Pope Paul VI to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey

"(B)y entering into our house, you are entering your own house, we are happy to open our door and heart to you." - Pope Paul VI to Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Anglican Ordinariate announced for Australia

Following news about the timeline for an English-Welsh Anglican Ordinariate come reports about establishing an Ordinariate in Australia. The Australian newspaper The Catholic Weekly reported:

The first personal ordinariate for former Anglicans is expected to be established in Australia by next Easter, according to Bishop Peter Elliott, the Australian Catholic Bishops’ delegate for assisting lay Anglicans join the Church.

The first such ordinariate is to be established in England and Wales in early January.

Bishop Elliott says “we’re hoping to follow a similar timeline”, but it “may be a few months later”.

“We’re yet to work out with the Vatican what would be the best procedure, but it ought to focus around Easter and Pentecost,” said Bishop Elliott, auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne....

This establishment of the Australian Anglican Ordinariate was also mentioned in the pastoral letter from the Traditional Anglican Communion's (TAC) primate Archbishop John Hepworth:

The creation of the first Ordinariate for Anglicans under the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Benedict XVI has been announced. As anticipated, for a host of symbolic and historical reasons, the first Ordinariate will be in England.

A second Ordinariate has this week been announced for Australia.

This suggests a pattern and a timeline. The first Anglican Ordinariate will be established in England and Wales, which is only fitting since that is where Anglicanism began. Other Ordinariates in countries with sizable interest will follow quickly and will be formed by Easter or Pentecost. This first wave includes Australia, the home of the TAC primate Archbishop Hepworth, and likely will include Canada and the United States, the latter where Anglican Use Catholic parishes have existed for a generation. I expect that announcement about Canada and the U.S. will be made soon.

What about Ordinariates outside these countries, including countries that have active TAC parishes who have voted to join the Catholic Church, countries such as Japan and those in Central America? There may be announcements soon about those as well, or it could be that the Vatican will focus first on the "big" countries mentioned above and then allow those Ordinaries and Ordinariates to advise it on the other countries. It has been a year since Anglicanorum Coetibus was announced and then there has been a flurry of activity this November in preparation for Easter, all of which suggests a pattern – a big announcement followed by a period of consolidation before another big announcement and more consolidation.

However, this is speculation and should be taken as such. Regardless of what happens "above my pay grade," as they say, I still have mass to attend, prayers to say, and my soul to nurture.

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