From The Catholic Weekly:
No date has been finalised yet for the foundation of the Australian Ordinariate, says Bishop Peter Elliott, the Australian Catholic Bishops’ delegate for assisting lay Anglicans join the Church.
It had been hoped the first personal ordinariate in Australia for former Anglicans would be established by June.
“In Australia we are quietly moving to that stage when we hope the Holy See will establish an ordinariate,” said Bishop Elliott, auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne.
“There will be a centre in all major cities, with plans for centres in other areas where groups of Anglicans seek Catholic unity through the ordinariate.
“People in all States are showing interest and this was evident at the ordinariate festivals recently held in Queensland and Western Australia.
“Formal applications for membership will be possible when the time frame is clearer.”
The Times newspaper reports about 900 members of the Church of England have quit their parishes and begun worshipping in the Catholic Church.
At least 600 laity were expected to join the new ordinariate, set up by Pope Benedict XVI to receive disaffected Anglicans, but the first official figures showed the number was higher than expected.
More than 4700 people recently gathered in cathedrals across England and Wales as part of their preparation to be received into the Catholic Church during Holy Week in the run-up to Easter.
Of these, 900 are expected to be received into the new group, officially called the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. This includes 61 former Anglican clergy in addition to the five who have already been ordained Catholic priests.
“The situation in the UK re the new ordinariate for former Anglicans is different to Australia,” said Bishop Elliott.
“There most people on the way to the ordinariate are members of the Church of England, so the procedure of reconciliation is more closely tied to relations with Catholic dioceses and parishes.
“Moreover they have to leave behind their beautiful churches. They have been told that they cannot bring these properties with them into the ordinariate … provision needs to be made for them within the Catholic community.
“On the other hand, in Australia, people entering the ordinariate are coming into Catholic unity from two sources: from the official Anglican Church of Australia and from the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, an independent jurisdiction, the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). It is hoped that some churches will be provided by the latter community for the ordinariate along with other churches that will need to be provided by the Catholic Church.”