Fr Ray Blake: Ordinariate – Bricks and Mortar essential to Patrimony

15 12 2011

Fr Ray Blake writes:

I have been intrigued by Damian Thompson’s piece on the Ordinariate, I have certainly been wondering about that illusive church and why the Nuncio should use the word “meticulous” to describe the bishops implementartion of Anglicanorum Coetibus and why despite what the Apostolic Constitution says the English and Welsh bishops seem to have a veto on ordinations. “When the Archbishop of Westminster came to talk to us”, said a friend who is part of Allen Hall formation group, “he thanked Dr Wang for arranging the very speedy Formation prior to ordination, and (tellingly) added “I don’t think we’ll let it happen so quickly in future”. I am not sure that is what Anglicanorum Coetibus says.

I checked out Damian’s story with another Ordinariate friend and received this email, emphasis is mine:

DT is right, of course, but to a point. It’s unfair to suggest (as he does I think) that the Ordinariate leadership are holding this up – it’s very difficult to ask for something when you have no money! That said, everyone I’ve spoken to about it seems to be of the mind that we must have churches soon, and I agree. These will not only ensure that the fragile Ordinariate Groups have a secure base and a future, but form a significant part of our fundraising initiatives. If people see that we have buildings to support, to beautify, and to establish our distinctive ecclesial life, they will respond. It’s hard to get people to ‘buy into’ a project which, thus far, has been more on paper than anything else. They will also form important centres for evangelisation – one of the key aspects of Anglican pastoral practice is the subsequent evangelisation of those who come forward for occasional offices(baptisms, marriage, funerals, etc). If we are constantly referring such people to the Parish Priest of the church we live out of, that will never take off.

I am of the mind that we should take every single church building offered to us and make something of it whilst we’re still on the crest of the wave.

We also need to ensure that Anglican clergy who approach the Ordinariate without groups are not encouraged not disappear to the diocese (unless, of course, that’s what they really want). If Bishop X offers a church somewhere, we’ll need clergy to go and plant it – at the moment almost all of the Ordinariate priests are looking after groups.

The slowness of the arrival of the Ordinariate liturgy is perhaps another factor but it is a Church building, a home, making the Ordinariate bricks and mortar that seems key. Bricks and mortar are essential to the patrimony.