This Saturday sees the ordination into the Catholic priesthood of three former Anglican
bishops who will become the first priests of the Personal Ordinariate which is being
established under the provision of Pope Benedict's Apostolic Constitution issued in
2009. The Ordinariate is a special structure for groups of former Anglicans and their
clergy who seek full communion in the Catholic Church whilst retaining some elements
of their Anglican liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions. But what exactly
is an Ordinariate? How will it be funded and how big is it likely to become? To
find out more, Susy Hodges spoke to Father Marcos Stock, General Secretary of the
Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales. He describes the setting up of
the Ordinariate as an event "of singular significance in the life of the Catholic
Church" and goes on to explain that the move is "essentially a way of allowing a
group of faithful from the Anglican Communion to retain some of their own patrimony"
.... within the life of the Catholic Church... and is intended "to be a mutual exchange
of gifts" between the two.
Asked how many Anglican faithful are waiting to
join the Ordinariate, Father Stock says they are expecting about 50 clergy to be received
into full communion and approx 35 (lay) groups, many of which are attached to those
clergy and who have "indicated a firm desire to enter into the Ordinariate."
Stock also says he doesn't believe the Ordinariate "is perceived as an anti-ecumenical
move... and adds "it's quite the contrary in some ways..... " Listen: