Vidi on VIS

This is from VIS:

- Appointed Rev. Keith Newton as first ordinary of the new Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the territory of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Rev. Newton was born in Liverpool, England in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1976 for the Anglican diocese of Chelmsford. In March 2002 he was ordained as suffragan bishop of Richborough.

Notice anything odd about that?

How extraordinary, as my friends across the pond would say.

Fr. Keith Newton was ordained a priest in Westminster Cathedral on 15 January, for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.  No?

Sure, an announcement can’t say everything about a man’s life, include every point in his CV, and sure, there is a specification of “Anglican” in the announcement above, but… perhaps I am being too touchy… would it have been out of place to mention that he was ordained a Catholic priest at some point?  Or… is this an instance of the “bella figura” bone in someone’s head kicking in?  Are they trying to avoid the “heri catechumenus hodie pontifex” thing.  Dunno.

It just stuck me as …. odd.

By the way… have you ever noticed that VIS has a combox?   I suspect the powers-that-be would rather be eaten alive by wild swamp rats than publish comments, but… somebody reads them.

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26 Responses to Vidi on VIS

  1. Ulrich says:

    Father, maybe they aren’t read at all …

  2. Supertradmum says:

    A gross oversight, or a bad translation, or somebody doesn’t know what they are doing on the VIS site. There are, sadly, many mediocre people working online. I doubt if it is the Ambrose reference a la Jerome. I doubt whether the author even is aware of that event.

    Jerome once said, by the way, that the fact that he laid his head on a stone pillow every night saved his soul. A few stone pillows may be necessary here, if this was intentional.

  3. AnAmericanMother says:

    For what it’s worth, many years ago I had a conversation with an Episcopal priest whose congregation was mulling Going Straight Over to Rome, long before there was an Ordinariate or even an Anglican Use Rite (and those of you who are Atlantans know exactly which parish, and probably which priest as well). They didn’t go . . . . but I have heard through the Episcopalian Grapevine (although I’m not as well connected there as I used to be!) that he has now become a Catholic and is in seminary.

    This is secondhand information of course, but he told me at the time that, while his ordination would be absolute and not conditional, his pension and retirement and so forth would be calculated from the date of his Episcopalian *ahem* ordination *ahem*. This may well be the source of the error in the story – an explanation not an excuse; it’s still an error.

  4. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    Father,
    I can’t find the offending piece on the VIS page Notice No.10. Perhaps it has been taken down.

  5. Stvsmith2009 says:

    @Vexilla, on my Pope Benedict XVI blog I have had permission from VIS itself to repost the VIS news, and have been doing so for the last 5 years,. You can find it there if you’d like, under “Other Pontifical Acts” http://faithofthefathersbenedictxvi.blogspot.com/

  6. Jacob says:

    What AnAmericanMother said. There are a lot of folks out there who are keen on preserving the idea that those Anglo-Catholic orders are valid.

  7. pedantic_prof says:

    Since the Ordinariate came into being on the day of their sacerdotal ordinations I would assume it’s an oversight. The fact of the matter is that the validity of individuals’ Anglican orders may be very properly debated because of changes to the ordinals used (or even the Roman Pontifical) as well as, most famously, the “Dutch Touch” of Old Catholics co-consecrators. It is possible and perhaps probable that these three men are bishops. It is also right and fitting that they never exercise this office. I was moved by the fact that they wore lounge suits and ties for their reception into the Church. When I was present at the abjuration and reception of the two Swedish pastors at Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet in July 2006, both men were wearing their full Lutheran togs, ruff collar and all.

  8. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    Thanks StvSmith2009, I was just about to post an apology and note my error.

  9. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    Pedantic_Prof : Apostolicae Curiae leaves no room for any doubt over the changed Ordinals – it specifically refers to the question and , its thorough re-examination , before reaching its absolute “null and void”conclusion. As for the Dutch Old Catholic possibility ( so commonly used by High Church Anglican “Bishops”of Brisbane here in Australia – if comments of one of them to a friend are to be believed) it has to be disregarded totally for want of certainty, and intention.The acceptance of Priestly Ordination by the three new Priests speaks for itself – to raise doubts is to question their integrity.

  10. C. says:

    The nomination was actually issued on the 15th and probably preceded the ordination, as the Holy See Press Office note of that date indicates. VIS notices (the translations) are sometimes posted after the Bollettino, yet carry a different date.

    Interestingly, though, the text of the Bollettino’s biography published 1/15 differs from the text VIS published 1/17.

    The wording of the VIS release certainly leaves something to be desired, for while Msgr. Newton may have achieved the status of priest and bishop under Anglican Church canon law, we cannot hold him to have achieved the real thing at that time, without questioning at least whether the absolute Ordination he received from Archbishop Nichols was administered correctly, let alone Apostolicae Curae.

  11. Katherine says:

    I’m in shock the man’s a Scouser! Really! This gives me some hope the Ordinariate won’t all just be a bunch of snobs. All the best to you, Msgr. Newton. You’ll do just fine.

  12. Another oddity from this entry is the fact that they call Fr. Keith Newton “Rev. Keith Newton”. All other priests mentioned under Pontifical Acts are called Fr. not Rev.

  13. Stephen Matthew says:

    I was under the impression that “conditional” sacraments were only used when it was probable the sacrament had been validly given but there was some doubt. Thus if it was merely a possibility of validity, regular unconditional sacraments would be in order.

    Plus in this case, due to the Church having spoken on the matter of Anglican orders, if there is any doubt the assumption must be that such orders were and are null and void. The burden of proof would be on someone trying to demonstrate some particular instance was valid.

  14. Pater OSB says:

    The Italian, French and Catalan all include an additional line: “Assieme alla moglie è stato accolto nella piena comunione con la Chiesa Cattolica nella Cattedrale di Westminster il 1º gennaio 2011. ”

    But still nothing about his ordination.

  15. Dan O says:

    In the entry for January 15 on the VIS site, there is a story about the erections of the Personal Ordinariate for England and Wales. It contains this line, “Today at Westminster Cathedral in London, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, ordained to the Catholic priesthood three former Anglican bishops: Reverend Andrew Burnham, Reverend Keith Newton, and Reverend John Broadhurst.” I don’t think there is any attempt to gloss over his Catholic ordination, since it is mentioned only a few pages prior on the website.

    In addition, if you look at the notice of the appointment in the Italian version, it speaks of his entering into full communion with the Catholic Church on January 1 which is missing in the English translation page.

  16. pedantic_prof says:

    Vexilla, you sais that ” to raise doubts is to question their integrity”. Not at all. The three men submitted in humility; moreover, what you mention about Apostolicae Curae really has nothing to do with the 20th-century ordinations involving Old Catholic bishops; they would, as co-consecrators, supply the intention. When Graham Leonard converted he had a personal moral certitude of his episcopacy together with the proof of the lines of episcopacy of some of those who had consecrated him. The then Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Church wouldn’t officially comment but he continued to address him as a bishop, as he himself pointed out to Leonard. If it’s good enough for him…

    It’s a delicate and complicated theological issue that cannot be decided by non-theological posters. It does not undermine Leo XIII’s decision to assert that these three men were most likely bishops before their conversion,

  17. robtbrown says:

    NB:

    1. The validity of Anglican Orders can in a best case scenario only be said to be a possibility, not a probability (which is a possibility that is likely true). Even so, probability would not be sufficient for recognition of Sacramental validity.

    2. The best case scenario, i.e., the presence of a concelebrant in valid episcopal orders at Anglican presbyteral ordination, is not considered sufficient for validity.

    3. The only conditional ordination (sub conditione) I know of was with the late Graham Leonard, who entered the Church with two conditions: His Orders would be recognized, and he would be a bishop. He was told no to being a bishop; then he was conditionally ordained.

  18. pedantic_prof says:

    “the presence of a concelebrant in valid episcopal orders at Anglican presbyteral ordination, is not considered sufficient for validity”: with the correct matter, form, and intention (assuming that the ordination rite used isn’t defective) the presence of co-consecrators would be. Moreover, there is the possibility of the Anglican bishops at any such ordination possessing valid orders. Things have moved on since Apostolicae Curae though it is better to err on the side of caution and ordain convert clergymen according to Catholic rites.

    Let us just hope that their baptism wasn’t botched. I’ve witnessed several invalid Anglican baptisms (e.g. sprinkling; water not simultaneously being poured with the formula etc.).

  19. pedantic_prof says:

    robtbrown: Do you have a source for Leonard’s two supposed conditions? I frankly doubt he did try to insist on being a bishop, given that he knew the discipline of the Church, let alone try to insist on conditions. He wasn’t that sort of man.

  20. robtbrown says:

    pedantic_prof says:

    robtbrown: Do you have a source for Leonard’s two supposed conditions? I frankly doubt he did try to insist on being a bishop, given that he knew the discipline of the Church, let alone try to insist on conditions. He wasn’t that sort of man.

    The evidence is that he filed papers with Rome claiming validity of his presbyteral and episcopal Orders. Obviously, neither were recognized as valid, and he was conditionally ordained to the presbyterate.

  21. robtbrown says:

    pedantic_prof says:

    “the presence of a concelebrant in valid episcopal orders at Anglican presbyteral ordination, is not considered sufficient for validity”: with the correct matter, form, and intention (assuming that the ordination rite used isn’t defective) the presence of co-consecrators would be.

    Moreover, there is the possibility of the Anglican bishops at any such ordination possessing valid orders. Things have moved on since Apostolicae Curae though it is better to err on the side of caution and ordain convert clergymen according to Catholic rites.

    If what you are saying is true, then why were Graham Leonard’s Orders not considered valid?

  22. robtbrown says:

    pedantic_prof says:

    Vexilla, you sais that ” to raise doubts is to question their integrity”. Not at all. The three men submitted in humility; moreover, what you mention about Apostolicae Curae really has nothing to do with the 20th-century ordinations involving Old Catholic bishops; they would, as co-consecrators, supply the intention.

    I agree with that comment in regard to episcopal consecration, but what if his presbyteral ordination had not been valid?

    When Graham Leonard converted he had a personal moral certitude of his episcopacy together with the proof of the lines of episcopacy of some of those who had consecrated him. The then Cardinal Ratzinger said that the Church wouldn’t officially comment

    Actually, there was an official comment, which was that GLeonard would be ordained sub conditione and would not be considered a bishop.

    but he continued to address him as a bishop, as he himself pointed out to Leonard. If it’s good enough for him…

    It was good enough for informal talk but obviously not for formal recognition of validity, which is the matter at hand.

    It’s a delicate and complicated theological issue that cannot be decided by non-theological posters.

    Are you assuming that I’m a non theological poster?

    BTW, I am an ex Episcopalian, and one of my profs/mentors in Rome, a consultor at the SCDF, was an expert on the Anglican question.

    It does not undermine Leo XIII’s decision to assert that these three men were most likely bishops before their conversion.

    You’re right–it doesn’t undermine Apostolicae Curae, which was merely a re-statement of what had been said in the 16th century. The entire matter was re-examined under Leo XIII because the Anglicans, following the Roman decision to reconstitute the English hierarchy, suddenly got religion and decided that they wanted Rome to recognize their Orders.

  23. pedantic_prof says:

    robtbrown: since Leonard was probably a bishop but not demonstratably so (doubts about intention etc. remaining), he was ordained sub conditione. The fact that his ordination was conditional was unprecedented and underlines how likely it is that he was most likely already a priest. I’m surprised you’re a theological poster, as nothing you’ve written tends to evidence this.

  24. In today’s VIS, we read:

    The Holy Father:

    Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Pecs, Hungary, presented by Bishop Mihaly Mayer, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, appointing Bishop Andras Veres of Szombathely, Hungary, as apostolic administrator of that ecclesiastical circumscription.

    Unless ecclesiastical circumscription is a common term, I would be inclined to suspect the translator.

  25. robtbrown says:

    pedantic_prof says:

    robtbrown: since Leonard was probably a bishop but not demonstratably so (doubts about intention etc. remaining), he was ordained sub conditione.

    Incorrect. First, he was not consecrated a bishop–sub conditione or otherwise. He was ordained a priest sub conditione.

    Second, it was not a matter of doubt about intention, but rather whether the celebrant had valid episcopal Orders. Although, as Apostolicae Curae notes, Intention (combined with Form) was very important during the time that Apostolic Succession was considered to have been lost (Edwardine Ordinal, it is less relevant in contemporary matters of Anglican Orders.

    The fact that his ordination was conditional was unprecedented and underlines how likely it is that he was most likely already a priest.

    That its validity was likely is your own fantasy–there is nothing to indicate such. In fact, Cardinal Ratzinger reportedly told him the opposite: that it couldn’t be affirmed or denied that he was a bishop.

    That he was ordained sub conditione indicates the Vatican respect for Leonard, not that his Orders were likely valid. I have known other Anglican clerics who could have made the same claims as Leonard. They didn’t even bother to file the paperwork.

    I’m surprised you’re a theological poster, as nothing you’ve written tends to evidence this.

    Interesting that you should say that. I have offered theological reasons for what I have written here, and your only response has been wind.

    Further, as I have also shown, you are even wrong on the undisputed facts.

  26. pedantic_prof says:

    “He was ordained a priest sub conditione”. I did not use the term consecrate but ordain. If he had been validly consecrated to the episcopate, he would have received the priesthood per saltum.

    “it was not a matter of doubt about intention, but rather whether the celebrant had valid episcopal Orders”. Matter, form, intention. Matter, form, intention.

    “That he was ordained sub conditione indicates the Vatican respect for Leonard”. Poppycock! It was a most public gesture, one invested with significance. Leonard had few friends in the Vatican.

    “as I have also shown, you are even wrong on the undisputed facts”. As I said, I’ve seen nothing to indicate any theological or, indeed, academic training. I’m sure you are well intentioned though :)