Going against the flow to preserve our Anglican tradition

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Yesterday, an interesting discussion arose on a social media thread about whether or not the observance of Ascension Day was being transferred for the Anglican Ordinariate in North America to the following Sunday, per the general practice of the USCCB.

As the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter’s 2016-2017 Ordo confirms, “Upon the recommendation of the Governing Council on 9 June 2016, Bishop Lopes has decreed that the following Solemnities will be observed as Holy Days of Obligation in the Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter: …Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, Solemnity of the Ascension (kept on its traditional date forty days after Easter, nine days before Whitsunday)…” On Thursday, May 25th, it lists “ASCENSION OF THE LORD. Solemnity. HDO”, leaving Sunday the 28th as the Seventh Sunday as Easter.

Many Catholics of a more traditional formation deeply resent the common practice of episcopal conferences in routinely transferring certain fixed feast days to the nearest Sunday, seeing it as one of the Church’s more lamentable concessions to the secular world’s low prioritization of religious observance. It is becoming more widely recognized, however, that this is not only a function of our loss of faith but encourages it.

As a result, there are some dioceses and regions where these feast days are not transferred but are kept on their traditional, logical, Biblical dates. The Feast of the Ascension, for example, was not arbitrarily set for the Thursday in the sixth week of Easter by a committee of episcopal conference functionaries, but was determined two thousand years ago by the Ascension of our Lord forty days after His Resurrection.

As this debate plays out on social media forums amongst Catholics of various rite and jurisdiction, it is of the Anglican custom that we in the ordinariates are to be mindful. Anglicans have traditionally marked Ascension Day on its proper Thursday, and have not been accustomed to its bizarre and anachronistic celebration on a Sunday. One Anglican custom is the singing of motets to the rising sun at dawn on the rooftops of cathedrals and collegiate edifices (as seen in the photo above taken atop Wells Cathedral a few years ago on Ascension Day morning – photo credit to Iain MacLeod-Jones). The unmistakeable symbolism is undermined and downgraded by its being moved to a few days later.

The fundamental problem of transferring feast days is that such a move conveys a complete lack of belief in the importance of our own faith and religious tradition. Moving such a feast day to a date when hopefully a few more bodies will occasion to be in church is, to be frank, pathetic, and it is unconsciously seen as such by anyone who cares to notice. It holds us all to the lowest common denominator and challenges no one to do anything out of the ordinary to mark the great events of salvation history. Our faith is something only to be practiced on Sundays, this says, and some might even start to wonder why they even have to go then. If the Church were to mandate attendance on a day other than Sunday, why people might get the idea that something important was happening!

While the Holy See has delegated authority to episcopal conferences to make decisions on transferring feast days, to protect our own Anglican patrimony our leaders have to demonstrate a bit of their own courage and initiative. There are voices in the Church who argue against doing our own thing, saying that as Catholics we have to demonstrate our unity with our fellow Catholics. Yet we in the Anglican tradition know full well that this is a call to a false unity. Remember, we were welcomed into the Catholic Church on the understanding that our tradition would be “united, not absorbed”. Ironically, you’d think this would be particularly the case when our tradition is also the Roman and universal tradition!

Ascension, to take this one example, is not transferred in any of the Eastern rites that I’m aware of, nor in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite. Given one of the two principle forms of the Roman rite retains Ascension Day proper, why wouldn’t our Anglican liturgical form also do so? We are not second class members of the Catholic Church!

The supreme law of the Church, and canon law reflects this, is the salvation of souls. If a decision of an episcopal conference, whether on their own authority or on the delegated authority of the Holy See, scandalizes or under-serves Catholics of the Anglican tradition, our pastors should take steps to rectify the situation and defend and uphold our custom, whether it is Ascension Day or any other feast or worthy custom.

If there is a lacuna in canon law vis-à-vis our patrimony, then we need to take steps to address it. The real problem, however, seems to be an underlying bias towards treating the Anglican Use as a subset of the Ordinary Form, thus automatically subjecting our liturgy to any changes imposed on the Ordinary Form, without regard to their compatibility with our unique patrimony. This is not the way the equal dignity of liturgical rites is respected.

The idea that changes to the Ordinary Form should be blindly and automatically applied to our liturgy, a practice not done for any other Latin rite, is a very dangerous one for the preservation of the Anglican tradition in the Catholic Church. Catholics outside the ordinariates can’t be expected to exercise full diligence in conserving or cultivating our tradition. It is up to our bishop, our clergy, and our lay faithful to do so. It is we who have a unique responsibility for the preservation of our patrimony and customs.

The bishop of each diocese has a special and unique authority over the liturgy in his diocese: he is its first custodian. Our bishop has a particular responsibility, as the sole custodian for our patrimony on these shores. No one else in the USCCB or CCCB will give a moment’s thought to the impact their decisions will have on the Anglican heritage in the Catholic Church. It is up to our bishop, our clergy and our faithful to do what it takes to protect this treasure. If we don’t jealously guard and preserve our unique liturgical heritage and way of life, no one else will. Thankfully, Bishop Steven Lopes has shown much leadership in this regard, but all of us need to work together to this end.

Our three ordinaries, Mgr Newton, Mgr Entwhistle, and Bishop Lopes, ought to consult together regularly to find as many ways as possible to act in concert for the preservation of our patrimonial ways.

For this coming Ascension Day, however, don’t forget to give three cheers for Bishop Lopes! Hopefully in the future we’ll be able to move Corpus Christi and the Epiphany back to their proper dates too.

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68 Responses to Going against the flow to preserve our Anglican tradition

  1. EPMS says:

    As of this year Epiphany in the OCSP will now be celebrated on the relevant Sunday rather than on January 6, however. I think Bp Lopes felt that being out of step with the USCCB on both feasts would have been provocative.

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  2. Rev22:17 says:

    This article reflects a major misconception. In the process of restoration of the liturgy after the Second Vatican Council, the magisterium of the Catholic Church determined that several solemnities are so important that they should not go essentially uncelebrated in places where social and/or political circumstances make it impracticable to keep them as holy days of obligation, and thus that the best course of action was to move each affected celebration to a Sunday so the faithful can participate fully in it. Most such solemnities, including the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christi, transfer to the Sunday after the day appointed in the general Roman calendar. The notable exception is the Epiphany of the Lord, which transfers to the Sunday after New Year’s Day, with the feast of the Baptism of the Lord moved to the next day when impeded by the transfer of the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

    In the dioceses of the United States, there were only six holy days of obligation before and during the time of the Second Vatican Council — the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (08 December), Christmas (25 December), the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord (01 January), the Ascension of the Lord (Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter), the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary (15 August), and the Solemnity of All Saints (01 November). When the liturgical restoration took effect, the former National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) voted to retain only those six holy days of obligation, with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God of the revised calendar taking precedence over the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord. This decision caused the automatic transfer of the other solemnities to the respective Sundays, with the consequence that those who routinely go to Sunday mass now participate in the celebration, albeit by default.

    I’m not persuaded that this is the ideal policy. It seems to me that some celebrations are so important that they should be holy days of obligation everywhere. Nevertheless, the decision on this matter rests with the magisterium rather than with me. The decision of the NCCB clearly makes a lot more sense in the context of the history than apart from it!

    More recently, the present United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), formed as a reorganization of the NCCB and the United States Catholic Conference (USCC), adopted two measures affecting holy days of obligation in the United States.

    >> The first measure dispensed the obligation to assist in the celebration of mass on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on the Solemnity of the Assumption, and on the Solemnity of All Saints whenever these celebrations fall on a Saturday or a Monday. This measure was motivated by the difficulty of sustaining adequate mass schedules to serve the faithful on successive days with fewer clergy, especially in more rural areas.

    >> The second measure authorized the Bishop of Honolulu to legislate that his diocese, the territory of which is the state of Hawai’i, would observe the same holy days of obligation as the territory of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific. The Bishop of Honolulu promulgated the associated legislation very soon thereafter.

    >> The third measure authorized each provincial council to determine the policy for the Solemnity of the Ascension within its territory. The Solemnity of the Ascension remains a holy day of obligation, celebrated on the Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, in the provinces (states) of Boston (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine), Hartford (Connecticut and Rhode Island), New York (New York), Newark (New Jersey), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and Omaha (Nebraska). It is transferred to the Seventh Sunday of Easter everywhere else.

    Against this backdrop, Bishop Lopes is faced with the personal challenge of trying to figure out what is best for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter — and here, the Anglican heritage of celebrating major feasts on the traditional day is clearly a significant consideration. However, I also bear the personal experience of service in the armed forces, and of being stationed at bases where the bishop of the surrounding diocese had dispensed the obligation for a holy day and the Military Ordinary (then Cardinal Terrance Cook, the Archbishop of New York) declined to do so. This created no small amount of confusion, especially for members of the armed forces who did not know that the dispensation announced in the local parish where they chose to worship did not apply to them. The same sort of confusion is bound to arise when diocesan Catholics who choose to worship with an ordinariate congregation hear the announcement of a holy day, but can’t get to the ordinariate congregation’s mass, and then discover that the diocesan parishes don’t have any special masses on the appointed day. For this reason, there is a very significant pastoral benefit to ordinariate congregations conforming to the practice of the respective dioceses within which they ate located with respect to celebration of holy days of obligation.

    Bishop Lopes has to weigh all of these factors. Having heard the ordinariate’s governing council, I have no doubt that he has done so.

    Norm.

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    • mahonchristopher says:

      Thanks, Norm. In spite of other factors which the good bishop ought to consider, I still think it is too easy to underestimate the pastoral harm that can be done by choosing to conform to local diocesan parishes instead of to our own customs and traditions. Any confusion that arises is merely an opportunity for education, formation, and increasing awareness of the Catholic Church’s beautiful diversity in unity. The preservation of Anglican tradition, however, is our task exclusively, and so we ought always to prioritize it. No one else will.

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      • Rev22:17 says:

        I agree wholeheartedly with the goal of preserving important elements of Anglican patrimony.

        But you might come to a different conclusion about the importance of celebrating a feast on the actual day when you face the challenge of having to explain to your boss why you, as a Catholic, need time off from work to go to mass on a holy day of obligation but none of your Catholic coworkers do. (I originally typed “non-Christian boss” but then I realized that a Catholic boss, whose diocesan parish celebrates the feast on Sunday instead, might be even more likely to take issue with your stated need than a non-Christian.) Our bishops, in their exercise of pastoral judgement, are sensitive to such issues.

        Norm.

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      • EPMS says:

        “Prioritize” it over what? Harmonious relations with the wider Church?

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      • mahonchristopher says:

        Harmonious relations are a matter of charity and good manners, not of uniformity. A good relationship with other Catholics in no way requires us to drop our customs. We are as much a part of the Church as any local parish, and we have as much right (& duty) to follow our customs as they do.

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      • EPMS says:

        Firstly, a quick look around the internet will remind you that the Ordinariate is no monolith: ad orientem, versus populum, male servers, female servers, vested lector, lector from the congregation, biretta, no biretta, Palestrina, “I Need Thee, How I Need Thee”. It reflects the varied denominational backgrounds and congregational customs of its constituent groups, nothing more or less..Secondly, although there are a few clusters of OCSP groups, most are hundreds of miles from their nearest Ordinariate group. Seeing the local diocese in terms of “pastoral harm” and denial of “rights” is probably a mistake.

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      • mahonchristopher says:

        No one said the ordinariate is monolithic, and when we argue for the preservation of custom that goes for local parochial customs too. I don’t know why you’re misrepresenting my argument by suggesting it’s the local diocese that could be harmful, when it’s been clear the problem is when we drop our customs in favour of conforming to local diocesan customs. That’s a rather important distinction. I myself sometimes go to local diocesan liturgies and strongly support their preservation of diocesan customs, but I vehemently oppose my own ordinariate home parish dropping our own legitimate Anglican customs in favour of diocesan ones.

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    • Mark C says:

      I think Norm makes some excellent practical points. It could indeed be complicated for family, work reasons etc. to have the Ordinariate calendars out of sync with Roman Catholic diocesan calendars on feast days of obligation. However, there is no question that something is lost liturgically by having the Ordinariate calendar simply conform to the decisions of local bishops’ conferences or dioceses and losing the traditional dates for many important feasts of the Church (which are also the traditional Roman dates as recognized on the General Roman Calendar). Furthermore, moving the celebration of these feasts may scandalize some traditional Anglicans who may see this as evidence of the Ordinariates are being forced to abandon traditional Anglican practice in order to conform to Roman authority.

      For the most part, I think this issue can be resolved through the use of external solemnities. I would propose the following rule of thumb: for those feasts of obligation on the General Roman Calendar which local Catholic bishops’ conferences have transferred to the nearest Sunday, and which are also considered to be Greater Feasts in the traditional Anglican calendars (1662 / 1928), the Ordinariates should celebrate the feasts on the date in the General Roman Calendar / traditional Anglican calendars, but the obligation should be transferred to the nearest Sunday, which should be marked with the celebration of an external solemnity.

      Here are the Feasts of Obligation on the General Roman Calendar which are also Greater Feasts on traditional Anglican Calendars:

      January 1 – Solemnity of Mary / Circumcision of Our Lord
      January 6 – Epiphany
      Thursday of 6th Week of Easter – the Ascension
      June 29 – Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul / St. Peter the Apostle
      November 1 – All Saints
      December 25 – Christmas

      Where the national bishops conferences have moved these feasts to the nearest Sunday – for the most part the case for the Epiphany and the Ascension – I think the Ordinariates should continue to celebrate the feasts on their traditional dates, but have an external solemnity on the nearest Sunday. For the other feasts, the local Catholic bishops conferences have generally kept them on their usual dates, although in some cases have suppressed the obligation to attend Mass. (In England and Wales, Sts. Peter and Paul and All Saints are moved to the adjacent Sunday if they fall on a Saturday or Monday.) Keeping these feasts on their traditional dates would be very much a matter of retaining Anglican traditions which have nurtured Catholic faith. It would seem to me inconsistent for the Ordinariates to have taken such welcome measures as restoring the Sundays of Shrovetide (the “Gesimas”) or the Pentecost Octave, conforming to both traditional Anglican and traditional Roman / Sarum Catholic practice, but then accept the moving around of feast days as essential to the Anglican and Catholic calendars alike as the Epiphany and the Ascension.

      This still leaves the question of what to do about other Roman Catholic Holy Days of Obligation, recognized on some Anglican calendars or celebrated in Anglo-Catholic circles, which are sometimes transferred to the adjacent Sunday by national bishops’ conferences (St. Joseph, Corpus Christi, the Assumption, the Immaculate Conception). For these, I would suggest that the Ordinariates retain the celebration on the traditional Roman dates and allow pastors the discretion to celebrate an external solemnity on the adjacent Sunday if it is pastorally desirable to do so. Similarly, for those traditional Roman Catholic feast days honoured with an external solemnity in times past (Sacred Heart, Most Holy Rosary) I think the Ordinariates should allow similar pastoral flexibility.

      Another issue this could be used to resolve is the contemporary Roman Catholic practice of not allowing any feasts to impede the Sunday liturgical cycle. This year, for instance, we will not celebrate either St. Matthias or St. Barnabas in the Ordinariates as their feasts fall on Sundays. In Anglican practice, Feasts of the Apostles can either displace the Sunday or be transferred to the next available weekday. In my view, the latter is a more sensible practice, and I think would be a wise practice for the Ordinariates to follow.

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      • Rev22:17 says:

        Actually, the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception cannot occur on a Sunday because it falls during the season of Advent.

        In the Roman Rite, there’s a “Table of Liturgical Precedence” that determines what happens when two or more celebrations would fall on the same day. I won’t bother to replicate the whole table, but here’s how it applies to significant feasts.

        >> The Paschal Triduum, the solemnities of Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension, and Pentecost, the Sundays of the Advent, Lent, and Easter seasons, the days of Advent from the 17th through the 24th of December, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, and the Octave of Easter have precedence over all other celebrations.

        >> Solemnities in the general calendar have precedence over solemnities in a proper calendar, but feasts in a proper calendar have precedence over feasts in a general calendar.

        >> Solemnities and feasts “of the Lord” have precedence over ordinary Sundays, but, ordinary Sundays have precedence over feasts of saints and all memorials.

        >> Solemnities transfer to the next unimpeded day that is not a feast of the Lord when they are impeded by a celebration of higher precedence. If the solemnity is normally a holy day of obligation, the obligation does not transfer.

        >> Feasts and memorials are omitted when they are impeded by a celebration of higher precedence.

        Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, we have a very illustrative example of how this can play out in practice. The dedication of our Cathedral of the Holy Cross occurred on the 8th of December, so the celebration of the anniversary of the dedication is always impeded by the celebration of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on the same date. When the 8th of December falls on a weekday, the celebration of the anniversary of the dedication occurs on the 9th instead. But when the 8th of December falls on a Saturday, the celebration of the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral has to move to the 10th because the 9th is the Second Sunday of Advent, which also impedes it. And when the 8th of December falls on a Sunday, the celebration of the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral again has to move to the 10th because the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is impeded by the Second Sunday of Advent and thus moves to the 9th. And in any case, the celebration of the anniversary of the cathedral occurs only in the cathedral church, where it ranks as a solemnity, because it would rank as a feast elsewhere in the archdiocese.

        The Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, on 19 March and the Solemnity of the Annunciation on 25 March also are illustrative. When both of these celebrations occur on or between Palm Sunday and the Second Sunday of Easter (now also called “Divine Mercy Sunday”), they must move to Monday and Tuesday of the second week of Easter — up to fifteen days!

        BTW, there’s also a provision allowing transfer of a celebration that’s of particular importance to a local community to a weekend — either Saturday or Sunday — to enable the people of the affected parish or other community to participate therein. This would most often apply to the celebration of the titular saint or, in a so-called “national” parish, some saint of particular importance to the respective ethnic community.

        Norm.

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    • Viola Hayhurst says:

      And Bishop Lopes has been charged to do this all IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT HE HOLDS NO PERSONAL ANGLICAN BACKGROUND. Being an overseer of the resumes of those Anglican priests who desired to enter the American Ordinariate is simply not a qualifier. You are born into this culture and its tradition or you are not; similarly is that one born outside the Germanic cultures and its traditions shall always remain an outsider !

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      • We in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter are grateful for Bishop Lopes and we do not consider him an outsider. He was not foisted upon us by Pope Francis, but was on a terna chosen by the Ordinariate’s governing council. While Anglican patrimony may not be his native tongue, he has caught on very quickly and his immersion has involved far more than overseeing the resumes of our clergy. He played a key role in the development of our liturgy, which for most of us, is a dream come true.

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      • Viola Hayhurst says:

        Well enough …. “not an outsider”…..but the irony that I and others find in this decision as you commented is that the Ordinariate’s governing council …. hence voted an administrator in Bishop Lopes, to lead their organization, whom as a cradle Catholic is prevented membership in their very organization. Such “fuzziness “ is at the root of World Wide Anglicanism of whatever “specie” and one of the push/pull elements that in fact lead the Blessed John Cardinal Newman into the Catholic Church. And one can only add good speed to Bishop Lopes, as he – as he has been charged— navigates this culture !

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  3. Mark C says:

    I’m all for moving the Epiphany and Corpus Christi back to their traditionally appointed days, but I would point out that Corpus Christi itself is hardly an example of Anglican patrimony but rather of a recent Anglican importation of Roman Catholic practice, which you normally decry! It was only officially included in the Church of England in 1980. But in this case, I most definitely think the custom of the broader Roman rite should prevail. (Of celebrating Corpus Christi, that is, not moving the celebration from a Thursday to a Sunday.)

    A more distinctly patrimonial change to the calendar would, I think, be the restoration of the Feast of Sts. Phillip and James (Pip’n’Jim) to its traditional date of May 1. I’m not sure that the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, proclaimed in 1955 and intended as a Catholic counterweight to socialist and Communist May Day celebrations, makes as much sense outside of the Cold War environment of post-War Italy, and in any case I don’t think it should outrank a major feast of the Apostles, particularly one with many cultural ties to English May Day traditions.

    I also agree that the three Ordinariates should work together to develop, where possible, a common Ordinariate liturgical calendar. It would be good to have common criteria for determining which distinctly English saints not in the General Roman Calendar should be universally celebrated in the Ordinariates, and which should be simply local or optional observances. And it would also be good to be able to appeal to a common Ordinariate practice (on issues like the date of the Epiphany or Ascension) where they may differ from those of national episcopal conferences.

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    • mahonchristopher says:

      Touché, Mark, but it wasn’t so much a “Latinization” as it was a natural development of Anglican practice, done freely by Anglo-Catholics as a natural expression of their Anglo-Catholic faith, and it was done in a thoroughly Anglo-Catholic way well before 1980 even if inspiration came from the Roman example. One only has to explore the historical photos on the basement walls of the famous Anglo-Catholic parish of St Mary Magdalene’s in Toronto to see images of splendid Corpus Christi processions as far back as the 1960s. In those photos you can see our fathers and grandfathers, and others now in the ordinariate, singing and processing, and our aunts as children strewing rose petals along the street in front of the monstrance. I wouldn’t want us to start doing Corpus Christi exactly as the Romans do just because we’re now in the ordinariate, but to continue doing it in accordance with our young but worthy Anglican custom. The differences wouldn’t be very substantial anyway, but our reference should be to our own precedents internal to our tradition.

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    • Rev22:17 says:

      Catholic liturgical calendars actually are quite complex, with the ordo of a diocese being the union of several calendars.

      >> First, there’s the General Calendar of the Roman Rite, which prescribes the universal celebrations for the entire Roman Rite.

      >> Second, there is a proper calendar for each country or region that designates feasts and holidays commemorated therein. This includes liturgical celebrations connected to national holidays and civic occasions, such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving Day here in the States, as well as commemorations of saints that are of particular prominence in the country or region. This calendar may also elevate the solemnity of celebrations prescribed in the general calendar that are of particular importance to the nation or region.

      >> Third, there is the proper calendar of the local diocese, which contains celebrations that occur only therein. These celebrations typically include the patron(s) of the diocese (with elevated solemnity, if they are in a general, national, or regional character), the anniversary of the dedication and the titular feast of the cathedral, and other occasions and commemorations of saints who are of local importance. By way of example, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter falls on 22 February in the general calendar, but the proper calendar of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter elevates its titular feast to the rank of solemnity.

      >> Fourth, a parish or other community may have a proper calendar that prescribes celebrations that occur only in that community. If the community’s church is solemnly dedicated rather than simply blessed, its proper calendar must contain the anniversary of the dedication. It may also contain the titular feast and other celebrations that are of particular importance to the parish community (historically very common in so-called “national” parishes established for immigrants from the respective country).

      In a normal diocesan ordo, each date has two entries normally printed on facing pages. The entry on the right page contains the fusion of the general, national or regional, and diocesan calendars, with conflicts resolved by an established table of liturgical precedence, with impeded solemnities moving to the next available day that is not a feast of the Lord. The left page contains (1) celebrations that appear in proper calendars of the parishes and other communities within the diocese, (2) special commemorations such as the anniversary of the episcopal ordination and/or installation of the diocesan bishop and, if applicable, of the metropolitan bishop, and (3) the necrology (anniversaries of deaths of the clergy of the diocese) of the day. Thus, the anniversary for the dedication of a diocesan cathedral actually gets a double entry — as a feast throughout the diocese on the right page and as a solemnity in the cathedral itself on the left page. In practice, the ordos for several dioceses are generally published in a single volume, with applicable differences indicated by the initials of the diocese in parentheses after the entry.

      Now, even the proper calendars of the three ordinariates cannot be identical. I believe that there is a common list of saints of particular importance to the Anglican patrimony that forms the core of the proper calendars for all three ordinariates, but each ordinariate’s proper calendar probably elevates the feast of its principal patron, its titular feast, and the titular feast and, if applicable, the anniversary of the dedication of its principal church. However, these get fused with the proper calendars set by the national or regional conference of bishops — and each of the three ordinariates now operates in the territory of at least two such episcopal conferences, so and actually has a distinct ordo for each territory.

      Norm.

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    • Matt says:

      Mark C, it should be remembered that the feast of Corpus Christi predates the protestant revolt by a significant amount of time and was quite popular in England.

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  4. EPMS says:

    Was/Is the Corpus Christi procession at St Mary Magdalene’s on a Thursday?

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    • mahonchristopher says:

      I don’t know when they held them back then, but my comments about Corpus Christi aren’t so much about the date, but about the customs associated with it. As for date, Ascension Day seems the more important to not transfer because of its more directly Biblical and historical origins: that is, the date for the feast is an intrinsic part of its pattern in the life of our Lord and the foundation of the Church.

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  5. EPMS says:

    Corpus Christi is on a Thursday because it is the major celebration of the Institution of the Lord’s Supper which Maundy Thursday cannot entirely be.

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    • Rev22:17 says:

      That may be the reason for the original choice back in the thirteenth century, but I have not found it recorded in any documented history.

      For those who are interested, there’s a concise history of Corpus Christi on the “New Advent” web site. It appears that the first celebration of this feast occurred in 1247 and that it really did not become universal until a couple decades into the fourteenth century. Thus, it is a relatively recent innovation in popular piety.

      What’s especially interesting about this feast is the historical emphasis on processions through the streets. When it came into being, frequent reception of communion was not the normative practice of the laity — those who received communion four times per year were considered to be exceptionally devout! — and emphasis had shifted to eucharistic adoration and benediction, and to popular devotions, in lay piety because the linguistic barrier of the liturgy still being in Latin in most places foiled participation therein. The procession was simply another form of “ocular communion” whereby the majority of the laity would pause gaze on, and adore, Christ present in the sacrament as it passed by them on its way through the village.

      Norm.

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    • EPMS says:

      The scholars of Wikipedia support my explanation https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Christi_(feast)

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    • mahonchristopher says:

      And yet the principle calendrical celebration of that particular day in our Lord’s life every year is precisely Maundy Thursday, not Corpus Christi, even if the latter celebrates a particular aspect of the events of the original Maundy Thursday. Just as it would be silly to transfer Maundy Thursday to a Sunday (which obviously could never happen given its situation in Holy Week), it is almost as silly to transfer Ascension Day to Sunday.

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  6. William Tighe says:

    The Feast of Corpus Christi was introduced into the Church of England at some point between 1318 and 1325. It was removed in 1548 as the Church of England was being frog-marched into Protestantism by the cabal of plunderers and heretics (Somerset, then Northumberland; and of course Cranmer) who ruled England under Edward VI). That it was removed in 1548 (or, for that matter, restored in 1980) is supremely irrelevant regarding its “Anglican Patrimony” status.

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  7. EPMS says:

    Looking around the internet I have seen many Ordinariate worship spaces with the Divine Mercy picture on display, many mentions of regular recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet, many references to Divine Mercy Sunday. Was this a feature of any Anglican church any OCSP member grew up in? No. Ditto Knights of Columbus, or anything like them, I’m sure we could multiply examples. But we’re all Catholics together now. The Ordinariate is a buffet, not a prix fixe menu. Getting defensive about the Anglican way of doing things is an exercise in futility.

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    • Rev22:17 says:

      “Divine Mercy Sunday” was not exactly part of the spiritual heritage of most “cradle Catholics,” either. Pope John Paul II (papacy: 1978-2005) was the first pope to promote this devotion actively and, in the year 2000, officially assigned the title of “Divine Mercy Sunday” to the Second Sunday of Easter — but with no change to the liturgy for this day.

      And as to your comment about the ordinariate being a buffet, the same is true of the larger Catholic Church.

      Norm.

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    • Getting defensive may be futile, but being protective, unearthing, protecting, and passing on our Anglican patrimony certainly is not. Without a conscious effort to identify and preserve and promote that patrimony, a kind of entropy will set in and homogenize everything.

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      • EPMS says:

        Given the already existing lack of consistency, I think it’s inevitable.

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      • tbako says:

        Is anything truly inevitable in such matters? One could have argued with the same fatalism in, say, 1977, when the U.S. had exactly zero sanctioned Sunday celebrations of the 1962 Missal, that the usus antiquior was dead-and-gone forever. Now we’re up to nearly 500 if we haven’t surpassed it already.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tbako says:

        But I think I see your point, EPMS: correct me if I’m misreading you, but part of your argument seems to be that the OCSP itself does not present a uniform liturgical ethos or monoculture.

        If so, I agree with you, and that’s great! Maybe one of the treasures we can offer the broader Holy Church is precisely the realization that yes, we can live in koinonia and have respect for Tradition and traditions, and for each other, while respecting our legitimate diversity without getting bogged down in immensely tiresome Liturgy Wars(TM).

        Where we can worship qua worship and where, say, ad orientem or the Roman Canon (or the use of a guitar, for that matter, or whether one receives Holy Communion on the tongue or in the throne of one’s palm) are exactly what they are: legitimate options and part of one’s organic parish and individual spiritual life, and not obnoxious ecclesio-political statements.

        I think Br John-Bede made a similar case for Divine-Worship-as-a-liberating-“Third-Way” in his contribution to “Anglicans and the Roman Catholic Church” (ed. Stephen Cavanaugh, 2011).

        Like

    • mahonchristopher says:

      As Debbie commented as well, being protective of and passing on our Anglican tradition is not just not futile, but is our responsibility. The sad history of Latinizations being imposed on our Eastern Catholic brethren just demonstrates the absolute necessity of protecting and preserving our authentic Anglican way of being Catholic. It is the Catholic faith as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that is to guide and rule our Anglican tradition as it is brought into the Catholic Church, not this most uncatholic idea of “uniformity”.

      Like

  8. tbako says:

    Speaking of Ordos, calendars, traditions, etc., I noticed last night preparing for evening prayer that the OCSP restored proper First Evensong for St Mark the Evangelist, a mere Feast rather than a Solemnity. That prompted me to look through the entire Ordo for 2017 and be very pleasantly surprised that we actually have done so for all days ranked Feast and above! (All but a handful of First Vespers — if I recall correctly, only 1st- and 2nd-cl. Doubles were excepted —
    were suppressed tout court in 1955 in the Roman rite, breaking with the nigh-universal Judeo-Christian tradition of celebrating the liturgical day between sunset and sunset.)

    Brick by brick!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rev22:17 says:

      In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, Sundays and solemnities have first vespers on the evening before unless the preceding day is a celebration of equal or greater rank. Feasts normally have first vespers on the evening before only when they fall on Sunday and the preceding Saturday is not a celebration of equal or greater rank. When celebrations of equal rank fall on consecutive days, (second) vespers of the current day always takes precedence over first vespers of the next day.

      Norm.

      Like

      • tbako says:

        It’s not just the ordinary form, Norm. Abolishing first Vespers for anything below doubles of the 2nd class was legislated in 1955 (decree “Cum hac nostra aetate” by Congregation of Rites, Mar. 23, 1955) and is the norm for the EF as well.

        Also, by “feasts that fall on Sunday,” I presume you mean Solemnities of Our Lord, since anything ranking below is outranked by Sunday and is ordinarily suppressed (no transferral or commemoration) for the year.

        Point is, in either form of the Roman rite (except Divine Worship) today, first Vespers do not exist except for Sundays and Solemnities/1st Class feasts. I’m very glad we’ve begun to recover them in the Ordinariate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Actually, I was less specific then I should have been, creating ambiguity. The reference in my previous post actually was to feasts of the Lord — NOT to solemnities, which always have precedence over ordinary Sundays.

        But you apparently missed one significant detail in the table of liturgical precedence. You are correct that ordinary Sundays normally take precedence over feasts of saints, but feast of the Lord in the general calendar always take precedence over Sundays of ordinary time. Such feasts are few, but quite significant — they include the feasts of the Baptism of the Lord (Sunday after 06 January), Presentation of the Lord (02 February), Transfiguration of the Lord (06 August), and Triumph of the Cross (14 September). Such feasts have first vespers on the evening before, for which the Liturgy of the Hours supplies propers, only when they fall on Sundays.

        Norm.

        Like

      • tbako says:

        You are correct of course, Norm. Thank you for your clarification and correction.

        If anything, these details, given how rare of an exception they are, merely underscore the significance of the change in the OCSP, which was my overall point. (I don’t think there’s any disagreement on that point.)

        Like

  9. EPMS says:

    Those who grew up in the fifties will recall that the Church was very big on the fact that one could attend mass from Alaska to Zanzibar and still feel right at home in the uniformity of the Latin Rite. Though that is no longer the case the Church has never made a comparable case for diversity, and indeed remains uncomfortable with it at the theoretical level.

    Like

    • tbako says:

      The “uniformity” argument was always a bit vague, nebulous and overplayed, methinks. More like a popular appeal than a serious argument. One still encounters it among some advocates of the Latin Mass. I’ve never found it too convincing. If anything, it can be a bit dangerous in obscuring the reality that at any valid Eucharist, we all partake of the same Christ, so should “feel at home” (even if outward forms may be less familiar to us).

      Liked by 1 person

    • mahonchristopher says:

      “…the Church has never made a comparable case for diversity…” This is completely false. The Catholic Church has in both theory and practice for two thousand years featured diversity throughout its many rites. Even within the Latin Church there are numerous rites, some of which have died out and others of which have not. As a Catholic of Anglican rite I feel absolutely at home in any Catholic Church of any rite, and while I may not be as familiar with the particular customs I find therein, I know what it is I am participating in: the same liturgical worship of the same God.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. EPMS says:

    As has been alluded to, the Eastern rites were subjected to enormous pressure to “Latinize” throughout the last two centuries and have only relatively recently begun to recover their liturgical heritage, not to mention a married priesthood, for which we can thank the fall of the Iron Curtain which allowed a work-around which made Rome’s resistance futile. And this simply mirrored the suppression of variations in the Latin Rite following the Counter-Reformation. I think the argument in favour of liturgical uniformity is very much alive in the TLM community, a group among which supporters of the Ordinariates are over-represented, in my observation, as many Ordinariate congregations share their tastes in vestments and ceremonial. Whether the argument is “dangerous” is irrelevant, as is whether anyone does or doesn’t “feel at home”. Large bureaucratic organizations tend towards enforcing consistency and compliance with all the rewards and sanctions at their disposal. The Church is certainly no different.

    Like

  11. EPMS says:

    Speaking of a married priesthood, that is one distinctive aspect of Anglican Patrimony which is not being supported in the long term by Anglicanorum Coetibus.

    Like

    • mahonchristopher says:

      Actually the married priesthood is fully supported by Anglicanorum Coetibus. Precisely 97% of the priests of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter are currently married, and more married men will be ordained in the future.

      Even if you’re referring to married men who were never Anglican ministers before becoming Catholic, Anglicanorum Coetibus Art. VI § 2 leaves this up to the discretion of the bishop and the Holy See, permitting them to ordain men on a case by case basis (as the needs and interests of the ordinariate warrant, one presumes).

      Given that we also need celibate priests in the ordinariate for obvious and sundry reasons, and that this is the norm in both the wider Latin Catholic Church and the ordinariates, as Anglicanorum Coetibus also specifies, and that our priesthood is currently so predominantly in the married category, it is prudent for our bishop to intentionally cultivate celibate vocations. That doesn’t mean we can’t still avail ourselves of the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus article VI § 2 for the ordination of married men at any time now or in the future.

      In fact, it was just announced a few weeks ago that a married deacon of the ordinariate, who was never an Anglican minister, is to be ordained to the priesthood in the coming months.

      So the married priesthood is going to be a normal feature of Anglican ordinariate life for a long time to come.

      Like

      • tbako says:

        Yep, to anecdotally second Christopher, someone from our parish who was never an Anglican minister (though he had been a protestant minister outside the Anglican/Episcopal milieu, and is also married, was also very recently cleared by Rome for formation. (And he’s not even a Deacon!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Actually, the Vatican has been granting dispensations fairly routinely for Catholic ordination to the order of presbyter in favor of both former Anglican and former Protestant clergy going back at least to the 1950’s. The so-called “pastoral provision” was neither an aberration nor a privilege, but rather a means to facilitate processing of an unusual surge in requests from former Anglican clergy in the United States that arose when the Episcopal Church – U. S. A. (ECUSA), now known as The Episcopal Church (TEC), authorized ordination of women in 1977. The only difference is that the cases of former Anglican clergy elsewhere and Protestant clergy worldwide continue to go through normal channels rather than through the apostolic delegate for the so-called “Pastoral Provision.”

        In the case of former Protestant clergy, each ordinariate is just like a diocese. A former Protestant minister received into the full communion of the Catholic Church within the jurisdiction of an ordinariate becomes a member of the ordinariate, and thus becomes eligible for ordination for the service of the ordinariate in the same manner that a former Protestant minister received into the full communion of the Catholic Church within the jurisdiction of a diocese becomes eligible for ordination for the service of that diocese. Thus, there’s nothing “out of sync” about a former Protestant minister receiving a dispensation from the norm of celibacy to permit ordination for the service of an ordinariate to which they belong.

        The only place in which the ordinariates pose a distinction between former Anglican clergy and former Protestant clergy is in the case of an individual received into full communion within the jurisdiction of a diocese rather than within the jurisdiction of an ordinariate. In this instance, the former Anglican can join the ordinariate whereas the former Protestant normally cannot. If the former Anglican is ordained for the service of the diocese, however, this transfer must go through the canonical process of excardination and incardination rather than simple enrollment.

        The provisions regarding exceptions to clerical celibacy beyond those who formerly served as Anglican or Protestant clergy in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus and the associated “Complementary Norms” clearly indicate some tension in the Vatican between a desire for celibacy to be normative for vocations originating within the ordinariate and a practical realization that it might not be completely workable. So far, the Vatican has granted exceptions for a few married men who were enrolled in Anglican seminaries at the time of their decisions to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church within the jurisdiction of an ordinariate. However, the indication of the documents that the Vatican will bend further if circumstances warrant.

        The real wild card on the subject of celibacy in the ordinariates, however, is the overtures of Pope Francis indicating a desire to relax the discipline of clerical celibacy — but with the initiative coming from national or regional episcopal conferences, since they that will face many practical issues such as reconfiguration of rectories and impact on diocesan budgets, rather than from the Vatican. When episcopal conferences ratify policies permitting ordination of married men to the order of presbyter within their territories, those policies will extend to the respective ordinariates.

        Norm.

        Like

    • Christopher Mahon says:

      Yup. It has happened in previous years on at least one occasion in the UK as well, that a married man never an Anglican minister has been priested.

      Like

      • EPMS says:

        In recent years a number of former clergy of other Protestant denominations have been ordained for the Pastoral,Provision. Here is an article about a former Baptist minister http://www.wdrb.com/story/8964870/married-former-baptist-minister-ordained-as-roman-catholic-priest What I didn’t think was on was the ordination of a married layman—someone never ordained in any denomination.

        Like

      • Christopher Mahon says:

        Yes, that is in fact what has happened now in different ordinariates on more than one occasion, the ordination of those who were Anglican laymen before their reception.

        Like

      • Rev22:17 says:

        There’s a major misunderstanding here. The so-called “pastoral provision” applies only to former Anglican clergy in the United States. All applications for dispensations from celibacy for Catholic ordination of former Protestant clergy continue to go through normal channels (that is, directly to the Vatican from the bishop of the diocese) rather than through the office of the apostolic delegate for the so-called “pastoral provision.”

        Norm.

        Like

  12. EPMS says:

    What are the “obvious and sundry reasons” why we need celibate priests?

    Like

    • Mark C says:

      Well, for starters, bishops are historically exclusively celibate (in the Eastern as well as Western church), and if the Ordinariates wish to have their own bishops to be able to ordain priests, perform confirmations, celebrate the chrism Mass, etc., then it would be valuable to have a group of celibate priests to draw upon. Furthermore, it is likely and desirable that the Ordinariates will want to have its own religious communities, as the Anglo-Catholic movement did and does (Cowley Fathers, Mirfield Fathers, Anglican Benedictine communities), so it is quite likely that there would be celibate priests within these communities. As a group scattered over large geographic jurisdictions, there would be obvious benefits in having some celibate priests available to help with communities without priests or to be able to serve multiple Ordinariate apostolates at once. There is also a scholarly dimension to the work of the Ordinariates – the need for learned study in the patristic, medieval, Anglican and Roman Catholic sources of the “Anglican patrimony”, which, while it may be performed admirably by married priests (or indeed lay men and women), is particularly suited to a celibate vocation.

      I think that the married priesthood is a valuable Anglican tradition which I hope that the Ordinariates maintain. But I also think there is immense value in having celibate priests, which I hope the Ordinariate does not disdain as somehow an un-Anglican imposition.

      Liked by 2 people

      • EPMS says:

        Was Mr Martens a minister in another denomination?

        Like

      • Christopher Mahon says:

        No, I understand he was not.

        Like

      • Rev22:17 says:

        The decision by the magisterium to call new particular churches erected for former Anglicans “ordinariates” rather than “dioceses” was indeed very carefully considered, and no accident.

        >> The most obvious issue is the desire to allow former Anglican bishops, many of whom are married, to fulfill a similar role in the new organizations. The fact that the churches of the Orthodox Communion and the ancient oriental churches also maintain a celibate episcopate is not exactly insignificant, either — ecumenical dialog with these bodies has been progressing very well, so the Vatican clearly wants to ensure that episcopal ordination of married men does not create a new obstacle to possible reunion therewith. The designation of these particular churches as “ordinariates” allows a married presbyter to serve as the ordinary, with the only complication being the need to recruit a bishop to ordain on his behalf, while allowing celibate ordinaries to receive episcopal ordination.

        >> Another significant issue is that the personnel coming into the new particular churches would not hold the qualifications to staff canonical tribunals and other infrastructure that a Catholic diocese must have. An ordinariate, by contrast, can use the tribunals and other infrastructure of local dioceses to compensate for what it lacks until its clergy can obtain the necessary qualifications (pontifical degrees, etc.) to establish its own infrastructure.

        I think that the Vatican’s ideal is to reconstitute the present ordinariates as actual dioceses, but it will take some time before that can happen. In order to become a diocese, an ordinariate needs to have the full infrastructure of a diocese and at least enough celibate clergy to supply a reasonable slate of candidates for episcopal office.

        Of course, these candidates certainly can come from religious orders within an ordinariate as well as from its secular clergy.

        Norm.

        Like

    • mahonchristopher says:

      Mark C’s answer is excellent, and comprehensive. I’d only make the point a little more explicitly that, as he explained, the celibate priesthood is itself part of Anglican patrimony and thus could not be an external imposition on our Anglican tradition. Rather, it is a natural component thereof that would be most beneficial for our ordinariates to cultivate. The two modes of priestly life, if you will, can and should function together as compatible halves of the same tradition, rather than as two separate traditions each striving to dominate or supplant the other.

      Like

  13. EPMS says:

    Of course there have always been celibate Anglican clergy, and for the last 150 years of so, Anglican religious, some of whom were ordained. But that is not the same as saying that clerical celibacy is part of the Anglican Patrimony.

    Like

    • William Tighe says:

      “But that is not the same as saying that clerical celibacy is part of the Anglican Patrimony.”

      Whence comes the dubious assumption that “the Anglican Patrimony” begins in 1559 rather than 597? If it goes all the way back to the earlier date, then clerical celibacy is a more primordial and longaeval part of that patrimony than clerical marriage. And, note, well, when “clerical marriage” was legalized by Act of Parliament in 1548 (and again in 1604; it was in practice allowed from 1559 onwards, but the law wasn’t altered to reflect this until 1604) the already-ordained could marry (and, if widowed, remarry) after ordination, as well as before. If the “Anglican Patrimony” dates from 1559 onward, then, to put it bluntly, Rome has rejected this facet of the “Anglican Patrimony” as incompatible with Catholic practice (just as Rome has always rejected the practice of the so-called “Nestorians” [or Assyrians], who since 496 have allowed deacons and priests [and up to the 13th century, even bishops] to marry and remarry as well after ordination as before, requiring them instead upon becoming Catholics [as the “Chaldean Catholic Church”] to adopt the clerical marriage discipline of the other Eastern churches: ordination of married men to the diaconate and presbyterate; no marriage after ordination; and celibate bishops [originally because bishops had to be monks, a discipline which the Assyrians themselves adopted for their bishops in the 13th century]). Rome does allow the ordination of (some) married men in the context of “the Anglican Patrimony,” but it evidently considers mandatory clerical celibacy to be an aspect of that patrimony from its inception in 597 as well, in which the ordination of married men is the exception rather than the norm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • EPMS says:

        Insofar as the Anglican Patrimony is identical to that of the Latin Church there isn’t much need to form a society to preserve and celebrate it. Presumably the focus should be on distinctive elements.

        Like

      • Christopher Mahon says:

        Well whether or not you personally discern a need for it, the fact is we do now have a Catholic jurisdiction dedicated to preserving and celebrating the Anglican patrimony, both its unique and distinctive elements and its elements in common with the wider Latin Church, and thank God for it. The sad fact is that in much of the Roman Catholic world the Roman tradition itself is poorly maintained, so perhaps the common elements have an opportunity to be even better preserved and celebrated in our little Anglican tradition jurisdiction than they are outside it. This doesn’t mean we’re “better than” other Roman Catholics, it just means we have an opportunity and perhaps a responsibility to do our rite as best we can, thereby showing our Roman brethren the beauty of their own tradition too.

        Like

    • Christopher Mahon says:

      Clerical celibacy is part of our Anglican tradition on both grounds; it was our rule going back to 597 and before, as Dr Tighe explained, but it is also a reality currently in the Anglican world, albeit not pro regula and nowhere near as prevalently as in the Apostolic Churches. So restoring it as the rule, as was our ancient practice, while allowing generous derivation from the rule when in the interests of the ordinariate Church, is in a sense a harmonizing and righting of our overall custom.

      Like

      • EPMS says:

        I have seen numerous articles of this sort https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/Story/TabId/2672/ArtMID/13567/ArticleID/20057/Juggling-roles-daunting-challenge-for-married-priests.aspx where married Catholic priests warn that marriage is a big obstacle to their work. I realize that they are under pressure to be on the record as supporting the discipline of the Latin Rite in this regard, but I can hardly imagine an Anglican clergyman expressing similar sentiments. A clergy wife is generally thought of as a parish asset in Anglican culture and I imagine the congregation would take a dim view if their rector opined otherwise. So there is currently a big cuktural gap here. Say that celibacy is part of the Anglican Patrimony if you like, but as mahonchristopher pointed out, 97% of current OCSP clergy are married. And some of them married after (Anglican) ordination, another no-no in any Rite of the Catholic church.

        Like

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Historically, married priests were not assigned to parochial ministry, partly because the magisterium was concerned that the parishioners would not accept them and partly because they needed real salaries that only other assignments could provide. In practice, though, Catholic parishioners have received married priests very well.

        Today, with many Catholic parishes not having clergy in residence, most parishioners have come to realize that, whatever their druthers, they are much better off with a married priest than with no priest at all. Also, the magisterial strictures regarding assignment of married priests seem to be relaxing, dictated by the necessity of the present day.

        As to the issue of marriage after ordination, the Catholic Church requires married candidates for the order of deacon to take a vow not to remarry if their spouses die, just as unmarried candidates for the order of deacon must take a vow of celibacy. This is actually the commitment that binds priests as well — there is no additional commitment upon ordination to the order of presbyter. Nevertheless, the magisterium has shown a considerable willingness to grant dispensations from this commitment in the case of married deacons left with young children by the deaths of their wives — the primary pastoral concern being that the children need a maternal parent. I see no reason to expect that the same pastoral consideration won’t extend to priests left with young children by the deaths of their spouses.

        Norm.

        Like

  14. . ANON. says:

    THE “Elephant in the room” in this discussion, is the treatment of “Cradle Catholics”, who, having received the call of the Holy Spirit to Priestly Vocation within the Ordinariate, are generally refused, because they are married, or were Ordained within another Religion. I use the words “GENERALLY REFUSED”, because some “Cradle Catholics” have in fact been Ordained for the Ordinariate, in spite of being a pastor within a religion that is NOT Catholic. I know of cases within America, France, the U K. I am NOT aware of this happening in Australia, maybe, someone in that country could tell us. I understand that the head of the American/Canada Ordinariate is in fact a “Cradle Catholic”!!!!!

    Like

    • EPMS says:

      It’s not about the cradle. It’s about mature consent. A person who left the Church at an age where he could be deemed incapable of this can avoid the delict of schism. Virtually all of those who were baptized in a Catholic church and were subsequently ordained in an Ordinariate left the Church at their parents’ behest. One or two made that decision as students. Each case is looked at separately, as at a Marriage Tribunal. But I think it would be accurate to say that no one who left the Church for another denomination as a practicing adult has been subsequently ordained.

      Like

    • Rev22:17 says:

      There’s a fundamental disconnect here. In the Catholic Church, we believe, as a matter of doctrine, that the magisterium is the ultimate discerner of “the call of the Holy Spirit” — whether it be to priestly vocation or to anything else. If the magisterium has determined that an individual is not a suitable candidate for sacramental orders, or for ordination for the service of a specific particular church, we understand that discernment to reflect the authentic call of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the assertion that the Holy Spirit is calling somebody to do something that the magisterium forbids is self-contradictory.

      As to the service of “cradle Catholics” in the ordinariates, the norm of law is that those who receive all of the sacraments of initiation outside of the jurisdiction of the ordinariate are not eligible for membership in the ordinariates. If such individuals think that they are called to sacramental orders, the magisterium has discerned that they should seek ordination either for the service of their respective dioceses or for the service of a religious order.

      That said, the magisterium often grants exceptions to the norm of law when it makes sense to do so. Indeed, the very act of granting dispensations from the norm of celibacy to permit ordination of former Anglican and former Protestant clergy in the Catholic Church is a prime example. The appointment of a “cradle Catholic” monsignor serving as an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the new ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was highly irregular, to be sure — not only because he would not have been eligible for membership in the ordinariate, but also because it seems highly unlikely that a governing counsel composed of clergy of the ordinariate would have included his name in their terna of candidates for that position, from which the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus stipulates that the pope will appoint the next ordinary. This irregularity is a very strong indication that the Vatican discerned that serious problems existed within that ordinariate, the details of which are not publicly known, but the nature of which necessitated such an extraordinary intervention to resolve them. Note, also, that the Vatican handled the situation in a manner that provided graceful exits to those involved.

      Norm.

      Like

      • Christopher Mahon says:

        Norm’s remark above is entirely inaccurate and false: (“…it seems highly unlikely that a governing counsel composed of clergy of the ordinariate would have included his name in their terna of candidates for that position… This irregularity is a very strong indication that the Vatican discerned that serious problems existed within that ordinariate, the details of which are not publicly known, but the nature of which necessitated such an extraordinary intervention to resolve them”). In fact, the ordinariate terna not only included Steven Lopes’s name, but I understand requested him as our top choice. Bishop Lopes was given to the North American ordinariate on our request, yet another gracious concession to our Anglican custom of ecclesial self-governance. His appointment was a gift for which we in the ordinariate are grateful, and far from suggesting “problems the details of which are unknown”, it actually suggests the Anglican ordinariates are functioning the way they were intended to do. Thank you once again, Pope Benedict!

        Like

      • Bishop Lopes did know a number of Ordinariate clergy through his work on the liturgy commission—and prior to that, when some visited Rome. But enough speculation about the terna! The terna does come from our governing council. And a terna is supposed to be a pontifical secret. I will not approve any more posts in this vein. Deborah Gyapong

        Like

  15. nigelmcbain says:

    The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross’s Ordo maintains the celebration of Ascension, Corpus Christi on their respective Thursdays and Epiphany on Jan 6, their traditional days upon instruction from the Ordinary.

    Like

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