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!