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Bishops of England, Wales announce details of new Anglican ordinariate

Catholic World News - November 19, 2010

The bishops' conference of England and Wales has announced the details of the new Anglican ordinariate that will allow for the reception of Anglican individuals and communities into the Catholic Church while retaining aspects of their spirituality and tradition.

“Five Anglican Bishops who currently intend to enter the Ordinariate have already announced their decision to resign from pastoral ministry in the Church of England with effect from 31 December 2010,” the conference noted in a November 19 statement. “They will enter into full communion with the Catholic Church early in January 2011. During the same month, it is expected that the Decree establishing the Ordinariate will be issued and the name of the Ordinary to be appointed announced. Soon afterwards, those non-retired former Anglican Bishops whose petitions to be ordained are accepted by the CDF [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith], will be ordained to the Catholic Diaconate and Priesthood for service in the Ordinariate.”

The statement continued:

It is expected that the retired former Anglican Bishops whose petitions to be ordained are accepted by the CDF, will be ordained to the Catholic Diaconate and Priesthood prior to Lent. This will enable them, together with the Ordinary and the other former Anglican Bishops, to assist with the preparation and reception of former Anglican clergy and their faithful into full communion with the Catholic Church during Holy Week.

Before the beginning of Lent, those Anglican clergy with groups of faithful who have decided to enter the Ordinariate will then begin a period of intense formation for ordination as Catholic priests.

At the beginning of Lent, the groups of faithful together with their pastors will be enrolled as candidates for the Ordinariate. Then, at a date to be agreed between the Ordinary and the local diocesan Bishop, they will be received into the Catholic Church and confirmed. This will probably take place either during Holy Week, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday or during the Easter Vigil. The period of formation for the faithful and their pastors will continue to Pentecost. Until then, these communities will be cared for sacramentally by local clergy as arranged by the diocesan Bishop and the Ordinary.

Around Pentecost, those former Anglican priests whose petitions for ordination have been accepted by the CDF will be ordained to the Catholic Priesthood. Ordination to the Diaconate will precede this at some point during Eastertide. Formation in Catholic theology and pastoral practice will continue for an appropriate amount of time after ordination.

“In responding generously and offering a warm welcome to those seeking full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church within the Ordinariate, the Bishops know that the clergy and faithful who are on that journey of faith will bring their own spiritual treasures which will further enrich the spiritual life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales,” the conference added in its statement.

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  • Posted by: Lisa Nicholas, PhD - Nov. 19, 2010 6:16 PM ET USA

    Exciting news! I just wish the plans for an Ordinariate in the U. S. were moving forward as quickly. We had an "informational" meeting a few weeks ago in my (Anglican Use) parish, with Abp. Wuerl's representative in attendance, and the only "news" was that something would happen. Someday. But nobody knew what or when.

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