Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross

It seems that we await word from the Vatican on the official starting date for the Australian Personal Ordinariate* for former Anglicans – early next year? – but at least we know it has been placed under the patronage of Our Lady of the Southern Cross: a busy Lady, seeing as she is patroness of the troubled diocese of Toowoomba, indeed chosen as such by none other than the notorious last Ordinary of that see (though officially approved by the Holy See, unlike the disapproval voiced by Rome of most of his other acts); then again, it certainly seems she gets things done when she is invoked!  As a devout elderly Chinese Catholic of my acquaintance would say in words that brook no dissent, "Our Lady of Southern Cross – very powerful."

Whatever of this title – curiously, the feast of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, fixed in Toowoomba on the 1st of September, is not included in the Calendar for Australia in the new Missal! – it appears very much as if the precedent of the English Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will be followed: at least the first wave of clerical converts will be ordained quickly, and the laity will soon thereafter follow, to keep together these various "groups of Anglicans".  It appears that this process, as employed in England, was quite successful.  I do know that each Anglican minister has been asked to choose a wise and experienced Catholic priest as a mentor, to help bridge the gap between the very different clerical cultures of each, which is a most practical and charitable measure.

Of course, the English Ordinariate, while under the title of Our Lady of Walsingham, has also Bl John Henry Newman as its patron; no doubt, officially or not, he will play a similar role in respect of the Australian (and indeed of the American) Ordinariate.  May Our Lady, spiritual Mother of all Christians, intercede powerfully with her Divine Son, ut unum sint – may Bl John Henry supplicate the Lord in union with her, and with him all the Saints.  Forward the Australian Ordinariate!

*There is no word yet on whether the Church of the Torres Strait, which has voted en bloc to come into union with Rome, will be part of this or not.  The Torres Strait Islands are not very populous...

1 comment:

Matthias said...

I have been the recipient of a invitation a Solemn Benediction conducted by Bishop Peter Elliott at a Catholic Church in the SE SUBURBS but with members of the Ordinariate being represented.
I have been informed that the event for " the official starting date for the Australian Personal Ordinariate* for former Anglicans " is March/April/May and that an existing Anglican Church will not be the Chancery. I was told but there was no "in confidence' attached to it