Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali on the Ordinariate

… the Anglican Communion, Gafcon, FiF and more. Virtue Online:

 

The Church of England bishop sees the Anglican Ordinariates as a two-edged sword. First, he notes that finally at the highest level, the Church of Rome has recognized the validity of the Anglican Patrimony and a married priesthood in the Western or Latin Rite. He is very well versed in the Vatican documents that outline the Ordinariates and how they will be formed and operated. He has clearly read and thoroughly digested the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and its Complementary Norms and has given them much measured thought.

“That is a major advance; there is no going back on that now,” he said adding that it was a good thing for Pope Benedict XVI to do. However, he is concerned about the Roman Catholic nature of the Ordinariates, how they will eventually play out in time and that there are some built-in shortcomings. He named three.

“First of all, it is quite strange that one ‘episcopal church’ to provide for another ‘episcopal church’ a system which has no bishops in it – a presbyterian provision – because the ordinary is to be a presbyter (priest),” he explained that this could eventually lead to the Latinization of the Ordinariates as they need to turn to the local Catholic diocesan bishop for Apostolic Sacramental care for their clerical ordinations.

He also feels that with Ordinariate clergy being solely trained and spiritually formed at major Catholic seminaries would lead to even more creeping Latinization as the Anglicans are further distanced from their spiritual traditions and Anglican roots.

“What you need is free-standing colleges that would promote the Anglican-Catholic way of doing things in its integrity,” the CofE bishop explained.

Finally, he feels that the Ordinariates’ married priesthood provision would eventually dry up. “I think there has to be an explicit recognition (of a married priesthood) because Anglicans have found married priests valuable for the Mission of the Church, just as they have found celibate priests valuable for the Mission of the Church.

“There are some problems in the Ordinariates, he continued, “but there are also some positive things.”

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