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Cardinal announces establishment of US Anglican ordinariate

November 16, 2011

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Cardinal Donald Wuerl has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will establish an ordinariate for American Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Two Anglican communities--one in Texas, the other in Maryland--have entered into full communion in recent months and are expected to become part of the ordinariate.

The Pontiff established the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales in January 2011.

The US ordinariate will be established on January 1, and “at that time, I assume that an Ordinary will be named,” Cardinal Wuerl said at the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “If the Ordinary of the new Ordinariate is married, then he can be ordained a priest, but not a bishop.”

“From its erection, an Ordinariate will have the option of using the Roman Missal or the Book of Divine Worship already used by the Pastoral Provision or Anglican Use parishes,” Cardinal Wuerl added.

Cardinal Wuerl also announced that 67 Anglican clergy in the US are seeking ordination as Catholic priests. To date, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has granted initial approval to 35 of these applications.

Cardinal Wuerl also announced that Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, has been named the ecclesiastical delegate for the "Pastoral Provision"--the process established by the Vatican in 1980 to allow for Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church. Under the terms of the Pastoral Provision more than 100 Anglican priests--most of them married--eventually became Catholic priests. Bishop Vann succeeds Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey as the ecclesiastical delegate.

The Pastoral Provision is distinct from the Anglican ordinariate. The Anglicans who have entered the Catholic Church under the terms of the Pastoral Provision have been absorbed into existing dioceses, although some communities retained the distinctive "Anglican use" liturgy approved with Vatican approval. Nevertheless close coordination is anticipated between the two forms of outreach to Anglicans.


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