Cardinal Welcomes Beginnings of US Ordinariate

58 Former Anglicans Received Into the Church

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WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 10, 2011 ( An ordinariate will be established in the United States this autumn, according to the cardinal overseeing the process, who on Sunday received into the Catholic Church almost 60 Anglicans who will be among the ordinariate’s first members.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., affirmed in Scotland last week his hopes that the U.S. ordinariate will be announced «in this calendar year.»

Cardinal Wuerl is the Vatican’s delegate for the implementation of «Anglicanorum Coetibus» in the United States.

That 2009 document offered a way for groups of Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church through the establishment of personal ordinariates, a new type of canonical structure.

On Sunday, the cardinal received into the Catholic Church the majority of members of St. Luke’s Parish, a formerly Episcopal church in Maryland. Their pastor was also part of the group; he is studying for the Catholic priesthood. Another 10 members of the parish were fallen-away Catholics who came back into the Church. A further group is still intending to make the move at a later date.

«Jesus invites us to walk with him through life not just as individuals who have come to know and love him but as members of his family — his Church,» Cardinal Wuerl said in his homily. «All who are anointed in the gift of the Holy Spirit are invited into God’s family — God’s new people — his Church. We speak of Pentecost as the birthday of the Church because it marks the beginning of the ancient Christian community — the formation of what we recognize today as the Catholic Church spread throughout the whole world.»

«Our celebration today is a realization that we are God’s family, God’s people, the beginning of his kingdom, his Church,» the cardinal added. «And we rejoice in the outpouring of the Spirit in the sacraments of initiation. At the same time, we commit ourselves to live out that blessing in the full communion of the Church.»

The ordinary of the only ordinariate established so far, Monsignor Keith Newton of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in the U.K., will celebrate the first Catholic Mass at St. Luke’s next Sunday.


During his time in Scotland, Cardinal Wuerl told the Scottish Catholic Observer that there would be «a time lag between the Holy See announcing that it intends to establish an ordinariate and the actual date of its implementation.»

«I am still hopeful that before this year is out an U.S. ordinariate will be established,» he added.

The cardinal said at least 100 clergy and several thousand Anglicans «want to come into the Catholic Church as groups.»

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