Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Roll On, Australian Ordinariate!

Australians all, let us rejoice!  The recent Synod - thanks to The Anglo-Catholic for this news! - of the local province of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (27th-30th July), passed the following resolutions:
  • That this National Synod endorses the action of its Archbishop and Bishops in requesting the establishment of an Anglican Ordinariate in Australia under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, and that the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, in the words of the Apostolic Constitution, desires to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner*, thereby achieving the status of an Anglican Ordinariate.
  • That this National Synod welcomes with joy the partnership of Forward in Faith Australia and all other Anglican clergy and people who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner* through the Anglican Ordinariate in Australia.
  • That this National Synod strongly endorses the application of the Bishop of the Torres Strait to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for an Ordinariate of the Torres Strait.
  • That this National Synod requests the Primate to communicate to the Holy Father its gratitude for his Apostolic Constitution, ands warmly thanks him for his continued protection of faithful Anglicans and their tradition, and assures him of our prayers at every celebration of the Eucharist for his ministry of “caring for all the churches”.
* Anglicanorum cœtibus, Introduction, Paragraph 5
("...this Apostolic Constitution provides the general normative structure for regulating the institution and life of Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner.")

Let us sing Te Deum and Non nobis – but neither let us count chickens before they're hatched: it being August in Rome, the very dog days, no work whatsoever will be done for the next weeks at least, and the establishment of the Ordinariates, for Australia, for the Torres Strait, and overseas in Canada, the USA, the UK and so forth, is likely to take a good deal of time (different people have opined that the first could come as early as Advent this year or as late as Advent next year, but perhaps Pentecost 2011 would be the fairest guess).

The T.A.C. in Australia has the special assistance of Bp Peter Elliott, himself an ex-Anglican, who is the Delegate of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference in this matter, a helpful, prudent and understanding go-between, as Bp Robarts has kindly said.  Incoming Anglicans have many completely reasonable worries and concerns, many perfectly serious matters still to discuss and study and work through, and of course need more details from Rome and competent authorities in order to best see how the putative Ordinariate will come to be established.  The whole matter is most complex and sensitive.

Such wise delay is in fact all for the good: festina lente, hasten slowly, is the sage advice that not only the Curia, but the whole Church in her patient shepherding of Christ's flock takes to heart.  Again, "Gather up the fragments that none be lost" – to plunge too soon into establishing Ordinariates could frighten souls still wavering between hope and fear.

It took quite some courage for traditionalist, Catholic-minded Anglicans to break away from the liberal mainstream and set up the T.A.C.; it will take still greater courage to cross the Tiber, even on the elegant bridge, the Ponte Benedetto, that the Supreme Pontiff has erected for them.  The true pastoral concern is paramount: to shepherd all Christ's flock into the one fold.  Here in Australia we value the alert sheepdog who can round 'em up, be they ever so scattered!

I try and pray daily, with the Angelus, the following versicle for this intention (remembering that my local friends in the T.A.C., Bp Robarts, Bruce, and the rest, constitute the Parish of the Annunciation), invoking Our Lady particularly as Our Lady of Walsingham:

V/.  Pray for them, O Holy Mother of God.
R/.  That they may be one in the Church of thy Son.

V/.  Ora pro eis, sancta Dei Genetrix.
R/.  Ut unum sint in Ecclesia Filii tui.

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