Personal Ordinariate to be established in Australia on 15 June Media Release 11 May, 2012
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, announced today that Pope Benedict XVI intends to announce the establishment in Australia of a Personal Ordinariate for Former Anglicans to commence on 15th June 2012.
A Personal Ordinariate is a church structure for particular groups of people who wish to enter into communion with the Catholic Church.
In 2009 Pope Benedict announced special arrangements to cater for groups of Anglicans who wished to join the Catholic Church. This provision allows them to maintain some of the traditions of prayer and worship of Anglicanism.
Personal Ordinariates have already been established in the United Kingdom (2011) and the United States of America (2012).
The Australian Bishops have already put in place procedures to enable clergy and lay church members to join the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate.
Archbishop Hart hopes that there will be a warm welcome to those wishing to enter the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate.
“I am confident that those former Anglicans who have made a journey in faith that has led them to the Catholic Church will find a ready welcome”, he said.
This new community will have the status of a diocese and will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury.
Thanks be to God! This is a significant step toward Christian Unity. We must keep all those considering being a part of the Ordinariate in our prayers.
Most people join the Catholic Church “on their own” after a lot of soul searching. Every such “conversion” takes considerable soul searching and working things through with oneself and one’s family and community. It might, at first glance, seem to be a simpler step to do this “as a group” with others, but in fact, it raises a whole lot of other questions, as the “soul searching” is done not just on one’s own but in cooperation with others. This can produce unexpected tensions and difficulties, especially where some are more ready to take the step than others, or when there are conflicting views at work about what the new community being formed will be. It is not a simple or straightforward process. So our Anglican friends considering joining the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate will need our special prayers for a good dose of patience and tolerance with one another and with the Church as they take this step.
St Augustine of Canterbury, pray for the Ordinariate of the Southern Cross!