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Little fanfare as Anglicans enter Catholic Church

January 04, 2011

Father Dwight Longenecker—himself a former Anglican—recalls that when Anglicans were received into the Catholic Church in the 1990s, the process was almost secretive. Catholic leaders deliberately avoided any publicity, fearful that they might upset ecumenical ties with their Anglican counterparts, he said. By contrast, the establishment of an Anglican-Catholic ordinariate has been a highly public process, Father Longenecker says.

But Austen Ivereigh of America notes that even this week’s reception of Anglican bishops into the Catholic Church was “about as unpublic and understated at it was possible to have designed.” Ivereigh notes that there was no press conference, no “photo op,” no trumpeted public statement. He writes:

It is not hard to guess why. Too much fanfare and publicity now could make the Ordinariate look triumphalist, and cause ill-feeling among both Anglicans and Catholics. Much better to begin discreetly, and let it grow away from the spotlight. But perhaps just as important are the delicate sensibilities of those left behind, many of whom are wrestling with the decision of whether to follow.


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