Benedict XVI supported the integration of former Anglicans into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church by issuing the decree known as the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus on 9 NOV 2009. Anglicanorum Coetibus, so far the only Apostolic Constitution in the 21st Century, provided for the erection of canonical structures juridically equal to a diocese. These structure are known as Personal Ordinariates. They provide for the reception of entire groups of former Anglicans into the Roman Church. Since the decree, three personal ordinaraites have been erected; the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on 15 JAN 2011 (England and Wales, Scotland), the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter on 1 JAN 2012 (United States, Canada) and the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross on 15 JUN 2012 (Australia, Japan).Personal ordinariates stand along side the traditional Roman Catholic diocese which may exist in a geographical territory. The personal ordinariate in North America stands along side all of the Roman dioceses in the United States and Canada and the ordinary is a member of the conference of bishops in both countries.
The Roman Church does not recognize Anglican orders, but considers them to be null & void, as per Apostolicae curae a papal bull, issued in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII. Former Anglican priests and bishops who wish to continue serving as priests in the ordinariates or in other capacities in the Roman Church must be re-ordained. Married former Anglican priests and bishops may be ordained priests, but they may not be ordained bishops. However, Anglicanorum Coetibus provides that former Anglican priests and bishops who have been re-ordained as Roman Catholic priests, may serve as the ordinary of a personal ordinariate. The ordinaries of the three personal ordinariates erected to date have all been former Anglican priests and the ordinaries in the UK and North America were former Anglican bishops. The ordinary in Australia is a former bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church.
The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, which is based in Houston TX, has been led by the Revd Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson. Msgr Steenson was a former bishop of the Episcopal Church. Prior to resigning his See and joining the Roman Church in 2007, Msgr Steenson was the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. On 24 NOV 2015, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter issued a press release announcing that Pope Francis has appointed the Revd Msgr Steven J. Lopes to become the first bishop for the ordinariate. Msgr Steenson’s retirement became effective with the announcement of the bishop-elect, however he will serve as the ordinariate’s administrator until 2 FEB 2016, the scheduled date of Mgr Lopes’ consecration.
The bishop-elect is a 40 year old priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Francisco. He has served two parishes in CA but has been an official of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican since 2005. He received his theological education at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned a licentiate and a doctorate.
Additionally, the press release announced that the ordinariates will begin worshipping on the First Sunday of Advent (29 NOV 2015) from Divine Worship: The Missal, the new liturgy approved for use in the ordinariates. “Bishop-elect Lopes was directly involved in developing these texts for worship; since 2011, he has served as the executive coordinator of the Vatican commission, Anglicanae Traditiones, which produced the new texts.” The liturgy is said to share the heritage of Anglican Worship with the Roman Church.
The images are form the website of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.
Information for this story was gleaned from various topics at Wikipedia.com
The full press release from the ordinariate may be read here.