Thursday, January 27, 2011

Parting is such sweet sorrow

The article below was posted by Bishop Edwin Barnes who is due to be received as a Catholic Priest in the English Ordinariate. For Bishop Barnes it has been a true act of faith to leave the Church of England having served as an esteemed Bishop with all of the benefits afforded by the English Church and enter the Catholic Church as a simple Priest.

Parting is such sweet sorrow

With so many clergy and lay people leaving the Church of England for the Ordinariate, it is not surprising that on either hand there are people speaking or writing intemperately. It can seem that the actions of other people is a judgment on us – we have been timid and held back, we have been headstrong and acted too quickly, what we have done casts aspersions on those taking a different path. Somehow, we need to do what we can to stop this, and restore Christian charity among brethren. I can't speak for other people; but I have been greatly supported and encouraged both by people determined to remain in the Church of England, and by Catholics coming to terms with what the Ordinariate might mean. It has been difficult on both hands; our Anglican brothers and sisters seeing us go, our Catholic brothers and sisters not knowing how they should accommodate us – and especially those priests living a celibate life who see us becoming priests while enjoying family life with wife and children and grandchildren, consolations they have never known.

First, at the ordination of the three former Anglican Bishops, I found the words of Archbishop Vincent Nichols a great help. No one was being asked to deny anything of their previous ministry. It had been fruitful. What they were entering into was an extension and a continuation of that former ministry. People sometimes express surprise that I am to be ordained priest within a few weeks of being received – surely I cannot have had enough time to prepare? But for me, the whole of my ministry until now has been a preparation for the Catholic Priesthood. There is no great breach between the two. The eucharists I have celebrated until now might have been lacking in the certainty which attaches to Catholic sacraments; but if this is so, then it must be that the Lord has intervened miraculously and with extraordinary generosity - for I know that those celebrations have borne fruit, not thistles. This, I believe, is what the Archbishop of Westminster was saying when he spoke of the fruitful ministry of the former bishops of Ebbesfleet, Richborough and Fulham.

For those unable or at present unwilling to join the Ordinariate, I have great sympathy. That is exactly where I was through the 1990's, believing that the Church of England would make proper provision for Catholic Anglicans. That is why I became a 'Flying Bishop', a PEV, helping people remain in the C of E who would otherwise have left it. I now feel sure the Church of England has gone too far down the path to consecrating women as bishops for it to reconsider or withdraw. If others, though, believe there is still a chance, however slim, of that decision being frustrated or reversed, then good for them. They will certainly continue in my prayers, and I hope in the prayers of all former Anglicans now or soon in Communion with the See of Peter. The most recent letter from the twelve 'SSWSH' bishops admits that the chances are slim; but it is an honourable path to stay until the last possible moment. We don't though join, or refuse to join, the Catholic Church simply over one debatable issue, but because we find in it, or fail to find, the Church which Our Lord handed into the care of his Apostles.

This morning at Mass we prayed for a dear lady from the congregation in Lymington who is suffering from cancer. She was there with her husband, and at the end of Mass she came forward to be anointed. The little group of us present gathered round to pray for her. That is where the heart of the Church is, not in disputes over property, or the validity of orders, or words like "renegade" or "aff-cath". Each of us will be answerable to Our Lord for ourselves and our actions, not those of other people. So let's all of us seek to be the best possible Anglican that we can be, the best possible Catholic that we can be. If we succeed in that, then the man-made divisions will become much less formidable, much more easily crossed.

Thank you everyone, Catholic and Anglican, who is praying for Keith Newton and the rest of us in the Ordinariate. We shall do our best to continue to love and pray for you on either bank of the Tiber. And please pray for Freda anointed at Mass this morning and for her husband John.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

English Ordinariate Formation

The English Council of Catholic Bishops has just published a statement on the formation of the Ordinariate in England and Wales. While it deals with those events that are to occur in England a large part of the process discussed here will also apply to the Ordinariates when formed in the United States and Canada.


Statement of the General Secretary of the CBCEW on the Ordinariate

The following statement has been issued by Fr. Marcus Stock, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.



On or before 15 January 2011, it is expected that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will publish a Decree which will formally establish a ‘Personal Ordinariate’ in England and Wales (from here on referred to as ‘the Ordinariate’) for groups of Anglican faithful and their clergy who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The establishment of this Ordinariate will be the first fruit of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, issued by Pope Benedict XVI on 4 November 2009. The Constitution and the Complementary Norms published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith provide the essential norms which will enable members of the Ordinariate to preserve within the Catholic Church those elements of Anglican ecclesial prayer, liturgy and pastoral practice (patrimony) that are concordant with Catholic teaching and which have nurtured and nourished their Christian faith and life.

In time, it is expected that further Ordinariates will be established in other parts of the world to meet the desire of those Anglican communities who in a similar way seek to be united in communion with the Successor of St Peter.

As a new structure within the Catholic Church, there will be many ‘frequently asked questions’ about the Ordinariate. Some of these are:

Why did Pope Benedict XVI publish Anglicanorum coetibus?

As the Holy Father stated when he published Anglicanorum coetibus, he was responding to petitions received "repeatedly and insistently" by him from groups of Anglicans wishing "to be received into full communion individually as well as corporately" with the Catholic Church. During his address to the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales at Oscott last September, Pope Benedict was therefore keen to stress that the Apostolic Constitution "should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all."

In this way, the establishment of the Ordinariate is clearly intended to serve the wider and unchanging aim of the full visible unity between the Catholic Church and the members of the Anglican Communion.

Will members of the Ordinariate still be Anglicans?

No. Members of the Ordinariate will be Catholics. Their decision is to leave the Anglican Communion and come into the Catholic Church, in full communion with the Pope.

The central purpose of Anglicanorum coetibus is "to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared". Members of the Ordinariate will bring with them, into full communion with the Catholic Church in all its diversity and richness of liturgical rites and traditions, some aspects their own Anglican patrimony and culture.

It is recognised that the term Anglican patrimony is difficult to define but it would include many of the spiritual writings, prayers, hymnody, and pastoral practices distinctive to the Anglican tradition which have sustained the faith and longing of many Anglican faithful for that very unity for which Christ prayed. The Ordinariate will then bring a mutual enrichment and exchange of gifts, in an authentic and visible form of full communion, between those baptised and nurtured in Anglicanism and the Catholic Church.

Do all Anglicans who wish to become Catholics now have to be members of the Ordinariate

No. Any individual former Anglican who wishes to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church, may do so without becoming a registered member of the Ordinariate.

As stated above, the Ordinariate is being established essentially for groups of former Anglican faithful and their clergy who wish to maintain as members of the Catholic Church, within the canonically approved and structured ecclesial life of the Ordinariate, those aspects of their Anglican spiritual, liturgical and pastoral tradition which are recognised as authentic by the Catholic Church.

What is the ‘Ordinariate’ then?

The Ordinariate will be a specific ecclesiastical jurisdiction which is similar to a diocese and will be led by its own ‘Ordinary’ (see below) who will be a bishop or priest. However, unlike a diocese its membership will be on a ‘personal’ rather than a ‘territorial’ basis; that is, no matter where a member of the Ordinariate lives within England and Wales they will, in the first instance, be under the ordinary ecclesial jurisdiction of the Ordinariate and not the diocese where they are resident.

The Ordinariate will be made up of laity, clergy and religious who were formerly members of the Anglican Communion. Following reception into full communion with the Catholic Church, the laity and religious will become members of the Ordinariate by enrolment in a register; with ordination as priests and deacons, the clergy will be directly incardinated into (placed under the jurisdiction of) the Ordinariate.

Will the Ordinary of the Ordinariate be like a diocesan bishop?

Each diocesan bishop is the Ordinary for his diocese (this does not mean ‘ordinary’ in the sense of common or normal but is an ecclesiastical term which means someone who exercises power and has jurisdiction by virtue of the office they hold). The power which the diocesan bishop exercises is ordinary (related to his office as a diocesan bishop), proper (exercised in his own name, not vicariously) and immediate (directed toward all in the territory of his diocese).

The power exercised by the Ordinary of the Ordinariate will be ordinary (related to the specific office entrusted to him), vicarious (exercised in the name of the Roman Pontiff) and personal authority (directed to all who belong to the Ordinariate).

As the Ordinary of the Ordinariate (from here on referred to simply as ‘the Ordinary’) has similar authority and responsibilities in Canon Law to a diocesan bishop he will therefore be an ex officio member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. As a member of the Conference, the Ordinary will, like a diocesan bishop, take a full part in its discussions and decisions. The Ordinary will exercise collegiate responsibility for implementing the resolutions taken by the Conference within the life of the Ordinariate in the same way that a diocesan bishop does so within his diocese.

Like diocesan bishops, the Ordinary will be also be required to make a visit to Rome every five years (traditionally called the ad limina Apostolorum – to the threshold of the Apostles) and present a report on the status of the Ordinariate to the Pope through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and in consultation with the Congregation for Bishops.

Who will be the Ordinary of the Ordinariate?

The Ordinary of the Ordinariate must be a bishop or a priest and he will be appointed directly by Pope Benedict XVI. All subsequent Ordinaries will be appointed by the Roman Pontiff from a terna (list of three names) presented by the Governing Council of the Ordinariate (See below). A married former Anglican bishop or priest who has been subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest cannot however be ordained as a Catholic bishop whilst their spouse is still living.

How will the Ordinariate be governed?

The Ordinariate will have a Governing Council of at least six priests, presided over by the Ordinary. Half of the membership is elected by the priests of the Ordinariate. The Ordinariate must also have a Pastoral Council for consultation with the laity and a Finance Council.

The Governing Council will have the same rights and responsibilities in Canon Law that the College of Consultors and the Council of Priests have in the governance of a Diocese. Unlike a diocesan bishop though, and out of respect for the synodal tradition of Anglicanism, the Ordinary will need the consent of the Ordinariate’s Governing Council to: admit a candidate to Holy Orders; erect or suppress a personal parish; erect or suppress a house of formation; approve a program of formation.

The Ordinary must also consult the Governing Council concerning the pastoral activities of the Ordinariate and the principles governing the formation of clergy.

The Governing Council will also have a deliberative vote when: choosing a terna of names to submit to the Holy See for the appointment of the Ordinary; proposing changes to the Complementary Norms of the Ordinariate to present to the Holy See; when formulating the Statutes of the Governing Council, the Statutes of the Pastoral Council, and the Rule for houses of formation.

Will the Ordinariate have parishes and deaneries?

The Ordinariate will have parishes within the dioceses where it has groups of members but they will be ‘personal’ parishes and not ‘territorial’ like a diocesan parish. Membership of a diocesan parish comes from living within the defined territorial boundaries of that parish; to be a member of a ‘personal’ parish in the Ordinariate a person must be a member of the group for which that parish was established, i.e., a former Anglican who is a member of, or has joined, a specific group within the Ordinariate. After consulting with the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and obtaining the consent of the Governing Council, the Ordinary may erect territorial deaneries for a number of personal parishes which will be supervised by a delegate of the Ordinary.

Who will look after the Ordinariate parishes?

The Ordinariate parishes will be served by priests of the Ordinariate, appointed by the Ordinary. They may be assisted by a parochial vicar (assistant priest) and/or a deacon. Pastoral and finance councils will also be established in the parishes. Diocesan clergy and religious, with the consent of their diocesan bishop or religious superior, may also assist in the pastoral care of the Ordinariate under the supervision of the Ordinary when and where it is deemed suitable. Similarly, clergy incardinated into the Ordinariate should also be available to assist in the pastoral care of the faithful in the local diocese.

What liturgy will the members of the Ordinariate celebrate?

The Ordinariate will not be a Ritual Church; that is, the Ordinariate will not be principally defined by the liturgical rites it uses. In addition to the Roman Rite, some of the liturgical rites of the Anglican tradition which have been adapted and approved by the Holy See may be used by the members of the Ordinariate. It is expected that in due course, suitable rituals (Sacramentary, Divine Office, etc.) will be promulgated for Ordinariates across the world. However, as it will be fully a part of the Latin Catholic Church (as distinct from the Byzantine, Maronite, Chaldean Catholic Church, etc.) the Ordinariate will always be able to use the Roman Rite.

What churches will the Ordinariate use?

Because the previous places of worship used by the clergy and groups who will form the Ordinariate were in the ownership of the Church of England, it is unlikely that it will be possible for them to continue to be used by the Ordinariate members. In most cases therefore, Ordinariate congregations will probably use their local diocesan Catholic church for the celebration of Mass and other liturgies. In some places there may be a diocesan church which is no longer needed to serve the needs of the local parish community; these could prove suitable for use by the Ordinariate. Essentially, the needs of each Ordinariate group will be carefully assessed by the Ordinary and the most suitable pastoral arrangements will be made by him in collaboration with the local diocesan bishop.

Will any Catholic be able to attend a Mass celebrated within an Ordinariate parish or by an Ordinariate priest?

Yes. Any Catholic, whether a member of the Ordinariate or a member of a diocese, will be able to attend Mass, receive Holy Communion and participate in the liturgies of an Ordinariate parish or celebrated by an Ordinariate priest. However, they would not be registered members of the Ordinariate and would remain under the ordinary jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop where they are resident.

Similarly, registered members of the Ordinariate are free to attend Mass, receive Holy Communion and participate in the liturgies of any diocesan parish but they would remain under the ordinary jurisdiction of the Ordinariate.

How will the Ordinariate be funded?

The Ordinariate, like every diocese, is expected to support financially its own clergy both when they are in ministry and when they have stepped down from public ministry. It will, like a diocese, need to make plans to ensure that it is financially secure and that its pastoral needs can be met. Just as every diocese in England and Wales depends upon the contributions that each parish receives from Sunday collections to finance not only the running and maintenance of the parishes but also its central services, so too the Ordinariate will need similar support. Just as some diocese have good financial reserves, investments and endowments, so too a fund has already been established to enable the Ordinariate to begin its work from the day it is erected. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have already contributed a quarter of a million pounds to the fund and other charities are being asked to assist.

In those areas where groups are likely to be established, local Catholic dioceses are helping to find housing for the clergy who will serve in the Ordinariate and are providing whatever other practical support they can, e.g. provision or use of churches, use of diocesan curial services, assisting with the identification of salaried chaplaincy roles, etc.

When will all this take place?

The formal erection of the Ordinariate will take place with the publication of a Decree by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith and the announcement of the name of the first Ordinary appointed by the Holy Father. Already, three former Anglican Bishops have been received, together with some members of their families and three former Anglican women religious, into full communion with the Catholic Church on 1 January 2011. With the permission of the Holy See, they will also be ordained as Catholic Priests on 15 January 2011. A further two retired former Anglican Bishops will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church and proceed to Ordination as Catholic Priests in due course.

At the beginning of this Lent (Ash Wednesday falls on 9 March in 2011), a number of groups of former Anglican faithful together with their clergy 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.

Around Pentecost, those former Anglican clergy whose petitions for ordination have been accepted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome will be ordained to the Catholic Priesthood. Ordination to the Diaconate will precede this at some point during Eastertide. The formation of these clergy in Catholic theology and pastoral practice will continue for an appropriate amount of time after their ordination.

Why are priests for the Ordinariate being ordained so quickly and without the normal length of preparation being observed?

A key aspect of the establishment of the Ordinariate by Pope Benedict is that it enables groups of former Anglicans and their clergy to stay together. This is quite new as previously former Anglican clergy seeking ordination in the Catholic Church were separated from their communities, even if some members of those communities also became Catholics. A different timetable is required if this new aspect is to be achieved. For this reason, the ordinations of the first priests for the Ordinariate will take place while their formation is still in process so as to enable them to minister to their communities within the full communion of the Catholic Church. The ordinations of the former Anglican bishops are taking place at this time with the expressed permission of the Holy Father so that they can play a role in the very first stages of the development of the Ordinariate.


The decisions taken by those Anglican clergy and faithful to leave the Church of England and seek full communion with the Catholic Church have been the fruit of much prayer and a long reflection on their personal and communal spiritual pilgrimage. Pain will be felt by those leaving the Anglican Communion and by those with whom they have shared an ecclesial life. Our resolve to continue to work and pray for the unity of Christians therefore must not diminish.

The establishment of the Ordinariate is something new, not just in the life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales but in the universal Church as well. As such there will doubtless be more questions that will arise and challenges to be met as Ordinariates are established and grow. It is important therefore, particularly for those who will form the first groups within the Ordinariate in England and Wales, that our welcome is warm and our support is strong.

Please pray for all those who are trying to discern what path the Lord is calling them to follow, for those who are preparing to be received in to the Catholic Church and for those who are preparing to begin their ministry of service to the Lord as Catholic priests, deacons and religious.

ENDS 11 January 2011 Fr Marcus Stock General Secretary Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Contact: CCN Tel: 020 7901 4800 Email:

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Chapel Veil

This may answer the question that has been put to me recently about the wearing of the Chapel Veil. Ms. Jackie Freppon clarifies this area quite well in the quotes from her yet unpublished book.

Tradition - The Veil

Derived from a book in progress called: "The Unveiled Woman" by Jackie Freppon.

During the second Vatican Council, a mob of reporters waited for news after a council meeting. One of them asked Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, then secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, if women still had to wear a head cover in churches. His response was that the Bishops were considering other issues, and that women's veils were not on the agenda. The next day, the International Press announced throughout the world that women did not have to wear the veil anymore. A few days later, Msgr. Bugnini told the press he was misquoted and women still had to wear the veil. But the Press did not retract the error, and many women stopped wearing the veil out of confusion and because of pressure from feminist groups.

Before the revision in 1983, Canon law had stated that women must cover their heads ". . . especially when they approach the holy table" (Can 1262.2). But in order to reduce such a growing collection of books, the new version of Canon law was subjected to concise changes. In the process, mention of head coverings was omitted. In 1970, Pope Paul VI promulgated the Roman Missal, ignoring mention of women's veils. But at the time the Missal was published, it didn't seem necessary to keep mandatory such an obvious and universal practice, even if it no longer had a "normative" value (Interinsigniores, #4). And mention in Canon law or the Roman Missal is not necessary to the continuation of the tradition, for it is rooted in Scripture and has been practiced ever since the early Church. Indeed, Pope John Paul II affirmed that the real sources of Canon law are the Sacred Tradition, especially as reflected in the ecumenical councils, and Sacred Scripture (O.S.V. Catholic Encyclopedia, p. 169).


Sacred Scripture presents several reasons for wearing the veil. St. Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians (11:1-16) that we must cover our heads because it is Sacred Tradition commanded by our Lord Himself and entrusted to Paul: "The things I am writing to you are the Lord's commandments" (1 Cor. 14:37).

Divine Hierarchy

God has established a hierarchy, in both the natural and religious spheres, in which the female is subject to the male. St. Paul writes in first Corinthians: "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11-3). And, in the institution of marriage, God gave the husband authority over the wife, but responsibility to her as well. Not only is he the family's decision-maker, but he is also responsible for the material and spiritual welfare of his wife and children. Man is not in this position to enslave or belittle the wife. As the Bride, (the Church), is subject to Jesus, women must wear the veil as a sign that they are subjected to men: "Let wives be subject to their husbands as to the Lord; because a husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the Church." (Eph. 5, 22-23). The man represents Jesus, therefore he should not cover his head. However, this subjection is not derogatory to women, because in God's kingdom everyone is subjected to a higher authority: "For as the woman is from the man, so also is the man through the woman, but all things are from God." (1 Cor. 11, 12). Furthermore, the symbolism of the veil takes that which is invisible, the order established by God, and makes it visible. In the history of the Church, priestly vestments have played a similar symbolic role.

Women's Honor

It is an honor to wear the veil. But by publicly repudiating it, a woman dishonors her feminine dignity, the sign of female subjection, just as the military officer is dishonored when he is stripped of his decorations. The Roman Pontifical contains the imposing ceremonial of the consecration of the veils: "Receive the sacred veil, that thou mayst be known to have despised the world, and to be truly, humbly, and with all thy heart subject to Christ as his bride; and may he defend thee from all evil, and bring thee to life eternal" (Pontificale Romanum; de benedictione). St. Paul says an unveiled woman is a dishonor: "But every woman praying or prophesying with her head uncovered disgraces her head, for it is the same as if she were shaven" (1 Cor. 11, 5).

Because of the Angels

"That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels" wrote St. Paul in 1 Cor. 11, 10. The invisible hierarchy should be respected because the Angels are present at Christian liturgical assemblies, offering with us the Holy Sacrifice with the honor due to God. St. John the Apostle wrote: "And another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense that he might offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne." (Rev. 8:3, see also Matt. 18:10). They are offended by a lack of reverence at Mass, just as they abhorred King Herod's acceptance of adoration from the people of Jerusalem: "But immediately an angel of the Lord struck (Herod) down, because he had not given honor to God, and he was eaten by worms, and died." (Acts, 12:23).

Ancient Tradition

The custom of wearing the veil was maintained in the primitive Churches of God. (1 Cor. 11:16). We see this in the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. The women of Corinth, beset by modern sensibilities, started coming to church without their heads covered. When St. Paul heard of their neglect, he wrote and urged them to keep the veil. According to St. Jerome's commentary Bible, he finally settled the matter by saying the head covering was a custom of the primitive communities of Judea, "the Churches of God" (1 Thess. 2-14, 2 Thess. 1-4), which had received this Tradition from early times (2 Thess., 2:15. 3:6).

God's Command

Even today some people erroneously believe that St. Paul based the tradition on his personal opinion. They think he did not intend it to be continued in the Universal Church, but only as a local custom. This argument, however, does not conform to the Pauline spirit. After all, it was Paul who stood before Peter to change Jewish traditions in Christian Churches (Gal. 2:11-21). St. Paul reminds them: "for I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it; but I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1:12), referring to the authority of his ministry, and veracity of his words. Pope Linus, who succeeded St. Peter, enforced also the same tradition of women covering their heads in the church (The Primitive Church, TAN). Our Lord warns us to obey His commandments: "He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19).


In summary, the reasons that St. Paul advises women to cover their head in the church are:
• Our Lord commanded it
• It is a visible sign of an invisible order established by God
• The Angels at Mass are offended if women don't use it
• It is a ceremonial vestment
• It is our heritage

Christian women around the world have other reasons to wear a hat, mantilla, rebozo, gele, scarf, shawl or veil. Some wear it out of respect to God; others to obey the Pope's request, or to continue family traditions. But the most important reason of all is because Our Lord said: "if you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). We should always be ready with our bridal veils, waiting for Him and the promised wedding (Apoc. 22:17), following the example of our Blessed Mother, Mary, who never appeared before the eyes of men but properly veiled. To those who still think that the veil is an obsolete custom, remember that: "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, yes, and forever" (Heb. 13:8).