Infocatolica: Interview with Fr Edwin Barnes

5 04 2012

The Spanish-language site Infocatolica carries an interview with Fr Edwin Barnes. It is available in Spanish here. A translation follows below:

– Fr. Barnes, when I interviewed you two years ago, you were an Anglican bishop. Now you are a Catholic priest. Are you happy with the change?

Yes, very happy indeed. No regrets.

– Has your relationship with God, with Our Lady, with the saints changed in any way?

I hope it has deepened, but that is not for me to judge

– Have you felt welcome in the Roman Catholic Church? Any bad experiences?

Thoroughly welcome; and no bad experiences at all.

– Have you received/are you receiving any training as a Catholic priest?

Yes, I attended an initial three-month course with weekly sessions at Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea. Now, as a former Anglican bishop, I am not required to continue attending, but I do so on a monthly basis and intend to continue for the next two years. I am also receiving great help and support from local priests in developing a certain ‘Romanitas’.

– What are your current tasks in the Ordinariate? Do the priests of the Ordinariate work only with their Anglo-Catholic parishioners or do you also help at diocesan parishes?

I have temporary responsibility for an Ordinariate Group which meets twice each week in Bournemouth, in a Catholic Parish Church. I also assist in our local Catholic parish – I have said Mass there three times this week, and have also heard confessions. Besides this I join with other priests in the Pastoral Area and in the last two weeks have been present at two liturgies of reconciliation, hearing confessions. I have also spoken to groups of priests about the Ordinariate and have joined CCC (the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy).

– Have you petitioned the Holy See to be able to use mitre and crozier, as is your privilege as a former Anglican bishop?

No, nor shall I. I am simply a priest of the Ordinariate and am happy to remain so.

– How many priests and laymen are there now in Our Lady of Walsingham’s Ordinariate? Any religious men or women? And how many groups/parishes?

There are some hundred priests and around a thousand lay members, though this number is growing all the time. We have as yet no parishes established, but around fifty Groups either already formed or in formation. There are three women religious who are living in community in East London. Two male religious who came into the Church at the same time as us have joined an established Order. I understand there are likely to be others.

– I understand that the ‘second wave’ of the English Ordinariate will be received this Easter. Will it be as numerous as the first one?

There are, I think, about twenty men waiting to be ordained this summer. Many of them will bring groups of laity with them, though I do not know what numbers are involved. The Church of England is currently making decisions about attempting to ordain women as bishops. If and when  this happens there are likely to be further Anglicans seeking to join the Ordinariate. Certainly there are more Anglican clergy considering their future.

– Has the English Ordinariate received or is it planning to receive any members from the TTAC or other continuing churches?

A Bishop of the Church of England who has led a TAC group is to be ordained later this month. I believe there may be four or five priests who are likely to be ordained after appropriate training. I know of one local TAC congregation most of whose members – about twenty – are to be received this year. They are receiving instruction from a Priest of the Ordinariate (among others).

– Are you planning to acquire your own churches, as the American Ordinariate, or will you continue to share the buildings with the dioceses?

At present we expect to continue sharing buildings, though in a few cases Ordinariate priests have been put in charge of existing parishes, and their Groups of Former Anglicans have joined them there.

– In your opinion, what are the main obstacles in the way of the English Ordinariate?

The English have a great attachment to buildings; the beautiful ancient parish churches, all in the hands of the Church of England since the Reformation, are the biggest single obstacle to the growth of the Ordinariate.

– Any special intention you would like our Spanish readers to pray for?

Pray, please, for the Church of England, many of whose members are in turmoil at present – not least because of Government decisions to undermine the sacramental nature of Marriage and extend it to those in same-sex partnerships; and that the members of the Ordinariate may be humble and welcoming towards those who feel rejected by the Church of England, but who are hesitant to commit themselves to the Catholic Church. Pray, too, that we may find the financial resources to train new priests, and support those, especially young priests with families, who have given up a great deal to join the Ordinariate.

Thank you for your interest in this great experiment which the Holy Father has enabled us to undertake.

Ordinariate Chrism Mass: Comment and Photographs

4 04 2012

Joanna Bogle writes:

A Chrism of history…

 …as the Papal Nuncio concelebrated the first Chrism Mass for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Over 60 former Anglican clergy, and five former Anglican bishops, all now in full Communion with the universal Church, were joined by a packed congregation at St James’, Spanish Place…it was a great privilege to be there and something that I will never forget.

Glorious music, a beautiful and reverent liturgy, the roar of strong voices affirming promises of commitment to the sacred priesthood, a fine sermon by Mgr Keith Newton. As has become a little tradition at Chrism Masses, members of the Association of Catholic Women handed out small holy cards to all the clergy as they arrived, with a message of thanks for the service they give to the Church.

The Sacred Oils were brought up to the altar in procession with the hosts and wine before the Offertory – the Sisters of the Ordinariate in their blue religious habits and veils,were in the procession bearing the gifts.

The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Deo Gratias.

Photos here

Ordinariate celebrates a week to remember

1 03 2012


Around one hundred members of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham spent last week on pilgrimage of thanksgiving to Rome. Led by the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton, the pilgrims made their way to the Eternal City to give thanks for the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and for all the many blessings they have received.

On Monday, His Eminence Cardinal Bernard Law celebrated and preached for the group at Santa Maria Maggiore. During his homily the Cardinal recalled the devotion of Anglo-­‐Catholics to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and how this reminds all Christians of the true nature of God and of humanity. In the evening, the group celebrated the traditional Anglican service of Evensong in Santa Maria in Trastevere, singing words from the Book of Common Prayer.

Tuesday saw the Ordinary preside at the Eucharist in San Giorgio in Velabro, the titular church of the Ordinariate’s patron and nineteenth century Anglican convert, Blessed John Henry Newman. During the Mass a former Anglican clergyman and his wife received the Sacrament of ConPirmation and hymns by Cardinal Newman were sung. The Ordinary, preaching at the Mass, recalled Newman’s famous biglietto speech which was delivered when he was made a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII.

After the Mass, pilgrims visited the Papal Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls, where they were greeted by Abbot Edmund Power OSB. The group was joined for supper by Monsignor Mark Langham from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who spoke warmly and enthusiastically about the contribution of Personal Ordinariates to the life of the Catholic Church.

The group was joined on Ash Wednesday by His Eminence Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as Monsignor Steven Lopes and Monsignor Patrick Burke, and Father Uwe Michael Lang from the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The Cardinal celebrated Mass with the priests, deacons and lay faithful of the Ordinariate before the group went to the General Audience with Pope Benedict XVI. During the audience the Holy Father spokeabout
the conversion of all people during the season of Lent, and also welcomed especially the clergy and lay faithful of the Ordinariate. At the close of the ceremony, Mgr Newton was presented to the Holy Father
alongside other visiting dignitaries. In the afternoon, members of the group were present at the Papal Mass for Ash Wednesday in Santa Sabina.

On Thursday, members of the group visited the monasteries of Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica in Subiaco.

At Saint Peter’s on Friday, the group celebrated Mass with traditional Anglican hymns. After Mass
the Ordinary led the General Thanksgiving, originally from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, at the tomb of the Apostle, St Peter.

The final day was marked by the celebration of Holy Mass in Santa Maria del Popolo before the pilgrims set off for the UK.

Pilgrims were drawn from around thirty groups of former Anglicans who are now members of the Catholic Church across the UK. They were received into the full communion of the Catholic Church in 2011 as a result of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.

Event: Oxford Evensong and Benediction, Wednesday 29th February

25 02 2012

Catholic News Agency: Former Anglicans make thanksgiving pilgrimage to Rome

25 02 2012

By David Kerr, CNA

Over 100 former Anglicans from the British Isles concluded a pilgrimage to Rome Feb. 24 in thanksgiving for the creation of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

“It has been quite poignant because almost all of the people who are with me were not Catholics until Easter last year,” Monsignor Keith Newton, the head of the U.K. ordinariate told CNA on Feb. 24.

The ordinariate was established last year by Pope Benedict XVI to give Anglicans the possibility of entering into communion with the Catholic Church while still preserving their “distinctive Anglican patrimony.”

“Now they have come to the center of Catholicism, they’ve come to the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul to pray and to give thanks, and I think they’ve been genuinely moved by this, really,” Msgr. Newton said of his fellow pilgrims.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham already has 57 priests and over 1,000 members throughout England, Wales and Scotland. This Easter it will receive another 200 lay people and 20 priests into the Church.

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Catholic News Service: Former Anglicans celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s, give thanks to pope

25 02 2012

By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For perhaps the first time ever, Anglican hymns, chants and prayers reverberated off the marble walls of St. Peter’s Basilica as some members of the world’s first ordinariate for former Anglicans celebrated their coming into the Catholic Church.

“Wonderful is not a strong enough word to express how we feel to be here,” where the apostle Peter gave his life “and where his successors guarded the faith for generations,” said Father Len Black in his homily.

Mass at the basilica and the pilgrimage to Rome generated “a feeling of coming home,” said the Catholic priest who served as an Episcopalian pastor in the Scottish Highlands for 31 years.

The group of about 94 pilgrims, including a dozen priests, was led by Msgr. Keith Newton, head of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was established in January 2011 for former Anglicans in England and Wales.

After celebrating morning Mass Feb. 24 in a side chapel, the group moved to the center of the basilica and stood in front of the “Confessio” — a lower chapel honoring St. Peter’s confession of faith that led to his martyrdom — and recited the General Thanksgiving, a traditional Anglican prayer.

“That was very moving, thanking God for all we received this year and for the pilgrimage,” he told Catholic News Service.

The weeklong Lenten pilgrimage highlighted the season’s call to conversion but also was an opportunity to thank Pope Benedict XVI for establishing a structure for welcoming former Anglicans into the Catholic Church. Msgr. Newton, the ordinary, also met briefly with the pope at the end of the pope’s general audience Feb. 22.

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Holy Father greets Ordinariate Pilgrims

22 02 2012

From Rome Reports: click here for a video of the Holy Father’s catechesis.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today the Church celebrates Ash Wednesday, the beginning of her Lenten journey towards Easter.  The entire Christian community is invited to live this period of forty days as a pilgrimage of repentance, conversion and renewal.

In the Bible, the number forty is rich in symbolism.  It recalls Israel’s journey in the desert, a time of expectation, purification and closeness to the Lord, but also a time of temptation and testing.  It also evokes Jesus’ own sojourn in the desert at the beginning of his public ministry, a time of profound closeness to the Father in prayer, but also of confrontation with the mystery of evil.

The Church’s Lenten discipline is meant to help deepen our life of faith and our imitation of Christ in his paschal mystery.

In these forty days may we draw nearer to the Lord by meditating on his word and example, and conquer the desert of our spiritual aridity, selfishness and materialism.  For the whole Church may this Lent be a time of grace in which God leads us, in union with the crucified and risen Lord, through the experience of the desert to the joy and hope brought by Easter.

I greet all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, especially those from England, Belgium, Norway, Canada and the United States.  I offer a special welcome to the faithful of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on the occasion of their pilgrimage to the See of Peter.  I greet the pilgrim group from the Diocese of Antwerp, and I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song.  With prayerful good wishes for a spiritually fruitful Lent, I invoke upon all of you God’s abundant blessings!

Pastoral Letter to those preparing for reception

22 02 2012


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We begin today the great season of Lent in which the Church is, each year, called to penance and conversion in a mystical journey that take her through the passion and death of the Lord, to the Promised Land of the resurrection.

Ash Wednesday also marks the formal start of a journey for those of you who seek to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Your pilgrimage through the desert of Lent will, this year, be especially poignant.

In the First Reading at Mass today we hear this sentiment rehearsed once more: “Come back to me with all your heart […] turn to the Lord your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion”.

That call to continuing conversion – the recognition of our sin and a true spirit of contrition and repentance – is a universal call to sanctity which, in a special way, you bravely take up this Lent.

Take courage that the reward of faithful commitment to Christ is a deepening  of our personal relationship with him, in and through his Catholic Church.

As you study the faith and prepare spiritually for your reception during Holy Week, allow your heart to be fully converted toward Christ, and fully open to him, so that his love and his grace finds there fertile ground to take root, and to flourish. Only then can we completely allow his heart to speak to our hearts, and know truly the depth of his love.

May God bless you as you set out on this journey, and may Our Lady, Star of the Sea, be your guide to the safe harbour which awaits you.

The Right Reverend Monsignor Keith Newton
Ordinary of  the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Rome Reports: Ordinariate for former Anglicans visits Pope and Rome

22 02 2012

Mgr Jeffrey Steenson: Inaugural Homily – ‘The Chair of St Peter and Christian Unity’

13 02 2012

The Chair of St. Peter and Christian Unity


“Behold how good and joyful a thing it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps. 133:1). With all our hearts, let us thank Pope Benedict XVI for this beautiful gift, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, and let us pray that it may further the goal of Catholic unity. When Cardinal Wuerl told me that the Holy Father would establish the Ordinariate under this name, I truly rejoiced, for it goes to the heart of what our mission should be. And it helps us to understand why our Lord entrusted His Church to St. Peter in the first place.


So much ink has been spilled over the interpretation of these words of our Gospel, which Jesus spoke to Peter in Caesarea Philippi – “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (Mt. 16:18). Of course, for Catholics, the authoritative interpretation was provided at the First Vatican Council. But we must honestly acknowledge that Christians have read this text in different ways. Even amongst the church fathers there was not unanimity over what “On this Rock” means precisely. The great Augustine himself said that the reader must choose – Does this Rock signify Christ or Peter?  (Retract. 1.20). But Augustine quite properly would not have thought this a matter of either/or. For Peter brings everything to Christ. The trajectory is clear. We are Christ’s and Christ is God’s (I Cor. 3:23). I am grateful that, over the course of my ministry, the teachings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been so clear on this point – the Church exists to bring souls to Christ. But, as our text plainly affirms, Jesus has invested Peter with a ministry of fundamental importance. And he does so by employing three verbs in the future tense – I will build my church … the gates of hell will not prevail against it … I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. When Jesus speaks in the future tense, he draws all things to himself; we know then that this commission does not end with the historical Peter. The whole life of the Church on earth until the end of time is anticipated in this moment.


In this context, listen to St. Anselm, the 37th Archbishop of Canterbury, perhaps the greatest theologian ever to grace England’s green and pleasant land:  “This power was committed specially to Peter, that we might therefore be invited to unity. Christ therefore appointed him the head of the Apostles, that the Church might have one principal Vicar of Christ, to whom the different members of the Church should have recourse, if ever they should have dissentions among them. But if there were many heads in the Church, the bond of unity would be broken” (Cat. Aur. Mt. 16:19).


The first time we find Matthew 16:18 specifically applied to Peter’s successors, the Bishops of Rome, came amidst a controversy between Pope Stephen and Cyprian of Carthage in the middle of the third century. At the risk of sounding pedantic, I hope that you will permit me to speak briefly to this, because it is very relevant to the Ordinariate. In the Anglican tradition, the church fathers are held in high esteem; here is where we were taught to find our bearings on theological questions.

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