Why the fascination with the Ordinariates?

I wonder why there are some out there in social media who have a fascination with everything regarding the Ordinariates—from the size of our communities, the buildings we own or do not own, the seminarians in the pipeline, upcoming vacancies that need to be filled, you name it.

And I would hazard a guess many of these people are not members of the Ordinariate.  Some, like Norm who comments here, have a benevolent interest but an interest that puzzles me nonetheless.  Norm, have you ever gone to Mass at St. Athanasius and St. Gregory the Great in Boston?   Why so interested in us?

EPMS also frequently comments here and seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every community, but are you a member?   Why so occupied? And there is sometimes something of the character of Eeyore from Winnie the Poo in your perspective—-it can be somewhat dour, no?

Then there is a certain blog that relies on anonymous contributors who also seem to scour parish websites, social media like Facebook.  These contributors seem to be disgruntled individuals eager to pounce on anything in the area of news so as to spin a negative caricature of the Ordinariate communities.

I will not name this blog or link to it so as not to give it oxygen.  But I do think it traffics in detraction if not downright calumny from time to time and gets many facts wrong.

Why am I bringing this up, and by doing so, risking giving oxygen even directly to this blog?

Mainly, what I see in the blog’s constant negativity regarding the Ordinariate reminds me of Aesop’s Fable of the fox and the sour grapes.   The fox could not jump high enough to reach the cluster of ripe, luscious-looking grapes, so he consoled himself by telling himself the grapes were sour and not worth the trouble.

So for the sake of shorthand,let’s call the blog the Sour Grapes blog.

I believe  bitterness darkens the  perspective of Mr. Sour Grapes and contributes to his drumbeat of doom and gloom.

Secondly, it struck me in looking at a recent spate of posts how lacking in supernatural faith Mr. Sour Grapes’ perspective is.

All the circumstances are viewed from the steely-eyed perspective a worldly manager with seemingly little or no understanding at all of how God works in miraculous ways, and how He rewards trust in Him,  perseverance and faithfulness in the small things.

As a friend wrote: “We start small like an acorn.  Even though we’re now small, Anglicanorum Coetibus has been a big success in that it has brought more fully the Anglican heritage and identity into the Catholic Church.

“We’re going to grow with time and our Anglican heritage and identity will be preserved for the glory of God herein. Focussing on the worldly managerial stuff completely misses all of this, which is the real item of importance in the ordinariates.”

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Why the fascination with the Ordinariates?

  1. godfrey1099 says:

    To answer your question, what has fascinated ME is that I truly believe that Ordinariates are the biggest achievement in the reconciliation of Christians since the Union of Brest.
    I’ve always been interested in conversion stories, but obviously this adds a whole new dimension to them with a concept of entire communities with their pastors coming to full unity. As pope Benedict said, this has been a “prophetic gesture”, and I am truly blessed to see it in my lifetime.
    Additionally, English is not a major barrier for me, so I can easily follow the news. From time to time I popularise the matter in my own country (which is Catholic) by publishing short pieces on-line about major Ordinariate developments (e.g. the first community of religious, promulgation of the Missal, first bishop, end of OLA’s ordeal, etc.) and sometimes minor, but interesting stories, like that of deathbed conversion of the popular blogger Lawrence Auster through the Ordinariate community in Philly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. EPMS says:

    Eeyore? Well, anything’s better than the relentlessly upbeat Bear of Very Little Brain. I see myself as the omni-competent Tigger. It’s just that “Tiggers don’t like honey”.

    Like

  3. Rev22:17 says:

    It’s a pleasure to attempt to formulate an answer to a question like this, posed in the OP — but please note that I cannot speak for others in this matter; only for myself.

    Some, like Norm who comments here, have a benevolent interest but an interest that puzzles me nonetheless.  Norm, have you ever gone to Mass at St. Athanasius and St. Gregory the Great in Boston?   Why so interested in us?

    I guess the story begins with being born into a family in which ecumenism had been an issue for nearly a century. On my dad’s side, my great grandfather — Joseph Patrick McCarty, a Catholic from County Cork (who was given the middle name because he was born on the seventeenth of March, no less), came to the new world, landing in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where he married Estelle Maude Killam (or Kilham — the spellings are interchangeable in the birth, marriage, and death records), a Protestant (most likely Congregationalist) c. 1860. They moved to Quincy, Massachusetts, where their daughter, Annie Beatrice McCarty, who apparently was raised a Baptist, married a French Canadian Catholic and gave birth to my Dad. Alas, his dad had a stroke on the morning that he was born and died two days later, so his mother raised him in the United Methodist Church. After World War II, my dad — a staunch but non-practicing United Methodist, married my mother, a Portuguese-American Catholic. So although raised in a Catholic catechetical program that included reception of the sacraments, I grew up in the spiritual tension of a divided home, in a family to which this sort of spiritual division was not exactly foreign. What was the experience? The Irish Rovers parodied it well in the song “The Orange and the Green” — to which I really can relate altogether too well!

    When I got to college, I encountered evangelical Protestant ministries — The Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Varsity Christian Fellowship — for the first time and discovered a presentation of the central mysteries of Christian faith with much greater clarity than what I had encountered — and what had caused a certain amount of confusion and misunderstanding — in my Catholic catechesis. In my experience, most campuses and major military and naval bases seem to have two of these groups, with one being mainstream evangelical and ecumenical and the other that is hard-core fundamentalist, but which is which is completely random. This somehow triggered a quest for clarity that led me to explore things further through five years of active duty (payback for a Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps, or NROTC, scholarship), including active participation in ecumenical bible study, followed by coursework through a summer program at St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana, with no real intention of earning a degree that nevertheless eventually led to a Master of Theological Studies in Pastoral Ministry. What I encountered while on active duty was very different from my civilian experience: Catholic and Protestant chaplains sharing office space and working together in their mission. And somewhere along the way, this also led to a thorough reading of the documents of the Second Vatican Council and my discovery of our Lord’s last words to his disciples in John 17 and to Catholic commitment to ecumenism, with a conviction of a call to work to heal the schisms in the Body of Christ. I also came to a realization that Christian unity would have to include the Catholic Church — the proverbial elephant in the room to which other Christian bodies would have to return. The term pontifex maximus — a papal title — does mean “greatest bridge-builder,” after all. This conviction actually led me to adopt Revelation 22:17 as a “life verse” — hence its use as a “chat handle” on the ‘net.

    The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” Let all who hear say, “Come!” Let all who are thirsty come forward; let all who desire it accept the gift of life-giving water. (Rev. 22:17)

    So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that a significant number of intact communities, and even the entire Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), had petitioned for a manner of corporate reconciliation that would preserve their traditions within the Catholic Church, and the Vatican’s response to such requests with the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetbus. This development is both an answer to several decades of prayer and a source of great joy! Of course, there’s also the sense of God’s call to do whatever I cam able to facilitate the process. I hope that those of you who have come into the ordinariates have found my posts to be helpful throughout the process of discernment and reception.

    As to actually assisting in a mass at either St. Athanasius (the chaplaincy erected by the Archdiocese of Boston for former Anglicans under the so-called “pastoral provision”) or St. Gregory the Great (the ordinariate’s parochial community that now worships with St. Athanasius), I regret that my schedule and the accessibility of their worship location have not yet allowed. (I live about ten or twelve miles from their worship location “as the crow flies” but, as they say down east, “you can’t get they-ah from hee-ah” — it’s about a 45-minute trek without traffic.) However, I have witnessed Anglican/Episcopal services on occasion and a copy of the Book of Common Prayer does reside in my personal theological library so I’m not completely unfamiliar with Anglican liturgical practice.

    As to the cause — the fulfillment of our Lord’s will that all may be one — the ordinariates play a very profound role that vastly exceeds their size simply by their very existence. I mean, this is really, really huge, especially as it gives witness to the manner in which Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, and even Evangelical and Pentecostal patrimony can flourish within the Catholic Church. It will take time to establish the credibility of this witness, but I have a firm conviction that this is the start of something very, very big in the fulfillment of what to me is a life-long dream.

    May the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit continue to bless this magnificent work!

    Norm.

    Liked by 2 people

    • tbako says:

      Thanks for sharing your fascinating background, Norm! I appreciate our exchanges even when we occasionally disagree.

      Like

    • Viola Hayhurst says:

      So that explains it ? Norm , when you state, “As to actually assisting in a mass at St. Athanasius, I regret that my schedule and the accessibility of their worship location have not yet allowed. (I live about ten or twelve miles from their worship location “as the crow flies” but, as they say down east, “you can’t get they-ah from hee-ah” — it’s about a 45-minute trek without traffic.) “. HOWEVER , I may add, the community under Father Bradford’s direction is totally incorporated together now as ONE and in the recognition that many of their faithful do travel good distances of an hour or more to get to their Chestnut Hill location — does offer many Evening events throughout the Church Year – sans heavy traffic and the Chestnut Hill Bus (No. 60) does offer Evening runs with a stop at the St. Lawrence Church steps, as well (schedule runs from Kenmore Square T – a very safe Boston University area) ! For example, in looking over their May schedule, they offer an Ascension Day Virgil Mass , Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Guests are always welcomed and are under no obligation to “assist” in the Mass. I may as well ADD that they do maintain a very up to date web presence, at “congregationstanthanasius.com”

      Like

      • Rev22:17 says:

        I’m absolutely ecstatic to hear that most of the members of St. Gregory the Great are now making the trek to Chestnut Hill, and that the two communities are coming together. I had no small concern that the distance would be an obstacle, especially for many of St. Gregory’s founding members. This is a situation in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but only if it does not entail loss of a significant number of members.

        As to visiting the combined community, public transportation is not a practical option from my home in Braintree. I would have to take a bus to a Red Line station, take the Red Line to the Park Street station (downtown), transfer to the Green Line (I’m not sure which branch), and transfer to the bus that you mention at Kenmore Square. The travel would be at off-peak times, when layovers are apt to average to ten minutes or more due to lower frequency of service on each line. Driving is the better option — Route 128 North (now I-93 South/I-95 North) to Route 9 East — but even that takes about 45 minutes each way without traffic. St. Gregory’s former Stoneham location actually is about twice as far as the crow flies, but it’s more accessible because I-93 is a straight shot — I could drive there from my house in about a half hour on a Sunday morning. But in the midst of a busy schedule, the present location is not so practicable.

        You also have to appreciate that my current schedule as a professional bridge player, teacher, and “director” (the person who actually runs official games) frequently involve midday, evening, and weekend sessions, precisely because that’s when people who still work full time are available to come to classes and games. I’m also a member of two church-related committees and an advisory board that meet in evening time slots. Thus, my availability in evening time slots is pretty limited.

        BTW, do you have any information about plans for the St. Athanasius Community to move from the canonical jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Boston to the canonical jurisdiction of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter? The information pertaining to the Vatican’s decree that moved the Parish of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio indicated that the decree requires all communities erected under the so-called “pastoral provision” to make this move, and I think that St. Athanasius is the only such community not to have done so. It might await Fr. Bradford’s retirement.

        Norm.

        Like

  4. Rocky Mountain Canary says:

    I’m definitely someone that fits the profile you’re describing: I follow the Ordinariates closely, I support them in any way I can, I use the Customary of OLW, I have multiple OLW statues, and I’m a member of the ACS, but I’m not a member of the Ordinariate. In fact, I live many hundreds of miles from the nearest Ordinariate parish.

    So, why the interest?

    I short, the guiding hand of Providence led us to an Ordinariate Form Mass one year ago, and I was so moved by the experience that it has literally changed my life. As a cradle-Catholic who loves reverent liturgical expressions, good and holy music, and a Christ (and Mary)-centered perspective, I see in the Ordinariates the hope of a much-needed leaven to the too-often lukewarm Church so prevalent today.

    Like

  5. John F. Ambs says:

    I definitely fit into the category described in the article. I’m a cradle Catholic raised in the 70’s and 80’s on Folk Masses, etc. who was in danger of losing my faith until I read my father’s old missal…thus began my 39 years in the Traditional Mass movement. I followed the pastoral provision parishes as fantastic options for Western Catholics who had difficulties with Latin liturgies but who sought holy, reverent, God-centered sacraments. Anglicanorum Coetibus was a supernatural answer to prayers. While I am a member of an diocesan “TLM Community”, I also support the local Ordinariate parish to the best of my abilities. I attended Tenebrae and Good Friday services there, in fact. I have often said that TLM and Ordinariate Catholics are friendly first cousins who share many sentiments and sensibilities. I pray for the Ordinariate ever day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EPMS says:

      I think that is why Msgr Steenson outlawed the EF in Ordinariate parishes, to discourage the connection between Ordinariate Catholics and “Traddies” in bishops’ minds, on the grounds that many of them have found TLM groups a disruptive influence. I recall that Mr Peter Karl T. Perkins,who used to post on Ordinariate-themed sites regularly, felt that the two communities had common goals.

      Like

      • Viola Hayhurst says:

        In reading these replies, it is so tragic that those Cradle Catholics within the TLM movement and those Cradle Catholics of whatever formation can not NOW come into the Fold of the Ordinariate movement other than through the back door ! What was set up, I assume as a gentlemen’s agreement of some sort — to disallow Cradle Catholics into the Ordinariate (except those appointed to its Bishop hood ! ) — has been in my opinion a real disservice to both and could be the one significant variable that is holding back the growth of the Ordinariate. Simply said, such “exclusion” has no real place within Catholicism.

        Like

      • Any Catholic can attend Ordinariate Masses and belong to Ordinariate communities. Official membership is not needed for that so inclusion is the norm

        Like

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Or maybe it was to prevent hard-core traditionalists from hijacking ordinariate communities to their own ends.

        Norm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Matt says:

        I’d like too answer the question of “What’s your interest?” and respond to some of the comments about the relationship between Traditional Latin Mass groups (aka Traditionalists) and the Anglo-Catholics of the Ordinariates. I originally read about the pastoral provision years ago in a (very positive) article about it in Latin Mass Magazine. So, I thought it was interesting. I’ve also had various bits of interaction with Episcopalians (the choir director at the TLM I attended used to regularly hire singers from the local high church establishment) over the years. Furthermore, my mother-in-law is a convert from Anglicanism.

        I got involved with an OCSP group nearby when one Sunday morning, my wife had to take one of our children to the pediatrician which disrupted our normal plans for Mass. While waiting for my wife to call the doctor’s office, I casually searched on Google for news about the Anglican Use and noticed that that evening there would (conveniently for me) be the first Mass for a new OCSP group at a nearby parish. For my schedule at the time, the later Mass time was often convenient. The priest and people there have always been very kind and welcoming. Though, I never joined the Ordinariate despite being eligible for membership. So, I hope that explains my interest well enough.

        Regarding the relationship between Anglo-Catholics and Traditionalists, there are a few things worth looking at. First, I think one has to understand that some TLM types look at High Church Episcopalian churches and observe architecture, vestments, artwork, and music (including gloriously sung Latin Ordinaries of the Mass) that look and sound much more Catholic (because it is) than what they see at their local (if you’ll pardon the phrase) Novus Ordo parish that they have to attend with some frequency. Some traditionalists expect to find this in the Ordinariate and hope that it could be a home for them. I believe that, while Anglo-Catholics and Traditionalists have a lot in common, they also have some differences in philosophical outlook, opinion, and practice. When some have people realized this, friction has ensued in some places. It should also be noted that Traditionalists are frequently neglected (or, at least under-served) by those who should take proper care of them spiritually but don’t and the results of this play out in various ways. Some of them, admittedly, go too far on some matters.

        This brings me to a couple of unfortunate things that have happened (or not happened) over the years. For example, Msgr. Steenson’s inflammatory statement that “…the Extraordinary Form is not integral to the Anglican patrimony, it is not properly used in our communities” was entirely avoidable. I think that a provision similar to the one made by the Elizabethan regime for a number of universities in England of having a Latin edition of the BCP for their use should be made for the liturgical books of the Ordinariates as well. If this had been done, he could have said simply that the OCSP has its own usage that is normally offered in English, but could be offered in Latin if a pastoral need presents itself and left it at that. It would have ended the matter far more amicably. Furthermore, is there a real reason why a Latin Novus Ordo should be offered at Our Lady of the Atonement instead of Mass according to the Divine Worship Missal in Latin anymore?

        Or course, this raises the question of what’s the real issue here on this topic? Does the use of Latin not have a place the Ordinariates (beyond the Ordinary of the Mass)? Or, is it the use of the 1962 Roman Missal? For me, the lack of a Latin provision in the Ordinariate’s Liturgy was 1 of 2 main reasons why my family didn’t join.

        Like

      • EPMS says:

        Following up Matt’s comment of May 10, the OOLW has many members, clerical and lay, of the “Anglo-Papalists” school. Their former Church of England parishes used Latin until Vatican II, when they switched to the OF, reorganizing their sanctuaries to allow versus populum celebrations and generally following Rome’s liturgical lead, except musically. These people/groups have generally not welcomed DW, for obvious reasons, and there has been lively debate on the subject of Cranmer’s liturgical legacy. In North America, although some Anglo-Catholic parishes were more open to post-Vatican II liturgical change than others, there was less eagerness to follow Rome’s lead. In any event, unlike in the Church, no one was compelled to abandon anything, avoiding the radical changes, imposed without parish consultation, which seem to have left a legacy of bitterness and estrangement among a certain Catholic contingent, who remain suspicious of the Vatican and most of the hierarchy. They may well feel at home in an Ordinariate parish whose sanctuary and vestments are modelled on those found in Catholic churches a hundred years ago. Their agenda, however, often extends to issues beyond liturgy and I can understand that for the fledgling OCSP getting involved in Catholic culture wars would be a huge mistake.

        Like

  6. Viola Hayhurst says:

    But would not if be so nice if they were officially included into an “Official Membership ” role ? Other than being penalized now for being “Cradle Catholics”. And Norm … if you view the St. Athanasius web page and actually contact them you would get all your answers, perhaps a lift to Chestnut Hill and learn furthermore that many of the community have a life style as interesting as yours !

    Like

    • Rev22:17 says:

      It’s not the “lift” that’s the issue. I have two vehicles in god running order, and I’m fully capable of driving myself there. The problem is that I already don’t have enough time to do everything that I need to do. For the record, I’m trying to start a business, trying to get an estate settled, working at my current profession, serving on an advisory board and a “vision and fundraising” committee for the campus ministry at my alma mater, and serving on a committee for my regular worshipping community. I seriously need three more days in a week in order to get things done.

      Norm.

      Like

      • Viola Hayhurst says:

        Just a quick answer to your question, Norm — about the Anglican Use community in Boston and the role of Father Bradford . It is no secret that the Rev. and Mrs. Richard Bradford do plan to remain with and retire from the Archdiocese of Boston …. where Cardinal Law not only welcomed and guided them into HER midst but offered them a permanent home, as well. Father Bradford ministers as well in an ordinary Catholic parish — St. Theresa of Avila in West Roxbury. And as to the fate of the Ordinariate Community in greater Boston …. so many conditions – mostly financial – have to be resolved. But again — their spokesmen would be the better communicator here.

        Like

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Yes, there are always many issues. I was well aware that Fr. Bradford is also a parochial vicar for a parish other than the parish to which the church that hosts St. Athanasius and St. Gregory the Great belongs — which is itself a very unusual arrangement! And it makes sense that the ordinariate would not want to assume responsibility for his pension, when he has been a member of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Boston for a couple decades. Thus, the most likely scenario appears to be that the transition would be synchronized with connection with Fr. Bradford’s retirement.

        Again, I think that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!

        Norm.

        Like

      • EPMS says:

        Norm, you comment below (May 21) that it is “very unusual” that Fr Bradford is a parochial vicar for a diocesan parish which is not the one where St Athanasius meets, but actually there are, or have been, at least five other instances. After all, a large and successful parish which needs a parochial vicar may have no space available for another Sunday mass, while a parish which can accommodate an Ordinariate group at a convenient time on Sunday may not have the budget for a parochial vicar. Of course, most currently active OCSP clergy have either an Ordinariate OR a diocesan/military chaplaincy assignment, not both, but this will presumably change as fewer groups are led by pensioned clergy and more shared arrangements are needed to provide stipends and living quarters.

        Like

    • EPMS says:

      It has frequently been reported that the membership rolls of the larger OCSP parishes contain a large percentage of those ineligible to become Ordinariate members. They are treated no differently, and I see no evidence of a “tragic” sense of “exclusion”, or resentment that they have had to enter the parish “through the back door”, whatever that means. On the other hand, those who have registered as Ordinariate members but have no local OCSP community and worship at a local parish incur some restrictions. Is this also “tragic”? Why are you making an opera out of this?

      Like

      • Viola Hayhurst says:

        An “opera out of this” ? Suppose so…. when my Catholic friends (one being my sponsor into the Church even though we originally meet when both of us were going to an Episcopal Church in DC ! ) … would like very much to be able to be granted Membership in the Ordinariate … but are refrained from doing so. Whence I was granted an individual Membership, I had already established deep roots in the more progressive movement of the Church and thus I experienced nothing but curiosity about my dual status. Of course it was ” issues such as these” that led me to withdraw my Membership from the Ordinariate.

        Like

  7. Viola Hayhurst says:

    Norm ….. keep up with their webpage and whenever you can make it then …you would be welcomed. Me I am a “dual”. A friend of St. Athanasius and registered within the Archdiocese of Boston. Sort of ironical is that I as a direct granddaughter of the “stranger and London merchant” Richard Warren (nth) receive the “Real Presence” from Father Bradford who is a direct grandson of William Bradford (nth). Both of Plymouth fame– one a dissenter, the other an Anglican ! But when you say that. “Or maybe it was to prevent hard-core traditionalists from hijacking ordinariate communities to their own ends.” You have nailed it ! These ” hard-core” traditionalist’s ” Cradle Catholics have already done this… largely by coming into the Ordinariate mostly through the back door — via a non- Catholic spouse. And just as the TAC community posed a threat to local Catholic dioceses; likewise does the Ordinariate. Head counts are vital to the viability of Catholic Parish’s and competition is not that welcomed.

    Like

  8. Jeff Hirst says:

    I too fit into this category and sometimes post comments. My background is that I was born into a family that was not ‘Gospel Greedy’. On my mother’s side there was a strong Independent/Congregationalist streak, and though all the family were confirmed in the Church of England, they were all non-practising. There was also a strong anti-Catholic sentiment – my grandmother would not have lilies in the house because of their connections with Our Lady. My father’s side of the family were also nominally Anglican, though again with nonconformist sympathies, notably a breakaway from Methodism called the Wesleyan Reform Union. Going back 300 years they had come to the UK from northern Holland. My first connection with organised religion was being sent to afternoon Sunday School as a little boy in the early 1960s – do these things still exist? – and then graduating to the church choir at the age of 10. My local Anglican Parish Church is Evangelical – in those days ‘north-end, scarf and hood, not a candle in the building’, now you would have to look hard to spot anything specifically Anglican. I was a bright boy, got a scholarship to the local Grammar School, and found myself some years later doing ‘A’ Level Religious Studies. The Syllabus included English Church History from the death of John Wesley, which of course included the Oxford Movement and Vaticans I and II. All of this was not only a revelation to me but unsettling. I found myself attracted to what I was reading to the extent that I transferred my allegiance to the neighbouring parish, which was much more ‘high church’. Within a few weeks, I was serving on the altar, and within a year I had made my first Pilgrimage to Walsingham. I felt that I was now ‘home’, and seemed to be very contented, but there were still niggles that I refused to pay attention to. As the situation in the Church of England became more liberal, I got more and more ill-at-ease until I realised that the Catholic Church was where God wanted me to be. The ordination of women to the priesthood was the final straw. I went to Holy Communion for the last time in the Church of England on Quinquagesima Sunday 1994, the first women were ordained in Bristol Cathedral the following Saturday, and I was Received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil that same year! I am very happily Catholic, but missed some aspects of my Anglican background – not least the Choral tradition, the sacral language of the Prayer Book, and some of the social aspects. When the Ordinariate was mooted all of these things were addressed and I became a firm supporter from Day One, praying daily for its success and remembering specific congregations and clergy by name as they ‘came over’, not only here in the UK but in North America and Australia, as I still do every day. There is sadly no Ordinariate congregation within 40 miles of where I live, but that notwithstanding I transferred my allegiance last year to the Ordinariate from my territorial diocese with the full support of my Parish Priest – himself a convert but never in Anglican Orders. I was in London for the Chrism Mass, a round trip by train of 5 hours. I continue to support by prayer and in any other way, and take a great interest in what is happening worldwide, hence my interest in your efforts. Another aspect of my background is that I know a number of former non-Utrecht Old Catholics who are now Catholics, including former bishops and priests, as well as former Continuing Anglican priests and two former bishops who are also now Catholics. Because of my respect for them, in what in this country are very small groups, I continue to pray for these groups not only as places where those who feel that they cannot become Catholics are safe but also because I want them, like me, to come home into the fulness of the faith.I would hope that I have always been positive in my comments and never disrespectful. I simply want the Ordinariates to thrive and grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rev22:17 says:

      The Catholic clergy who are former Anglicans actually are eligible to transfer to the ordinariate if they wish to do so. The difference between clergy and laity is that clergy need to transfer through the canonical excardination-incardination process.

      If there’s no ordinariate community near your home, perhaps your pastor would be willing to support an effort to gather such a community. There probably are other former Anglicans who have come into the Catholic Church in your area to do so.

      Norm.

      Like

  9. Rundes says:

    The blog in question, if it is [blog name removed-edit] was actually a help to many of the faithful at [removed-edit]. You write from afar, but you do not know the stories of those who have suffered from mistreatment.

    Editor’s note: Rundes, the name(s) of the blog or blogs I had in mind for the Sour Grapes post was/were deliberately left off and therefore I do not want to see a whole bunch of blog names put forward as people like yourself or others try to guess which blog(s) I was referring to, or make assumptions I am referring to them. The post made a general point about a sour grapes attitude, and whether it applies to any individual bloggers or not is moot. I also will not approve comments by anonymous commentators who make specific complaints about particular individuals or parishes. If you have suffered harm or mistreatment I am terribly sorry, but this blog is not the place to air your story. I have no way of verifying who you are and the facts of your story and as a responsible journalist, I would have to at least try to find out the other side(s) to the story. This is not what this blog is for. It’s about general discussion and principles, not an investigative journalism project. I wish you well and thanks for dropping by. Deborah Gyapong

    Like

  10. Dafyd says:

    I understand the desire to follow the Ordinariates, but to gossip about it incessantly the way the Sour Grapes of the world do seems to me unseemly and uncharitable. I gather that many of the Sour Grapes are now in diocesan parishes. Wouldn’t they be better served trying to develop and grow their local parishes instead of attacking other members and bodies of the Catholic Faith?

    Like

    • Rev22:17 says:

      I agree completely.

      Our vocation as baptized Christians is to build up the Kingdom of God. One cannot build up by tearing apart.

      Norm.

      Like

  11. EPMS says:

    Nature abhors a vacuum, which is oretty much what we have from official sources. So those interested, positively or negatively, make do with whatever they can scrounge up. There are significant issues involved, but especially on this side of the Atlantic little serious analysis. Perhaps the conference this fall will add some substance to the discussion.

    Like

  12. Austin says:

    I have been reading the “blog that must not be named” for some time. I find it generally infuriating and relentlessly negative, written by someone who really does not know the Anglo-Catholic tradition from the inside. But it is also infuriatingly right on many issues — perhaps because of its “managerialist” mindset, perhaps because of bitter experience. The administrative woes that beset the Ordinariate in its early days, the vexed relations with the Continuum, the decisions made in order not to offend players in the Catholic power structures, the financial and material weakness of many Ordinariate communities — these are not negligible issues.

    If one is to stay in the Ordinariate, one has to believe that it has a divine purpose and mission. I am in that camp, if somewhat Gamalielan. But one could defensibly take the view of the blogger that must not be named (evidently shared by most of the bishops of England and Wales, and the US) that the Ordinariate has no realistic chance of success, is inherently divisive, could be a seedbed of dissent, and distracts from the overall mission of the Church. What is hard to understand is why the blog persists with such dogged determination in casting gloom over the enterprise. One is tempted to echo its favorite maxim: “What is the problem it is trying to solve?”

    One could, however, take some of the trenchant criticism on board. If the Ordinariate is to have a future, we will need to see a good deal more determined evangelization, a willingness to ignore the disapproval of diocesan powerbrokers, and a strong theological spine. I thought Bishop Lopes position on marriage was excellent in this regard. But we need more.

    Some personal experience. I live in one of the largest US cities that once had a strong Anglo-Catholic tradition. We attended one of the old shrine parishes — nice liturgy, theology deeply compromised. The day the Ordinariate was announced, I called the archdiocese asking what was to happen. Nobody at the chancery had heard of it. A little later, I went to the local pastor (our children were attending the parochial school). He had not heard of the Ordinariate and was cool about the idea of admitting our children to Holy Communion. After some calls to the archdiocese, it was eventually determined that we should be received as if we had been Orthodox — by chrismation, and without an RCIA process since we had satisfied a kind of “oral exam.” We were grateful, but alerted that the Ordinariate was seen as an insignificant but possibly troublesome entity by the archdiocese.

    Later, I discovered that we had a former Episcopal clergyman in our Catholic parish who had been received in the expectation that he would be ordained for the Ordinariate. The local Cardinal would not allow it, reportedly fearing a future influx of married clergy (this despite crippling clergy shortages in the city). That man has since returned to the Episcopal ministry after at least five years of waiting. I gather he feels let down by the Church and betrayed by the Ordinariate, though he has never made any fuss about it.

    I have made several attempts to find other Ordinariate members in our area, to no avail. Nobody from Houston has tried to alert us to any other members within a reasonable distance. There has been no outreach to the city, no discussion group, no effort to appear at large traditional Catholic parishes where there are many former Anglicans on the rolls, no interaction with Forward in Faith people. Such a lack of attention in a major faith marketplace is troubling. I know well the limited resources and vast responsibilities faced by the Ordinariate, but this situation does not imply that expansion and growth are at the top of the “to do” list. They ought to be.

    So I return, reluctantly, to the blog with no name for realism — even if it is too often tainted by a pervasive and cynical negativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EPMS says:

      There are many clergy incardinated in the OCSP resident iin major cities without an Ordinariate community who have apparently not attempted to gather a group. New York City and Tucson, AZ come to mind, but I could multiply examples. Those who attend Ordinate parishes can evaluate their recruitment efforts in the light of Austin’s critique; my assessment is that he is spot on.

      Like

    • jbpauley says:

      I too read the blog not to be named. It has provided information on the ordinariates one can’t find elsewhere and, yes, commentary that is sometimes accurate. To the bntbn’s credit, it tries to state when it engages in speculation. For those who can keep their critical antennae on the alert, this shouldn’t be a problem. As for the effect the bntbn has on the naïve and credulous, however, that might be a concern. I also agree that the bntbn seems unaware of much tradition, practice, and scholarship concerning the Anglican patrimony, especially the High Church and Anglo-Catholic tradition, that would curb the author’s tendency to use such phrases as “faux-Cranmerian” and possibly lead to a recognition that the patrimony is based on a theological, spiritual perspective much more profound than indulging in anglophilia. (And the bntbn’s criticism of mere anglophilia in the OCSP might not be misplaced in some cases.)

      But if I understand the point of the original post to this thread, it wasn’t that those not directly involved in ordinariates groups or parishes need not be interested. Rather, it raised the question as to why some not directly involved in the ordinariates seem interested enough to write blogs or comments on blogs; to do so without direct experience of the inevitable ups and downs the still-young ordinariates faces, and to do so with an apparent desire to see the ordinariates fail and an apostolic constitution dismissed as nonsense. (I would also have concerns about blogs and comments that are too optimistic and uncritical about the ordinariates.)

      As for establishing Ordinariate groups ex nihilo, I’m convinced that this is where the laity will have to undergo a conversion of sorts. Most of us are old enough to remember when church (of any tradition or denomination) presupposed an institutional structure that seemed immovably permanent. I don’t think that’s the case in the West anymore, and it’s even less so for the ordinariates. The days of the laity simply showing up at church on Sunday, even dutifully placing their tithes in the collection plates, and being certain that the rest would take care of itself are not as likely as they used to be. And in my experience, being a lay leader of an Ordinariate group brings plenty of frustrations along with all the joys. But the history of Christianity itself is chock-full of failures that end up being the fertile fields of success—starting with the cross itself. If the laity can be converted to this understanding, nascent groups in the ordinariates can take root and grow (with occasional wrong turns and setbacks along the way).

      I wonder if the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society might be interested in setting up a discussion group or a web-page resource for laity who could share ideas and support for taking the first steps to start Ordinariate groups and ideas and encouragement for helping these efforts to grow.

      Br. John-Bede, O.S.B.

      Like

      • Hello Brother John-Bede,
        I am definitely interested. I am also wondering about having a forum for these discussions that will allow frank airing of challenges and so on that is perhaps open to ACS members’ only.

        Liked by 1 person

      • jbpauley says:

        I contacted another lay founder about starting an initiative for others in the same or similar circumstances. He said he is already developing such a project and will be in contact with the ACS. Yes to the frank airing of challenges. And no to naysayers. Making that distinction, though, can be a challenge of itself. Perhaps one way to avoid gratuitous negativity would be to allow only those who are actually in the trenches of starting and/or leading groups. Other fora would be available to those who want to air commentary of a more general nature. We have here at St. John’s an electronic conferencing program (Canvas), that might be of use in bringing participants together in real time.

        Like

      • One easy way to do it is to set up a blog that only allows members or approved persons to read and to comment.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. EPMS says:

    The problem with setting up a discussion group which only those prepared to commit US$25 annually can join is that it will be a group of committed people, many of them supporters or Ordinariate parishioners from Day 1. If everybody saw things from their perspective the Ordinariates would be growing like mustard seeds. It’s bit like asking loyal parishioners what could be improved about their parish. “Nothing!” is generally the answer; indeed Mrs Gyapong has frequently made more or less this comment about her parish home. The person who really has something to contribute is the person who’s just arrived, or went once and never returned. “I couldn’t find out anything about anything without calling the priest” “The time on the website was wrong” “Nobody spoke to me when I arrived” “The gathering afterwards was a pot luck; I hadn’t brought anything so I left.” These are the things that need to be heard.

    Like

    • jbpauley says:

      What is being proposed, EPMS, is not the formation of a group of parishioners. It’s a group of lay founders of start-up groups. From my experience, the realities involved in starting and maintaining such a group prevent any tendency to believe “nothing” can be improved.

      Like

  14. EPMS says:

    “Lay founders of start-up groups”? That would be you, Shane Schaetzel and…?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s