Yesterday at the USCCB’s general assembly in Baltimore, Cardinal Donald Wuerl announced that the Vatican has approved the establishment of a U.S. ordinariate for Anglicans wishing to enter into communion with the Catholic Church. The official canonical establishment of the ordinariate will take place on January 1, 2012, almost exactly a year after the establishment of the world’s first such ordinariate in England.
Cardinal Wuerl was appointed by the Vatican as the United States delegate for the implementation of the 2009 apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which allows for the establishment of personal ordinariates for those Anglicans wishing to be in communion with Rome while still preserving elements of their Anglican patrimony and liturgical practice.
Rocco Palmo has the full text of Cardinal Wuerl’s announcement of the U.S. ordinariate here. And excerpt:
The Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith] has communicated that the canonical erection of the Ordinariate will take place on January 1, 2012, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. At that time, I assume that an Ordinary will be named and the Ordinariate will begin its work.
What lies ahead of both the Ordinariate and all of us who will be working with the new Ordinary includes a number of steps.
For those Anglican congregations who wish to become a part of the Ordinariate, there is a program of catechesis prepared by your ad hoc Committee for the Implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus and approved by the Holy See. This program will be made available through the Ordinariate once it is functioning. …
As for those seeking ordination as a Catholic priest, the program of priestly formation for them, approved by the Congregation, is based at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Houston and is available either on campus or through the University’s distance learning program.
Cardinal Wuerl also announced that Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas will succeed Bishop John J. Myers of Newark as delegate for the Pastoral Provision, which was established in 1980 to allow Episcopal priests to be ordained Catholic priests and incardinated into their local Catholic dioceses. There are seven parishes in the U.S. operating under the Pastoral Provision, and more than 80 former Episcopal clergymen have been ordained Catholic priests.
Bishop Vann offered some remarks to his fellow bishops after Cardinal Wuerl’s announcement:
The Pastoral Provision is set up so that an Episcopal Priest can undertake a journey of discernment, formation, and theological assessment so that he can ordained as a diocesan priest, incarndinated in a Diocese. Its focus and purpose is in some ways complementary, but different from the Personal Ordinariate.
I am grateful that the theological faculty which assists in this vital work will remain at Seton Hall in Newark. As I work in these next weeks and months ahead to organize the ongoing work for this, I appreciate also the chance to continue the communication with those involved in the new Ordinariate. In this same vein, I will certainly do whatever I can to continue to build on all that has been to assist any of you in your questions about the Pastoral Provision, or in your assistance to any Episcopalian priest who may approach you about priestly ministry. I ask you also for your patience and understanding as the administrative staff that will process these requests is set up in Fort Worth.
Bishop Vann’s remarks are posted in full on his blog.
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