1st head of US Anglican ordinariate installed
February 13, 2012
Father Jeffrey Steenson has been installed as the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The ordinariate was established on January 1 to assist Anglicans in the United States who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage.
Father Steenson--who will take part in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, but will not be ordained a bishop because he is married--preached in his installation homily:
Listen to St. Anselm, the 37th Archbishop of Canterbury, perhaps the greatest theologian ever to grace England’s green and pleasant land: “This power was committed specially to Peter, that we might therefore be invited to unity. Christ therefore appointed him the head of the Apostles, that the Church might have one principal Vicar of Christ, to whom the different members of the Church should have recourse, if ever they should have dissentions among them. But if there were many heads in the Church, the bond of unity would be broken” …
Some will argue that the Catholic Church makes Christian unity a difficult thing to achieve. Look at what is being asked of those who are considering the Ordinariate! – Anglicans have not only to be received but even confirmed, and their clergy ordained in the absolute form. Is this not asking them to begin all over again? Certainly not! From Zephyrinus to Callistus to Cornelius to Stephen – these third century popes, most of whom laid down their lives as martyrs, who governed the Church at a time when it seemed as though the gates of hell really might prevail, threatening to destroy her essential unity – the Catholic Church simply asked that the bonds of charity be restored sacramentally by invoking the presence of the Holy Spirit. These are brothers and sisters, returning home.
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