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Anglicanorum Coetibus


Anglicanorum Coetibus

Catholic Church
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A personal ordinariate is a canonical structure within the Catholic Church established in accordance with the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus of 4 November 2009.[1][2][3] The text of this document is available on the Holy See's website,[4] as are also the complementary norms of the same date.[5] This canonical structure enables Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Pope, while maintaining some degree of corporate identity and autonomy with regard to the geographical dioceses for other Catholics of the Latin Church, and preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage.

This structure, intended to integrate these groups into the life of the Catholic Church in such a way as "to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared",[6][7][8][9] is part of "the Latin Rite, within the full communion of the Catholic Church and professes all that church's doctrine on faith and morals.[6][10][11][12]

These ordinariates, whose members "bring with them, into the full communion of the Catholic Church in all its diversity and richness of liturgical rites and traditions, aspects of their own Anglican patrimony and culture which are consonant with the Catholic Faith",[6] have sometimes unofficially been referred to as "Anglican ordinariates".[13]

Anglicans who join the Catholic Church can still choose to be part not of an ordinariate but of the Latin diocese of residence.[3][6] Anglicans who join the local Latin dioceses, either before or after the erection of an ordinariate, are subsequently free to join an ordinariate, if they wish to do so. Catholics baptised outside the ordinariate and who have also received the other two sacraments of Christian initiation (confirmation and Eucharist) "are not ordinarily eligible for membership, unless they are members of a family belonging to the ordinariate".[14] If a person baptised in the Catholic Church but who has not received both the other sacraments of Christian initiation is brought back through the ordinariate's evangelising to the faith and practice of the Church, that person can become a member of the ordinariate.[15] Other Catholics cannot "for purely subjective motives or personal preference" be enrolled in an ordinariate,[16][17] but all Catholics may regularly attend all services at an ordinariate parish.[18]

Some officials of the Holy See, including the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, have refused to rule out the possibility of Lutheran ordinariates,[19] but Cardinal Kurt Koch commented that the Holy See would consider the matter only in response to an initiative coming from Lutherans.[20]



The apostolic constitution was a response by the Holy See to requests coming from Continuing Anglican churches, particularly the Traditional Anglican Communion; and from Anglo-Catholic sections of the Anglican Communion, such as those involved with Forward in Faith,[12] and, within the Catholic Church, from the Anglican Use parishes, which have existed since the early 1980s, when at the request of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pope John Paul II granted the Pastoral Provision allowing the creation, within the territorial Latin Church dioceses of the United States, of parishes in which the liturgy would be celebrated in an approved form of the Anglican tradition and with a married clergy composed of former Anglican priests who were ordained in the Catholic Church on joining it. Many of these Anglican Use Catholics had left the Episcopal Church because of women's ordination especially to the episcopate, revisions of the liturgy, and changes in its moral teaching. These changes evidenced also in the consecration of a homosexual bishop and the blessing of same-sex couples have provoked serious tensions within the composite Anglican world, as Cardinal Walter Kasper said in 2009, leading to the requests to which the apostolic constitution was a response.[21] The discussions that led to the granting of the 1980 pastoral provision raised some of the ideas that came to fruition in the decision of 2009. One was the setting up of a structure for former Anglicans similar to the military ordinariate, an idea that was not then acted on because of the small number of Anglicans involved at that time.[22]

In October 2007 the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) presented to the Holy See a petition for full union in corporate form (i.e., as a body, not merely as individuals) with the Roman Catholic Church. This worldwide grouping, under a single primate, of churches of Anglican tradition, but outside of communion with the see of Canterbury, was founded in 1991. It was formed over a number of issues, including liturgical revisions, the ordination of women and open homosexuals as priests, the sanctioning of homosexuality and the importance of tradition.

On 5 July 2008, Cardinal Levada responded to the formal request for "full, corporate and sacramental union" with the Roman Catholic Church[23] giving written assurance that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was giving serious attention to the prospect of "corporate unity" raised in that request.[24] The request thus became a basis for the decision, announced by Cardinal Levada on 20 October 2009, to issue the apostolic constitution.[25]

Announcement and enactment

The decision to institute personal ordinariates for Anglicans who join the Catholic Church was announced on 20 October 2009 by Cardinal William Levada at a press conference in Rome[26][27] and by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, at a simultaneous press conference in London.[28][29][30][31][32]

The apostolic constitution enacting the introduction of personal ordinariates for former Anglicans was released on 9 November 2009, together with supplementary norms for the ordinariates, allowing former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Provision was made for ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy, but for historical and ecumenical reasons married men could not be ordained as bishops. The ordinary, who will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy, can therefore be either a priest or a bishop. Seminarians in the ordinariate were to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the ordinariate might establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony.[32][33][34]

In December 2009 Cardinal Levada responded to each of the bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion who signed the October 2007 petition for corporate union with the Catholic Church, stating that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had completed its long and detailed study with the aim of making available a suitable and viable model of organic unity for their group "and other such groups". The Traditional Anglican Communion then undertook discussions with those other groups and with representatives of the Catholic episcopal conferences and planned to give a formal response after a meeting of their bishops in Eastertide 2010.[35]

Acceptance by some Anglican groups

A number of Anglican groups soon petitioned the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for acceptance into ordinariates.

  • On 3 March 2010, in Orlando, Florida, the eight members of the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America voted unanimously to become part of the Catholic Church along with 3,000 fellow communicants in 120 parishes in four dioceses across the country.[36] Following the vote, the bishops and the Anglican Use parishes sent a joint petition to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith requesting the establishment of an ordinariate in the United States and making some suggestions about how that could be done.[37]
  • On 12 March 2010, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada formally requested the erection of an ordinariate in Canada.[38] Several congregations later left the small (300-500 member) denomination, refusing to join the Catholic Church.
  • The Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (a province of the Traditional Anglican Communion) and Forward in Faith Australia, mostly members of the Anglican Church of Australia, jointly applied for an ordinariate in Australia.[39] However, two congregations later left the denomination over the issue.
  • The Church of Torres Strait, another province of the Traditional Anglican Communion in Australia, covering parts of Northern Queensland and the Torres Strait, also applied for a separate ordinariate.[40]
  • A majority of the 17 clergy of the Traditional Anglican Church (the TAC Province for England, Scotland and Wales) supported a petition for acceptance into the Roman Catholic ordinariate.[41]
  • In September 2010, under the leadership of some Church of England bishops, the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, a new grouping which intends to stay within the Church of England, was founded for Anglicans who do not accept the ministry of the Pope at least "as presently exercised",[42] as an attempt to keep Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England.

Developments in certain areas

England and Wales

Further information: Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

In October 2010, the parish council of St Peter's in Folkestone voted to enter the Roman Catholic Church. About half the parish, including their priest, were received into the by then established ordinariate on 9 March 2011.[43][44]

On 8 November 2010, three serving and two retired bishops of the Church of England announced their intention to join the Roman Catholic Church. The serving bishops were Suffragan Bishops Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet, Keith Newton of Richborough, and John Broadhurst of Fulham, who declared their intention to resign from the offices they held with effect from 31 December 2010.[45] The retired bishops were Bishop Edwin Barnes, formerly of Richborough, and Bishop David Silk, formerly of Ballarat in Australia. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, announced that he had with regret accepted the resignations of Bishops Burnham and Newton. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales gave assurance of a warm welcome for those who wished to be part of an ordinariate.[46] In a pastoral letter concerning his resignation as Bishop of Richborough, Bishop Newton stressed that he had done so not for "negative reasons about problems in the Church of England but for positive reasons in response to our Lord's prayer the night before he died, [that] 'they may all be one'."[47] Ruth Gledhill, religious affairs correspondent of The Times, said that the announcement could prompt "hundreds, possibly thousands" of lay ministers to follow the bishops' example. She added: "It's quite significant as it means the ordinariate - that quite a few people have been saying might not get off the ground - could be a force to be reckoned with."[46]

On 19 November 2010, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales announced that work was proceeding with a view to establishing an ordinariate in January 2011, and that the five Anglican bishops would receive ordination to the Catholic diaconate and priesthood at about the same time and would then assist in the reception of other Anglicans probably in Holy Week, followed during Eastertide by diaconal ordinations and priestly ordination around Pentecost of those former Anglican clergy whose requests for ordination would have been accepted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.[48][49]

On 1 January 2011, Broadhurst, Burnham and Newton, together with their wives and three former Anglican nuns of a convent at Walsingham, were received into the Catholic Church.[50] They were ordained to the Catholic diaconate on 13 January and to the priesthood on 15 January.

The first personal ordinariate for former Anglicans, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, was established on 15 January 2011,[51] with Keith Newton appointed as the first ordinary.[52] At Easter 2011, about 900 laity and about 60 former Anglican clergy (many retired from active ministry) joined the Catholic Church as members of the ordinariate.[53]

United States and Canada

Further information: Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter

On 1 January 2012, the ordinariate for the United States was established with the name of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Fr Jeffrey N. Steenson, a former bishop of the Episcopal Church, was named as its first ordinary.[54] In December 2012, the ordinariate was given extended jurisdiction over Canada through the newly established Canadian Deanery of St John the Baptist. Fr Lee Kenyon, the first Anglican ordinariate priest ordained for service in Canada, was appointed as the first dean.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith appointed Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, as its delegate for the implementation of an ordinariate in the United States. Cardinal Wuerl also led a liaison committee of three bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for implementation of the ordinariate.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also appointed the Most Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, as its delegate for implementation of an ordinariate in Canada. Archbishop Collins also led a liaison committee of bishops of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In November 2010, the Parish of Our Lady of the Atonement[55] in San Antonio, Texas, an Anglican Use parish, hosted a seminar called "Becoming One" to build relationships and to disseminate information about the possibility of establishing a personal ordinariate in the United States. It was well attended by interested parties from the United States and Canada.

A pastoral letter dated 30 November 2010 from John Hepworth, primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, stated that announcements similar to those for England and Wales and for Australia were expected to be issued soon concerning Canada and the United States. He also stated that Robert Mercer, a retired bishop resident in England who was formerly the Anglican Bishop of Matabeleland and then a bishop in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (a Continuing Anglican church), intended to join the ordinariate for England and Wales.[56]

However, most of the "continuing" Anglican Church in America (TAC) drew back from joining the ordinariate. Only three parishes from the Episcopal Church (Anglican Communion)[which?] were interested, and two[which?] of these were embroiled in multi-million dollar lawsuits over their church property.

In May 2011, preparations for members of the Traditional Anglican Communion in Canada to join an ordinariate were put on hold in view of reports about intended announcements by Archbishop Collins that those intending to join the ordinariate would have to close their Traditional Anglican parishes and attend a Catholic parish for four to six months and that the dossiers submitted by the clergy concerned showed that their training was inadequate, requiring them to attend a Catholic seminary for an unspecified time. Archbishop Collins denied the reports.[57]

In early June 2011, in advance of the report that Cardinal Wuerl was due to present to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on interest shown in joining an ordinariate, a 100-member Episcopal parish in Bladensburg, Maryland was reported to have become the first in the United States to ask to be received into the Catholic Church while keeping aspects of its Anglican traditions.[58] Other accounts give Mount Calvary Church in Baltimore as the first, and the Bladensburg church as the second.[59][60]

In his report to the Bishops Conference, Cardinal Wuerl stated that the Holy See had indicated its wish to establish an ordinariate in the United States before the end of 2011.[61] At the next meeting of the Bishops Conference, on 15 November, he announced that, with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, 1 January 2012 would be the date of establishment of the new ordinariate for former Anglicans in the United States.[62] He said that of 67 petitions by United States Anglican clergy for ordination as Catholic priests 35 had already received the nihil obstat of the Holy See and would be examined locally for possible acceptance. He also said that two Anglican communities had already entered into full communion with the Catholic Church, one in the Diocese of Fort Worth, the other in the Archdiocese of Washington.


Further information: Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross

At the end of November 2010, Bishop Peter Elliott, an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne, Australia,[63] said that the Australian bishops intended to follow the example of England and Wales so that an initially "very small" ordinariate could be established in that country, with specific churches designated for its use, by Pentecost 2011. A former Anglican layman, Bishop Elliott is designated as the delegate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a liaison to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. He expected that, once established, the proposed Australian ordinariate would attract "a much larger number of people".[64] An Australian ordinariate implementation committee was formed in mid-December 2010.

A national Australian ordinariate festival was held in February 2011 at Coomera in Queensland.[65] The conference was hosted by Elliott and Archbishop John Hepworth of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.

People from the Catholic Church attended, as well as members of the Anglican Church of Australia, the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, the Church of Torres Strait and the Ukrainian Catholic Church, as well as some Anglican religious who wish to be part of the ordinariate. The implementation committee had its inaugural meeting after the conference.

The consensus of the festival was that unity can be achieved while also preserving the distinctive Anglican heritage of the churches.[66] Bishop Elliott said that membership in the ordinariate by interested persons is sought by a formal application in writing. All clergy transferring to the ordinariate will require a Catholic priest as sponsor and ordination within the Catholic Church.

In a radio discussion on 20 February 2011, Archbishop Hepworth said that some 800 people of his own church, the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia, were committed to joining an ordinariate and that he believed, once implemented, it would grow strongly. The possibility of the Church of Torres Strait (some 9,000 people) joining was also discussed on the radio program.[67]

A conference and synod of the Church of Torres Strait, held from 3 to 5 June 2011, decided unanimously to accept the idea of the church becoming a Catholic ordinariate and set a target date of the First Sunday in Advent in 2011 for its implementation after first finding out how many of its membership wish to join the ordinariate.[68]

In his address to an ordinariate information day in Melbourne on 11 June 2011, Bishop Elliott said that the Australian ordinariate was expected to be established in 2012. He also confirmed that the petition of the Church of Torres Strait had been sent to Rome.[69]

However Archbishop Hepworth, a former Catholic priest who has been married twice, could not be an ordained bishop of the proposed ordinariate.[70] A statement issued by the TAC's College of Bishops following a meeting in Johannesburg in March 2012 stated that the body had voted to remain Anglican, despite Archbishop Hepworth's efforts.

As announced by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on 11 May 2012,[71] the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith established the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross on 15 June 2012. The 72-year-old Harry Entwistle, who had been the Western Regional bishop (based in Perth, Western Australia) of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia was appointed the first ordinary and was ordained a priest in the Catholic Church on the same day.[72]

Nature of the ordinariates

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith establishes, in consultation with the episcopal conference concerned, personal ordinariates for former Anglicans within the episcopal conference's area. There may be more than one personal ordinariate, delimited geographically or otherwise, within the territory of the same episcopal conference. Each ordinariate, composed of lay faithful, clergy, and members of religious institutes originally belonging to the Anglican Communion and now in full communion with the Catholic Church, is juridically comparable to a diocese. The ordinary of each ordinariate, who may be either a bishop or a priest, chosen on the basis of a terna of names presented by the governing council of the ordinariate,[73] is canonically equivalent to a diocesan bishop and an ex officio member of the respective episcopal conference.,[74]

An ordinariate shall have a Governing Council, composed of at least six priests[44] and chaired by the ordinary, that exercise the combined functions of the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors of a diocese.[75] Each ordinariate is also to have a finance council[76] and a pastoral council to perform the same functions as the respective bodies in a diocese.[77] An ordinariate also may establish its own tribunal to process marriage and other cases, though the local diocesan tribunals retain jurisdiction if the ordinariate does not set up a tribunal of its own.[78]

The ordinary cannot be a bishop if married or with dependent children.[79] In that case, while not having episcopal holy orders, in particular the power to ordain to the diaconate, priesthood and episcopacy, he has the powers and privileges of other prelates who are canonically equivalent to diocesan bishops, such as territorial prelates. It is he who by issuing dimissorial letters admits candidates to holy orders, having first obtained the consent of the governing council.[80] As an ordinary, he may personally install such candidates in the preliminary ministries of lectorate and acolytate. Like other equivalents of diocesan bishops, he is a full member of the episcopal conference and may use certain episcopal symbols, such as mitre, crosier, ring, pectoral cross, zucchetto, choir dress with purple cassock

After having heard the opinion of the local diocesan bishop, the ordinary may, with the consent of the governing council and of the Holy See, erect "deaneries", each supervised by a "delegate", that encompass multiple parishes of the ordinariate.[80] The ordinary may also establish and suppress parishes and houses of formation and approve programs of formation with the consent of the governing council.[80]

Like diocesan bishops, the ordinary must make an ad limina apostolorum visit to Rome every five years. During this visit, the ordinary presents a report on the status of his ordinariate to the Pope through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and in consultation with the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.[34][81]


The ordinariates use Anglican ritual and have full faculties to celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical functions in accordance with the liturgical books proper to Anglican tradition, in revisions approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions. This faculty does not exclude liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite.[82]

The Complementary Norms clearly envision considerable pastoral collaboration between the clergy of parishes of personal ordinariates and the clergy of the dioceses within which they would be located.[83] The Complementary Norms also specifically grant faculties to the pastor of a geographical parish that has a parish of a personal ordinariate within its boundary to supply liturgical and pastoral services consistent with the needs of the congregation of a parish of an ordinariate that does not have a parochial vicar assigned in the event of the death, incapacity, or unexpected absence of its pastor.[84]

Anglican religious institutes

The apostolic constitution provides a juridical framework within which an Anglican religious community may join the Catholic Church as a group: “Institutes of Consecrated Life originating in the Anglican Communion and entering into full communion with the Catholic Church may also be placed under his (the ordinary's) jurisdiction by mutual consent.”[85] The ordinary also may erect new Societies of Apostolic Life and Institutes of Consecrated Life with the permission of the Holy See.

Married former Anglican clergy and rules on celibacy

The Catholic Church does not recognise the validity of Anglican ordination (see

On the basis of objective criteria determined by the ordinary in consultation with the episcopal conference and approved by the Holy See, the ordinary may petition the Pope, on a case-by-case basis, to admit married men to the priesthood as a derogation of canon 277 §1[90] of the Code of Canon Law, but the general rule is that the ordinariate will admit only celibate men.[91] No married man may be ordained a bishop.

Provisions for former Anglican bishops

Ordination of married men to the episcopacy is excluded in the Catholic tradition, but the Apostolic Constitution's Complementary Norms include provisions which take into account the position of married former Anglican bishops.

  • A married former Anglican bishop may be ordained as a priest, in the same manner as a married former Anglican priest.[92]
  • A former Anglican bishop may be appointed as the ordinary and thus exercise ecclesiastical governance equivalent to that of a bishop. If married, he will be ordained as a priest.[93] The ordinary is, ex officio, a full member of the episcopal conference regardless of the degree of holy orders to which he is ordained.[94]
  • The ordinary may call upon a former Anglican bishop who is a member of the ordinariate to assist in its administration.[95] This provision could encompass a role analogous to that of an auxiliary bishop within a diocese or as the "delegate" in charge of a "deanery".
  • Any former Anglican bishop who is a member of an ordinariate may be invited to participate in the meetings of the episcopal conference, with the status of a retired bishop.[96]
  • In addition, a former Anglican bishop who has not been ordained a bishop in the Catholic Church may nonetheless receive permission to use episcopal insignia.[97] This has precedent in the Catholic Church with cases of unordained abbots and abbesses.

Overall, these provisions provide considerable flexibility to preserve both the dignity of office and the opportunity for comparable pastoral leadership of former Anglican bishops who are not eligible for episcopal ordination in the Catholic Church. Note that a former Anglican "diocese" with a married bishop could in fact remain intact as an "ordinariate" with its former bishop, ordained as a priest but granted permission to wear episcopal insignia, serving as its "ordinary".

Similar institutions

The personal ordinariates that the apostolic constitution envisages are similar to military ordinariates for the pastoral care of members of armed forces in that membership is on a personal rather than a territorial basis; but they differ in many aspects, as can be seen by a comparison of Anglicanorum coetibus with the apostolic constitution Spirituali militum cura of 21 April 1986 by which Pope John Paul II restructured the military ordinariates, which were previously called military vicariates.[98] For instance, the military ordinariates must be headed by a bishop and lack structures such as the "governing council" of the ordinariates for former Anglicans.[2][26][99]

The personal ordinariates for former Anglicans differ also from personal prelatures, which, according to Canon 294, "are composed of deacons and priests of the secular clergy",[100] with no mention of members of religious institutes or of lay people, even those who, in accordance with Canon 296, "dedicate themselves to the apostolic work of a personal prelature by way of agreements made with the prelature".[101] Membership of a personal ordinariate for former Anglicans extends to "lay faithful, clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, originally belonging to the Anglican Communion and now in full communion with the Catholic Church, or those who receive the Sacraments of Initiation within the jurisdiction of the Ordinariate".[102]

Much more similar are the eight ordinariates for the faithful of eastern rite, which are listed in the Annuario Pontificio together with the seventeen apostolic exarchates,[103] immediately before the ordinariates for former Anglicans.[104] Of the ordinariates for the faithful of eastern rite, four (in Argentina, Brazil, France and Poland) are generically for all Eastern Catholics who lack an ordinary of their own rite with jurisdiction for the particular country and who are therefore entrusted to the care of a Latin archbishop in the country. The one in Austria is for Catholics belonging to any of the fourteen particular Churches that use the Byzantine Rite. The other three (Eastern Europe, Greece and Romania) are for members of the Armenian Catholic Church. Such ordinariates have been in existence for a century, having been introduced by the apostolic letter Officium supremi Apostolatus of 15 July 1912.

Difference from Eastern Catholic Churches

While members of some Anglican parishes and similar groups have been received into the Catholic Church and have there preserved elements of their Anglican heritage (see Anglican Use), the new structure would accommodate corporate union with the Catholic Church of larger grouping of Anglicans. The personal ordinariates are canonically within the Latin or Western Church and share the same theological emphasis, and thus differ, even jointly, from the Eastern Catholic Churches, which are autonomous particular Churches.[12]

The personal ordinariates for former Anglicans, being part of the Western Church, come under the discipline of this Church, which, as a rule, restricts to celibate men ordination to the priesthood and even to the diaconate, except where, by decision of the episcopal conference, married men "of more mature age" (at least 35 years old) who are not intended to become priests may be ordained to the diaconate.[105] In this also the ordinariates for former Anglicans differ from those Eastern Catholic Churches in which priesthood and diaconate are open to married men as well as to celibates. The Holy See may grant for the ordinariates, as it does also for other components of the Latin Church, exceptions to the general rule on a case by case basis.

Prospect of personal ordinariates for Lutherans

On 30 October 2012, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said in an interview that if Lutherans express a wish for an arrangement similar to the personal ordinariates for former Anglicans, the Catholic Church will have to reflect on it, but that the initiative must come from Lutherans.[106][107] Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, commented on 11 January 2013 that, while the situation of Lutherans is different from that of Anglicans, the Holy See might consider an ordinariate for those among them who might wish to become members of the Catholic Church while retaining "the legitimate traditions they have developed".[108] The Lutheran World Federation General Secretary, Martin Junge, expressed concern at the idea, saying that it would create further difficulties in ecumenical dialogue and discourage the commitment of Lutherans to celebrate in 2017 the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation "in a spirit of ecumenical understanding and cooperation".[109] Ordinariates have also been suggested for other groups coming into the Catholic Church, such as Hebrew Catholics.[110][111]

See also


External links

  • Note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  • Documents about Personal Ordinariates

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