Report: Ordinariate Meeting at Winchmore Hill
The meeting at Holy Trinity, Winchmore Hill
, was very good. It began with Mass and was followed by lunch and a series of short addresses and concluded with a question and answer session. The first address was a brief outline of the background to Anglicanorum Coetibus
and an explanation of how groups who wished to respond positively to the Holy Father’s offer would become part of the life of the Catholic Church. The second speaker described how the process of catechesis worked in his parish and how some of the difficult issues of Church teaching were addressed and tackled head on.
There were, of course many questions, some of which it was not possible to answer with any certainty. Where, for instance, will groups worship? Although there is, as yet, no clear answer, it seems reasonable to suggest that, in London, groups will be established based in both north, central, east and west London.
At the time of the meeting the timetable for the setting up of the Ordinariate was not in the public domain. It is now clear that the name of the Ordinary will be announced in January and the serving Anglican bishops ordained to the priesthood without delay. Those in the first wave will be received during Holy Week and ordinations to the priesthood will follow at around Pentecost for those candidates whose applications for ordination have been accepted.
It was stressed that Anglicanorum Coetibus is intended for those who believe that God is calling them to embrace the fullness of Catholic unity positively. There is a need for humility: Anglican priests will have to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood and laity will need to be confirmed. However, it should be remembered that the Ordination rite for ex-Anglicans is generous in its affirmation of their previous ministry and that all those who enter the Ordinariate have done so as part of a journey of authentic discipleship begun in Baptism. Anglicanorum Coetibus recognises that there are many treasures in Anglicanism that will be an enrichment to the Catholic Church and its aim is for unity rather than absorption.
A follow-up meeting will take place, hopefully at Christ the King, Gordon Square, for those who wish to begin the process of catechesis. The date will be confirmed very shortly.