21 November 2010


The commonest practical question, by far, which I am being asked is: Is it possible for a former Anglican, baptised as an Anglican, who has entered into full communion with the Holy See, but has not done this through the Ordinariate process, formally to adhere to an Ordinariate once it is erected?

Having carefully perused, several times, both the Latin and English texts of the Apostolic Constitution and its accompanying norms, it seems to me that the answer is clearly Yes. And not least because of the hermeneutical principle in canon law that if a possibility has not been explicitly excluded, the liberty to take advantage of it cannot be denied.

Am I right?


+ Edwin said...

Bishop Alan Hopes seemed to say not, in his interview; yet in the USA there is no poroblem about Anglican Use Catholics crossing over to the Ordinariate. I do hope it may prove possible; might need a bit of negotiating, I fancy. +E

motuproprio said...

Bishop Hopes appeared to be referring to 'cradle Catholics' who cannot be canonical members of the Ordinariate jurisdiction (though they may of course attend an Ordinariate parish).
Nevertheless there is one piece of Roman patrimony to take into account, the power of dispensation. It is well known that one of the three resigning English bishops is a cradle Catholic, but will be provided with the dispensations necessary to be incardinated in the Ordinariate.

Enrico Dante said...

Aticle I. 4 of the Constitution says this:

The Ordinariate is composed of lay faithful, clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally belonging to the Anglican Communion and now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate.

The Latin seems to draw the same distinction: "qui olim... et nunc/vel".

In answer to a question specifically framed as being about "born and bred" Catholics, +Alan Hopes said that they cannot join the Ordinariate. +Vincent Nichols spoke of "those who are already under the jurisdiction of a bishop as baptised Catholics".

The Constitution appears slightly more clear-cut than the bishops' statements, but these don't seem to contradict each other. I find it hard to discern from these that ex-Anglican RCs (who weren't ever originally RCs) can't join. It is, however, silent on the subject of those "socially baptized" as RCs but not in any meaningful way brought up as such. Although hard cases make bad law, I wonder whether it would be possible to extrapolate anything from what might or might not happen to Dr Broadhurst.

Am I missing something?

Pastor in Valle said...

'Belonging' is not really a helpful term, in that all members of the Ordinariate will be members of the Latin Rite. Clergy will 'belong' surely to the Ordinariate as clergy belong to a diocese, but I cannot see any problem with laity worshipping, receiving the sacraments, where they choose. The Ordinariate parish will be their normal parish, and if distance means that baptisms &c need to take place in a local Roman Use parish, a simple letter of courteous permission from their Ordinariate Parish Priest would be all that would be required. Similarly if a 'normal' RC wants his child baptized in an Ordinariate church where he attends Mass then he would require the same courteous permission from his Roman-Rite PP, just as a parishioner of mine who can't bear my smell might attend Mass in another parish, but ask for a courteous permission from me to baptize his child in that church.
The bottom line is that the ordinariates are NOT other rites, but a form of the Roman Rite. The closest parallel is the Military Ordinarite, as has been said before.
Let's not multiply the difficulties.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...


Br. Stephen, O.Cist said...

My reading of the documents was that former Anglicans who had already entered full communion were eligible to be members of an Ordinariate. I know that one person in this situation wrote to Archbishop Wuerl's office explaining her situation and received a reply saying that they would keep her posted about any group forming in her area, which seems to imply that this is the reading from the pastoral delegate in the US as well.

Joshua said...

From all I've read, the answer is yes.

Happy feast of St Cecilia, by the way - what a pity the new lectionary of 1871 removed the more apposite, if very lengthy, first lessons the 1662 revisers appointed: the Epistle of Jeremy at Matins, and the History of Susanna at Evensong. Patrimony? Hail, Bright Cecilia!

Steve Cavanaugh said...

I think that the comparison of the Anglican Ordinariates with the Military Ordinariate is unhelpful...the MO's only include clergy; the AOs will include laity as members, not simply as beneficiaries of the clergy's ministrations. The AOs are more akin to the Eastern Rite Ordinariates, or really, to Vicariates Apostolic; I imagine these were not brought up in the initial commentaries because they are much less well known than the MOs.
In the same vein, I think that it would be more correct to say that the AOs will be part of the Latin Church, using a use of the Roman Rite (Ordinary, Extraordinary or Truly Extraordinary,i.e., Anglican). The Church of Milan is part of the Latin Church but not the Roman Rite.