSADES”, the first example of REGIME CHANGE? Change the regimes, cultures and religions in the foreign lands by force, fighting and occupation? And the Turkish like Saladin had NO CHOICE but to fight back bravely?  What of the senseless killings during that time aided and abetted by the Vatican all the way? Convert or be killed? Did not the Pope of the time remember the commandments of God carried down the mountain by Moses – THOU SHALL NOT KILL…It meant do not KILL ANYBODY. Yet the church was killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people who happen to be of different religions! I would say the Vatican has plenty of blood on its hands from its dealings in past centuries. What of the Pope Pius XII who was silent when thousand of Jews were killed in the gas chambers.

    I would say only the Pope from John XXIII onwards have been any good and are getting better each time. Many Muslims adored your last Pope JPII and when he died some Muslims in Lebanon and Syria were interviewed on the CNN commented that the Pope has “gone to heaven in a chariot supported and carried upwards by angels and the Pope was wearing many golden crowns on his head!” Now this statement came from a Muslim. Has any Christian leaders EVER said anything similar about a deceased Muslim preacher, imam or Mufti? Mdm we are a lot better than you think and a lot better than many of your fellow Christian. And for this Pope we give him high marks for his patience, humbleness, soft spoken nature, hard work, resilence, patience and intelligence as a professor-theologian. Again your church has been lucky. You got a good Pope.

  • guardian angel

    Reply to Maria. Born Catholic contributes excellent points. Now the Muslim author also takes you on, yet you are silent. According to Born Catholic the vestments have been compromised. Vestments is part of Liturgy. So the Liturgy has been compromised. On the prayers they are allowed to use the RSV -Revised Standard Version which is closer to the King James Bible.While the rest of us uses the Jerusalem Bible. So the Liturgy is compromised again… May the compromises continue. To each his own.

    Yes family tradition, each family member has their own traditions yet they are in the family. But I agree with Born Catholic the family is getting rather complex, messy and chaotic.

    Why don’t you respond to this other points raised by Born Catholic about the spiritual U-turns of Cardinal Ratzinger (Dominus Iesus (2000) where the ministry is declared null and void to Pope Benedict XVI (Ordinariate 2010) where its become come and join us and you are still legit? That’s the biggest about face I saw in the same individual over 10 years. Please comment,Maria why the sudden silence?

  • Maria

     Dear BC234,

    God’s peace and joy.

    I do not know how to respond to you but I will try. The only Catholic faith lessons I had was that I went to Catholic schools most of my life in the Philippines. I came here in US 20 yrs ago and took my EMBA at LMU (Jesuits) here in LA hoping to get Catholic Christians ethic in the field of business. To my surprise, my professor was a rabbi. I was even shocked 20 yrs ago, at the American culture and even to my surprised, I was shocked as a Catholic. I have learned all of my life that being Catholic, you can go anywhere in the world and you will have the same practices and traditions. Maybe I did not learn enough. My heart bleeds when feast days were celebrated not on the day but is moved on a Sunday because nobody comes in on regular days for the celebration of the Eucharist. My question at that time was and is still is, why do we need to move it when everyone or maybe most of the world celebrate it on the same day? I was thinking that we put God second in our schedule instead of first. How about the reception of the Eucharist?

    I really did not know about being Catholic until I read a convert’s story. To summarize it, he wrote, as a convert, he knew more about being Catholic than the born Catholic. I felt insulted because I am that. Thus, I begun to study (thanks to internet) and read a lot.

    I am so excited about the Anglicans joining the Catholic faith because I am just happy that they will have the same as what I have, a joyful Catholic. Thus, I look for news about them. I want to make sure that they are okay and how they are doing in our Catholic faith.

    What is my point?

    Deus Caritas Est (PBXVI encyclical). God is love. If we truly love God, don’t we want to share this with others? Not sharing this to others is just in opposition to God’s love. If we believe in Dominus Iesus, this brings us to responsibility of sharing and of proclaiming (Mark 16: 15-16) the gospel with charity and truth of our faith (Caritas in Veritate – PBXVI encyclical).

    On your vestment argument.

    When I read it the first time, I felt disrespected as a Catholic but I remembered Acts 15: 1-10. This was an argument about circumcision and St Peter replied at the end “He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts …”

    On your “SO SO HAPPY reconciliation with the Catholic Church entirely ON THEIR TERMS with their wives and OUR PRIESTS HAVE TO BE CELIBATE” argument.

    My apologies but I think you have not research enough on the ordinariate and us being Catholic. The Anglicans who are in full communion with us embrace the Catholic doctrine and Catholic Catechism, our heart and soul of being Catholic. The Anglicanorum Coetibus was published last Nov 4, 2009 and yet the ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established only in 2011. This means that their priest has to undergo some training as a Catholic priest. They have to because Pope Leo XIII encyclical’s Apostolic Curae written in 1896 nullified Anglican priesthood, thus, sacraments ministered will be void (I do not know right word). All priest of the ordinariate will have same training as the Catholic priest.

    Note that priests of Eastern Catholic traditions can marry before their ordination but if they marry afterwards, they are out of priesthood. Note that bishops of the Eastern Catholic traditions are celibate.

    They have sacrificed a lot to be in full communion with See of Peter. As Catholics, if we preach what we believe, can we at least give this to them? It is not about compromise. It is about our love for God, our very essence as Catholic.

    On your “What happens when this Pope dies” argument.

    It is nice to know that you care about the Church and PBXVI. Will you help me pray for PBXVI’s safety and health? We need him.

    Spe Salvi (PBXVI encyclical). You must not lose hope. Remember that God so loved us that He gave His only son. This gives us hope, that is, God will be with us always. Problems in the church seem insurmountable but we have to hope as in Matt 19: 26 – For human beings this is impossible, but for God, all things is possible. Let God be God and we do our work according to His will.

    During the time of St Catherine of Siena in the 14 century, the church and just everything else seemed beyond help but we are still here.

    On your ” Pope Benedict has done a remarkable U-turn” after Dominus Iesus argument.
    Again, my apologies. I beg to disagree with you. PBXVI as pastor and Vicar of Christ, this is my reflection.
    1. PBXVI has a responsibility to preach. Mark 16: 15-16.
    2. God so love us. God wants us all in His love. PBXVI has the responsibility to gather. Matt 9: 12-13
    3. Jesus, The God Son gave Peter the keys. Thus, Peter knowing God’s redeeming love needs to invite everyone to follow God’s call. Matt 16:18-19. If we preach what we believe, PBXVI has a great responsibility on his shoulder to invite everyone to believe that the Catholic church is the sole true Church of Christ.

    God’s peace and joy.

    A joyful Catholic in Christ,

  • Maria

    Dear Guardian Angel,

    God’s peace and joy!

    When I read the post of BC234, it was a struggle for me to respond or not. As always, I prayed if I need to respond. It took awhile but I did it before I went to sleep last night. I came home and saw my email for response and found out that my posting did not go through. Thus, I reposted it.

    The two of us are Catholics and yet the two of us have different understanding of Dominus Iesus. God is great and yet so patient with us. How come the two of us have different understanding of this?

    Have you heard that the Catholic faith tradition does not only have the Novus Ordo or the Latin rite? Have you heard that we have the Abrosian rite, Maronite rite, Byzantine rite, Malankarese rite, Malabar rite and etc. All of these rite are valid. Did it make us less Catholic? Dominus Iesus – Catholic church is the sole true Church of Christ – did it make me less Catholic having our Anglican brother/sister with us? I do not think so. I love God. I love Him for dying for me that I may share His kingdom one day. His love is uncompromising. As Catholic, isn’t it that we follow His example of uncompromising love? I do not have anything except to support our Anglican brothers and sisters in their Catholic journey. If God the Father gave His only Son and then the Holy Spirit to guide us because of His great love for us, who am I in my unworthiness to deny others of this great gift of Dominus Iesus – Catholic church is the sole true Church of Christ?

    God’s peace and joy!

    A joyful Catholic in Christ,

  • Maria

    Dear Mam31,

    God’s peace and joy!

    I do acknowledge the sins of the church in the past history.   My apologies.

    I grew up in Mindanao, southern part of the Philippines.   My family is poor, very poor.   My parents moved us children to a better place because of the war between the government & the muslims (early 70s).  I do not have a good impression with Muslims because of a family tragedy from 12 yrs old until I started to volunteer to teach in the mission school of the Christians Brothers.  I had muslim students and my notion of muslim/islam change.

    This is what I believe according to my Catholic faith.   Genesis 1: 26 – Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …”  If I truly believe this as what my faith teaches then, all of us are good.   God is so good and so loved us that He gave us free will.  I believe that this free will made humanity always in conflict with what is natural because of the flesh (the desire of the flesh for fame, power, money and etc).  If the center of our free will is God then I believe things will be okay.   God’s love is freely given but it is up to us to accept it and live it.

    Our early popes were great too.  We call them our church fathers (St Clement, St Ignatius, St Justin, St Ireneus, St Cyril, St Gregory of Nazianzen, St Gregory of Nyssa & etc).  There were a lot of good popes in between.

    God’s peace and joy!

    A joyful Catholic in Christ,

  • GeriP2020

    Dear Mam31,

    Our Church teaches that it exists in heaven as well as on earth, is eternal as well as temporal, and divine as well as human.  What you say about the many of the popes we’ve had is the past is mostly true (except for the propaganda circulated by the communists about Pope Pius XII to discredit what was done by him and much of the Church in Europe to SAVE Jews), but that is due to our broken human nature, and every single pope was and is very much a faulty human being.  

    Our broken human nature tends to makes us want to put people up on pedestals, and to become angry when they fall off.  But a true Christian leader will always tell you that he (or she) is only the lowest of servants and only hopes to be an example of holiness, and in no ways should be set up above any other person.

  • GeriP2020

    What happens when this pope dies?  Well, our faith tells us that it is the Holy Spirit that leads and inspires the Church, not the individual popes.  So whatever is truly inspired by the Spirit will continue.

  • Bishop Dr. I. Canot, Th.D.DD. catolica apostolica autonoma.

    The Lord blessings the Pope Benedeict,XVI. alwys!!!

    From: The RT. Rev. Dr. I. Canot,Th.D.DD.