LONDON, NOV. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Plans are moving ahead for the establishment in January of a personal ordinariate, as outlined in the apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus,” for Anglicans wishing to enter the Catholic Church.
Today the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales released a statement reporting that “five Anglican bishops who currently intend to enter the ordinariate have already announced their decision to resign from pastoral ministry in the Church of England with effect from 31 December 2010.”
“They will enter into full communion with the Catholic Church early in January 2011,” the statement added.
It continued: “During the same month, it is expected that the decree establishing the ordinariate will be issued and the name of the ordinary to be appointed announced.
“Soon afterwards, those non-retired former Anglican bishops whose petitions to be ordained are accepted by the [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith], will be ordained to the Catholic diaconate and priesthood for service in the ordinariate.”
The statement explained that the ordinary and the former Anglican bishops will then be able “to assist with the preparation and reception of former Anglican clergy and their faithful into full communion with the Catholic Church during Holy Week.”
It noted that the date for their reception into the Catholic Church and confirmation will be decided by the ordinary along with the local diocesan bishop, most likely taking place “either during Holy Week, at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday or during the Easter Vigil.”
“The period of formation for the faithful and their pastors will continue to Pentecost,” the statement explained. “Until then, these communities will be cared for sacramentally by local clergy as arranged by the diocesan bishop and the ordinary.”
The ordination of former Anglican priests into the Catholic priesthood will take place around Pentecost, with a continuing “formation in Catholic theology and pastoral practice” for “an appropriate amount of time after ordination.”
The bishops’ conference stated, “In responding generously and offering a warm welcome to those seeking full ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church within the ordinariate, the bishops know that the clergy and faithful who are on that journey of faith will bring their own spiritual treasures which will further enrich the spiritual life of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.”
The prelates underlined their commitment to “do all they can to ensure that there is effective and close collaboration with the ordinariate both at diocesan and parish levels.”
They also affirmed their resolve “to continue their dialogue with other Christian churches and ecclesial communities on that journey towards the communion in faith and the fullness of unity for which Christ prayed.”
“The prayer for Christian unity is the prayer for the gift of full communion with each other,” the bishops stated. “We must never tire of praying and working for this goal.”
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Full text: http://zenit.org/article-31007?l=english