11 January 2011

Ordinariate

I'm a trifle puzzled by the Westminster announcement that the Ordinariate will be erected "on or before Saturday January 15". Our three bishops are due to be deaconed on Thurday January 13; and Canon Law appears to say that a deacon has to be incardinated to ensure that there are no horrid acephalous clerics roaming around (a delightfully grotesque, even Gothick, piece of imagery to scare to the kiddies with ... "Swallow your Cod Liver Oil, dears, or the ACEPHALOUS CLERIC will GET you"). But we Anglicans know nothing about Canon Law ... perhaps a Roman Catholic can explain this oddity to me.

I had rather hoped that the erection of the Ordinariate might have been dated January 6. I will delete comments which purport to explain why I had rather hoped this.

13 comments:

Steve said...

To whom will they be deacons? To his Holiness the Pope? Perhaps that explains it.

Conchúr said...

Rumour is that the announcement of the canonical erection of the ordinariate and the first ordinary will be tomorrow morning.

Joshua said...

Yes, I'd wondered the same thing.

However, since the Ordinary of the Ordinariate will act vicariously on behalf of His Holiness, perhaps they will be ordained to the Diocese of Rome?

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Well, Conchur, it will have to be, won't it? But how come Vin & Co don't know this?

Father DeViese said...

It would seem most reasonable that the Ordinariate will be erected prior to the ordinations, or else commensurate with them. In any event, the legal presumption is that the three men will be ordained deacons and incardinated directly into the new ordinariate. Anything other than that would require dimissorial letters from whoever their purported Ordinary in the meantime would be, granting Abp. Nichols the authority to ordain them. Unless, of course, they are temporarily incardinated into Westminster, which would create some political problems for Nichols with that chap in Canterbury.

The simplest (and therefore least likely) scenario--provided that Rome does not already have someone slated to be named Ordinary of the new Ordinariate--would be that the Ordinariate is erected the morning of the ordination with an Apostolic Administrator appointed, who could then call the three men to Orders and grant the dimissorial letters for Nichols to ordain them, directly incardinating them into the Ordinariate. Perhaps even Nichols himself would be named Apostolic Administrator, which would solve a lot of problems until a proper Ordinary is named.

Simon C said...

I have struggled with Canon 272 which appears to prevent an Administrator incardinating, unless the See has been vacant for 12 months and he has the consent of the college of consultors. What happens in a 'normal' diocese to those who are due for ordination and how would this apply to the Ordinariate in the scenarios postulated here?

Father DeViese said...

Simon, There is a canonical difference between a diocesan administrator and an Apostolic Administrator. The former must conform to the norms that you have cited. The latter, however, having been appointed directly by the Supreme Pontiff, has significantly more authority, including the ability to call people to Orders, to incardinate and excardinate, etc.

Of course, in the scenario I outlined, that wouldn't be necessary if the men are directly ordained into the Ordinariate. Canon 272 refers to incardinations and excardinations for clergy who are already incardinated into another diocese--not the newly-ordained whose incardination is determined by the Ordinary for whom they are ordained.

+ Edwin said...

Oh what tangled webs we weave... I recall a happy occasion when I ordained in a parish outside Canterbury a Canadian priest for an African diocese by letters dimissory to the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that he might serve (eventually) in the diocese of Bishop Bennison of unhappy memory. If the C of E could unravel that, then the present problem is readily solved by the CDF.

motuproprio said...

The press releases from Archbishop's House and the Conference of Bishops are clearly paving the way for the erection of the first Personal Ordinariate either today or tomorrow, which will necessarily include the appointment of the first Ordinary. Since the Ordinary will be appointed 'ad nutum Sanctae Sedis' he can be replaced once the Holy See is satisfied that the Ordinariate is up and running.

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Perhaps the Ordinariate has already been erected and the Ordinary selected and they are waiting for the ink to dry. Fr. Stock said he knew the NAME of the Ordinariate for England and Wales but was not at liberty to divulge it. He may know who the Ordinary is but not the official announcement time which I think will be in the next 48 hours, give or take.

motuproprio said...

According to Fr Marcus Stock "The decree does not contain the name of the Ordinary. The decree will come from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will be signed by Cardinal Levada, and will canonically erect the Ordinariate. The appointment of the Ordinary will come from a Bull published by the Secretariat of State and signed directly by the Holy Father. We are absolutely confident that by 15 January the decree will have been published, because the three priests have to be incardinated into something, so the canonical erection is necessary so that when they are ordained it is into the Ordinariate. The appointment of the Ordinary is not dependent on that, but we hope that by then the name of the Ordinary too will be announced."

Conchúr said...

It's possible the Egyptian kerfuffle may have delayed things for a day but the very latest the announcement will be made will be Thursday morning before or at the same time as the diaconal ordinations.

Enrico Dante said...

...and the diaconal ordinations are in the early evening, so that gives plenty of time for any last minute jots or tittles to be finalized.