Fr Lombardi says the ordinariate will remain a permanent feature of the Catholic Church after Benedict XVI has abdicated

The Personal Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham will remain “a permanent feature in the life of the Church,” Fr Federico Lombardi has said.

Fr Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office told the Catholic Herald: “As the Holy Father said during his visit to the UK in 2010, they will continue to ‘set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion’. The Personal Ordinariates are a permanent feature in the life of the Church and a sign of our lasting and unswerving commitment to that ultimate goal”.

Fr Lombardi said that the establishment of the ordinariate was a project, “particularly close to the heart of Pope Benedict XVI.” He said: “The ongoing development of these structures in the future will be a lasting legacy of his pontificate, but also a continuing contribution to the work of Christian unity and ecumenism.”

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was established on January 15 2011 following the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus.

Pope Benedict issued the apostolic constitution in order to, “guarantee the unity of the episcopate” by providing a structure through which Anglicans could enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Fr James Bradley, Press Officer for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham said: “We have been greatly touched by the guidance and love of Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in the establishment and development of the Personal Ordinariates.

“In resigning as Pope, he has shown that the work and the office of the See of Peter is greater than one man. So, too, it follows that the actions of carried out in the name of that office are not simply policies akin to political strategy. We welcome Fr Lombardi’s words as a further testament to that.”

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