An Anglican priest on his way in opines

A reader alerted me to a blog written by an Anglican priest making his way into the Roman Catholic Church and the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

Keeping in mind that Catholics do not hold that Anglican orders are valid, that doesn’t mean that Anglican orders are not dear and meaningful to those are ordained.  That said,

I point you to this post, Is God pruning for growth?, down about three from the most recent one:

I was struck by an observation made by Fr. Andrew Burnham that everyone in the Ordinariate is being humbled in order to serve. Bishops become priests, priests become laity for a period , laity enter into a Eucharistic fast and voluntarily accept a reduced status as they begin life in their new church. And the cutting back does not stop there. Many clergy families will move from large expensive properties to small modest houses. Parishes will vacate treasured churches and leave all their posessions behind. There is a process of reduction going on that will cause the cynic to snear but to those with eyes of faith it says something else entirely.

Indeed this joyfully surrendering of worldly posessions serves as a witness to others. S. Francis said that there was no point walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching. I see something of that in the formation process thus far.

It takes courage to do what they are doing.  They deserve our respect and support in prayer.

Moreover, thank you, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope of Christian Unity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Pope of Christian Unity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. DavidJ says:

    God bless them in their journey, and may we appreciate what we have in our faith that prompts such sacrifices!

  2. Nordic Breed says:

    Very impressive and inspiring words. Detachment from power, position, possessions to make room for Christ.

  3. More to the point, all Catholics have to be ready to decrease so that Jesus may increase. With Lent coming up, we can practice that; but we also have to be ready and willing to do it and then do it for real, in all sorts of circumstances.

  4. ipadre says:

    How often people think that Monday’s Gospel has to do with those going into a contemplative order, Religious Life, or even entering the seminary, but we see this Gospel enfleshed in these, our brothers and sisters giving up so much for Christ and His Church.

    “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

  5. JonM says:

    I have mixed thoughts.

    Anglican clerics converting to the Catholic faith should have to publicly renounce all errors previously held to that are in conflict with truth (the Catholic faith.) This includes papal authority and the revealed truth that Anglican orders are void and Anglican priests (by power of Anglican orders) cannot confect the Eucharist.

    It seems the vast majority of Anglicans choosing to make use of the special ordinariate do openly accept these truths. This sincerity and willingness to embrace a dramatic change gives me great hope that these fellow converts will help bring not only the practice of worship, but a strong sense of intensity for the faith.

    Despite some criticisms I have offered in regards to establishing the ordinariate, I fully acknowledge that I’m not privy to all of the facts (nor do I possess the special charism granted to Peter.) Anglicans do have a history that differs from other Protestants in being ‘less Protestant and more schismatic’ (ironically it was the Henrican Reformation that arguably caused the Protestant heresies to become so broad and lasting, while it was not until the Elizabethan Era that the English Church lost its link to the Catholic Church [Edwards reforms were beat back by Cardinal Pole and Queen Mary.])

    Perhaps these new Catholics are the converts predicted in various visions of great saints.

  6. @JonM: At the risk of eing either wrong or pedatntic:

    Can we really speak of ‘the revealed truth that Anglican orders are invalid’ (present tense)?

    Apostolicae Curae describes the state of Anglican orders at the end of the 19th century. Leo XIII did not read the future. Modern Anglicans have generally been ordained by bishops in a genuine (although illicit!) apostolic succession, through the Old Catholic Church (“Dutch touch”); and the liturgical and theological problems Leo XIII pointed out are absent among at least the more Anglo-Catholic bodies … those more likely to convert. I’m not at all sure we can say flatly that Anglican clerics entering the Ordinariate in 2011 have invalid orders. They must be re-ordained, as certainty about the Sacraments is of tremendous importance, though…

    (I’m also not sure we can call AC ‘revealed truth’. Authoritative Magisterial teaching, most certainly; but there is no new public revelation. AC is the application of genuinely revealed principles to a historical situation. If the situation changes…)

    Or am I wrong somewhere?

  7. Sixupman says:

    Some years ago at an annual TLM [mandated by landed family who financed and built the small Pugin church for the then diocese] the Celebrant preached the “vine dresser” Gospel was justification for the excision of the the Old Mass! He was otherwise a deligthful Bwendictine.

  8. William Tighe says:

    If Francis Clark is right in his *Anglican Orders and Defect of Intention* (1956) — the best book I have read on the subject — the so-called “Dutch Touch” may make no difference, if (1) the ordination rite being used is the same as Cranmer’s Anglican Ordinal of 1552, or substantially the same (as with the 1662 Prayer Book’s revision of those rites) and (2) if the non-Anglican “touchers” participated by using the Anglican rite only, or by laying-on their hands in silence.

    This last is what happened in those cases in which bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church participated in various Anglican episcopal consecration ceremonies in America and Canada between 1946 and 1971: they either enunciated the words of the Anglican rite or simply laid-on their hands in silence (as the last surviving PNCC bishop who participated in such consecrations himself told me 12 years ago). In England the “Dutch touchers” always between 1932 and 1959 and on occasion as late as 1974, enunciated the “Accipe Spiritum Sanctum …” etc. from the Roman Pontifical, at he same time as the Anglican consecrating archbishop and bishops were enunciated “Receive the Holy Ghost …” etc. from the 1662 Prayer Book rite (after the early 1970s the Dutch Old Catholics discontinued their use of the Roman Pontifical in favor of their own new ordination rites). Many 19th-Century scholars, Catholic as well as otherwise, thought that “Accipe Spiritum Sanctum …” etc. had been the “form” of the sacrament before the 1442 Decretum pro Armenis declared it to be the porrectio instrumentorum; although by the time that Pius XII promulgated the Apostolic Constitution on the Matter and Form of Holy Orders it had been generally realized that both the porrectio instrumentorum and the injunction “Accipe Spiritum Sanctum …” etc. had alike entered Catholic ordination rites in the High Middle Ages.

    As far as the 1662 Prayer Book’s alteration of the Anglican episcopal ordination prayer, I leave it for readers to consider whether it in any way altered the sense of the rite. The 1552 prayer ran” “Take the Holy Ghost, and remember that thou stir up the Grace of God, which is in thee by the imposition of hands: for God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of soberness.” That of 1662 runs “Receive the Holy Ghost for the office and work of a Bishop in the Church of God, now committed to thee by the imposition of our hands; In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And remember that thou stir up the Grace of God which is given thee by this imposition of our hands; for God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and soberness.”

    The Anglican rite for the ordination of priests was likewise altered to include the phrase “for the office and work of a Priest in the Church of God now committed to thee by the imposition of our hands” which had likewise been absent from that rite (although in that for the diaconate Cranmer’s rite had run “Take thou authority to execute the office of a Deacon in the Church of God committed unto thee; in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen,” which remained unchanged in 1662). These seem to me to be changes more of a cosmetic nature than of a substantial one, although thay may have been a response to one (among many) Catholic arguments asserting the inadequacy and invalidity of the Anglican rites, that they did not specify the Order being conferred by them.

  9. Random Friar says:

    God bless those coming in! Theirs is a good Lenten example for us, the stripping away of so many things.

Comments are closed.