22 June 2010

Ratzinger's Ordinariate

What I think most starkly distinguishes the Holy Father's offer from the Archishops' (apart, of course, from obvious things like bringing us into communion with most of the world's Christians, and making available to us the full benefits of the Magisterium) is the trust which the papal scheme demonstrates. Ratzinger's Anglicanorum coetibus gives us an autonomy unknown since the centralisation of church life under the papacy in the nineteenth century - most strikingly in this: that the Ordinariates themselves, not the papal nuncio in consultation with the local hierarchy, will submit the terna of names to Rome when a new Ordinary is to be appointed. And witness the powers given to the Council of an Ordinariate.

Trust is also at the basis of the provisions that, while an Ordinary is often to consult with local RC bishops about areas of joint concern, it is usually left to the Ordinary to make decisions. And his line manager is the Cardinal Prefect of Rome's most powerful dicastery. Whoever wrote the Apostolic Constitution was determined not to leave us at the mercy of potentially unsympathetic diocesans and Episcopal Conferences.

Contrast this with the mean, resentful, and anally retentive provisions throughout the Rowan scheme. We are not to be trusted with the power to make our own decisions. At every point and at every turn we will be subjected to the control of diocesan bishops. Our very existence will be at the mercy of people who are profoundly out of sympathy with us. Assuming that the sees of Ebbsfleet, Richborough, and Beverley continue to be filled, their occupants will be chosen by a primate (who may not always be as gracious, intelligent, and sympathetic as Rowan) in consultation with the relevant diocesans. It is no secret that, when the See of Ebbsfleet was vacant some years ago, the then Bishop of Bristol vetoed the priest whom the Primate wished to appoint ... I spent several years in Devon listening to my friend and neighbour Bishop John Ecce sacerdos magnus Richards complaining about the iniquity of it all!

This dear old Bavarian gent apparently trusts us in a way that even Rowan, for all his personal affection and best intentions, is clearly not free to. The best he thinks he can squeeze out of the bigots in the House of Bishops and the General Synod is a mean little scheme which leaves our enemies with their hands around our throats.

Papa Ratzi is offering us the chance to get up off our knees.


Little Black Sambo said...

Spot on, both this post and the last.
(WV "grinins" - I am just off to go about the city.)

Adulio said...

Papa Ratzi is offering us the chance to get up off our knees

So whats keeping you?

Steve Cavanaugh said...


surely you realize that the Ordinariates have yet to be established? Anglicanorum Coetibus only set up the legal framework. The actual appointment of an ordinary with particular norms for his ordinariate has yet to happen anywhere, although we should likely seem at least some ordinariates established before Father Christmas makes his appearance.

Fr Terry said...

Presumably it will be up to the Ordinary ( a former PEV ?) to decide which of the former Anglican priests to "ordain" to serve in the Ordinariate.

Anglican doubter said...

It seems that a former P E V will be able to dress up as a bishop and exercise jurisdiction as the Ordinary and confirm( Canon883:1 and see Ordo Confirmationis, Praenotanda 7a) but unless he is a celibate hewill not be able to ordain ( or , I think consecrate the Chrism in Holy Week).