Archbp. Wuerl to be point man in USA for Anglicanorum coetibus

The USCCB issued a notice that His Excellency Most. Rev. Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., will oversee the process for traditionally-minded Anglicans who desire to make use of the provisions the Holy Father issued in Anglicanorum coetibus.

USCCB News Release
September 23, 2010


Doctrine Of The Faith Congregation Names Archbishop Wuerl To Guide Bringing Anglican Groups Into Catholic Church In U.S.

WASHINGTON(September 23, 2010)—The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has named Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington to guide the incorporation of Anglican groups into the Catholic Church in the United States.

In this position, he is a delegate of the congregation and heads the U.S. bishops’ ad hoc committee charged with assisting CDF in implementing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Pope Benedict XVI issued the document in November 2009 to provide for establishing personal ordinariates for Anglican groups who seek to enter corporately into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The personal ordinariate is a canonical structure similar to a diocese that covers the area of a bishops’ conference. This permits the incoming Anglicans to be part of the Catholic Church while maintaining aspects of their Anglican heritage and liturgical practice.

Other members of the ad hoc committee are Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas, and Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts. The committee will be assisted by Father Scott Hurd, who was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1993, joined the Catholic Church in 1996, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Washington in 2000. Father Hurd will assist Archbishop Wuerl as staff to the ad hoc committee and a liaison to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Interested Anglicans are asked to contact Archbishop Wuerl through the Washington Archdiocese.

The ad hoc committee has two tasks:

  1. To facilitate the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States
  2. To assess the level of interest in such an ordinariate in the United States.

Benedict XVI is the Pope of Christian Unity.

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  1. May His Excellency (and other Catholics) be ‘generous’ (to quote the Holy Father) in the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution and in the reception of troubled (soon-to-be former) Anglicans. That is our prayer.

  2. Hieronymus says:

    Abp Wuerl . . . Well, I guess the Anglicans won’t suffer from too much shock. He is pretty much the same as the leadership they had in their previous affiliation. I hope he doesn’t turn them away for being to “rigid”.

    I will pray for them.

  3. Rellis says:

    This is the same Arch. Wuerl that issued a letter instructing his pastors to ignore Summorum Pontificum, or else (as reported on this blog). To this day, there are only three Sunday TLMs in the Archdiocese of Washington (and none since S.P.). [I don’t think that is the case.]

    Meanwhile, the same type of Catholics in Arlington across the river have many more choices all over the diocese, and it’s growing. So much for the demand question.

    He’s disgraceful, and this is not a good move. He’s hostile to tradition, and he’ll be hostile to traditional Anglicans. [I hope your psychic powers are not infallible.]

  4. QuijoteRides says:

    I hope there is a lot of interest, and I hope we receive them with open arms and joy. Will pray for a smooth transition.

  5. Mitchell NY says:

    First, checking the log in workds, second, why don’t they set up a formal way to implement Summorum Pontificum with Wuerl as head as well….Wonder where that would go…

  6. JohnMa says:

    There was no public, daily TLM in the Archdiocese of Washington until His Excellency personally intervened and asked that Mass be celebrated every Friday morning in the EF. This is not to say that he is friendly to tradition — because he’s not — but he has turned the corner from hostile to neutral.

  7. MikeM says:

    I don’t think Archbishop Wuerl is as bad as many of you seem to think. I think that, when it comes to the practical concerns, he’s a good choice for the position.

  8. TJerome says:

    20 years ago, we would have considered Archbishop Wuerl, an arch-conservative. Today, not so much. But in my mind, this shows how much progress we have made with regard to the American heirarchy in recent years, particularly under Pope Benedict!

  9. doanli says:

    Let’s pray the Archbishop will allow himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit and do the right thing by the Anglicans.

    And to the Latin Mass as well, it seems. Good grief, what is their problem with this???

  10. Rob F. says:

    This is good news. Wuerl has always been a very business like fac-totum for Rome, and he has never been afraid of being unpopular. Rome sent him to shut down the gay mass in Seattle, which he did despite massive opposition. She sent him to consolidate the diocese of Pittsburgh, which he did despite massive opposition. This is not to say that he is a traditionalist; he isn’t, but he is a doer. If the CDF wants him to implement Anglicanorum Coetibus, then he will do it, nativist hostility and inertia notwithstanding.

  11. annieoakley says:

    Will the Anglican Use parishes retain their identity?

  12. wolfeken says:

    A Cardinal Wuerl would be AWFUL for the U.S. and the Church. Remember, now that Cardinal McCarrick has retired, Archbishop Wuerl is the Number One Enabler of pro-abortion politicians receiving communion. He will not budge on it. And he is the archbishop in the nation’s capital.

    The problem is not about his new position concerning the Anglicans — the problem is that this will boost his credentials for a red hat.

  13. I believe his credentials for a red hat are already pretty firmly established. If nothing else, he is the Archbishop of the capital city of the USA.

    I have a hard time imagining that His Excellency is thinking “If I do a good job with Anglicans, I might get the red hat.” It is only a matter of time.

    There are still, however, two living former Archbishops of D.C. who are cardinals. We shall see.

  14. david s says:

    St John Neumann in Gaithersburg now has a Sunday TLM, so I guess that makes four in the archdiocese.

  15. MikeM says:

    Everyone wants to blame Canon 915 on Archbishop Wuerl. I don’t think that’s fair. Are we really to expect one diocese to deal with every pro-abortion Catholic in Washington? Their home bishops should be responsible for that. [Well… many of those Catholic polls live a good share of the year in the Archd. of Washington DC. The local bishop does have some say in what they do.]

  16. Supertradmum says:

    I am a bit worried, but must trust the Vatican on this one. Let us all pray for the Bishop.

  17. A couple things.

    First, Archbp. Wuerl is not going to be doing this personally. He will find a person to do it for him, probably a priest, probably someone with experience with Anglicans.

    Times have changed a great deal since the days of the first project in the USA to help Anglican priests come in under the old Anglican provisions. In those days the point man was a bishop by the name of Bernard Law, who had no interest in helping conservatively minded Anglican priests come into the Church.

    With the present day tools of communication, if he doesn’t make sure that the right things are being done in regard to Anglicans seeking communion with Rome, the whole world will know about it quickly. It is in everyone’s best interests that staff appointed to do the heavy lifting actually does a good job.

    I think this is a matter mostly of canon law and organization. Archbp. Wuerl must have our support so long as the effort to implement Anglicanorum coetibus moves foward in accordance with the will of the Supreme Pontiff.

    That would go for Summorum Pontificum as well.

  18. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z,
    I’m not sure Abp Wuerl has any interest in bringing conservatively minded Anglicans into the church either. Wonder whose idea this was?

  19. catholicmidwest says:

    Nothing like efficiency, 21st century style. Just give the chickens to the fox and save time.

  20. Elmiguel409 says:

    Bishop Vann seems to be a good choice as well. With the Anglicans in Fort Worth jumping ship en masse from the Episcopal church, it seems like fertile ground for Anglicanorum coetibus.

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