Why the Ordinariate?

As promised I share below the address I gave this week when we drew together three Ordinariate groups, in Sevenoaks, Maidstone and Pembury, into a new partnership Minster model of ministry.

What is the point of the Ordinariate?

People picture the Catholic Church as rigid but this notion of a monolithic Church is fallacy. The Catholic church is actually diverse- it has multiple Rites, such as Antiochan, Armenian, Latin etc. And even in just one rite, consider the Latin Rite to which we belong, there can be incredible diversity. You might have noticed that a Dominican differs from a Jesuit. Yet we are one.

We begin to see that the unity in Rome is not about uniformity. Indeed we are not even members of one church in institutional terms. Rather Catholicism comprises many different national Churches, each reflecting something of its local culture and customs, yet united by one papacy. What I want to briefly tease out this evening is what defines the ENGLISH way of being Catholic. What marks the Spirituality on these shores and what has this to do with the Ordinariate?

To understand the present we must learn the lessons from history. So a very quick recap: Catholicism came to Britain in the first Century establishing itself among native Celts and Romans. Missionaries, including St. Patrick who we will toast tomorrow, carried Christianity to Ireland and Scotland. The progress ended in the 5th C when Britain was invaded by pagans who drove the Celts into Wales and Cornwall. Christianity survived in these strongholds but was largely eradicated in England as a whole.

That situation held until the 6th C when two distinct missions spring up. Pope Gregory sends Benedictines to evangelise Kent. Led by Augustine they establish a base at Canterbury. Meanwhile, in the North, a group is sent by Aidan from Iona to establish a base in York. The two great Archdioceses of England come to life: York and Canterbury. Working separately, these Catholic missions convert Britain until one +Theodore unifies them to create, for the first time, one ‘Church in England’. Over the following years the Catholic faith flourished. Indeed England was so loyal to Rome and to Catholic culture that she was named “Our Lady’s dowry”. The foundations for the forging of a distinct English Way was being laid.

By Norman times the Catholic faith defined what it meant to be English. Great Cathedrals and country churches were built, they still define the quintissential English landscape. The great universities of Oxford and Cambridge were founded. Our ancient public schools were opened. My own alma mater, Norwich Cathedral school, was opened by monks in 1096- a project of one bishop Herbert de Losinga a close friend of St. Anselm. It was a golden era when art, music and architecture of the highest calibre were produced, the fruits of which were many distinct English customs and traditions.

Holding it together was the religious life. Over 800 monasteries and convents dotted the landscape; centres of learning, pastoral care and devotion. England had a truly Catholic vision- a fact few people appreciate today. And this ‘English Catholic Way’ became a jewel in Europe’s crown. English Catholicism famous for high culture; an emphasis on academic learning and aesthetic beauty. So here are two things to bottle in our quest to unearth an authentic English Way. It is something rooted in beauty, culture and a striving for excellence.

But then comes the reformation and the “English Way” was decimated. The Shrine at Walsingham, alongside most other religious buildings, destroyed. The bones of St. Augustine thrown to the dogs – his abbey was razed. Now there is much to say about the reformation, a brutalist movement in this country with disturbing parallels to what Isis is doing in the Middle East today, but I ask just one question; what happens to the ENGLISH way? To the unique charism of English Spirituality in the wake of such horror and destruction?

To answer I draw on a stunning analogy first suggested by the scholar Fr. Aidan Nichols. Picture “The English Way” as a beautiful vase belonging to God. Henry VIII smashes it but God’s will is to restore it through a work of spiritual restoration, a bringing of separated pieces back into unity. But before you can bring those pieces together you need the base; without which gluing any pot together is futile. It was the heroism of the recusants that preserved the base at tremendous personal cost. They ensured Catholicism never did die out. Nevertheless a base alone is no vase. And it is simply a fact of history that much that was essential to “The English Way” went missing as outward looking zeal turned inward. When fear and rejection grew into the ghetto mentality- the tribal instinct- which can still inhabit English Catholicism today. But this is not the “English Way” which once evangelised an entire nation and flourished via its own flowering of culture and customs.

This loss wasn’t the fault of the Catholics. How could they hope to sustain a high cultural life as resources and buildings were taken from them? Survival was all any could hope for as Catholicism was pushed to the margins of English life for generations to come. A situation that held until the 19th Century and the Second Spring. A term referring to the Catholic growth of this period. The time when Catholicism was able to begin the task of rebuilding.

Every Catholic should rejoice in the Second Spring. But for the purpose of our quest we need exercise caution. A growth of Catholicism in this era does not automatically mean resurgence of the English Way. Ironically that English way was being rediscovered at this time but not by Catholics. It was the Oxford Movement, Anglo-Catholicism, which took up that work under Newman, Pusey and later Hope Patten. For Romans there was growth in number but it mainly due to immigration from Ireland. Praise God for that; the church must ever be truly universal. These people gifted treasures of their own- the much needed handle for the ancient broken vase. But the English Way remained buried.

That is an important question because wherever the Gospel has flourished it has reflected the local culture. Go to China and you will see depictions of Chinese Mother and child. Go to Africa and in some places the playing of drums are more important than pipe organs. We hit on a serious problem for Catholics since the 19th Century. Catholicism is tolerated in England but it remains, for many non Catholic people,a  foreign thing. Anglicans will jokingly refer to the “Italian Mission to the Irish”. The establishment tell us Welby is 104th successor of Augustine not  37th since Cramner? In Liverpool it remains “Paddy’s wigwam” it is not George’s. And visit many Catholic churches and you guarantee a statue of Patrick- but who ever sees Wilfrid? Catholicism is just not English in the national consciousness as crumpets, Marmite and Beefeaters are. So without losing our intended diversity and multiculturalism how do we eradicate the view of Catholicism as foreign entity?

Who can restore the authentic English spirituality today? I could not go to America and tell American people who they are. Such a message must arise from within. So where is the key to restoring English spiritual customs… like long albs, harvest festivals, Evensong, hassocks, unbelieving bell ringers et al? The answer, like it or not –is in the Church of England. Because- perversely- it is there, with the heirs of the reformers, English customs survived. Catholicism was not preserved but Anglicanism nevertheless retained fragments of the rock from which she was hewn. If recusants retained Catholicism but lost the English Way, we might say Anglicans retained aspects of the English Way but lost their authentic Catholicism.

At the reformation most English were simply victims of circumstance. Sucked into a Church rejecting the Pope but often carrying on regardless. The Book of Common Prayer wasn’t written in a vacuum, it was the fruit of a Church which had worshipped with its own Sarum Rite. Pope Benedict understood all of this so he established the Ordinariate and chose such robust English patrons for it. Our Lady of Walsingham, whose Shrine was the jewel of the English Way, and Newman, Oxford man, who understood that the only hope for the English Way lay with Rome. The re-uniting of Augustine and Gregory. “To be steeped in history”, said Newman, “is to cease to be Protestant.” See how Newman led where his movement, Anglo-Catholicism would one day be called to follow, under the title of Ordinariate.

Benedict reached out to Newman’s babies saying bring your patrimony with you. Things that would be lost if we simply joined the local dioceses of our day. The Catholic church did not need the Ordinariate to teach it to be Catholic. Our patrimony was our gift – that which can help in the task of restoring the English way. It was for the evangelisation of non-Catholic Englishman that the Ordinariate was and is needed. Others are also about this work, we might consider Newman’s other babies – the English Oratorians. Now we can bolster their mission.

Alas this vision and intention is not always understood. Some Bishops resist us because they cannot control it; they want our clergy but not the patrimony we bring. Other Catholics dislike it because our vision looks beyond the 1960’s and is rooted in orthodoxy; they prefer to build on modernist lines. And at times we have failed ourselves because we lack the resources to do the vision justice or we ourselves haven’t really embraced the vision fully.

But where the Ordinariate has been enabled results have been amazing. Look around you. Before the Ordinariate arrived in Pembury this was a dual use hall only reflecting a spirit of the 1960’s. But since we arrived so has an intended beautification to shift to incorporate the wisdom not only of 1960 but also 1060 and 1860! The birth of Catholic England and the revival of Anglo-Catholicism under Newman.In this little place we have seen a vision bearing fruit. And let me stress that our emphasis on the English way hasn’t compromised, in any way, our being a universal church. Our congregation comprises Indians, Poles, Maltese, Irish, Scottish and more besides. And all seem to have rejoiced in the changes.

To conclude: in the Ordinariate we have a fragile shoot growing, against all odds and with the help of the Holy Spirit. I believe it has enormous potential. But for this to be achieved it needs people to believe in it, support it and sustain it. We provide, not protestant treasures- that would be madness- but lost Catholic treasures. The singing of the Angelus at Mass. The Divine Worship liturgy whose soul was forged in the Sarum Rite and so on. So please help in the task of bringing it to life in this area of Kent. Please commit fully. For the harvest is rich but the labourers few. We have been given such a tremendous opportunity- pray God that people will see this and come together to make it happen.

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56 thoughts on “Why the Ordinariate?

  1. Actually Protestant treasures are exactly what you are bringing! Cranmer’s liturgical endeavours were protestant – at least that’s what he thought. Harold Darke and John Ireland whose Communion Services are so often performed in your London church were protestant composers – at least that’s how they identified themselves. Wesley, Watts, Doddridge, Cowper and Co. were protestant poets.

  2. You do realise that in order to be received into the ONE Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church – to which you DID NOT belong – there are mandatory conditions and criteria?
    One being recognition that Anglicanism is an heretical dissociate cult which bears neither resemblance nor formal,efficient or final causes congruent with Catholicism.
    Another being the absolute INVALIDITY of Anglican orders.
    Therefore there being absolutely NO VOCATION to said non-existent orders.
    That ALL sacramental grace derived from the exclusive efficacy of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church – and NOT from any origin within the occult practices of the Anglican community.
    That all emulation of Catholic forms of Divine worship were by default objectively blasphemous, idolatrous and sacrilegious – irrespective of any subjective ignorance or diminished culpability of the partaker.
    That ALL THESE TRUTHS must be manifestly affirmed to be true DE FIDE before one can validly enter the One, True Church.
    One of these Truths being Christian Unity is living, complete, fulfilled [Jn 17] and absolute and eternal within the One, True, Church of Christ – the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church under the auspices of the Successor to Peter – apart from whom there IS NO Church!

    Therefore I should advise that comments made within this article be hastily retracted, withdrawn and an apology be issued for it scandalises the One, True Church and brings in to question the understanding and integrity of those making such false , fallacious, erroneous and ignorant claims and their true sincerity and authenticity upon being received into the Church.

    If you are Catholic – BE Catholic – and renounce and abhor all past erroneous ways and appreciate and cherish the grace bestowed upon you in reception into the ONE TRUE Mystical Body of Christ.

    1. Well you are a charmer aren’t you?!

      I think you will find that members of the Ordinariate cannot become Catholic as you ask because we already are. We use only texts approved by the Holy See and subscribe entirely to the Catechism. Indeed we have a reputation for fidelity to Catholic teaching. And if you actually read the article then you will note that our mission is not to validate anything protestant or erroneous but simply to restore lost treasures of an Anglican/English patrimony.

      PS: If you do insist on fidelity to Catholic truth, as you suggest, then why is your post so lacking in charity?
      PPS: Do you understand the difference between unity and uniformity?

      1. Father you may have come across the unfortunately named Mr Priest before on the blogosphere. If you haven’t then may I advise (at the risk of being uncharitable to him) that he is extremely prolix and wont to rant at length and be extremely condemnatory of everyone who does not ft into his very narrow vision of Catholicism. I believe the extremely witty Eccles and Bosco have him down as the “Archbishop of Corby”. Anyway, given some of the personal stuff he has mentioned over the years about himself, he should probably think about motes and eyes before he puts fingers to keyboards.

      2. I think you have hit a nail on the head. The ‘rant’ might originate in a background which does not seem to be aware of the fact that the church has many flavours (some very ancient). Uniformity is not one of them. As Pope Francis has noted unity is NOT uniformity. I wonder what ‘Paul Priest’ thought about the recent celebration of Anglican Evensong in St Peter’s? It has Catholic roots, after all. It seems to me that the Ordinariate is a vector for revitalising worship forms that have been allowed to drop out of use in the Catholic Church and that can only be for the good.

          1. Sort of Makes my point.

            That is an grouping of people who want to keep the church frozen in its pre-1962 state. Individuals have taken to the position that they know better than the Ecumenical Council (making them schismatic if not actually heretical). In doing so they have led people away from communion with the Petrine Office.
            Popes, hoping for reconciliation, have been rather generous to them. but see:-
            Pope Benedict XVI on 10 March 2009, is: “Until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.”[1]

            1 “The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society (of St Pius X) does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries within the Church” (Pope Benedict XVI, Letter of 10 March 2009 to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the remission of the excommunication of the four bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre).

            Corriere della Sera published on 22 December 2013 an interview with Müller in which he was asked: “Now that the discussions have failed, what is the situation of the Lefebvrians?” Müller replied: “The canonical excommunication for the illicit ordinations has been lifted from the bishops, but the sacramental de facto excommunication for schism remains; they have departed from communion with the Church. We do not follow that up by shutting the door, we never do, and we call on them to be reconciled. But on their part too, they must change their attitude and accept the Catholic Church’s conditions and the Supreme Pontiff as the definitive criterion of membership.”

          2. For Mary on SSPX

            The first part in my comment is in the letters of Pope Benedict – reference below. But, be careful, my browser security warns that the Vatican site-certificate is incorrectly configured and could be problematical. There seems to be no way of contacting the web-master about it that I can find, so far. I can access such sites by using a live Linux CD on an old computer.


            The other material is in Italian (of which I have very little knowledge). here:-

            There are various extracts in English scattered about the place. The one here seems to be sensible:-


            It seems that negotiations for a return to the fold may still there but progress is very slow or stalled.

    2. I’m glad the Pope doesn’t share your bigoted opinions. He treats Anglicans as fellow Christians and gladly shares worship with them.

        1. That allegation was made some time ago on here by another poster who was challenged to produce corroboration but who failed to do so. There is no evidence of this anywhere that I have been able to find. Certainly there is of Pope Francis accepting a joint blessing (at some charismatic shindig) from a Franciscan friar and an evangelical pastor but nothing about Communion; perhaps you can come up with the goods Maureen?

          1. Mary, Ex ore equi (non defuncti):

            “And then, there is my experience. I was very friendly with the Anglicans at Buenos Aires, because the back of the parish of Merced was connected with the Anglican Cathedral. I was very friendly with Bishop Gregory Venables, very friendly. But there’s another experience: In the north of Argentina there are the Anglican missions with the aborigines, and the Anglican Bishop and the Catholic Bishop there work together and teach. And when people can’t go on Sunday to the Catholic celebration they go to the Anglican, and the Anglicans go to the Catholic, because they don’t want to spend Sunday without a celebration; and they work together. And here [at the Vatican], the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith knows this. And they engage in charity together. And the two Bishops are friends and the two communities are friends.”

  3. Thanks Father – this is much the same manifesto as 5 or 6 years ago but I do hope that it appeals to those you are hoping to attract.

    Apart from the necessary consolidation to counter the impact of members and clergy drifting away, the main change seems to be increased mention of the Oratorians; is the Ordinariate officially making overtures to get closer to that order as a group?


    1. I think the link with the English Oratorians is an organic one. We are both Newman’s babies and thus cut from similar cloth…

  4. I agree albeit the Oratorians are a very different animal from the Ordinariate and of course do not (to my knowledge) have their own, more ringfenced laymembers to pastor to. They are also far more steeped in Catholic practise and understanding (e.g. they do not make reference to Anglican patrimony and have gone through proper Catholic training and formation, unlike Ordinariate priests).

    I still think that if the Ordinariate were to really try to appeal to a broader audience within the C of E (rather than doing things that perpetuate them being seen by both many Catholics and many Anglicans as a narrow former high church sect) this would be transformational for the Ordinariate.

    All the best


    1. Could you tell me what training I am missing having spent three years studying theology in Cambridge and then having then spent two years in formation at Allen Hall and at Maryvale? I am genuinely interested. Is it patristics you assume I didn’t cover or situation ethics? Biblical studies or what? Do you assume Fr. Hunwicke, for example, is lacking in understanding?

      Sorry but it is a laughable accusation. Indeed I would argue the intellectual credibility and academic rigour of our clergy is one of our strong points.

      1. Why is this a laughable accusation? It is an un-spun description of the facts.

        As I understood it, you trained as an Anglican priest in a far from ‘Catholic’ setting and then did the six week crash course in Spring 2011 to become a Catholic priest. Is that not correct? Allen Hall – when and what was that – were you not full time running a parish?

        Seriously, do you honestly think that the more letters after your name the better the priest you are?

        And where has this self-professed declaration that Ordinariate are known for intellect come from?

        When I was a teenager I sometimes used to convince myself that I was the best looking, brightest, most popular kid in school…..but no-one believed me!

        My note was simply a read out of the facts which seems to have caught a nerve.



        1. Six week crash course? Who told you that? We did a two year course, alongside running our parishes with regular visits to the seminary. The modules of the Maryvale MA were used and each module required an essay. Some took an option to add a dissertation to all of this and upgrade it to the full MA. But dont let facts get in the way of the insult. Secondly the theology department of Cambridge University is non denominational. It might grieve you to hear that Anglican students at Westcott House, such as I was, studied alongside Catholics at Fisher House. Certainly there were a few things that needed adding to our training, most obviously in Roman Canon Law and customs, but the notion we are not as well trained as our diocesan counterparts is just nonsense.

          1. Actually I don’t think it is nonsense.

            Am I wrong in saying you quit the C of E at the start of Lent, were received into the Church at Easter, and were ordained a priest in June (presumably managing to squeeze the required diaconal ordination somewhere in between)? Which bit of that do I have wrong?

            Those are the bare facts I think.

            And on your other point- do you really see the difference between a C of E minister and a Catholic priest as “a few things on Roman Law and customs”?? I would hope not, but does rather prove the point I was making.


          2. Bill have you ever heard of people on the Open University? It is quite possible to study and work, though challenging. For those two years we attended seminary once a month and a day a week was given over for private study. Which was quite sufficient training for men who already had many years of ministry under the belt and a formation elsewhere which, whilst different, had many overlaps. So again please tell me which area you think I have studied. I am waiting….

            And once you inform me then you had better write to the Vatican and tell them how Allen Hall Seminary failed in the task they were given, to ensure we were sufficiently trained.

          3. There were of course particular arrangements made to allow fast tracking part of the training of the Ordinariate priests and allowing them to complete the rest of it after Ordination. That, as I understand it, was done for pastoral reasons to allow them to remain with their congregations and continue to minister to them. It may be of course that this is the “special treatment” that Bill has been referring to for some time now. If it is i can’t see anything wrong with it in these highly unusual circumstances if for no other reason than I can’t see what the sensible alternative would have been. However I also can’t see, the clergy now having completed that training, what was wrong with it in toto? Not six years in a Diocesan seminary obviously but very similar to the training pattern of for e.g. the Dominicans. A first degree in theology etc in a “secular” university followed by more specialist Catholic training.

          4. Three years at Westcott House and a correspondence course are not the equivalent of 6 years at a seminary. What a daft affection!

    2. “Proper Catholic training and formation” may produce excellent priests, but many seminaries did not afford “proper” training and formation. There are many ordained priests whose training and formation in seminary was execrable. Anglican houses of formation, exactly because they were apart during the turmoil of the 60s and 70s and into the 80s, were able to turn out many priests — not all — who really are orthodox in belief and traditional in practice. In my experience, the Ordinariate priest is, on the whole and on average, better prepared than, on the whole and on average, Roman priests who were in seminary in those unfortunate decades.

  5. I do think that your reasoning is very warped – in your favour. Protestants call the Catholic Church in England and Wales ‘The Italian Mission’ to demean it. They also call the Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ – locals call the ‘The Metropolitan Cathedral’ while often the Anglican Cathedral is called ‘The Proddy’. It is interesting that on signage throughout the city and literature it is only the Anglican Cathedral that is called by its denomination – ie ‘Anglican’. In my local church we have a statue of St George – not St Patrick.

  6. Thanks Father – yes I have heard of the Open University and yes am also familiar with working whilst studying. I did it myself for a number of years whilst working towards my professional qualification. Emphasis being on ‘towards’. In your case it was different (some kind of get Ordained now but promise to study later arrangement) but I guess nobody can blame you for not looking the gift horse in the mouth.

    I wasn’t sure of the question you asked in your last posting but you still haven’t answered or denied the facts as set out by me.

    You attended a six week crash course pre ordination to get the Ordinariate off the ground. I can write to the Vatican (??!) or whoever you like but that is the reality of what happened.

    These are the plain (un-spun) facts. Uncomfortable, sorry, but true


    1. I guess you could be right and the CDF, Holy Father, Allen Hall Seminary and the English Bishops (who approved us and ordained us by their own hand) were wrong. And a terrible mistake has been made. In which case the development and growth witnessed in this parish is even more miraculous- how can it be? as it happens I agree I am not fit to be a priest- but that is not due to my formation but status as a sinner in need of redemption.

      If you are right though I guess I must just resign myself to carrying on, as a hopeless deficient muggle and not as a pure-blood diocesan, only comforting myself that others before me managed without Seminary training too. People like St. Peter and St. Paul. But what a shame to do so realising, for the first time, that all Christian education outside of seminary is null and void. How the Anglicans must look at Wonersh jealously, hungering for the clear intellectual standards set my modern Catholic priests. If only they had produced some intellectual giants like these and not idiot fakers like Newman, Ramsey, the Caroline Divines et al..

    2. Bill, stop pratting about. I can’t believe you can’t grasp what happened and why it happened and what the safeguards were so you know very well what the issue is here and you are deliberately being provocative. and before you accuse me of leaping to Fr. Ed’s defence iIdon’t always as a review of postings will demonstrate but I can recognise a wind up merchant when I see one.

      1. “wind up merchant”

        I think the current term might be “troll”. The advice from the IT world is ‘don’t feed the troll’.

  7. References to Allen Hall, Vatican etc etc etc are just references to the ‘gift horse in the mouth’ that I mentioned previously.

    I simply pointed out the facts so that all can draw their own conclusion – ie can understand the context properly – that the surefooted attacks that go on in this blog (in between, as I have always said, some really great stuff about parish and other bits) aimed at so called modernist Catholics, high church Anglicans, the Pope, celibate “emasculated priests” (the list goes on) are against a background of having been granted access to the Catholic priesthood via a 6 week crash course and some essays.

    All in response to a question from you I would add asking me to explain!



    1. So we go back to the bottom line. You demand uniformity not unity. You want me to ‘get with the programme’ and do things the diocesan way or be silent. Either I join the tribe as you see fit or go away.

      A total disregard, in other words, of what the Catholic church has actually asked of Ordinariate members. How can my citing of Allen Hall, the English Bishops and Rome be dismissed so easily as simply evidence of a gift horse? How unkind to dismiss the validity of my ministry in this way. Sorry but they are the authority you demand but refuse to accept!!

      Strip it away and the central thrust of your message is that you resent my being different. You think I should do the good parish stuff quietly, get with the programme and be silent, non critical and blindly accepting of all I encounter. And, being second rate and inferior, I have no right to question anything. Which, to me, seems a total denial of Anglicnorum Coetibus and the desperate need for revival in the church of our day. Sorry, think I will carry on…

      1. I wonder if this person has ever been to a monastic Mass. They can be very different, as is the Ambrosian Rite of Milan etc. What is his/her opinion of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches? Does he/she reject all who differ in any way? Unfortunately, we do see locked in mind-sets and some will not even accept the decisions of a General Council (which seems to mean that they think they know better). The question arises are such folk truly Catholic? As a matter of interest, some of the worst closed minds, that I’ve encountered have been from certain leading academics in other fields who, despite preaching academic openess, could not accept that they might be wrong and that in spite of the evidence to the contrary.
        I say keep up the good work and ignore the barbs of such folk. Rather, pray for their enlightenment. The Lord Himself had his attackers too.

  8. I have no particular objection to being different – as you have said before lots of time there is plenty of diversity in the Church generally. This “demanding uniformity not unity” thing is a sound bite you use a lot but I am not sure it applies to me particularly.

    Actually what I object to is the abuse that gets dished out on this blog in all directions. And when some comes back your way (all of which is fact rather than opinion really – and helps to inform readers), of course you don’t like it Who would?!

    You speak of Anglicorum Coetibus (and by extension, bizarrely, Pope Benedict and the Vatican etc etc) as if it has given you licence to give as much stick as you see fit to any group of people you like. It doesn’t.

    Have a good weekend and think on


    1. Bill now I am certain you are being wt the very least mischievous . You started this whole thing by slipping in a dig about the qualifications of Ordinariate priests which had absolutely nothing to do with what the original posting was about and was only vaguely relevant – if at all – because the Oratorians had been mentioned. Now you are complaining about abuse being dished out on this blog ( which actually I don’t think in fairness it is; robust exchanges of opinion certainly but not abuse). So it’s really not clear whether your objection is to that robust discussion or to the Ordinariate in general. I am tending to think more the latter but in the context of being a bit of a stirrer. Like I say I can spot one miles off as my dad, in a very lighthearted way, used to specialise in it!

      1. Thank you Mary for that. I had been reflecting on my contributions to this blog.

        The irony is that I am certain my views on life (in the widest context) are probably 99 per cent the same as Fr Ed’s and probably yours. On that basis me sounding off on this blog doesn’t really make a lot of sense….and brings out the worst in me at times (thought not always by any means!).

        So I’ll be quitting commenting on here from now on – and may quit reading also.

        My views are deeply held and important to me (and are I think pretty Orthodox and traditional) but my approach is rubbish.

        And – sorry Fr Ed for me being a sh1t!!

        Good luck everyone


        1. No need to cease reading or commenting Bill. This blog welcomes all views. Am sure there is much we would agree on too. Thank you for the apology and I offer mine in return for any comments of mine which are out of order.

          1. Me too Bill. Let’s Carry On Commenting ( there must be a film in there surely?) but take a bit more extra care for the other bloke’s view ? In a totally non gender stereotypical way of course…

  9. Interesting article and comments that followed. I am reminded of the warm welcome of the British during the visit of Benedict XVI to England. That told me a lot about how the people there felt about the Church.

  10. I have to be honest and point out that in my personal experience most Anglo-catholic priests have a far better understanding of catholic doctrine and practice than many cradle- catholic priests.
    It usually follows that after the kind of soul searching convert clergy go through that they have already thoroughly understood, indeed wrestled with the finer points of Romanitas !(and probably in more depth than most seminarians are required to do).

  11. For Pat re SSPX. thanks for this Pat but what I was after was the stuff about the mass of reparation mentioned by MV.

      1. Thanks MV. This is to to do with then recent evensong however not the allegation that the pope had received holy communion from a Protestant in Buenos Aires. That allegation seems to have no foundation at all. As I suspected.

        1. No, you just told young Pat that you were after the stuff about the mass of reparation for the protestant service conducted in St Peters which I have provided.

          Above I have given you a quote from Mgr Bergoglio’s recent address in All Saints’ Anglican Church in Rome.

          1. Some confusion here due to the lack of reply buttons to certain posts and/or my famed technical cackhandedness. For the avoidance of doubt what I was asking was whether anyone was aware of any proof of the allegation that the Pope whilst in Buenos Aires had received Protestant communion. Does anyone know if there is any ?

        2. There are indeed a number of fake and downright nasty so called news-sites out there and not just for things religious. Now I wonder what their objectives could be?

      2. They SSPX seem to be unaware of their own self-contradiction when they quote:-

        ‘As Leo XIII teaches in Satis Cognitum (# 9), June 29, 1896:

        “He who dissents even in one point from divinely revealed truth absolutely rejects all faith, since he thereby refuses to honor God as the supreme truth and the formal motive of faith.”’

        They reject the teaching of an Ecumenical Council which Donum Veritas indicates is a vehicle for revealed truth. By doing so they have cut themselves off from the Petrine Office. Whilst the appreciation of the Tridentine Liturgy is admirable, it must be remembered that it is a fairly late innovation/change in the forms of the Mass and what one pope can change in the form(s) of liturgical ceremony another can also change. There is nothing of core doctrine about the rituals surrounding the Eucharistic Sacrifice and distribution of Holy Communion. It is only that Sacrifice and partaking of Communion, carried out in a devotional atmosphere that matters. How are we to invite our separated bretheren to come home if we cannot share a common prayer to God?

        Donum Veritas is worth a read on this sort of thing. It makes clear the process for dealing with duba, also. In that area approach to the media is ruled out.


  12. Thank God for all the converts that have come into the Church in recent years and before. We need all the good priests we can get! The priests who came in from the Church of England are a blessing and I am sure they are very faithful to the Church and Her teachings. We need to stay together and be faithful to Christ and to His Church. All this confusion must cease. It is the work of the Devil. Let’s not be deceived. God Bless to all.

  13. Of course the progress of the ordinariate will encounter bumps in the road. After all, there has been half a millennia of separation. Be thankful that bumps is all that it is; the original separation was a quite violent and bloody affair with little to be proud of.

  14. Fantastic article Father and very thought provoking. We undoubtedly have a lot to learn from each other which will further enrich our spiritual lives and bring this country back to God.

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