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.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anglican Use begins!

Those who prayed from left to right, Mr Bruce Hall, Mr Noel Lumbre, Mrs Chie Lumbre, Mr Ren Aguila and Fr Joe Frary
In what may be considered as an important ecumenical milestone in the history of the Church in the Philippines, the first Anglican Use liturgy was prayed in a Philippine Catholic church. The Anglican Use may be said like the English Ordinariate slipped unnoticed into the water, but this like Christ's command to "put into deep water" begins an important mission. The Anglican Use Society Philippines recently said the Evening Prayer according to the Anglican Use of the Catholic Church at the pastoral center of the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Participating at the prayer are Ren Aguila, Bruce Hall, Fr Joe Frary of the Central Diocese of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines and St Andrews Theological Seminary, Mr Noel and Chie Lumbre of the parish ministry for families and yours truly. While we were a bit late, we came from the office to say the Office. Thanks be to God!

For the prayers, the intention was about the Octave of Christian Unity which is most apt. We brought the image of Our Lady of Walsingham to the church. Mr Ren Aguila officiated the prayer splendidly. We prayed for our country, Our Holy Father Benedict XVI and all pastors, for missions and for the University of the Philippines so that the university receives the grace to seek the truth in learning. We thank the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham for making this event a success. After the prayer we reflected on what Evening Prayer is and discussed the ecumenical importance of Our Lady of Walsingham, who is honored in the first Anglican Ordinariate in England and has worked miracles and continues to do so. We also thank the Parish priest Father Raymond Arre for graciously hosting us and the parish community for being supportive.

That we were able to say this prayer is a miracle in itself! It isn't the big miracle that most people expect but a miracle nonetheless. The intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham is indeed powerful. Despite the difficulties, she has helped us in bearing them. And when we said the Magnificat, this was on our minds.

The Evening Prayer we hope will be regularly said on the last Friday of each month at 7:30 PM. Later on we hope to have a more public liturgical celebration of the Prayer. Please keep logging into this blog for announcements.


  1. Sorry but I just want to ask some questions. If the author won't be offended. Are these people Anglicans in communion with Rome? Or are they Episcopalians still within the Anglican communion? I'm aware that there are Episcopalian Filipinos present, are they applying for Anglicanorum Coetibus? It would be great to know that the Episcopalians here soon be in communion with us. Also, are the Aglipayans in full communion with this group supporting the Anglican Use in the Philippines? God bless your intiative. Ut Unum Sint.

  2. The people who attended the Evening Prayer are Roman Catholics with the sole exception of Fr Joe Frary who is with the Episcopal Church of the Philippines. The Catholics come from various Anglican backgrounds and they have made the journey to full Catholicity. This is the common strand that unites as all.

    Yes, there are people in the Episcopal Church of the Philippines who are reflecting on Anglicanorum coetibus. As for expressing a desire of taking the papal offer, I don't know of anyone yet. But I believe that through prayer, they will eventually come to make a choice. And this may happen sooner that we all expected. There is nothing impossible with God and more so upon the intercession of the Virgin Mary.

    The religious situation between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in the Philippines is not as clear cut or polemical as in the USA or England. Most Filipino Anglicans are historically Anglo-Catholic and tolerant. Anglicanism was introduced to the Philippines without the objective of converting Roman Catholics. This is true ecumenical witness which we are bound to keep. The Roman Catholics also extend the same degree of tolerance and acceptance of the Anglicans. There is traffic between both sides, Anglicans becoming Catholics and Catholics becoming Anglicans. There is little or no rancor about this. The various controversies that have hounded the Anglican Communion has largely bypassed the Anglican church here, but the Philippine Anglicans will have to face that in one way or another in one of their synods. We have to pray that the Episcopal Church in the Philippines discerns according to the will of Christ.

    The case of the Aglipayan Church is rather different for obvious historical reasons. Strictly speaking Aglipayans are not Anglicans despite a concordat of intercommunion (they strongly assert this). If they will reconcile with Rome as an ecclesial community, they may have to negotiate an Anglicanorum coetibus of their own. But this is highly unlikely.

    Anglican Use in the Philippines is not in the business of "converting" Anglicans to become Roman Catholics and neither are we in the business of turning Roman Catholics into Anglicans. We are in the business of inviting people to prayer and since we have found spiritual benefit from the Anglican tradition, we would like to share this with all people of goodwill, but we will never impose. We are Anglican Use since the people who founded the group were already Roman Catholics but still drew on their Anglican backgrounds for their spirituality. We feel that this "patrimony" as they say is so precious and beautiful and needs to be restored to the Catholic Church.



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