THE TIBER BECKONS
|The Tiber looking toward S. Pietro|
It has been a little over a year since the Holy Father's surprisingly generous establishment by means of the Motu Proprio "Anglicanorum Coetibus", of special arrangements to facilitate the reception into the Catholic Church of those Anglicans who had petitioned the Holy See in large groups for admission.
The Holy Father's special arrangements- namely the provision of Ordinariates to receive them- were never going to be a "quick fix". There are in each case many and varied details to be attended to and special cases to be reviewed. But now, contrary to the expectations of the great ecumenist Bishop Michael Putney of Townsville and his Metropolitan, Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane, numerous cases around the globe are near to realisation.
No sooner had the Putney/Bathersby "spin"been put on the issue, than the Anglican Bishop of Chichester in England , Bishop John Hind, announced his intention of becoming a Catholic via the Ordinariate route. Within days Bishop Broadhurst of Fulham made a similar announcement commenting "the Anglican experiment is over".
In February, 2010 a meeting of Australian Traditional Anglicans voted to proceed formally to participate in the formation of the Australian Ordinariate. At about the same time the former assistant Anglican Bishop of Newcastle announced he had become a Catholic and is now living in London - "I'm very happy just being an ordinary Catholic" he said.
The lead-up to the Holy Father's visit to Scotland and England somewhat obscured news of further developments. However in the wake of the spectacularly successful visit, signs of movement are again appearing.Two Anglican ministers, Rev Giles Pinnock of St.Mary-the-Virgin in Kenton north of London and Rev Robin Farrow of St.Peter's West Blatchington in East Sussex have both announced that they are entering the Catholic Church ahead of the Ordinariate's formation.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in Canada, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada has voted to formally request of the Catholic Church admission to an Ordinariate for Canada.
Back in the U.K. , the number of Anglican Bishops joining the Catholic Church has risen and the entire Parish of St.Peter's at Folkestone ,which is in the Archbishop of Canterbury's own diocese, has voted to become Catholic.The additional Bishops becoming Catholic are : Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough, Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet and retired Bishops Edwin Barnes of Winchester and David Silk of Exeter.Similar meetings to that which brought about the Folkestone vote are known to be arranged for St.John the Baptist Parish , Sevenoaks, Kent and Holy Trinity Parish, Winchmore Hill north of London
Across the Atlantic 10 out of 12 Episcopalian Nuns in Baltimore have decided to become Catholics.And elsewhere in Maryland the vast majority of Mount Calvary Episcopal Parish has voted to become Catholic under Ordinariate provisions.
Meanwhile, back in the old Country the London Telegraph reports that a group of 50 Anglican clergy hs requested admission to the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate provisions.
Whew! Let us hope and pray that all of these conversions are handled very carefully and efficiently and above all with great pastoral care and continual charitable formation and guidance .