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.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Ordinariate in England grows and grows!

The Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham last January 1 just started out with 3 former Anglican bishops and 2 religious sisters which makes five. They were all received in the Catholic Church in that month. A fortnight later, the former bishops were ordained Catholic priests with one, Fr Keith Newton appointed as the first Ordinary. Later on the  Pope bestowed the honor of being monsignori to the three priests.

This Easter season we read that many groups of Anglicans are now being received in the Church, many with their pastors. It is expected that their pastors will be ordained within the latter half of the year.

The Ordinariate may be likened to a tree with just five small branches at the start. However as the year progresses, we see many more branches grafted to the tree. In order for the graft to prosper, the branch must be of like constitution to the trunk.

The Ordinariate is the logical conclusion of Anglicanism's branch theory. The theory is partially correct as the Catholic Church acknowledges, but if the branch is separated from the trunk, it will wither and die. Here is an Orthodox priest's view of the theory. The One Holy Catholic Church may have branches true, but it can only be one if one realizes that the branches are attached to the trunk! If the branch is separated from the trunk, the branch may develop on its own and may fall into theological innovations.

But as the Ordinariates will show and I believe it will, it doesn't mean that if you have a branch, it is within the trunk! Similarly the Eastern Catholic Churches have shown this throughout the centuries.

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