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Papers from "The Mission of the Ordinariate" Symposium

posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:30 PM by Rochester Ordinariate
This past weekend, a symposium on the Ordinariate was held at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, Texas. Archbishop Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, honored the Ordinariate with his first official visit to the United States by giving the keynote address at a symposium in Houston, Texas, on Anglicanorum coetibus.

His paper on the ecclesiology of the Ordinariate, along with the paper on Ordinariate liturgy, given by Msgr. Lopes, also of the CDF, with the Ordinary's response is linked on our Letters and Articles page.  We strongly recommend the reading of these papers by the visitors of this site.  They are thoughtful and scholarly, short on details, but long on general principles and good insights.  One is struck in reading them by the high expectations they have of us!  We have to be distinctive, but integrated.  Different groups watching will have different expectations:  Anglicans will be interested to see to what degree we can make a home in the Catholic Church and what kind of reception we receive from our fellow Catholics.  Our fellow Catholics will want to know we are here to stay, strengthening the cohesion of the church and not simply being another divisive group inside the church.  It is a tall order!  I pray we will be worthy of the task.

Msgr. Lopes has interesting things to say about the office.  He talks about the call of the 2nd Vatican council for the public recitation of the office in the churches, not something just for the professional religious, but for everyone.  However, he points out that this is far from reality in the Catholic church.  Indeed, the parochial recitation of the office seems almost unknown.  This is an area where traditional Anglicans have a culture of prayer of Matins and Evensong that can be brought to bear on the enrichment of the universal Church.


Msgr. Lopes also clarifies the Apostolic Constitution when it speaks about what liturgical books are "proper to the Anglican tradition", when he says:

The purpose of the commission, therefore, is not to compose a new liturgical text or to devise new liturgical forms, but rather to identify the patrimony from “the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition” (Ap. Const. Anglicanorum coetibus, Art. III).
Let me say just a brief word about those books to which the Apostolic Constitution refers.  Given its use as an approved Catholic liturgical text, the Book of Divine Worship does enjoy a sort of “pride of place” in the selection of liturgical texts. In the second place, the classic Prayer Book heritage is to be considered (represented by England 1549, 1662 and 1928; USA, 1928; Scotland, 1929; South Africa, 1954; and Canada, 1962). The English Missal (1958) and The Anglican Missal (1961) come in next. If these sources do not provide the necessary material for liturgical celebration, then Common Worship or The Roman Missal may be consulted.


It is an encouraging sign that the English and Anglican Missal are also being used as "source texts".  It is also encouraging to hear that the idea is not to make up new things, but to preserve what has been found nourishing and worthwhile in both the Prayerbook and Missal tradition.  We have had enough "creative liturgy".

Read it all.

Congratulations also go out to Fr. Peter Wilkinson, who was named Monsignor and Prelate of Honor during the symposium. We are delighted to hear of it!

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