Saturday 12 June 2021

Understanding the Ordinariate Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony - Father Edward Tomlinson - CTS Explanations

Understanding the Ordinariate: 
Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony
Father Edward Tomlinson
Catholic Truth Society
eISBN 9781784693879 
CTS Booklet EX58 

I have read almost 200 books from the Catholic Truth Society, CTS, over the last several years. This is the fifth title I have read in the CTS Explanations Series. I have read books from many series. And many authors. I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series.  This is the first by Edward Tomlinson that I have read, and I believe it is his only book to date. The description of the booklet is:

“In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI formally responded to petitions for closer unity from many of the Anglican patrimony. Thus, the Personal Ordinariates were created – a new space within the Latin Rite in which the Anglican tradition may flourish: no longer in separation from Rome but now in unity with it. Common questions asked about the Ordinariate are answered here, explaining the different Ordinariates, how they were founded, how they function and relate to other Catholics; how to enter the Ordinariate, and questions on the role of clergy, lay faithful, the Mass, marriage and other topics.”

This is one of the smaller booklets I have read from the CTS coming in at 40 pages. But it is packed full of information. I was aware of the name the Ordinariate but really did not know much about it. This book did an excellent job or remedying that. The chapters in the volume are:

1 Understanding an Ordinariate
2 The Anglican patrimony
3 How an Ordinariate begins
4 Entering an Ordinariate
5 The role of the lay faithful
6 The role of the clergy
7 Marriage questions
8 The Ordinariate liturgy
9 Other questions people ask

This book really did an excellent job of explaining the inns and out of the Ordinariate. It does so in clear and concise fashion. In the preface we are told:

“In the interests of securing unity, in 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI responded favourably to a group of Anglicans who, having come to accept the teaching of the Catholic Church, petitioned to join. In the interests of evangelisation they were asked to enter Catholicism retaining aspects of their Anglican/English spiritual patrimony lost at the Reformation.

The Personal Ordinariates were created - a new space within the Latin Rite in which Anglican tradition may flourish: no longer in separation from Rome but now in unity with it.”

Father Tomlinson does an excellent job explaining this. In many ways it is It is like a mini Catechism on the Ordinariate. It is written in the Question and answer format.  A few examples are:

1.1 What is an Ordinariate?

An Ordinariate is much like a diocese within the Catholic Church, except that it is defined primarily by membership not geography. For this reason its territory overlaps that of established dioceses and can cover entire nations. Governed by a bishop (or designated priest) called an “Ordinary”, membership of the Personal Ordinariates is made up of former Anglicans, their family members and eligible new converts who wish to belong to the Ordinariate.”

2.2 What are the liturgical aspects of Anglican Patrimony?

The document Anglicanorum Coetibus states that “without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican Tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.”

3.2 Does an Ordinariate come under the authority of a local Catholic bishop?

No. An Ordinariate is an autonomous self-governing community and does not come under the authority of local diocesan bishops. Each Ordinariate is accountable to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith only. However, in practice, the Ordinary, his clergy and people work co-operatively with local bishops in the shared mission of the whole Church. Indeed, in many places Ordinariate clergy are caring for parishes that are home to both diocesan Catholics and Ordinariate members alike.

4.3 Can “cradle Catholics” become members of an Ordinariate?

In 2013 Pope Francis widened the remit of the Ordinariates by allowing Catholics who were baptised but not confirmed to be eligible for full membership within the Ordinariate. This gives the Ordinariates a clear missionary focus. Any Catholic who is already confirmed in another diocese is not eligible to become a full registered member but is nonetheless free to worship in an Ordinariate setting and associate themselves with the work and mission of the Ordinariates.”

5.2 Can Anglicans receive Communion in Ordinariate churches?

At the Reformation, Anglicans opted to break from the Bishop of Rome and chose to exist “out of communion” with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church laments but respects the decision. Anglicans are therefore prohibited from receiving the Sacrament at a Catholic Mass, including those of the Ordinariate, Holy Communion being a sign of unity.”

I hope those few examples will capture your interest and inspire you to give this booklet a read. It was fascinating. It is an excellent little book. Give it a read and grow in understanding about this branch of the Catholic Church. I highly recommend this book. Another great read from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For reviews of other books in the CTS Explanations series click here.

Books in the CTS Explanations Series:
Marriage Annulment in the Catholic Church
Jehovah’s Witnesses
Does the Church oppress Women?
Organ Transplant – and the definition of Death
Be Yourself An Explanation of Humility - William Lawson SJ
Gene Therapy – and Human Genetic Engineering
Prenatal tests
Gift of life and Love
Cloning and Stem Cell Research
Contraception and Chastity
Freemasonry and the Christian Faith
Intelligent Life in the Universe
Spirits, Mediums & The Afterlife
Understanding the Ordinariate Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony

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