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The Ordinariate: not that big a deal

The Ordinariate: not that big a deal

Riazat Butt of the Guardian has managed a feat that so far has proved difficult for some of her colleagues on the religion beat at London’s major daily newspapers, eschewing sensationalism about the Ordinariate that the Vatican has created to receive disaffected Anglicans.

Her article is here, and for best effect, should be compared to an earlier story by Jonathan Wynne-Jones of the Sunday Telegraph, which is here.

Here is the key paragraph in Butt’s story: Up to 900 Anglicans, including 60 clergy, are preparing to be received into the Roman Catholic faith in special services during Holy Week.

You read that correctly 900 people.

The British press continues to cover the development of the Ordinariate as though each person who leaves the Church of England for Rome deserves his or her own personal news story. But in the normal course of things, much larger numbers of people go back and forth between denominations all of the time. I am guessing that within the last five years at least 900 people have left the Catholic Church for the Episcopal Church in the handful of dioceses within a three hours drive of my house in Maryland.

It isn’t so much that this coverage makes the Church of England look bad–It takes a lot to make me feel sorry for Rowan Williams–but that is presents a distorted picture of the incredibly fluid character of post-modern religious life.


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Clint Davis

I direct music for a Catholic parish, and for me the Ordinariate is a big deal not in and of itself, but because by establishing it, the Roman Church acknowledges at long last that the Spirit has been working within Anglicanism and has produced a remarkable body of work–both artistic and spiritual–that deserves to be the property of the Universal Church. On the ground that means that when I schedule big Anglican hymns, the Pope has my back LOL

Michel Alexandre Salim, AOJN

What saddens me is that the media, Butt included, oversimplies matters to the point that Anglo-Catholics are seen as uniformly on the conservative side of the spectrum when it comes to theology.

This post

has a wonderful overview of the different strands of Anglo-Catholicism. Most of them would cherish being in communion with the Holy See, but not if it involves being placed under the Pope.

John B. Chilton

Alternatively expressed, what Butt is saying is that the ordinate is a big deal because the malcontents are leaving (and will still be malcontents where they end up).

Michel S.

The Telegraph article at least does not make the claim that the new Ordinariate intake speaks for Anglo-Catholics as a whole — as one myself (though a liberal) it irks me when Butt made it seem as if being Anglo-Catholic means being conservative in theology as well as in liturgy.

Michel Alexandre Salim, AOJN

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