VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A priest at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is affirming that the newly established Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is “very important” to Benedict XVI.
Members of the ordinariate, established for former Anglicans wishing to enter full communion with the Catholic Church, recently visited Rome and met with staff at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including the prefect, Cardinal William Levada.
Father Hermann Geissler, head of the dicastery’s doctrinal office, gave an interview to The Portal, an independent review of the ordinariate.
He affirmed that “the ordinariate is very important to the Holy Father.”
“In the area of ecumenism it strengthens the Catholic Church’s approach in two ways,” the priest noted. “It promotes sincere dialogue with a Christian defense of life and the promotion of peace.”
He stated: “The goal of the ecumenical movement is complete visible union with one Christ and with Peter in one Church. We must cooperate and grow together.”
Father Geissler affirmed that the Pope is called to promote unity in the Church and world. “He is the chief shepherd, he cannot do otherwise.”
“Unity is built on two pillars, love and truth,” the priest added.
He reported that 50-60 clergy and some 1,000 laity are already planning to join the ordinariate, and “every soul is precious.”
The priest added that there are also groups interested in following a similar model in the United States, Canada and Australia. He noted his dicastery is “watching events carefully” in Africa as well.
“We are not to give in to difficulties,” Father Geissler said. “We are to be generous and welcoming.”
He continued: “The issue is the whole question of unity and of mission. When God plants a beautiful tree, he cares for it.”
The priest concluded: “We pray for you that the ordinariate goes well. Priests are already ordained.
“We must be faithful to unity.
“We will do all we can to help you together with the bishops of England and Wales. Be encouraged by the words of Jesus Christ, ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and everything else will be given you.’ There will be suffering, but God will guide us.”