Bishop Peter Elliott’s report on the Ordinariate in England

3 02 2012

From the Personal Ordinariate of  Our Lady of Walsingham’s official website:

The first birthday of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was celebrated fittingly on Sunday January 15th  2012  at St James, Spanish Place, with Solemn Evensong, Sermon, Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, Te Deum and Benediction. Together with other clergy, I assisted in choir at this act of thanksgiving on the last night of a fascinating two week visit to London.

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton presided and preached. What I found most encouraging was not only his “upbeat” message, full of his own warmth and pastoral confidence, but the sense of achievement and joy among the large congregation who had gathered for the celebration.

The choir of St James brought forth the best of the Anglican Patrimony, wedded to the English Catholic heritage,  We entered to Parry “I was glad when they said unto me” (vivid memories of the coronation in 1953). Stanford provided the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!” accompanied the Eucharistic procession, while the canopy over the Sacrament was borne by four robed Knights of Malta. Stanford again gave us his Te Deum, while Elgar provided a limpid O Salutaris, not forgetting the traditional translation of Benediction used across three centuries by the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament.

What I discerned in London is an Ordinariate that is growing steadily, facing challenges, especially church sharing, yet moving ahead. Nevertheless, some Catholic journalists have claimed that undue control is being exercised over the Ordinariate by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales. Frankly I do not share that concern.

The Bishops I talked to want the Ordinariate to flourish and are not overprotective. But, to be realistic, at this stage the Ordinariate is very young, a “nursling in arms”. It needs much support, care and encouragement as it gradually finds its place in the wider Church. It will not be absorbed and it will not be turned into an ecclesiastical nature reserve. Nor should we heed mischievous rumors that some people are reverting to Anglicanism out of disappointment. Long ago, that tale was spread about Blessed John Henry Newman himself. It is a standard fantasy, the gossip of those who feel insecure about other people’s choices. In fact, new groups are forming and emerging and individuals are quietly making their choice for unity.

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Bishop Peter Elliott: The Marian & Petrine Principles in the Catholic Church

9 12 2011

Bishop Peter Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne and Episcopal Delegate for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, preached this sermon at Evensong & Benediction for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the Church of the Holy Cross, South Caulfield, Victoria, Australia. It is reproduced here from the Anglo-Catholic.

The heart of Corpus Christi College, the seminary of the Province of Melbourne and the archdiocese of Hobart, is a beautiful gothic chapel. Recently constructed within the bluestone shell of a modest colonial church, it features two windows on either side of a Pugin tabernacle. The rich stained glass depicts the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, but in a most original way.

On one side the apostles are gathered around Mary in prayer, a detail recorded by St Luke leading into his account of Pentecost (cf Acts 1:14). That window represents the Marian dimension of the Church. On the other side the window presents St Peter presiding as teacher among the apostles. This scene represents the Petrine dimension of the Church, perpetuated across all ages in the Popes, teaching and governing as the true successors of the Fisherman of Galilee.

Future priests who raise their eyes to the glowing colour of the windows are invited to contemplate the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church in two complimentary principles. The Marian and the Petrine dimensions are held together through what guides them both, the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete who prays in and through us and who guides and preserves the Church from falling into error.

In the new English translation of the Roman Mass, the Church is consistently referred to as “she” and “her”. In that perspective of the Church our Mother we find Mary, first member of the Church, but, as Saint Augustine pointed out, she is not greater than the Church. Therefore when we take up the title given her at the end of the Second Vatican Council, “Mother of the Church”, we do not set her above the Church, rather she is found, like any good mother, within the family circle of the Church. As such we gather around her in prayer with the apostles of Pentecost.

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Tracey Rowland: The Anglican Patrimony

18 06 2011

Professor Tracey Rowland is Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage & Family in Melbourne, Australia, and gave this address at a conference for those exploring joining a Personal Ordinariate in Australia. She is also the author of the popular and excellent Ratzinger’s Faith, published by Oxford University Press.

Pope Benedict XVI has consistently held that the ecumenical process is one of acquiring unity in diversity, not structural reintegration.  For example, in his Ecumenical Address in Cologne in 2005 he remarked that ‘Ecumenism does not mean what could be called an ecumenism of the return: that is, to deny and to reject one’s own faith history – it does not mean uniformity in all expressions of theology and spirituality, in liturgical forms and in discipline’.

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Bishop Peter Elliott: A Catholic welcome for Anglicans – the Ordinariate in the Living Church

13 06 2011

Bishop Peter Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne and Episcopal Delegate of the Australian Bishops’ Conference for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, gave this address at an Ordinariate Information Day at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories, Camberwell, Melbourne, Victoria, on June 11, 2011. It is reproduced here from the Anglo-Catholic blog:

On this Vigil of Pentecost 2011 we have much to celebrate. The establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham within the Catholic Church in England has been accompanied by warm welcomes. The same pattern will soon unfold in the United States, Canada and Australia. The generous offer of Pope Benedict XVI is taking concrete visible form. The offer itself is a welcome from the Successor of St Peter, and his welcome is generating much good will in the Church.

It is significant that we meet at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories, Camberwell, one of Australia’s finest parish churches, combining Romanesque and Renaissance styles. This domed stone church was built in 1914 by a man of vision and imagination, Father George Robinson, himself a former Anglican. On the eve of the Great War he appealed across Australia to raise a national shrine in the Melbourne suburbs in honour of the Patroness of Australia, Our Lady Help of Christians, also known as Our Lady of Victories.

This Marian title recalls a critical moment in history, the sea battle of Lepanto, 1571, depicted in the glowing colours of the West window of this minor basilica. We see Pope Saint Pius V leading the people of Rome in fervent prayer, that through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians victory would be granted and Europe would be spared. Today we may entrust our enterprise to Our Lady’s help.

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ABC Sunday Nights: Bishop Peter Elliott interviewed on Australian Ordinariate

6 06 2011

In February, Bishop Peter Elliott and the TAC Primate, the Most Revd John Hepworth, were interviewed on ABC Sunday Nights. We missed it then and are grateful to a reader for pointing this out to us. Please click here to listen.

ABC News: Church looks for Catholic crossover

28 05 2011

From ABC News:

The primate of a breakaway church in Australia says the Vatican is likely to approve a new structure later this year to bring the Anglican and Catholic churches closer together. Archbishop John Hepworth from the Traditional Anglican Communion says he has been negotiating ways to allow Anglican priests to be accepted by the Catholic Church. Archbishop Hepworth says it is expected to be rolled out across parts of the world later this year, including the Traditional Anglican Communion in central Queensland. “The Anglican parish that is going into this in Rockhampton with three priests and their congregation has all agreed to it,” he said. “The priests have applied to be Catholic priests in the ordinariate, those applications are in the process of being approved. “We expect that they’ll be re-ordained as Catholic deacon and priest immediately the ordinariate is announced.”

Statement from TAC Primate

18 05 2011

Statement from TAC Primate, John Hepworth

I am grateful that Archbishop Collins has published a statement clarifying the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada.

My letter to Bishop Peter Elliott was a private communication on the eve of his current trip to Rome. Besides being the Delegate for Australia, Bishop Elliott has been requested by Cardinal Levada to liaise with me on Ordinariate implementation concerns of the Traditional Anglican Communion,

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Pray for Ordinariates in US, Canada, & Australia

13 04 2011

Anglicans and Catholics in the United States, in Canada, in Australia and elsewhere will be praying for the establishment of Personal Ordinariates in those regions tomorrow. Please click here for further information. Do join them in prayer as they seek to fulfil the will of Christ through the generosity of the Holy Father.

Catholic Weekly: No date set yet for Anglican ordinariate (in Australia)

31 03 2011

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.”

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Bishop Peter Elliott: Unity in Faith

28 02 2011

With thanks to The Anglo-Catholic, we reproduce the text of Bishop Peter Elliott’s address to a group of Anglicans exploring the Ordinariate in Australia. Bishop Elliott is the Episcopal Delegate for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, in the Episcopal Conference of Australia, and himself a former Anglican. He is now Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne.


Receiving Gifts and Bringing Gifts to the Ordinariate

Ordinariate Festival, Holy Family Parish, Como,
Perth, Western Australia, February 26, 2011

Anglicans on the way to full communion in an ordinariate are already discovering that they are part of a surprising adventure of faith. I refer not only to the step of personal commitment, but to a wider and deeper corporate experience of unity in the Faith that comes to us from the Apostles. This Faith of the Church is secured by being “in communion” with the Successor of St Peter.

What some nervous Anglo Catholic may imagine as coming under tighter control, with a narrower vision, is in reality quite the opposite. Catholic unity in faith is a broadening experience – entering a wider domain with endless vistas, yet knowing all the while that here there is always a secure parameter which Chesterton once compared to a garden wall giving children the security to play and be happy. While that is true, I would prefer to emphasize the authoritative point of reference at the centre of the Faith of millions.

This point of reference was identified and celebrated in a magnificent gesture of commitment, when the bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church in Fr Dolling’s historic church at Portsmouth in October 2007. Their action was prophetic, anticipating what would appear two years later in Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, where we read “The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith professed by members of the Ordinariate.” (1 § 5).

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