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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Australia Leading Way with UK in Anglicans Swimming Tiber

In a world where Christians are deemed unfit to be foster parents, Christians cannot afford to nurse the misunderstandings and divisions of long-dead generations.  The growing  unity among Anglicans, Orthodox, Lutherans and Roman Catholics is not only pleasing to the Father of us all, but essential to the survival of Christian civilization.

From The Record (AU)
By Anthony Barich

Interest in the Pope’s offer to Anglicans to join the Catholic Church via a unique arrangement is gaining momentum with up to 60 Anglican clergy to be ordained as Catholic priests in Australia and the Torres Strait by Pentecost this year.
Traditional Anglican Communion Bishop Harry Entwislte of WA offers Mass at Como Catholic Parish during the Festival introducing the Anglican Ordinariate on 26 February. Photo: Anthony Barich
That number – including 30 from Australia and 30 from the Torres Strait - is also expected to rise.

Archbishop Barry Hickey and his Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton showed their strong support for the Ordinariate by both attending the 26 February festival at Como Catholic Parish introducing the Anglican Ordinariate in Australia.

Archbishop Hickey said those participating in the Ordinariate and the festival are joining in the “important prayer” of Jesus Himself, who prayed to the Father that “all may be one, as You and I are one”.

Dossiers seeking ordination from Forward in Faith Australia chair Bishop David Robarts and TAC Bishop of WA Harry Entwistle, Bishop Tolowa Nona (Torres Strait) and retired TAC Bishop Raphael Kajiwarra (Japan) are being submitted for approval. A fifth is a former diocesan Bishop of the Anglican Church in Australia, who cannot yet be named.

Pentecost is when Anglo-Catholics hope the new Ordinariate will be established under Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus (“Groups of Anglicans”). Some seminarians aligned with the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), which claims 400,000 members globally, attend the Adelaide College of Divinity where Catholic seminarians also study.

An international commission also is quietly working on the framework of a future liturgy for Anglicans to be received into the Catholic Church in Ordinariates, (non-geographical dioceses). It will comprise elements of both Anglican and Catholic liturgy. Three Anglican Bishops were ordained as Catholic priests at Westminster Cathedral on 15 January. Former Anglican Bishop of Ballarat and Archdeacon of Leicester (UK) David Silk was also ordained a Catholic priest at Buckfast Abbey in Devon on 18 February and Bishop Edward Barnes will be ordained on 5 March.

TAC Bishop Robert Mercer, the former Bishop of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe and of the Anglican Catholic Church in Canada, will also be ordained a priest at a yet to be announced date and could be consecrated as a Bishop in the Ordinariate as he is a celibate. However, Fr Keith Newton, the former Anglican Bishop of Richborough, has already been appointed head of the Ordinariate – effectively a non-geographical diocese – for England and Wales.Pentecost, 12 June, is also the time by which up to 60 Anglican priests are set to be ordained as Catholic priests in the United Kingdom, with dozens of parishioners also to be received into the Church.

Moves are also under way to establish Ordinariates across Latin America and India, the latter to be based at either Kerala or Mumbai.

As The Record revealed exclusively in January 2009, there will be an event at the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome to launch all the Ordinariates once they are in place around the world, with all the Ordinaries, (localised Bishop-like leaders), concelebrating Mass with the Pope.

The venue has special significance to Anglicans as it was the official church of the Knights of the Garter, whose prelate is the Anglican Bishop of Winchester.

TAC Primate, Australian Archbishop John Hepworth, has asked the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to appoint Bishop delegates for India, parts of Africa, Latin America, the Torres Strait, Puerto Rico and Japan following decisions in those countries to enter the Church as Ordinariates.

Though a ‘pan-Protestant’ Church was set up in India comprising Anglican, Methodist and other Protestant denominations when England withdrew from the subcontinent  in 1947, many members left and joined the TAC, so it now owns many hundreds of parishes across the country and has 95,000 people.

Last June, a TAC Synod of nine Latin American countries including Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil voted unanimously to seek an Ordinariate for Spanish-speaking Anglicans based in Guatemala, as did the TAC Bishops’ conference in Puerto Rico last October.

Anglo-Catholics in trouble spots endure the same trials other Christians do.

TAC parishioners in North Africa have a tattooed cross on their hand to identify them so they can enter their church, which is then padlocked, otherwise “the local Islamic people will toss a hand grenade in during the Offertory as their contribution”, Archbishop Hepworth said.

“All our churches have to be locked or they’ll be killed,” Archbishop Hepworth said. 

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