Mgr Mark Langham on the Week of Prayer and the Ordinariate

19 01 2012

Philippa Hitchen (Vatican Radio) speaks to Mgr Mark Langham from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, about the 2012 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Audio).  Here are Mgr Langham’s comments regarding the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, in the context of a wider conversation about this year’s Week of Prayer:

PH: Looking at a different aspect, a different question, we have the Ordinariate from England marking its first anniversary this month, don’t we, and making a pilgrimage to Rome, I believe.

ML: That’s right.  They’re coming out particularly as an act of thanksgiving for their first very fruitful year of existence, and the head of the English Ordinariate – we now have to make that distinction because there’s an American Ordinariate – the head of the English Ordinariate, Monsignor Keith Newton, is leading members of the Ordinariate to give thanks for the many blessings that they have received, but also – I feel it’s important to say – that they have bestowed on the rest of the Church as well.

They’re largely following their own schedule [during the pilgrimage], but I am going to meet with them and welcome them.  I know Mgr Newton very well and have kept in touch with him, but of course our office, formally, does not have dealings with the Ordinariate because ecumenism and the Ordinariate are separate issues, though of course they’re interrelated and have a bearing upon each other.

Ordinariate: An auspicious day marked in Newman’s pulpit

18 01 2012

From the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham:

A former Anglican priest and member of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham gave the Latin Sermon at the University of Oxford this weekend. John Hunwicke, who is well known for his erudite writing on liturgy and Classics, gave the sermon — not a sermon in the usual ecclesiastical sense — in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin on Sunday 15 January, the first anniversary of the establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, with the permission and blessing of the Ordinary. Whilst still an Anglican, Blessed John Henry Newman (who is the patron of the Ordinariate) was the Vicar of St Mary’s and it was from the same pulpit that he preached and John Keble gave his Assize Sermon, that the Latin Sermon is given. John Hunwicke joins other Catholics, including Professor Richard Parish, in giving the Latin Sermon.

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Ordinary’s Message for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2012

18 01 2012

Mgr Keith Newton writes:

On the night that our Lord was betrayed, in the upper room, he prayed that his followers should all be one (cf. John 17:21).  That all Christians are not united is a source of great scandal – because it limits and distorts the work of evangelisation, to which all Christ’s faithful are called.

In the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we have the opportunity to rekindle our desire for the full, visible unity of all Christians, and to assess once more the importance of Christ’s call – that all may be one.

Pope Benedict, in his response to Anglicans seeking fullness of communion with the Catholic Church, has shown us how this hope can be realised – in and through the unifying office of the Bishop of Rome, as the successor of St Peter.  He is truly the Pope of Christian Unity, because he shows that in the one Body of Christ we do not need to be divided to cherish our richly different traditions and identities, and that the Catholic Church is truly ready and able to manifest the unity of the Universal Church within its own life.

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William Johnstone: Policy to Unite Christians in Catholicism “A Truly Ecumenical Act”

6 01 2012

William Johnstone, a former Anglican clergyman who became a Catholic in 2001, works for the St Barnabas Society and is a member of Catholic Voices. He writes here in the Global Herald:

With the establishment of a second Ordinariate in America – recently announced as the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter – the process of healing the wounds of the Reformation continues. But along with the joy of welcoming Anglicans into the Church there have been a few cries of dissent. Various onlookers see the initiative as an attempt by Rome to benefit from the internal problems of the Anglican Communion. Even among Catholics there can be confusion about what the Ordinariate really means.

The reality of the situation is straight forward. There are significant groups of Anglicans who desire unity with the historic Catholic Church. Although some of these groups fall under the umbrella of Canterbury, others split off from the Anglican Communion years ago, and have grown used to maintaining their own buildings and structures. Alongside a common Anglican heritage, these groups share the desire for full communion with the See of Peter.

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Fr Edwin Barnes: United not Absorbed

16 12 2011

Fr Edwin Barnes of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, writes:

In 1925 Dom Lambert Beaduin wrote of L’Eglise Anglicane Unie non Absorbee. It is a marvellous concept, Unity without Absorption, but it is not easily achieved. The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham is attempting it, but it is still a work in formation. Some Groups are forging ahead, with good numbers of former Anglicans mostly from single parishes making a coherent body. One of these Groups has even been given the care of a Catholic mass-centre, and is effectively running it as a joint parish for both Ordinarians and Cradle-Catholics (I wish we had better terms than these to describe there two versions of Catholics).

In other places – and Bournemouth where I minister is one such – our numbers are small, gathered from half a dozen different Anglican parishes. My care for this group in my retirement can only be a temporary measure until other former Anglican priests are ordained for the Ordinariate. This does not mean, though, that we are being ‘swallowed up’ by some imagined ogre-ish Catholic Church of England and Wales. Instead we and the parish whose church building we share are gradually learning to trust each other, working together as and when it is appropriate, working in parallel at other times. With only a couple of dozen members in our Group, we could not sustain a daily Ordinariate Mass. Instead we have settled for one mid-week Mass and one Sunday Morning Mass. At other times we can go to our local catholic parishes.

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Church Times: Chartres – using Roman rite is ‘serious canonical matter’

26 11 2011

Church Times reports:

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, warned London clergy, in an ad clerum letter published last Friday, that adopting new Roman eucharistic rites would be a “serious canonical matter”. He urged them “not to create further disunity by adopting the new rites”, which are a translation of the 2002 third edition of the Roman Missal.

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Marylebone Ordinariate Group comment on the Bishop of London’s remarks

22 11 2011

From the blog of the Marylebone Ordinariate Group:

The new translation of the Mass is hitting the headlines.  As from next Sunday, it becomes compulsory for Catholic parishes in England and Wales to use this new, and in our view much-improved, translation.  The new translation was used for our Reception Mass on September 3rd, and seems to hit the right note between faithfulness to the Latin original, appropriate register and comprehensibility.  There might be one or two things that each of us might have altered, but overall this is a huge improvement.

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Comment on the Bishop of London’s comments

21 11 2011

Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith writes at the Catholic Herald.

Fr Ray Blake comments on his blog.

Bishop of London on Anglicans, the new translation, and the Ordinariate

19 11 2011

In the new context of the erection of the Personal Ordinariates for the corporate reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See, and with the new translation of the Missale Romanum about to come into effect in England & Wales, Dr Richard Chartres, the Anglican Bishop of London, writes:

At Advent, our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church will be required to use new liturgical texts. We can always learn from the example of other members of the Christian community and indeed our own liturgy has been reformed by reference to the testimony and practices of the Church of the first centuries.

In former times before the liturgies of our Church had fully recovered these early forms, some of our priests adopted the Roman rite as a sign of fidelity to the ancient common tradition and an expression of our unity in Christ. At best their intention was to contribute to the recovery of a tradition which is both Catholic and Reformed, while pointing the way to the liturgical convergence we now enjoy, not least through the work of the international English Language Liturgical Consultation. They also recognised the proper place in the liturgy of prayer for leaders in the world wide church in addition to our own Archbishop. This is especially true of the Pope, who is undeniably the Patriarch of the West and as head of the Roman Catholic Church is charged with awesome pastoral and missionary responsibilities.

Much has been achieved and the debates of previous generations have influenced the Church’s liturgical practice and contributed to a convergence of eucharistic doctrine and rites. So it is with some dismay that I have learned of the intentions of some clergy in the Diocese to follow instructions which have been addressed to the Roman Catholic Church and to adopt the new Roman eucharistic rites at Advent.

The Pope has recently issued an invitation to Anglicans to move into full communion with the See of Rome in the Ordinariate where it is possible to enjoy the “Anglican patrimony” as full members of the Roman Catholic Church. Three priests in the Diocese have taken this step. They have followed their consciences.

For those who remain there can be no logic in the claim to be offering the Eucharist in communion with the Roman Church which the adoption of the new rites would imply. In these rites there is not only a prayer for the Pope but the expression of a communion with him; a communion Pope Benedict XVI would certainly repudiate.

At the same time rather than building on the hard won convergence of liturgical texts, the new Roman rite varies considerably from its predecessor and thus from Common Worship as well. The rationale for the changes is that the revised texts represent a more faithful translation of the Latin originals and are a return to more traditional language.

Priests and parishes which do adopt the new rites – with their marked divergences from the ELLC texts and in the altered circumstances created by the Pope’s invitation to Anglicans to join the Ordinariate – are making a clear statement of their disassociation not only from the Church of England but from the Roman Communion as well. This is a pastoral unkindness to the laity and a serious canonical matter. The clergy involved have sworn oaths of canonical obedience as well as making their Declaration of Assent. I urge them not to create further disunity by adopting the new rites.

There will be no persecution and no creation of ritual martyrs but at the same time there will be no opportunity to claim that the Bishop’s directions have been unclear. All the bishops of the Diocese when visiting parishes will celebrate according to the rites of the Church of England allowing for permitted local variations under Canon B5.

The full text may be read here.

Catholic League: ‘For the record’ III – On the ‘Centenary Tractates’

29 07 2011

The Catholic League blog is posting a series of articles, talks and papers from the archives, entitled ‘For the record’. We reproduce them here in order to help give them as wide a circulation as possible.

A glance at the Centenary Tractates of the Council for Promoting Catholic Unity in 1933
Brooke Lunn, January 2006

Eight tractates were published, as follows:
1. What do the Celtic Churches say? by the Reverend Silas M. Harris, M.A. (36 pages)
2. What does the Anglo Saxon Church say? by the Reverend J.G. Morton Howard, M.A. (20 pages)
3. What do the General Councils say? by the Reverend S. Herbert Scott, D.Phil., B.Litt., F.R.Hist.S. (36 pages)
4. What did the Church of England say? by the Reverend J.G. Morton Howard, M.A. (32 pages)
5. What does the XVI century say? by the Reverend Spencer Jones, M.A. (40 pages)
6. What do English Divines say? by the Reverend L.F.Simmonds, M.A. (32 pages)
7. What do the Tractarians say? by the Reverend Spencer Jones, M.A. (44 pages)
8. What are we to say? by the Reverend H.J. Fynes-Clinton, M.A. and the Reverend W. Robert Corbould. (31 pages)

The purpose of the tractates was to demonstrate the integral relationship between the Church of England and the Holy See from the earliest times; how, since the sixteenth century schism, this integral relationship had not totally been lost from sight or remembrance; and, in 1933, celebrating the centenary of the Oxford Movement, the extent to which this integral relationship had been restored to sight, with progress towards its full re-establishment.

The tractates are of considerable scholarly merit, and bring before the reader a wealth of evidence which four centuries of anti-catholic propaganda had sought to suppress. For my part, they largely substantiate, as Spencer Jones says in the thirteenth of his propositions [see previous post] ‘that Rome is in fact the mother of English Christianity’. Here I wish to refer, briefly, to tractate eight by way of a corrective to certain misunderstandings currently circulating.

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