Christmas Message from Mgr Newton

23 12 2011

Mgr Newton writes:

Amongst all that is going on at Christmas tide, we know we should never lose sight of the truth of the Incarnation: that God has entered his creation. It is into the mess and mayhem of our world and our lives that Jesus comes. Those who have entered the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate this year have had to adapt to new and changed situations. Many of the clergy have not only had to leave church buildings but their homes as well. This can be very unsettling but no less unsettling for those many lay people who have left churches and worshiping communities that they have known and loved for many years: place is important. This year that which might seem unsettling opens for us the possibility of hearing and receiving afresh the news of the Shepherds; the song of the Angels; and the call of the Magi. It’s into the untidiness and difficulties of our lives that God, in his Son, wants to come.

At this Christmas time, I want to both recognise and thank all those who have been courageous enough to respond to our Holy Father’s invitation to be one with Peter, the Rock on which this child, born for us, built his Church. My prayer for those clergy, their families and the many lay people who have given generously of their time and resources, and who have let go of familiar things which offered security, is that the joy of the birth of Our Saviour may have a new and deeper meaning as we celebrate the Word made flesh who lives among us.

A blessed and holy Christmas to you all.

The Rt Revd Mgr Keith Newton





Anglican Bishop Robert Mercer CR to be received into Catholic Church via Ordinariate

22 12 2011

This news comes via the English Catholic blog:

Dear Brother,

On December 8 while en route to Vienna, Archbishop Hepworth made a 24 hour stop over in England. He lunched with me in Worthing and then went on to celebrate the holy communion at St Agatha’s, Portsmouth, in the evening. In his sermon he reminded us that the BCP of 1662 remembers three conceptions, of the Lord, of the Lady, of the cousin. St Stephen’s College, the fine ACA school in Coomera, Queensland, of which he is President, has an orchestra and a choir which were due to perform in St Stephen’s cathedral, Vienna, a place we associate with the music of Haydn, Mozart and the Vienna Boys Choir. Naturally enough, the President wanted to be present for that. Since he would already be in Europe, he would stay on for some holiday, mostly travelling on trains through the mountain passes of Austria and Italy. His Grace was in excellent spirits and health.

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News from Calgary

18 12 2011

Today, the Revd Lee Kenyon, his family and parish will be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in anticipation of a Personal Ordinariate in Canada:

Dear brethren in Christ,

At a Special Meeting of Parishioners on 21 November 2010, the Solemnity of Christ the King, some 90% of parishioners present voted to accept “unreservedly and with humility and gratitude, the invitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus”. Only two parishioners voted against this motion. The motion instructed the Churchwardens to begin negotiations with the Anglican Diocese of Calgary to transfer the parish, and its property, to an Ordinariate, when established.

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+Vincent Nichols: Progress on Ordinariate & Principal Church

11 12 2011

This is a transcript from part of the Press Conference following the November 2011 Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales. In it, Madeleine Teahan (Catholic Herald) asks Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales, about progress relating to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham as discussed at the meeting.  The full audio can be found here.

MT: As I understand it the Ordinariate was discussed aswell during the time. The first question is, what is the progress on the Ordinariate project and, most specifically, do they have a church yet? [Ed: Second question about holydays of obligation].

+VN: Yes, we had report from Monsignor Keith Newton. He gave us an indication of the present numbers within the Ordinariate, and that was about 60 clergy and about 1000 people. He gave us some indication of those who where coming forward, as it were, in a second wave – at the moment I think he said that there were about 20 clergy, most of them with some groups, but he didn’t specify the size of the groups.  We talked quite a bit about the support of those 60 clergy and how co-operation between the Ordinariate clergy and diocesan responsibilities is going quite well. I think you will have seen that some of the Ordinariate clergy are taking posts in the dioceses. Some of those posts are chaplaincy posts, some of those are parish posts – posts in parishes – and that is obviously helping the Ordinariate to carry its’ responsibilities for its clergy.

With regard to churches: the groups that exist on the whole find their use of the local diocesan church perfectly adequate. I think I read that the Archbishop of Southwark has more or less handed one church into the care of the Ordinariate.  With regard to the suggestion that constantly comes up about a headquarters church, as it were – a cathedral for the Ordinariate – I think that is something probably beyond their resources at the present time, and I don’t think the Ordinariate would thank us, actually, to simply give it responsibility for a church that it would have to then maintain and upkeep.  That day might well come, and it certainly is not ruled out  there are various things under consideration – but the timing of it is not to be rushed, and nor should it be made into some sort of iconic issue: it isn’t. The Ordinariate is getting established, it’s getting ready for its’ second step, and we will see how it develops in that proper organic way.





Bishop of London on Anglicans, the new translation, and the Ordinariate

19 11 2011

In the new context of the erection of the Personal Ordinariates for the corporate reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See, and with the new translation of the Missale Romanum about to come into effect in England & Wales, Dr Richard Chartres, the Anglican Bishop of London, writes:

At Advent, our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church will be required to use new liturgical texts. We can always learn from the example of other members of the Christian community and indeed our own liturgy has been reformed by reference to the testimony and practices of the Church of the first centuries.

In former times before the liturgies of our Church had fully recovered these early forms, some of our priests adopted the Roman rite as a sign of fidelity to the ancient common tradition and an expression of our unity in Christ. At best their intention was to contribute to the recovery of a tradition which is both Catholic and Reformed, while pointing the way to the liturgical convergence we now enjoy, not least through the work of the international English Language Liturgical Consultation. They also recognised the proper place in the liturgy of prayer for leaders in the world wide church in addition to our own Archbishop. This is especially true of the Pope, who is undeniably the Patriarch of the West and as head of the Roman Catholic Church is charged with awesome pastoral and missionary responsibilities.

Much has been achieved and the debates of previous generations have influenced the Church’s liturgical practice and contributed to a convergence of eucharistic doctrine and rites. So it is with some dismay that I have learned of the intentions of some clergy in the Diocese to follow instructions which have been addressed to the Roman Catholic Church and to adopt the new Roman eucharistic rites at Advent.

The Pope has recently issued an invitation to Anglicans to move into full communion with the See of Rome in the Ordinariate where it is possible to enjoy the “Anglican patrimony” as full members of the Roman Catholic Church. Three priests in the Diocese have taken this step. They have followed their consciences.

For those who remain there can be no logic in the claim to be offering the Eucharist in communion with the Roman Church which the adoption of the new rites would imply. In these rites there is not only a prayer for the Pope but the expression of a communion with him; a communion Pope Benedict XVI would certainly repudiate.

At the same time rather than building on the hard won convergence of liturgical texts, the new Roman rite varies considerably from its predecessor and thus from Common Worship as well. The rationale for the changes is that the revised texts represent a more faithful translation of the Latin originals and are a return to more traditional language.

Priests and parishes which do adopt the new rites – with their marked divergences from the ELLC texts and in the altered circumstances created by the Pope’s invitation to Anglicans to join the Ordinariate – are making a clear statement of their disassociation not only from the Church of England but from the Roman Communion as well. This is a pastoral unkindness to the laity and a serious canonical matter. The clergy involved have sworn oaths of canonical obedience as well as making their Declaration of Assent. I urge them not to create further disunity by adopting the new rites.

There will be no persecution and no creation of ritual martyrs but at the same time there will be no opportunity to claim that the Bishop’s directions have been unclear. All the bishops of the Diocese when visiting parishes will celebrate according to the rites of the Church of England allowing for permitted local variations under Canon B5.

The full text may be read here.





Ordinariate: Ordinary welcomes news of Personal Ordinariate in US

16 11 2011

Press Release from the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, has expressed his joy at the announcement of a Personal Ordinariate for the United States.

Mgr Newton said, “This is a great day for the Church, particularly in the United States. It furthers the vision of our Holy Father set out in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, and it pushes forward the urgent call of Christ – that all may be one”.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl announced at the Fall Meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that the US Ordinariate will be formally erected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 1 January 2012, when the name of the Ordinariate and the first Ordinary will be announced.

The full text of Cardinal Wuerl’s address can be found here.

Bishop Kevin Vann, who is to take on the role of Ecclesiastical Delegate for the Pastoral Provision in the US, said “[T]oday marks an important movement towards greater diversity and at the same time a reaffirmation of the universality of what Jesus Christ established”. 15 November 2011





Full text of Cardinal Wuerl’s address to USCCB

15 11 2011
Report on the Implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 15, 2011
by His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington

Thank you Archbishop Dolan.  With me for this presentation are Bishop Robert McManus and Bishop Kevin Vann, the other members of the Conference’s ad hoc Committee on the Implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus.

With us, as well, are Father Jeffrey Steenson and Father Scott Hurd, who have worked with the committee.

At our June General Assembly meeting in Seattle, I provided a brief report and update on the progress being made in the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.  At that time, I asked for and received a show of support for the material I presented by way of a consultation with the bishops.

At the September Administrative Committee meeting, I was asked to prepare an update for this General Assembly meeting which I am pleased now to present.

Between the time of my last report and today, a total of 67 dossiers of Anglican clergy seeking ordination as a Catholic priest have been prepared and sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  To date, 35 have received the nulla osta from the Congregation, which means that the individuals are free to move to the second stage, which includes a criminal background check, psychological evaluation and obtaining a votum from the Catholic bishop where the individual resides and from his Anglican ecclesiastical authority, if possible.

You may recall that earlier I wrote to each member of our Conference to ask for your observations on any Anglican community in your diocese that had indicated an interest in becoming a part of a future Ordinariate.

More recently I have been writing to you for those men who received a nulla osta asking if you would collaborate in helping them receive the necessary criminal background check and psychological evaluation.  I am grateful for the collaboration of so many of you in not only facilitating these two procedures but for underwriting the cost.  I have also written to those bishops in whose jurisdiction lives an Anglican cleric who has received the nulla osta, noting that Saint Luke Institute has generously offered to provide the psychological evaluation at a greatly reduced cost.  I want to thank all of you who have already responded in such a gracious manner.

In the meantime, two Anglican communities have come into full communion in the Catholic Church in anticipation of the formation of an Ordinariate.  One community was received in the Diocese of Fort Worth, another in the Archdiocese of Washington.

On October 29, 2011, I received a letter from His Eminence Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, indicating that “in an audience granted to me on October 28, 2011, Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has approved the erection of an Ordinariate in the United States.  I therefore write to authorize you as this Congregation’s Delegate for the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus to address the plenary session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, due to meet in Baltimore…in order to advise the Bishops of these developments.”

The Congregation has communicated that the canonical erection of the Ordinariate will take place on January 1, 2012, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  At that time, I assume that an Ordinary will be named and the Ordinariate will begin its work.

What lies ahead of both the Ordinariate and all of us who will be working with the new Ordinary includes a number of steps.

For those Anglican congregations who wish to become a part of the Ordinariate, there is a program of catechesis prepared by your ad hoc Committee for the Implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus and approved by the Holy See.  This program will be made available through the Ordinariate once it is functioning.  Our Conference’s United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is designated as the catechetical tool for the review of the faith by those who wish to be received into full communion in the Catholic Church.  You may also recall that I asked during the presentation last June if, in an effort to assist this catechetical component, you might be willing to have diocesan or parish catechists be engaged with the Anglican congregation in its catechetical formation during this transition.

As for those seeking ordination as a Catholic priest, the program of priestly formation for them, approved by the Congregation, is based at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Houston and is available either on campus or through the University’s distance learning program.

Again, I want to thank His Eminence Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, for his generosity, wise counsel and support in helping to move forward this formation program.  Your Eminence, I am also grateful to the Rector of your seminary and its staff for their collaboration.

In a particular way, I want to thank Father Jeffrey Steenson, a Pastoral Provision priest who was formerly the Episcopal Bishop of Rio Grande, for his assistance in the preparation of the program of priestly formation for those Anglican clerics seeking ordination as a Catholic priest.  I also want to recognize Father Scott Hurd, a Pastoral Provision priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, who functions as staff to our Committee.  The Committee is deeply grateful to both priests.

At this point in the process, between now and the erection of the Ordinariate, your ad hoc Committee and Father Hurd will continue to work with all of those Anglican clergy who have received the nulla osta to move on to the second stage and to write to each of you involved, asking for your support in obtaining for the candidate the criminal background check, the psychological evaluation, and your votum.  I will also ask for your kind assistance in the oversight of catechetical preparation of the communities seeking to join the Ordinariate.

Personally, and on behalf of the committee and all of those involved in the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, I want to thank you for your keen collaboration and your gracious support of this effort.

I remain convinced that this Ordinariate will be a true expression of the Catholic Church because of your engagement in the steps leading up to the acceptance of the candidates for ordination and for your involvement in the catechetical formation of the members of the congregations seeking membership in the Ordinariate.  Your involvement is one of the guarantees of the well being of the Ordinariate as it is established and begins to receive both clergy and congregations.

A number of questions have arisen, and I would like to touch briefly on them.  If the Ordinary of the new Ordinariate is married, then he can be ordained a priest, but not a bishop.  Thus the ordination of priests for the Ordinariate will need to be carried out by one of us.  My hope and recommendation is that since the former Anglican who will now become a Catholic priest will live and serve in the diocese of one of us, even though belonging to the Ordinariate, each of us would offer respectively to ordain the new priest.  There is no adaptation or change in the Ordination Rite for someone being ordained to the Anglicanorum coetibus Ordinariate.

Discussions are underway with the Military Archdiocese to ensure that those Anglican clergy who serve as chaplains to the military and who come into full communion as a part of the Ordinariate will be available for service in the Military Archdiocese.

Regarding the liturgical provision for Personal Ordinariates, it is important to note that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship have established an interdicasterial body which will be responsible for provisions for the liturgical celebrations of the Personal Ordinariates.  However, from its erection, an Ordinariate will have the option of using the Roman Missal or the Book of Divine Worship already used by the Pastoral Provision or Anglican Use parishes.

Speaking of the Pastoral Provision, Bishop Kevin Vann has been nominated the Pastoral Provision Delegate for the United States and at the conclusion of my remarks I would ask him to share his observations with us.

Finally in concluding these remarks, I want again to thank all of your for your enormous support.  It was two years ago that I was invited to Rome for the initial conversations in response to the Holy Father’s expressed desire to move forward in a way that would adequately answer the requests for some form of corporate reunion with the Catholic Church.  The response of our Conference in immediately establishing an ad hoc Committee for the Implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus and your support, encouragement and practical advice have brought us to the point where in some six weeks time the Ordinariate will come into existence.

I hope you know how truly grateful I and your ad hoc Committee are to you.  Thank you!





Ordinariate: Mgr Burnham on the Liturgical Patrimony of the Ordinariate

21 10 2011

The website of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has published this report:

Monsignor Andrew Burnham addressed over fifty members and friends of the Association for Latin Liturgy in Brighton on Saturday 15 October 2011. After celebrating Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Latin), Mgr Burnham delivered a paper on The Liturgical Patrimony of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Reform of the Reform. Seeking to address issues of Anglican liturgical patrimony – both with any future Ordinariate Use and the integration of Anglican liturgical traits into the celebration of the Roman Rite – Mgr Burnham spoke about the importance of hymnody and ceremonial, but also of the common respect for the use of psalmody in Eucharistic worship, as well as in the Liturgy of the Hours, in both Catholic and Anglican practice. Whilst there is a strong Anglican tradition of vernacular liturgy, Mgr Burnham stressed that the aims of groups such as the Association for Latin Liturgy are held in common with those who – through the reunification of the Anglican tradition with the Catholic Church – seek to renew the liturgy of the Church, and bring more people to the fullness of faith in Christ, through the beauty of holiness.





Church Union: Message from Fr Edwin Barnes

28 07 2011

Fr Edwin Barnes, President of the Church Union and a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham writes:

I was very pleased to take on the Presidency of the Church Union on the retirement of Bishop Eric Kemp. It seemed to me that there was still a task for a Catholic Society within the Church of England, especially one which sought reunion with the Holy See. When the Pope’s offer to us of Anglicanorum Coetibus was revealed, it seemed to me just what we had been seeking for so long – a way for groups of Anglicans to become members of the larger Catholic Church. United but not absorbed, for the Holy Father asked us to retain elements of our distinctive Patrimony.

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New charity founded to help fund Ordinariate

15 07 2011

From the new Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

London 14 July 2011: Today a new charity was launched: Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The Friends is a company limited by guarantee (company number: 7680821) which was formed on 23 June 2011. The Friends was given charitable status by the Charity Commissioners on 1 July 2011 (Charity Number 1142667).

The aim of the Friends is to assist financially all aspects of the work of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Donations made to the Friends will, in particular, be used to support the 60 or so clergy who have left the Church of England to become priests of the Ordinariate. There are also considerable costs involved in the maintenance of buildings and in the administration of the Ordinariate. The Ordinary, the Right Reverend Monsignor Keith Newton, estimates that annual running costs of the Ordinariate will be at least one million pounds and, as the number of both clergy and laity increase, this will grow.

The Friends is asking all Catholics – whether they are cradle Catholics or converts – to support the Ordinary in realising the historic and momentous task that has been given personally by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, to Monsignor Keith Newton. To share this burden with him the Friends is asking all supporters to set up a standing order at their bank to give the Ordinariate a regular, dependable, income.

A number of distinguished figures have consented to become Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Friends. These are Dom Aidan Bellenger OSB, Dom David Charlesworth OSB, Lord Deben, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing, Sir Adrian FitzGerald bt, Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth bt, Father Ignatius Harrison Cong.Orat., The Squire
de Lisle, Charles Moore Esq., The Duke of Norfolk, The Countess of Oxford & Asquith, The Duchess of Somerset, and Lord Nicholas Windsor. Mgr Keith Newton is the Honorary President of the Friends. The trustees are Mgr John Broadhurst, Mgr Andrew Burnham, Mr Michael Hodges, Mr Peter Sefton-Williams and Fr Mark Vickers.

Mgr Keith Newton said at the launch: “I have the responsibility for providing for the financial needs of the clergy and for their families being received into the Catholic Church. I appeal, therefore, to as many of you as possible for financial assistance to help me fulfil that responsibility through joining the Friends of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Please be as generous as you can.”

William Joseph, Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has also sent this message for the launch of the Friends of the Ordinariate: “I urge you all to assist the new Ordinary in the unique mission that has been entrusted to him by the Holy Father not only with your prayers but also with every practical support”.








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