When the idea of an Anglican Ordinariate was announced in September 2009 in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, the Times of London ran the headline 'Vatican Parks Tanks on Rowan's Lawn'.
It seemed an apt image at the time, for all sorts of reasons: one was the spectacularly undiplomatic character of the act, which was opposed by some in the Vatican and by very senior English Roman Catholics; another was the personal affront to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, whose progressive leanings have never hidden a genuine admiration for the wider western catholic tradition of which his own Anglicanism is a part.
But the other implication of the image was one of a serious and lasting shift in power, a re-drawing of boundaries or movement of populations. Three years later it is more as though the Pope had, uninvited, sent over a Fiat cinquecento or two to pick up some stranded friends and their bags. As they leave the Lambeth Palace gates there is probably relief on both sides....
1. Terry Tee wrote:
I love the cinquecento analogy!
August 21, 7:12 am | [comment link]
What would be interesting would be if Ordinariate groups were given their own churches rather than exist as distinct entities using existing Catholic churches for their own rites. IMHO that would assist evangelisation of the unchurched. There is no sign of being given churches, however, in the UK.
2. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:
No one I know in the Ordinariate ever said they were expecting massive waves of hundreds of thousands of converts, despite the way the media wanted to carry on about it. The Pope simply opened a door to a group of people who were asking for his help. The group and its needs were already there, and the Ordinariate is forbidden from actively recruiting. Only people who approach the Ordinariate of their own free will and only those who have a desire to join the fullness of the Catholic church (and not as a protest alternative Canterbury) are allowed to enter into discernment. That’s not exactly the ecclesiatical tank on Rowan’s lawn, despite the ballyhooing of some quarters.
August 21, 9:13 am | [comment link]
3. Terry Tee wrote:
Archer you write: the Ordinariate is forbidden from actively recruiting Pardon? Err ... I think that you are wrong. Can you refer me to any authoritative source? Many people over here see it as encouraged to grow, but struggling to find resources.
August 21, 10:12 am | [comment link]
4. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:
Well, at least the American branch is not actively recruiting, at least ordained clergy. I can’t speak for what’s going on in Britain. The Ordinary of the US Ordinariate as well as the Vicar General have been clear in a number of public statements and interviews that Episcopal clergy are not to be targeted or recruited as potential Ordinariate clergy unless they initiate the conversation. That’s the standing policy statement from both the Ordinariate and the Archdiocese of Washington (which is overseeing the initial phases of the American Ordinariate).
August 21, 10:18 am | [comment link]
5. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:
A few such official statements I can link to off the top of my head:
“The founding documents of the Personal Ordinariate make clear that it is intended to be an instrument of Catholic unity, an opportunity to model what the future reconciliation of separated Christian communities could be. The ecumenical character of the Ordinariate requires that we build bridges, heal relationships, and seek forgiveness where necessary, with respect and gratitude for the Anglican institutions that nourished us, so that we might build up the body of Christ…the Ordinariate exists for those who are and will be coming to the fullness of the Catholic faith.”
Also, the following interview lays out the views of Steenson, the Ordinary, on this issue pretty well: http://www.headlinebistro.com/hb/en/news/church/Former_Episcopalian_bishop_describes_joy_of_being_Catholic.html
August 21, 10:26 am | [comment link]
6. Sarah wrote:
RE: “Well, at least the American branch is not actively recruiting, at least ordained clergy.”
Well, actually, there is *much* “active recruitment” of clergy here in the US for the ordinariate. And it’s rather blazingly obvious to those of us watching clergy getting recruited.
Mind you, I don’t think it’s at all wrong to recruit either!
And it’s so easy to find lists of members of the SSC and FIF, among other possible recruitment lists. There’s quite an underground network of AngloCatholics in TEC—and they’re all having “pathways of dialogue” encouraged by . . . uh . . . “recruiters.”
Such recruiters are merely doing their duty as they see fit. The ones that get recruited [willingly] then proceed to contact the ones they see as most likely to be “recruited”—and the cycle goes on.
August 21, 11:21 am | [comment link]
7. Charles52 wrote:
Is #6 irony or sarcasm? If meant seriously, then my only comment is that networks, pathways, and recruiters are also known as circles of friends and ... well… friends.
August 21, 1:38 pm | [comment link]
8. Sarah wrote:
RE: “If meant seriously, then my only comment is that networks, pathways, and recruiters are also known as circles of friends and ... well… friends.”
Yes—having worked for a recruiting company, the very best recruiters are the ones who cultivate “friends” and keep the “pathways” open. ; > )
I watched ‘em work—and they were great recruiters, just as there are some good ones in the Ordinariate as well.
The pretense that there’s no “recruiting” going on is not only unnecessary, it’s eminently see-through-able.
Yes, there’s active recruiting going on, and it’s perfectly fine, and no informed interested Episcopalian should doubt it.
August 21, 1:56 pm | [comment link]
9. Already Gone wrote:
My wife and I are active in the Ordinariate communities in the DC area, as well as the Anglican Use Society. I’ve seen no “recruiting,” friends or otherwise, nor do I think it likely. As the Ordinary has repeatedly pointed out, the Anglican Ordinariate exists for people who want to be Catholic, not for those who simply want to leave TEC. Furthermore, he is working too hard keeping up with the education and ordination of all the men who have indicated an interest in becoming Catholic priests to even have the time, much less the inclination to “recruit” from the TEC. These men, too, are working hard cramming six years of Catholic seminary education into a few months of study.
August 21, 7:28 pm | [comment link]
10. Charles52 wrote:
Interesting use of “recruiting”, which I have never heard used in this context. Original.
My problem is that no one I know, including myself, were ever approached about becoming RC. I went to Mass occasionally, as my brother married into a Catholic family, so there were weddings, baptisms, and so on. Otherwise, I don’t remember an invitation to go just to go. When the time came, I approached a priest-monk about converting.
We had six men ordained out of Bp. Iker’s diocese recently, and at least four of them reportedly approached the Catholic Bp. Vann some years ago, allegedly attempting to broker a union of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth (now ACNA) with the Catholic Church. Now these men (and their wives) are in the ordinariate; I suppose there was some internal “recruiting” in the group, but given that two of the men were father and son, you might see that pre-existing relationships, more than “recruiting”, would better explain the situation. At this point, I’m unaware that any more of Bp. Iker’s priests are contemplating a move, but I guess some “recruiting” might be going on.
I will say that a couple of Mormon missionaries showed up at the door and it’s reasonable to say they were “recruiting” me for their faith (fat chance!). Occasional, an evangelical tries to get me “saved out of the Catholic Church”. I’m charmed by their sincere concern for me soul, and I guess that’s “recruiting”, too. Nice recruiting.
August 21, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
11. MichaelA wrote:
“When Anglicanorum Coetibus was issued, one bishop in the Church of England quipped that the likely departures would have to go out and buy copies of the BCP so as to have a patrimony to take with them.”
Perhaps the good bishop shouldn’t give up his day job! But it raises an important point: anglo-catholicism comprises a spectrum of belief, just like every other “ism” (evangelicalism, calvinism, pentecostalism, Roman catholicism, take your pick). By removing those anglo-catholics most committed to union with Rome, Pope BXVI may have unwittingly caused the anglo-catholic movement to lurch strongly towards classical anglicanism and away from (for want of a better word) anglo-papalism. Too early to tell, though.
“So statistically at least, the impact of the departures on Anglicanism itself is minimal; Anglicans have more serious things to worry about than the outbound trickle of remaining opponents of women’s ordination.”
I think Prof. McGowan has lost a bit of perspective here: active opponents of womens ordination remaining within CofE vastly outnumber those who have gone to the Ordinariate. Several large evangelical churches lead the fight against WO, any one of whom has more members than the entire English ordinariate. There are also many other smaller congregations including many anglo-catholics who have remained within CofE.
“Yet the appearance of a decent handful of new clergy not imported from far afield may be more significant. So far at least the Ordinariates are more about these than about parishes or groups of lay people.”
Many have always suspected that this was the real agenda. The pastoral provision of Pope JPII added a substantial number of experienced priests to the Roman Catholic Church. These days, the priest shortage is even worse in western countries, and the Ordinariate already seems to have added as many new priests as the pastoral provision did in two decades.
August 22, 5:36 am | [comment link]
12. Charles52 wrote:
Coming into the Anglican Use meant dealing with an often uncomprehending, occasionally hostile bishop and his presbyterate. The Ordinariate scheme skirts that problem. It also comes at after a time of crisis in the western Anglican churches that was less acute in 1980. Still, my opinion is that the initial rush will settle down and (as I have said before) the Ordinariates will be relatively small, but vital entities.
As to priests helping out with the priest shortage, from what I’m hearing, they might as well be imports from Africa: the culture differences are certainly noted. In fact, my parish priest is getting a lot of help from an Ordinariate priest, but it’s a unique situation: they are friends, the fellow is single, his parish is meeting in our buildings (he doesn’t have a church campus to maintain) and there aren’t the ordinary diocesan activities to occupy him. I’d be interested in how the other ordinariate priests are interacting with Latin Rite parishes.
August 22, 7:26 am | [comment link]
13. Sarah wrote:
RE: “As the Ordinary has repeatedly pointed out, the Anglican Ordinariate exists for people who want to be Catholic, not for those who simply want to leave TEC.”
I completely agree with him. Recruiting firms are the same way—one wants to find the people who *want* to be someplace specific. It’s just a matter of finding them and knowing who they are. ; > )
RE: “Interesting use of “recruiting”, which I have never heard used in this context. Original.”
Oh not really original at all—I can hardly take credit for it—again, I worked for several years at a recruiting firm, and I’m guessing you haven’t—or you would know the terms and techniques pretty well.
RE: “and I guess that’s “recruiting”, too. Nice recruiting.”
Yes indeed, very true. But not particularly sophisticated recruiting, it seems. The most sophisticated recruiting by far would be CIA recruitment and the like, and then one could step downward all the way to the bludgeoningly cruder attempts. But it’s all in the same continuum.
Neither type of recruiting is disgraceful or wrong—but it is intriguing to watch the denials of it going on in some quarters as opposed to others. As if it’s somehow shameful for an organization to be known as recruiting . . .
August 22, 9:51 am | [comment link]
14. MichaelA wrote:
Charles52, interesting points, many thanks.
“what I’m hearing, they might as well be imports from Africa: the culture differences are certainly noted”
Fair enough. Perhaps then the Ordinariate offers a more flexible way of dealing with cultural differences? (which is not in itself a criticism - it is inevitable that large multi-national churches will have cultural differences within them, and their leaders have to allow for this).
The ex-Anglican priests who are best suited to ministry in RC dioceses can go there, while others who need time to adjust can do so in the haven of the Ordinariate. If there is friction between an RC diocese and an assigned Ordinariate priest, then the diocese has to talk to the Ordinary about it, who can assess where the problem lies. If the real problem lies in the diocese being inflexible, it might find that it doesn’t get any more Ordinariate priests…!
August 24, 12:17 am | [comment link]