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, July 30, 2011

Cardinal Wuerl: An American Ordinariate "would in fact be workable"

While I was on vacation, some news was made.  Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl (Washington, D.C.) who is tasked with overseeing the creation of an Anglican Ordinariate in America reported on his thoughts and progress to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at their meeting in Bellevue, Washington State from June 15 to 17.  It was a positive report.

Below are highlights taken from the written report and an article from the Catholic News Service. Above is a video of his oral report to the USCCB which includes some details not in the written sources.

The highlights:*
  • An Anglican Ordinariate in the United States "would in fact be workable."
  • "(T)he Holy See has indicated its wish to establish an Ordinariate in the United States this Fall."
  • "(E)very Anglican group and individual who has written has received an acknowledgement of their statement of intention. Anglican groups were sent a "Community Profile" questionnaire, based upon established criteria for assessing Anglican communities. Anglican clergy not associated with a larger group were sent a "Clergy Profile" questionnaire. Finally, Anglican laity not associated with a larger group were sent an acknowledgement to their letter, instructing them to await further instructions, should an Ordinariate be established."
  • "In mid-April, Anglican clergy seeking ordination in an Ordinariate were directed as part of the process to submit dossiers to me by May 16 for eventual review by the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). Since that time, completed dossiers have been sent to Rome for evaluation," reported the Cardinal.  Additional information will be requested "includ(ing) the results of criminal background checks, a psychological evaluation, a letter of resignation from their Anglican entity" as well as letters from Cardinal Wuerl, the Catholic bishop in whose diocese that the clergyman lives, and if possible his Anglican bishop.
  • When that dossier is submitted the clergy "will cease celebrating the Anglican Eucharist" and begin leading his congregants in preparation and study for their reception into the Roman Catholic Church.
  • St. Mary's Seminary in Houston has developed an intensive nine-month program of priestly formation for Anglican clergy wishing to become Catholic.  Instrumental in this has been Father Jeffrey Steenson, a former Episcopal bishop who is on the seminary's faculty.
  • "When a rescript has been issued and received, he may be ordained to the diaconate immediately, with the intention that his subsequent priestly ordination would coincide with the reception of his parish group into full communion."

*Here are my sources for this information and for the Cardinal's quotes.  Read them for more details:
In the video, at about the 20 minute mark, Cardinal Wuerl completes his remarks and the floor is opened to questions from the other bishops present. Many of the questions asked are the same questions many of use have.

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