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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Anglican Use in the Philippines is on Facebook

Anglican Use in the Philippines | Promote Your Page Too

Anglican Use in the Philippines is now on Facebook. We have both a Group and a Page. The Group is for open, wide-ranging discussions and will most likely be the most active, even enjoyable, of the two.  The Page allows us to do a few things, such as add a stream to this blog and make official announcements in the Anglican Use in the Philippines' name, that Facebook Groups do not allow us to do.

So, "join" the Group and "like" the Page, and tell your friends about it.

The Anglican Use in the Philippines Group can be found here:


The Anglian Use in the Philippines Page can be found here:


Thursday, August 25, 2011

2011 Anglican Use Conference held in July

Back in July the Anglican Use Society held its annual conference.  This annual conference is always well attended by many of the key leaders in "the Anglican Use movement", if you will, and this year was no exception. Many of the key movers and shakers were there.  These are the leaders that will shape the future of Anglican Use, the Anglican Ordinariate, and even the Catholic Church as a whole.

Videos of many of the talks and services are online at Anglicanorum Channel on UStream.  Included there are videos of the Mass and Evening Prayer according to Anglican Use and of the address by Msgr. Keith Newton, the ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Anglican Ordinariate of England and Wales.

For a schedule of the conference go to the Anglican Use Society's website.

The conference was hosted by Saint Mary the Virgin, an Anglican Use parish in Arlington, Texas.

Our Lady of Walsingham, an AU parish in Houston, Texas, has posted photos.

The Anglican Use Society was founded in 2003.  From its website:
On February 23, 2003 a group of people met at St. Luke’s Church in Whitestone, New York, under the leadership of Father Joseph Wilson, a Catholic priest who is a long-time devotee of the Anglican Use.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the formation of an Anglican Use Congregation in New York City.  Out of those discussions came the sense that there might be many people in various other parts of the country wishing to do the same thing, and that they needed a vehicle by which to do it.  Father Joseph Wilson celebrated Mass, and the participants signed a document forming the Anglican Use Confraternity.  Joseph Blake was elected President pro tempore.  Since that time the name has been changed to Anglican Use Society, and has been incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania. 
I have had the pleasure of only attending one conference, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was a memorable experience, simply one of the best conferences that I have ever attended.  I urge you to go and watch the videos.

Monday, August 22, 2011

We're on the map, the Emerging Anglican Catholic Ordinariates Worldwide Google Map that is

View Emerging Anglican Catholic Ordinariates Worldwide in a larger map

Where is the closest Anglican Use or Anglican Ordinariate-bound group?  How do I contact them?  How many groups are there or will there be? Google Maps has the answer at the Emerging Anglican Catholic Ordinariates Worldwide Google Map run by Shane Schaetzel.  And we are on it!  Thanks Mr Schaetzel.  He also writes at the Anglican Catholics Blog.

"...the only group between the English Channel and Hawaii..."
At the moment, we are the only group between the English Channel and Hawaii to be plotted, but they are looking to rectify that situation and are seeking collaborators: "Currently we are seeking collaborators for the Australian and Pacific ordinariates. Interested persons should contact: shane.schaetzel@gmail.com"

Any group can be placed on the map, just email Mr. Schaetzel and provide "1. Name of your group, 2. Address where your group primarily meets, 3. phone number for your group, (and) 4. email and webpage for your group if applicable."

So, go and check it out if you want to visit a local group.  If you attend any service, remember that some of these groups are now in formal full communion with the Vatican while others have not completed the process and are still formally outside the Roman Catholic Church.

Some bloggers have taken the information provided by the map and did some number crunching.  Back in February 2011, Br. Stephen Treat, O.Cist. wrote on The AngloCatholic blog that, based on the then-current numbers, "an American Ordinariate—in a worst case scenario—(would be) larger than 21 of the domestic dioceses of The Episcopal Church (of the United States)" and that, "If an American Ordinariate were to grow to an (Average Sunday Attendance) of 5000, it would be either larger than or roughly the same size as 59 of the domestic dioceses of The Episcopal Church."  He concluded saying "These are still very small numbers in Catholic terms, but, in Anglican terms, I would say that an American Ordinariate looks quite credible."

Numbers are always tricky and the success or failure of any spiritual endeavor should not be measured in statistics, but I find it interesting to think about nonetheless. Some say that the Ordinariates will be too small to matter or to be sustainable.  Clearly even back in February neither was the case.

I did a quick calculation.  As of today, August 22, 2011, 63 groups are listed in the United States. When Br. Treat did his calculations above there were 36 groups plotted on the map.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Church, East and West has long celebrated August 15 as the Assumption/Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Church has defined the belief as dogma in 1950 with Pope Pius IX's infallible definition in the Apostolic Constitution Municefentissimus Deus.

"By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory"

The Eastern Church celebrates the date as the Dormition of the Mother of God. Eastern Christians believed that Mary "fell asleep"  ("falling asleep" was how the Ancients referred to death) and was taken body and soul to heaven. The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary has undergone the bodily resurrection which all Christians will experience at the Second Coming of Christ. Mary is now glorified and is in heaven. The righteous will be like Mary after the Last Judgment. While the Dormition and the Assumption can be seen as two ways of emphasizing the same event, there are differences between the Orthodox and Catholic teaching. For starters, the Orthodox do not consider the teaching as infallible dogma as the Catholics do. The Orthodox teach that Mary was bodily assumed or translated to heaven while the Roman Catholic teaching is that she was assumed "body and soul" to heaven. Also the Orthodox teach that Mary died before being assumed into heaven. The Catholics leave that open to interpretation although Pope Pius IX alludes that she died first. Catholics may believe that Mary escaped death but personally I take the Orthodox view that she died first.

The Orthodox and Catholics agree on one point. Mary was assumed into heaven. The teaching emphasizes the Christian destiny of the Resurrection of the Body. We will share in Mary's glorification if we stand fast to the message of Christ.

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer omitted the Assumption from the Book of Common Prayer although the Prayer books of the various Anglican churches marks the date as either the feast of the Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mary, or simply Lady Day or the "Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary". The Anglo Catholic wing of Anglicanism celebrates it as the Assumption of Saint Mary the Virgin as the Catholics do.

The collect from the Book of Divine Worship is the same in revisions of the BCP where to make up for the lack of a collect to honor Mary, a new one was included by Anglo Catholics

"O God, who hast taken to thyself the blessed Virgin Mary,
mother of thy incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been
redeemed by his blood, may, through her intercession, share
with her the glory of thine eternal kingdom; through the
same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth
with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen

Friday, August 12, 2011

"...(L)ike those hushed moments before the dawn."

"...(L)ike those hushed moments before the dawn," is the way that Father Christopher G. Phillips describes the current state of affairs in the United States.  Over at The Anglo-Catholic blog, he writes:

Things have been pretty quiet on the blog of late. It’s not because nothing is happening. In fact, quite the opposite – at least here in the United States, where it appears that an Ordinariate will be established next. 
Things are fairly calm because everything seems to be falling in place. Cardinal Wuerl has delivered his final report to the Bishops’ Conference. The priestly formation program is ready to go. The dossiers are being examined. The Curial officials will be returning soon from their summer break.* Liturgical considerations are in hand. Things are stirring. 
We might consider this time to be rather like those hushed moments before the dawn....

Read the whole post, "To Those Preparing".

Fr. Phillips is in the position to know what is happening.  He is the founding pastor of Our Lady of Atonement parish in San Antonio, Texas, the United States, the world's first Anglican Use parish, founded in 1983, and one of the largest.  As an intelligent and experienced Anglican Use preist, and a former Episcopal priest himself, he has been among the most active of clerics in the last few years when it comes to implementing Anglicanorum Coetibus, and has been consulted by nearly everyone that matters, including Cardinal Wuerl who was appointed to lead its implementation in the U.S.

*July and August is the height of summer in the United States and Europe.  This is when nearly everyone tries to go on vacation, trying to squeeze in a few more days with the family before school starts at about the beginning of September. Nothing much happens then (unless you want to catch people unawares, in which case you might start a war). Traditionally in the United States, the unofficial end of summer is Labor Day, the first Monday in September, creating a long, three-day weekend.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Portal Magazine, "an independent review in the service of the Ordinariate"

The Portal is an online magazine for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Anglican Ordinariate of England and Wales (and Scotland).  It describes itself on its masthead as "an independent review in the service of the Ordinariate."  More fully, on its website they say:

Welcome to The Portal Magazine the free monthly on-line magazine
. . . for those in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
. . . those Anglicans who are interested in the Ordinariate
. . . and all Catholic friends of the Ordinariate
The Portal Magazine, is published on the first of every month.
It covers News, Events, Personalities, Catholic teaching, Letters, Features, Catholic and Anglican history, the Ordinary's Page and information about Ordinariate Parishes
You can either read it online or download a PDF of each issue.  They have been publishing since the Ordinariate was established in January of this year and are a good source of news about going-ons in the U.K. Go and read this month's issues, as well as past months'.  You can also sign up to receive an email when the new issues are published.

Some may be wondering why it is independent and not an "official" publication of the Ordinariate.  The short answer is that I don't know.  But more importantly, there is no need for it to be.  It being ofiicial would just complicate the work of the Ordinariate and the Ordinary at a time when they have much to do. Independent publications are just easier to administer and to raise funds for.  They also are more flexible and able to seize opportunities as they come up. And finally, independent publications have more credibility.  Indeed, many of the world's best religious publications–Catholic, Anglican and other denominations–are independent.

Decentralization and independence should be preferred unless there is a very good reason.  Catholic teaching talks of subsidiarity, which is defined by Wikipedia as "is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. Political decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central authority."  The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition) discusses subsidiarity here. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace discusses the concept here in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Canada Ordinariate

There are four countries–four Catholic bishops' conferences–that are working towards being the first four Anglican Ordinariates. One has been established, in England, Wales and Scotland. Australia, the United States and Canada will likely be established within the next year or so. For an update on the U.S., see the earlier posts on Cardinal Wuerl's report to the USCCB. Cardinal Wuerl's counterpart in Canada is Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto.

Over the last few months, Archbishop Collins has been as busy as Cardinal Wuerl. In March there was a conference in Canada on the Ordinariate (another report here and here for the schedule).  A DVD was made for which the Archbishop taped an introduction where he summarizes the state of affairs and the process that he is following. You can view the intro on YouTube:

If you would like to hear the Archbishop's address to the March conference, you can download an MP3 here, provided by the Anglican Patrimony blog through its podcast.

The Archdiocese has also established a website dedicated to the Canadian ordinariate:

The Canadian ordinariate is not as far along as the British or the American but it is still likely to be formed within the next 12 months or so, if I had to put a timeline on it.  Of course, the establishment of the Canadian ordinariate has not been without controversy.  Perhaps you have read blogs or online news stories purporting to report on various discussions.  Some of these reports have sources; some are based on rumor.  None are of great interest to me. In the daily ups and downs of relationship-building, there will be misunderstandings, wrong information, and even insults, intentional and unintentional.  People of good will will find a way through, a way over our human failings.  A Canadian Anglican Ordinariate will be established.  I pray that God will be pleased.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Additional thoughts on Cardinal Wuerl's report to the USCCB

Last week, I posted about Cardinal Wuerl's report to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I had some further thoughts, in random order:
  • From the comments it appears that many of the bishops are unaware of the details of Anglicanorum Coetibus, which is exactly what one would expect from busy bishops. Despite the history being made and the subsequent news stories, the Anglican Ordinariates will always be a small part of the world-wide Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning, and for perhaps the first few years, the number of Catholics in an American Ordinariate will likely be fewer than the largest of Catholic parishes. Indeed, some of these bishops are responsible for more Christians than all of Anglicanism in the United States, of all stripes – Anglican Communion, Anglican Continuing Churches, and all the others – combined.
  • There will be initially, roughly, 100 clergymen and 2,000 members of the American Anglican Ordinariate. That is a large number of priests and is probably due to Anglican congregations being much smaller than Catholic (a few dozen to a few hundred versus a few thousand) and to clergyman being further along in their discernment process. Religion is their full-time job. Many interested laymen may have taken a wait-and-see approach, not wanting to leave a church they value for a (current) hypothetical. Once there is a place to go on Sunday morning, that will change.
  • The historical importance of Anglicanorum Coetibus is out of proportion to its size, as is evidenced by the attention paid to it by the Vatican and the various bishops conferences.
  • Some of the questions asked were clearly part of ongoing conversations among the bishops, conversations that have been going on for years and in both formal and informal settings, that I am not familiar with.
  • The openness and transparency demonstrated by the live broadcast of speech and Q&A is wonderful and should be duplicated and expanded by conferences worldwide. Through the broadcast, we can see what bishops are discussing and how, and that strengthens the church by:
  • Having more of the universal church involved in the conversation;
  • Reducing the secrecy that plagues all such large bureaucracies, thereby increasing trust
  • Modeling open, transparent decision-making for other institutions–religious, governmental, voluntary, profit-making, etc.; and
  • Providing a teaching moment, a chance for them to be pastors, by allowing those interested to learn more about the Catholic Church.
  • I wonder if the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines also records and shares their meetings. If they don't, I hope that they will start soon. It would be a great opportunity for them to teach interested Catholics a bit more and to model transparency in a culture that needs more openness.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An interesting ecumenical link on the IFI

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) is the church founded as a result of the nationalist movement of Filipinizing the Roman Catholic Church in the late 19th century. This movement can be said to have started when the first Filipino priests were ordained in the 1600s but when Filipino priests began receiving advanced theological and pastoral formation, they realized that they were discriminated by the Spanish clergy. Foremost in the list of Filipino priests were Rev. Pedro Pelaez (who became Dean of the Manila Cathedral and for a while administered the archdiocese) and Rev. Jose Burgos, who was executed in 1872.  Filipinizing meant that Filipino priests should lead their particular churches (e.g. dioceses and parishes in the Philippines). How this history unfolded and why the IFI seceded from Rome is well covered by the Aglipayan blog in its posts on historical documents especially on its theological position which differentiates it from the Roman Catholic Church. The Aglipayan blog also has recent posts on events in the IFI and ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church. Anglican Use Philippines is featuring this so that readers get to know more of the church which has been described as  "the only living link with the Philippine Revolution of 1896". We also hope readers will get acquainted with efforts to heal the more than a century old schism. The IFI is in full communion with the Anglican Communion.