Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Press Conference of the New Ordinary for the Anglican Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales

The Anglo-Catholic has transcribed a press conference given by Fr. Keith Newton, the new Personal Ordinary of the Anglican Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales. The press conference took place on January 17th.

The original audio version of the press conference may be found here, and the complete transcriptions may be found on the Anglo-Catholic (Part I and Part II), but I wanted to share with readers some of the more liturgically oriented sections of the press conference.

First, as the Ordinariate begins to take shape and manifest itself liturgically, some will no doubt have questions about Fr. Keith Newton's use of certain pontificals. Fr. Newton responds accordingly to the question:

I notice you are wearing a Pectoral Cross? What is the significance of that?

It’s quite clear I am not a bishop. I was ordained into the Catholic priesthood on Saturday. But an Ordinary is a person who has jurisdiction — in this case over a given group of people. At present my jurisdiction is rather limited — to three clergy, two wives and three religious. Nevertheless, I do have jurisdiction of this first Ordinariate.

The nearest equivalent is an abbot in a monastery; he can carry a crosier and wear a mitre. Those privileges have been given to me; that’s why I can wear a pectoral cross and a ring. So I am not a bishop, but those privileges have been given to me, and I have oversight of those who will join the Ordinariate.

Will the others be able to wear the pectoral cross and ring?

No, I don’t think they will. They will be able to wear a mitre and carry a crosier when they’re acting on my behalf, for instance when they are presiding at a confirmation, which they will be able to do.

Now, we turn to the question of the sacred liturgy and the liturgical books:

I’m very honest: I am not a liturgist. My colleague Andrew Burnham is a liturgist and he is looking with others around the world at what an Anglican liturgy might be for the Ordinariate. The CDF are fairly keen that there should be one liturgy for the Ordinariates wherever they are, not lots of different ones. There’s obviously the Book of Divine Worship which was produced in the USA for those who became Catholics under the Pastoral Provision in the '70s and '80s. I don’t know whether you’ve seen that book, it is an enormous tome; have you seen it? It wouldn’t fit on the shelf of the pew. That’s got quite a lot of material, and we’ll be looking at that. But we need something that will be acceptable throughout the world. In England it will be used by some but not certainly by everyone in England — not, at least, for the Eucharistic rite. Some of the priests in the Anglo-Catholic world and who will join the Ordinariate already use the Roman Rite and will continue to do so. Some will want to use an Anglican rite which has been ratified by the Congregation for Divine Worship, but that’s a process that’s going on but that’s not my department and I am glad to leave it to Bishop Andrew — sorry, Father Andrew. Old habits die hard.

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