I am delighted to share with you news regarding the Ordinariate in the United States of America which I have taken from the latest newsletter:
The highly successful parish of Our Lady of the Atonement along with its flourishing school were yesterday, by decree of the Holy Father, transferred from the Diocese of San Antonio to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.
The parish was the first established under the Pastoral Provision provided by Pope St John Paul II in 1980 to allow former Episcopalian ministers to be ordained as Catholic Priests and to retain some elements of their Anglican heritage.
Under its founding Pastor, Fr Christopher Phillips the parish has gone from strength to strength, and grown phenomenally from very humble beginnings. The church has been a centre for the beautiful expression of Anglican Use liturgy and its school is both highly regarded academically and a shining example of a distinctly Catholic school.
When Fr Phillips was suspended from his ministry by the Bishop of San Antonio, who cited concerns that ‘expressions in the life of the parish … indicate an identity separate from, rather than simply unique, among the parishes of the archdiocese’, there were fears that the distinctive Anglican Patrimony of the Parish and School would -at the very least- be watered down. The decisive action of the Holy See has put an end to such fears and the parish is now looking forward to its future as an Ordinariate Parish.
The action of the Holy See not only boosts the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter by bringing to it a flourishing church, school and a fine example of missionary work. It also demonstrates the continuing commitment of Rome to the enduring and independent role of the Ordinariates within the life of the Catholic Church.
I am delighted with this news. Many Ordinariate priests have struggled to fulfil the task given us by the Holy See where diocesan bishops have not been as helpful as they might be in enabling us to flourish. This case sets a strong precedence and is another clear sign of the commitment of Rome to the Ordinariate vision.