A first fruit of the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus

For your Brick by Brick and Pope of Christian Unity files.

A first fruit of the provisions of Anglicanorum coetibus.

Do you remember the story about the number of people coming into communion with Rome in the Diocese of Brentwood (in England)?

I picked this up from the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald:

Bishop defers plans to cut number of Masses thanks to ordinariate

By Mark Greaves

Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood is putting on hold plans to cut the number of Masses in his diocese because of an influx of Anglican priests entering the ordinariate.

The bishop said he expected around seven new priests and up to 300 parishioners to join the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in his diocese.

He told BBC Radio Essex that out of all the Catholic dioceses Brentwood would have the largest number of parishes entering the ordinariate – three in Essex and three in east London.

Bishop McMahon said today: “Rationalisation of Masses for a number of parishes has been put on hold for the time being, as we wait to see what effect the priests coming into the ordinariate will have in the diocese in the months to come.”

Anglican priests and laity are to be received into the Catholic Church in Holy Week. Priests will then be ordained into the ordinariate at Pentecost, on Sunday, June 12.

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  1. Brooklyn says:

    This is very confusing to me. There are now more priests and more parishioners, so we make Mass less available? Why would a bishop want to make the sacraments less available? What other “business” grows in the number of employees and then lessens the amount of work being done?

  2. MissOH says:

    It is saying that the bishop WAS planning to cut the number of masses which presumably had been announced before the events of January 2011 (the official “birth” of the ordinariate). Now, due to the number of priests and parishioners that have indicated they intend to come into the church, the bishop is putting his plans on hold until after he knows how many do in fact enter and how many of the now Anglican priests are ordained into the Catholic priesthood.

  3. It’s a bit of a roundabout way to say it, yes. But “defers plans to cut” means that he was going to cut Masses; but now there’s more priests in the area, so he’s not cutting. Obviously the new Ordinariate priests aren’t under his diocesan control, but he probably anticipates that a) some of the parishioners he was going to consolidate may spread to Ordinariate Masses, and that b) the Ordinariate priests will be willing and able to help out his diocesan priests (and whatever order priests are in the diocesan area) with various Masses and pastoral duties. In other words, his priests won’t have to be spread so thin, if they get help.

    Obviously the needs of the Ordinariate will come first; but it will probably make the Ordinariate a lot of friends (or non-hinderers) if their priests make life easier for the existing bishops and diocesan priests. And you know, I suspect that having more Catholic priests of any flavor in any area probably helps priests build professional fellowship.

  4. JimmyA says:

    Tremendous news. The Church in England and Wales should be embracing the Ordinariate with open arms and we should all be doing our bit to make people feel welcome. This has the potential to provide a really potent and much-needed infusion of faithful, orthodox priests and laity and – over time – to develop a fresh flowering of authentic English Catholic identity. Another visionary move by the Holy Father.

  5. William says:

    If only the Pius X people would patch things up with Rome, we might see similar reversals here and elsewhere.

  6. Randii says:

    The state of the existing UK Catholic church is not good as evidenced in the reduction in Masses due to not enough priests and not enough folks attending Mass.

    This is like a bandaid. Several thousand Anglicans may enter the church but it’s very unlikley they will be enough to stem the ongoing losses in the UK Catholic church.

  7. Hidden One says:

    It is a good thing, this news.

    Many more prayers are needed.

  8. Brooklyn says:

    MissOH – thanks for the correction. I was reading this at work and with phones ringing and all the other hubhub going on, I didn’t think this made sense the way I was reading it. Obviously great news. And I would imagine that many of these Anglican converts are pretty much on fire spiritually, and will hopefully be able to infect their new fellow parishoners.

  9. pop says:

    With regard to this:
    “Anglican priests and laity are to be received into the Catholic Church in Holy Week. Priests will then be ordained into the ordinariate at Pentecost, on Sunday, June 12.”

    Just a question:

    I know of instances where former Anglican communities have come into the church. HOWEVER!
    Their former pastor/Anglican priest entered a formation of sorts. He completed an instrument and based on the out come, he continued his study in Catholic theology and so forth. After a period of study he was ordained a deacon. Another period of study preceded his ordination to the catholic priesthood. I believe his community is part of a St. Thomas More Society….. Anglican usage.

    Does anyone know if this is still the method by which an Anglican cleric becomes a catholic cleric?

  10. AnAmericanMother says:


    Don’t be such a pessimist! It’s not just that there are “several thousand Anglicans” paddling ‘cross the Tiber. . . . these are several thousand highly motivated, on-fire new Catholics who are accustomed to traditional liturgy and beautiful music. They are going to be an influence for good on many people, and when some of the folks who’ve been sleeping in on Sunday morning venture back and experience a High Anglo-Catholic Mass, they’re going to stay.

    The pebble tossed into the pond may be small, but I think you’re going to see ripples going out and out and out.

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