Friday, December 30, 2011

Doors open for Anglicans to join Catholic Church

( New Year’s Day ushers in a new era for Roman Catholics and members of the Anglican Church who will have the opportunity to enter into “corporate reunion” with the Holy See.

An apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, issued by Pope Benedict XVI, will lead to the creation of “personal ordinariates,” geographic regions similar to dioceses but typically national in scope.

Parishes in these ordinariates are to be Catholic yet retain elements of the Anglican heritage and liturgical practices. They are to be led by an “ordinary” who will have a role similar to a bishop, but who may be either a bishop or a priest.

The Vatican’s action was in response to repeated and persistent inquiries from Anglican groups worldwide who were seeking to come into sacramental communion with Rome.

Some are currently part of the Episcopal Church and others, though Anglican, are not part of the Episcopal Church. Ordinariates seek to provide a way to enter in “corporate reunion” as a group and not simply as individuals. This would allow them to retain their Anglican liturgical heritage and traditions, and to have their own leadership structure, accountable to the Pope alone.

The Pastoral Provision, established by Pope John Paul II in 1980, already provides a way for individual Episcopal priests, including those who may be married, to be ordained Catholic priests for dioceses in the United States.

It also allows Anglican parishes to become Catholic parishes or chaplaincies within existing dioceses. Since 1980, three parishes and a number of smaller groups have been established. They are commonly referred to as “Anglican Use” communities, since they use The Book of Divine Worship in their liturgies, a Vatican-approved Catholic resource that reflects traditional Anglican prayers and formularies

At the fall meeting of U.S. bishops in November 2011, held in Washington, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, announced that Pope Benedict XVI approved the creation of an ordinariate in the United States.

Set for New Year’s Day

The canonical establishment of the ordinariate will take place on Jan. 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. An ordinary for the United States will be named at that time. It is expected that former Rio Grande Episcopal Bishop Jeffrey Steenson will named the ordinary.

In anticipation of the move, local Anglicans have established St. James, a mission congregation of the pro-Diocese of the Holy Family, headquartered in Orlando.

“Anglicans may retain distinctive aspects of their spiritual and religious patrimony, while enjoying full communion with the See of St. Peter,” explains St. James mission administrator Nicholas Marziani. “This very new and innovative development in the Roman Catholic Church embraces Anglicans seeking union with the Holy See in a manner unprecedented in history,” Marziani continues.

Anglicanorum coetibus is new in two ways: It applies to the world, not solely the United States, and it allows Anglican groups to be received into the Catholic Church — not through a local diocese, but through a new entity, an ordinariate which, though similar to a diocese, is national in scope and is fully responsive to Anglican liturgical and other traditions.

The St. James mission congregation meets 4:30 p.m. at the House of Prayer, across from the Nombre de Dios Mission grounds for Saturday Evensong. Other services will be conducted as the ongoing liturgical year warrants. At present seven community members attend Evensong, and it is anticipated that potentially up to 100 Anglicans and current Catholics interested in the Anglican Patrimony will join the mission congregation when the Holy Eucharist will be offered this coming summer upon the completion of Marziani’s seminary training and ordination to the Catholic priesthood. The training is being conducted through distance learning arrangements with St. Mary’s Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.

Father Mike Morgan of the Diocese of St. Augustine noted that: “At the request of Cardinal Wuerl, the Diocese of St. Augustine is working with Dr. Marziani to help him complete the requirements necessary before his request for ordination receives final approval from the Holy See.”

Marziani, a former engineer, teacher and Episcopal priest, currently holds the doctor of ministry from Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. He and his wife of 40 years, Joanne, are residents of St. Augustine Beach. The couple have three adult children and four grandchildren.

No comments:

Post a Comment