Fr Ivan Aquilina, Vicar of St John the Baptist, Sevenoaks, comments on the Ordinariate on his parish blog:
The small seed planted by the Holy Father just over a year ago is showing signs of life and the first shoots are appearing. Now we read that an Ordinariate will be established in Australia by Easter, you can find more about it on the Zenit news service here.
Many things have been said about the Pope’s initiative for Anglo-Catholics some are fair, some stupid some uncharitable. We heard about second class Roman Catholics, the Pope’s tanks on Lambeth’s lawn and so many other absurdities, as if the Church of Rome is waiting desperately for some Anglican clergy and laity to save it! We also heard some who very carefully used phrases on the lines that the Ordinariate is a distraction from doing the work of the Gospel. Those who use this language are not rash and shallow people who satisfy themselves with scraps of information or sensational sound bytes; those who use this kind of language might be devious and malicious. The Ordinariate is all about the Gospel. It is about Jesus. That is why people are ready to put on line so much for it. The Ordinariate is about living the faith with joy and integrity. The Ordinariate is for those who believe that staying put is consenting to the watering down of the Gospel and Scriptures. The Ordinariate is for those who had enough of innovations such as women priests, gay relationships, actively homosexual clergy and whatever takes the fancy of those on General Synod who seem to be under the spell of the culture of death of this passing age. The Ordinariate is for those who are realising that all these “fresh expressions” might be just stale attempts to stop the heavy exodus from the CofE…all these experiments in the last two decades and people are still voting with their feet – I wonder why…do I?
With the offer of the Ordinariate, many Anglo-Catholics are in an uncomfortable place as they face a choice. Faith is not and never will be for our comfort especially now when not choosing has also become a choice.
As I have said already one can choose the Ordinariate to live the Catholic Faith or stay put to embrace without any reservations what the CofE led by Synod has become. One must follow ones conscience. It is the work of the Gospel to say the truth in charity, to allow people to ponder and pray and come to their own decisions which must be respected. I said many times that there will be a parting of friends on many different levels; we need to ensure that this is really a parting of friends. What betrays the Gospel work is when we take our eyes off from Jesus! So as we watch and wait this Advent time let us cast off darkness and put on the armour of light as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus!