Rome-bound US Anglicans to Have Ordinariate Jan. 1

BALTIMORE, Maryland, NOV. 15, 2011 ( Anglicans in the United States who seek full communion with the Catholic Church will have an ordinariate on Jan. 1.

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Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., announced this today during the fall plenary meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore.

Cardinal Wuerl is the Vatican’s delegate for the implementation of «Anglicanorum Coetibus» in the United States. That document is Benedict XVI’s 2009 apostolic constitution, which offered a way for groups of Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church through the establishment of personal ordinariates, a new type of canonical structure. 

These ordinariates are geographic regions similar to dioceses but typically national in scope. The first was established in England; the U.S. ordinariate will be the second.

Parishes in these ordinariates are Catholic yet retain elements of the Anglican heritage and liturgical practices. They are led by an «ordinary,» who will have a role similar to a bishop, but who may be either a bishop or a priest.

The ordinary for the United States will be named Jan. 1.

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