Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Leader of US ordinariate discusses challenges

Catholic World News - January 26, 2012

In an interview with Catholic News Service, Father Jeffrey Steenson discussed the challenges he faces as the leader of the recently established Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The ordinariate was established for Anglican communities in the United States that wished to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining elements of the Anglican patrimony.

Father Steenson, who revealed that 30 additional Anglican clergymen have contacted him recently about possible entrance into the ordinariate, said that “we have to create a set of norms to govern it--I'm not a canon lawyer, but the canon lawyers call it particular law. None of that exists yet so that's what we've been working overtime on for the last month, just to try and create that.”

Additional challenges, according to Father Steenson, are offering accelerated theological formation for the former Anglican clergy who will be ordained for the ordinariate, deepening a sense of communion among the far-flung parishes of the ordinariate, and building relationships with local dioceses. “I've felt only a great sense of welcome from the Catholic bishops,” he said.

Asked what he might say to Pope Benedict when he has the opportunity, Father Steenson replied:

Thank you, first of all. This wouldn't have happened without him. This was not an idea that developed in one of the dicasteries of the Curia. This came right from the top and he had to convince a lot of people. So I feel that Pope Benedict put himself out on the line on this, and I want to be sure we don't let the Holy Father's words fall to the ground. I want him to be proud of us and see that we are making a fruitful contribution to the Church.

And the other thing I'd like to do if I could see him is to thank him for his Christology book that he wrote. It's sort of a life-changer for me -- "Jesus of Nazareth" 1 and 2. I'm a utility infielder at the seminary [St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston], in other words they throw me classes to teach when no one else can do it, and last year I was given Christology. So the seminarians and I just read Pope Benedict, and it was an astonishing experience to do that. I think we all walked away from that experience in something of an awe for Benedict as a theologian. I'd like to thank him for that too. As a theologian I would say that in "Jesus of Nazareth" part 2, his chapter on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is probably the most extraordinary piece of theology of our time.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our April expenses ($18,110 to go):
$35,000.00 $16,890.48
52% 48%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Jan. 27, 2012 11:52 AM ET USA

    I wonder if the Methodists will follow. They had split off from the Church of England a few centuries after its formation.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20