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, June 17, 2012

Pope establishes the Australian Ordinariate

Last June 15, the Holy Father Benedict XVI erected the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross for former Anglicans in Australia and perhaps also for New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the rest of Oceania. It may also be the Ordinariate for South East Asia which is immediately to Australia's north

This is the third Personal Ordinariate for former Anglicans in the world after the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the UK and the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter in the USA and Canada.. A former Traditional Anglican Communion bishop, the Rev Harry Entwistle was named as the first Ordinary. Rev Entwistle, 72 and an Englishman who settled in Australia served the Church of England and the Anglican Church in Australia as parochial vicar and prison chaplain. He then joined the continuing Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and was consecrated bishop.

The Anglican Church in Australia has a strong Anglo Catholic tradition in all its dioceses except Sydney which is mostly evangelical. Having lived in Australia, I am keenly aware of the devotion of many Anglicans to the Catholic tradition. Also there is a good ecumenical engagement between the Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic and the Anglican Church in Australia especially on matters concerning the poor and the marginalised.

However, following the trend in the older churches of the Anglican Communion, the Australian Anglican church decided to ordain women to the priesthood and episcopate in the 1990s making some Anglo Catholics consider joining the Catholic Church while retaining their Anglican traditions.

The new Ordinariate has its own principal church in Mayland, Perth, Western Australia, the parish of St Ninian and St Chad. Rev Entwistle and his congregation are bringing their church building to the Ordinariate. The church website is a dead link but at least we get to see what their pipe organ looks like here!

Other Australian Anglican congregations and their pastors are expected to join the Ordinariate including a Traditional Anglican Communion congregation, four priests and a bishop from Japan.

The Ordinariate is under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury.

Above is a picture of Our Lady of the Southern Cross with the infant Jesus, which I think is the cutest and most adorable ever in religious art!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham

The  Rev Msgr Andrew Burnham of the Personal Ordinariate in England has announced this June 1st that the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham will be off the presses soon. The Customary is the liturgical book of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Some interesting points: The Customary will use the Coverdale Psalms, provides the Anglican offices of Evensong and Morning Prayer available to ALL Catholics (meaning these are authorized rites by Rome) and these offices will closely intertwine with the Roman Office since the readings for both complement each other.

Also Msgr Burnham reveals that Rome has decided on the use of Traditional English as used in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and also in the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer. Traditional English is prized by Anglicans in the US, England and in the Commonwealth. Before the US Episcopal Church decided to shift to the modern 1979 BCP, Episcopalians in the Philippines used the 1928 BCP. The Episcopal Church in the Philippines in the 1990s had its own BCP but it heavily borrowed from the 1979 American book. Similarly the American Book of Divine Worship as used by the US Anglican Use parishes and the American Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter adopted much of the American 1979 BCP modern language with a Traditional option. The Customary diverges from that in this respect by having Traditional English as the norm rather as an option.

Unlike traditional Anglican prayerbooks, The Customary uses the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible since this merged the Catholic tradition of the Douay-Rheims and the Protestant King James translations. In 1966 this was the common Bible used by Protestants and Catholics in the UK. In the 1970s the Roman Church in England decided to use the Jerusalem translation but the Ordinariate believes the RSV is a better choice. I myself have the 1966 RSV with the Cardinal of Westminster's imprimatur.

It is understood that the Customary will be authorized for use in the English Ordinariate. Whether it will be authorized for use the the American and the soon to be erected Australian Ordinariate of Our Lady the Southern Cross remains to be seen. But the Customary is an example of Anglican liturgy enriching the Roman one vice versa as it was restored in the Catholic Church. The ecumenical significance of this cannot be understated.

The Customary can be ordered online at Amazon UK.