Saturday 30 April 2011

Nazareth near Sandringham: Christopher Howse commends Fr Michael Rear's "Walsingham, Pilgrims and Pilgrimages"

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal William Levada (Prefect of the
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Mgr Keith Newton
and Bishop Alan Hopes (Auxiliary for the Diocese of Westminster and
Episcopal Delegate of the Bishops' Conference of England & Wales
for the Ordinariate), presenting a copy of Fr Michael Rear's
Walsingham, Pilgrims and Pilgrimages
Photo (c) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
Writing in his regular Saturday column, Sacred Mysteries, in today's Daily Telegraph, Christopher Howse takes the journey from one national shrine at Westminster Abbey to another - England's Nazareth. He takes as his guide our President's new book, Walsingham, Pilgrims and Pilgrimages.
If you have not obtained your copy yet, it is available from St Paul's Bookshop by Westminster Cathedral (and other shops in the chain), or to order online, price £19-99. It is a mine of information, with many fascinating details on Walsingham's origins and history, many unfamiliar before Fr Michael's exhaustive researches. It is un-put-downable; a masterpiece.

We warmly congratulate our President on his magnificent and beautiful achievement, a copy of which was presented to Pope Benedict by Bishop Alan Hopes, Episcopal Delegate for the Ordinariate, on the recent visit of Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Sacred mysteries: Christopher Howse finds that the king who rebuilt Westminster Abbey had another favourite shrine, in Walsingham

Detail of a 14th-century pewter pilgrim badge depicting the Annunciation

The man who rebuilt Westminster Abbey as we saw it on television yesterday, Henry III, had devotion to three places of pilgrimage: the shrine of St Edward the Confessor, whose coffin he helped carry in 1269 to its new resting place behind the high altar at Westminster; the tomb of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury; and the Holy House at Walsingham.
King Henry made a pilgrimage to Walsingham, in north Norfolk, not so far from Sandringham, at least 11 times during his long reign of 56 years. Walsingham, which is celebrating its 950th anniversary, is today the most ruinous of his three favoured destinations, yet it attracts large numbers of visitors. Each year, about 300,000 pilgrims visit the Anglican shrine, re-established in 1931, while 100,000 go to the Catholic shrine. This includes some 6,000 Tamils in July alone, half of whom are Hindu.
There is an uncomfortable feeling among the Christians at there being two separate shrines, yet the fact remains that the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are not the same thing. It is notable that the personal ordinariate (the official association for Anglicans who wish to retain corporately some of their religious patrimony after becoming Roman Catholics) is dedicated to Our Lady of Walsingham.
It is fair to say that the flavour of Walsingham's Anglican Shrine is very High Church. At the national pilgrimage at the end of May, Mass will be conducted outdoors, followed by a procession with an image of the Virgin Mary, and Benediction.
What is the notion behind the shrine at Walsingham? It is not focused on the Virgin Mary so much as on the Incarnation of Christ. This is seen through an unusual optic: the Holy House built as a replica of the house at Nazareth, where the angel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus.
The house at Nazareth that was reputed to have been this very spot survived into the late 13th century. A pious legend has it that the house was then transported by angels to Loreto, on Italy's Adriatic coast. But Father Michael Rear in his new book Walsingham, Pilgrims and Pilgrimage (St Pauls Publishing, £19.99) favours the explanation that it was not angels but the Angeli family, related to Byzantine emperors, who transported the stones of the old house to be reassembled at Loreto.
The Holy House at Walsingham, by contrast, never claimed to be built from the stones of Nazareth. Indeed the reputed founder, Lady Richeldis, a noble widow, was instructed in a dream in 1061 to build a house of wood according to specified dimensions. The year 1061 puts the foundation in the reign of Henry III's hero Edward the Confessor. Some would date it to the 1130s. In any case, it was intended to be a setting for devotion to God Incarnate.
Walsingham became one of England's most popular pilgrim destinations. Pilgrims would wear badges – depicting the Annunciation, for example – to show that they had accomplished their end. Then, in 1538, the priory at Walsingham was suppressed, the shrine broken up and the precious offerings (such as the gold crown given by Henry III) carted away. By an irony, the appearance of the statue of the Virgin Mary and Child at the shrine is known only from the seal of the priory attached to the deed of surrender to Henry VIII.
The image is of the "Seat of Wisdom" type. The Virgin Mary is depicted on a throne with the Child on her knee. Jesus embodies Wisdom as described in the biblical book of Proverbs: "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning before ever the world was."
The curtains depicted on the priory seal are taken to refer to the veil of the Temple, hiding the Ark of the Covenant, originally holding the tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. These words of God have as their counterpart the Word of God in St John's Gospel: the Word made flesh.

Walsingham - Pilgrims and Pilgrimage: Review by David Chapman, Secretary of the League

The May 2011 issue of the Portal Magazine has just carried this review of Fr Michael Rear's book on Walsingham by our General Secretary:
This year we are celebrating 950 years since Richeldis’ vision which led to the establishment of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, so it is fitting that a major new work on the subject should be published now. That vision was of the Holy House in Nazareth, and it was in the Holy House in Loreto that Fr Michael Rear conceived the idea which became this book. 
Walsingham, however, is more than 950 years old. The early chapters of this book trace the development of the site as a pre-Christian religious place and then move on to the development of the importance of Nazareth and of the house in which Mary lived. That is the house which was moved by angels to Loreto - a whole story in itself! The triumphant development and growth of the Walsingham Pilgrimage, as it became better and better known and undertaken by royalty, nobility - and ordinary folk - through to the eventual destruction under Henry VIII, is meticulously and movingly chronicled. Although the Shrine was destroyed, the devotion was remembered through the dark days until, through the efforts of a very few people, beginning with Charlotte Boyd and Fr Alfred Hope Patten, the ancient devotion was awoken in the 20th century. The final chapter looks forward to 2061, the Millennial Anniversary, with the hope and prayer that by then the present situation of two shrines - Anglican and Catholic - will be no more and that they will be one again. 
Fr Michael Rear is uniquely qualified to be the author of this book. He has known and loved Walsingham since he was seven years old. He was Anglican Vicar of Walsingham and later, as a Catholic Priest, on the staff of the Shrine at the Slipper Chapel. But more than this, he is a historian who knows how to do his research - his references and reasons for everything he writes make it clear that he is not just peddling his own notions as some have done before him. But this is not a dry and dusty research project; his fluent and easy style make this a compelling read, and his commitment not just to the historical Walsingham but to the spiritual power and meaning of the Pilgrimage to the “Holy Land of Walsingham” shines through the pages. He has also chosen a whole host of illustrations, some in colour, others in monochrome, which are intelligently captioned and well reproduced. They range from the offerings left at the pre-Christian Mercury Shrine up to the beautiful etched windows which were very recently installed at the Chapel of Reconciliation and which grace the front cover of the book. Whether you know Walsingham well and have been a pilgrim for years (and I believe that virtually every priest and many of the lay people who are joining the Ordinariate are already Walsingham pilgrims!) or whether you have never made the journey to this very special corner of Norfolk, you cannot but be interested and captivated by this book. It will certainly be the definitive history of Walsingham for many years to come. But that sounds so dull - and dull this book certainly is not.
 Fr Michael Rear is President of the Catholic League.
Walsingham: Pilgrims and Pilgrimage is published by St Paul Publishing, London 2011; ISBN 978 0 85439 811 9; price £19.95.

Friday 29 April 2011

First Ordinations of the Pastoral Clergy for the Ordinariate

The Revd David Skeoch, Bishop Alan Hopes,
the Revd Professor Allen Brent, Fr Christopher Back (MC)
(c) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
At the Church of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge, two distinguished clergy formerly from the Anglican tradition were ordained to the diaconate for the Catholic Church in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, by the Rt Revd Alan Hopes, Bishop of Cuncacestre and Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Westminster, standing in for Bishop Michael Evans of East Anglia, at his express request, on behalf of the Ordinary, the Rt Revd Mgr Keith Newton, Prot.Ap.

First to be ordained was the Revd Professor Allen Brent, DD, former Professor of History at the James Cook University, Queensland, Australia and currently Senior Member of St Edmund's College, Cambridge. He is an internationally renowned scholar of Patristic theology and early Church history. He was born in the East End, baptised in the Church of England and was also once a member of the Baptist before serving for many years as an Anglican priest. He is also a liturgical and ecumenical scholar, making important contributions to the debates over the influence of Newman in the development of the Catholic Church in the twentieth century and the significance of the revised Roman rite drawing on the Hyppolytan apostolic tradition for Christian Unity. Dr Brent was supported at his ordination by his wife, Cathy. Following his ordination, he was invested in the stole and dalmatic with the help of Fr David Paul, parish priest of St Mary's Catholic Church in Ipswich, and the Revd Dr Michael Robson, Dean, Praelector and Director of Studies in Theology at St Edmund's College.

Second to be ordained was the Revd David Skeoch, a member of the League of long standing. A native of County Durham and graduate of the University of Oxford (Christ Church), for many years he was Chaplain to the Rt Hon and Rt Revd Graham Leonard while he was Anglican Bishop of Truro and then London, before serving for nearly two decades as Vicar of St Gabriel's, Warwick Square, in Pimlico, London. He was also an Honorary Canon of the Diocese of The Murray, Australia. Recently he moved to Suffolk and was received into the Catholic Church, following in the footsteps of Mgr Leonard, along with a small group of lay people he had been ministering to in Ipswich since retiring from St Gabriel's. Following his ordination, he was invested in the stole and dalmatic with the help of Canon Stuart Wilson, rector of St Mary's Church in Chelsea and an old friend from the time they once served together in the Anglican Diocese of London, and Fr Mark Woodruff, priest director of the League and Fr Skeoch's assistant curate at St Gabriel's in 1988-89. Fr Mark commented,
"This is one of the proudest days of my ministry as a Catholic priest. David is not only a fine preacher and excellent teacher, he is a devoted pastor and steadfast friend who has given his life to the service of Christ in the relentless hope of Catholic unity. All those years ago, David taught me how to say mass - properly! - and how it is that life is not to be denied but a gift of joy from God. To think that once again we are in communion and that, God willing, he is to be ordained the Catholic priest he always aspired to be because this was the calling he was certain of, is deeply gratifying. His integrity has not been without cost, but this is the strength of the great and much loved character he is."
The Liturgy of Ordination was a magnificent mutual infusion of the contemporary Catholic liturgical and musical patrimony of the highest quality with much loved elements from Anglican worship. The Catholic tradition was represented by a Kyrie from Plainsong Mass IX by Fr Richard Proulx osb, the Gospel Acclamation by Colin Mawby, and the Sanctus from St Anne's Mass by James MacMillan. The Anglican tradition was represented by the Gloria from the New English Mass II by David Hill, Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers and former Organist of Winchester Cathedral (and before that, Westminster Cathedral) and the Agnus Dei from the Missa Princeps Pacis by W.S. Lloyd Webber, the father of Julian and Lord Andrew, who was for many years Organist of the Temple Church in London.

Another pointer to a mutually enriching shared patrimony of worship was the hymns, two of which also bore the influence of the Christian East, doubtless in honour of Dr Brent's academic expertise. This joyful Eastertide was written by Dr George Woodward, the Anglican cleric who all but invented the modern Christmas carol and was tireless in his translation of continental classic hymnody and the treasures of the Latin and Greek liturgical traditions, imaginatively finding old and new tunes for them to be sung to in Anglican services. He wrote this hymn for Easter, sung to a Dutch Protestant tune, inspired by the poetry of St John of Damascus in the year after his young wife died - "my love ... hath sprung to live this morrow," is especially poignant. Come, ye faithful, raise the strain, translates St John Damascene's Asomen pantes laoi, from the Canon for St Thomas Sunday (that is, Low Sunday), by John Mason Neale, one of the greatest of all translators of Latin and Greek hymns and poetry into English, religious founder and defender of Christian doctrinal orthodoxy in the Anglican Church. Finally, Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son, sung to the stirring tune from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus, translates a hymn by the Swiss Reformed pastor, Edmond Budry. It was an English Baptist minister, Richard Hoyle, whose version of A toi la gloire, O Resusscité from between the World Wars subsequently caught the imagination and enthusiasm of other traditions of which it has now become an inseparable and very popular part.

As Episcopal Delegate of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Bishop Alan has commended to the various Catholic diocesan bishops, who will be conferring ordination on the Ordinariate's candidates in the coming months, the use of a short rite of thanksgiving and prayer devised by his late eminence Cardinal Hume to mark the length of service and valued Christian ministry which serve as the formative foundations of the Catholic ministry of the new priests and deacons of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. This was first employed at the conditional ordination of Mgr Graham Leonard, former Anglican Bishop of London, as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Westminster in 1994 and again at the ordination of a group of twelve former Anglican clergy in 1995. It did not form part of the prayer of ordination itself, but was set as an introductory invocation leading into the Litany of the Saints (although at the Cambridge ordinations Bishop Alan employed it as part of the rite of election of the candidates prior to his homily). It was not always used in other dioceses and after Cardinal Hume's death it was not used by his successor. But its provision was not time-limited and it was never abrogated and, as shown at Cambridge, remains available as an option to ordaining bishops as they judge the circumstances appropriate.

This highly significant act of prayer was more than a gesture. First, it was an appropriate recognition of the two candidates' long and efficacious service as ordained ministers in the Body of Christ, derived in some sense from the communion of the Catholic Church, in the terms expressed in Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism. Secondly, it rooted the present life and development of the Ordinariate within the recent history of the wider Catholic Church in England, the foundations that were laid for the Ordinariate nearly 20 years before and which have now begun to come to fruition, and in a happy recognition of the experience and prior discipleship of brother clergy who have taken the same path to fullness of communion in the past.

Here is the form of prayer, with its preamble, as approved in 1994 by the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship in 1994 for use by a bishop ordaining someone who has previously served as an ordained minister in the Anglican Communion:

Oratio ad gratias agendas pro ministerio ab electo in Communione anglicana expleto [Prayer for giving thanks for the ministry of the candidate completed in the Anglican Communion]

Deinde omnes surgunt. Episcopus, deposita mitra, stans manibus iunctis versus ad electum dicit: [Then all rise. The bishop, having set down his mitre, standing with his hands joined and turned toward the candidate, says:]

N., the Holy Catholic Church recognizes that not a few of the sacred actions of the Christian religion as carried out in communities separated from her can truly engender a life of grace and can rightly be described as providing access to the community of salvation. And so we now pray.

Et omnes, per aliquod temporis spatium, silentio orant. Deinde, manus extensis, Episcopus orat dicens [And all pray in silence for a while. Then, with hands extended, the Bishop prays, saying]:

Almighty Father, we give you thanks for the X years of faithful ministry of your servant N. in the Anglican Communion [vel: in the Church of England], whose fruitfulness for salvation has been derived from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church.

As your servant has been received into full communion and now seeks to be ordained to the presbyterate* in the Catholic Church, we beseech you to bring to fruition that for which we now pray. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Populus acclamat [The people acclaims]: Amen.

*Bishop Alan substituted the word "diaconate" on this occasion.

Thursday 21 April 2011

Receiving the Ordinariate and its Members as a Particular Church: A New Reality within the Fullness of Communion

The South London Group of the Personal Ordinariate of
Our Lady of Walsingham with the Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton,
Fr Gregory Moore and Fr Mark Woodruff
(c) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
After the six weeks of Lent, and a Eucharistic fast since withdrawing from the fellowship of the Anglican Church to realise the corporate reunion of its historic and honoured tradition in fullness of communion with the whole Catholic Church, the first groups who will form the founding personal parishes of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham were received during Holy Week 2011.
The League was represented at the reception of members of the first group, based in Kennington in
South London, which Fr Mark Woodruff, acting priest director, has been accompanying on its journey through Lent at their recent new spiritual home at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church, Kennington, culminating after the great Palm Sunday mass with a simple and most moving Liturgy of First Reconciliation. On Monday in Holy Week, nearly 30 people were received alongside Fr Christopher Pearson their pastor, Mgr Keith Newton, the Ordinary, who then conferred on them the sacrament of Confirmation and Chrismation at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark. Canon James Cronin, dean of the Cathedral, made the group warmly welcome at a beautiful Sung Mass marked by hymns that Catholics and Anglicans have come to share alike as part of a mutual enrichment of their respective liturgical patrimonies. The other concelebrant was Fr Gregory Moore, parish priest of St Wilfrid’s, who stood as sponsor for most of the members of the group.
An interesting note of distinctively Anglican patrimony was the choice of tune for Blessed John Henry Newman’s great hymn, Praise to the Holiest in the height. At the priestly ordination of Mgrs Newton, Broadhurst and Burnham the tune by Sir Richard Runciman Terry, Billing, was chosen. Surely this noble tune, which Catholics love and sing with great conviction, is something of the Catholic patrimony that Anglicans might receive and likewise make their own, as they leave behind John Bacchus Dykes’ Gerontius (in which the tune only works for the first and last verses) and Richmond by Haweis and Webbe (who also arranged the beautiful harmony for Rockingham, the tune to When I survey the wondrous Cross), a workhorse of a tune that does duty for at least two other hymns. Instead, the tune chosen was Chorus Angelorum, written especially for the words by the influential Lakeland composer of the English classical song renaissance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Sir Arthur Somervell. The tune is used for a choral setting of Newman’s text in Somervell’s 1914 devotional oratorio, The Passion of Christ. (By happy historical providence, St George’s Cathedral was where Newman celebrated his first Catholic mass in England upon his return from Rome. The altar he used was, however, destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War.)
The same tune was used on Wednesday in Holy Week at the Mass of Reception at Newman House, the Catholic Chaplaincy to the Universities of London, for the Central London group. Fr Mark again represented the work of the League, having been invited to give a reflection on the wider Catholic Church’s reception of Anglican patrimony a few weeks earlier (this talk will be available in the next edtiion of The Messenger and online here shortly. But in the meantime a reflection from Austen Ivereigh writing on the America Magazine blog, including comments from Fr Mark, can be visited here. He has also written in Our Sunday Visitor for May, interviewing members of the group and, again, Fr Mark. See here.)  Fr Peter Wilson, senior Catholic chaplain, who has been welcoming the group to the Chaplaincy’s mass throughout Lent and contributing to their catechetical formation, received, confirmed and chrismated around 15 of the group. Also present was Fr Mark Elliott-Smith, their pastor, who had been reconciled earlier in the week and stood as sponsor for many of the candidates, along with Fr Roger Reader.
The Central London Group of the Personal Ordinariate of
Our Lady of Walsingham, with Fr Peter Wilson
(c) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
During the week, which saw the reconciliation of almost 1,000 Christians within the fullness of communion of the Catholic Church, it was clear how much of the characterisation and even apprehension about the people who constitute these groups is wide of the mark. By and large, these were not stereotypical Anglo-Catholics or “ritualists”. There were “Prayer Book Catholics” and middle-of-the-road Anglicans too. They were of all ages from children and teenagers to a faithful old lady in her 90s. Reflecting the Church in the Britain of today, not least the Catholic Church they are now fully joining, they were of various ethnic and national backgrounds, black African, Caribbean, white and Asian. Some were whole families; there were married couples; individuals and bands of old church-going friends. Some were relatively new to the Christian Faith; there were young professionals, as well seasoned parishioners who had lived and worked and worshipped in the same communities all their lives. They were simply ordinary, orthodox, Catholic Christians, who had always been believing none other than the same faith as the Church and now had an opportunity to live and profess it in undivided Catholic unity. They seemed to be the types of people who, in any congregation, are the most generous of their time, energies and resources; and it is evident that these embryonic parishes are not newly convened isolated individuals, but coherent fellowships whose unity as an aspect of their life in the Body of Christ has already been forged and tested, and who already form manifestations of the reality of the Church.
This movement that has taken place in Holy Week 2011 is not simply “groups of Anglicans”, it truly is a particular church coming as one into full communion in the Catholic Church in union, around their ordinary, with the successor of Peter in the apostolic see of Rome.

Friday 1 April 2011

Some Catholic Hopes for the Ordinariate: Fr Mark Woodruff

Fr Mark Woodruff, Fr Roger Reader and Fr Peter Wilson
at the Reception of the Central London Group of the
Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
(c) The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
An edited version of the following article was commissioned for the April edition of The Portal Magazine, which the League supports financially.

We are seeing what the Ordinariate means for Anglicans – but what of Catholics?  I suspect most are unconcerned or unaware; many will be amenable or supportive. Yet criticism persists. My hope is it will allay suspicions and soon show that it will enrich us all. Meanwhile, it has been interesting to compare recent criticisms with those dismissed in the early 1990s.
“They are anti-women.” But, by confusing ministry with clerical ordination, few Christian churches have begun to explore the scope of the lay apostolate. I hope that, out of the close involvement and leadership of the laity in Anglican organisational, pastoral, evangelistic and liturgical life, the Ordinariates can reveal new dimensions to the active participation of lay people in the Catholic context, particularly that of women.
“They are disloyal to their own Church. They will bring their party divisions with them.” But Catholic Anglicans have not wanted to undermine their Church, but call it more deeply into the mystery of the Church as a whole. I hope the Ordinariates will add to Catholic awareness of Christians looking beyond the particular - and even separation - to the universal, a reality that has been hard won.
“They are only interested in liturgy.” I hope the Ordinariates will make the most of how their liturgical culture was formed – pastoral presence, a captivating presentation of the Gospel, theological teaching through hymns and sermons of substance, an adoring glimpse of the Kingdom in music and worship. Surely these instincts are Catholic and the Ordinariate will add to the Church’s resources for the re-evangelisation of culture.
“Who do they think they are, telling us about Englishness?”  Our Anglican and Catholic bishops are aware that their churches are not rivals, but speak to different parts of society. I hope the Ordinariate - with its Anglican sense of relationship with civil society, its rootedness in language and culture, and its long experience of Catholic Apologetics - will contribute something between what fellow Catholics and other Christians bring to the discourse between faith and society, of which the Pope spoke so powerfully in Westminster Hall.
 “They will set back ecumenical relations.” It depends on whether you just want relations, or unity on Christ’s, not earthly terms. In the daring imagination behind Anglicanorum Coetibus, for a fluid world one size no longer necessarily fits all. In England we have dioceses, religious orders, the Ukrainian exarchate, the Bishopric to the Forces and ethnic chaplaincy networks. In North America, India, Ukraine and the Middle East parallel jurisdictions are part of the norm. Canon Law also envisages special structures, where otherwise it may be difficult for people to fit in with the normal forms of the Catholic Church. Thus in the Ordinariates the Catholic Church is showing that its imaginative embrace of diversity, even complexity, is the measure of how universal it is.  It ought to be that there is nothing that is truly distinctive of Anglicanism or other traditions for which, in the unity of the apostolic faith, space with integrity cannot be made within the Universal Church that subsists in the Catholic Church. I hope the Ordinariates will be true to a profound ecumenical awareness.
“It’s a fast-track .” But the Ordinariate expressly delivers on 150 years of hopes for corporate reunion. Their clergy and faithful have been formed in a “beloved Sister” and lived a Catholic life, as they prayed for decades for the Churches to unite ecumenically. Now, reconciliation will indeed be personal, but that is no reason to dissipate Anglicans’ existing bonds of communion, already partially shared with the Catholic Church, or to deprive them of their pastors and fail to nurture their ecclesial life. A glory of the Catholic Church is that people can come from every nation, rite and culture and be in the full communion of the Body of Christ wherever they go. I hope that the Ordinariate will likewise signify the abundant possibilities of participating wholly in the community of apostolic faith we share.
“It’s a granny-flat for the Anglo-Catholic fantasy. And a dummy run for the Lefebvrists.” But it implements some remarkable developments in the way the Roman Catholic Church will operate. (A) Each Ordinariate has a mandatory governing council, responsible with the Ordinary for key decisions and involving clergy and lay people. (B) These synodal bodies, not the Nuncio, will recommend the names of successive Ordinaries. And (C) there is ongoing provision for the ordination of married men to the priesthood on a case by case basis.  Whether these are patterns to be followed by the Latin Church more generally, we can only wonder. But as the Ordinariates become a facet of our Catholic identity, I hope they inspire confidence that the long wisdom of other traditions can be embraced in a way that is also true to the Catholic Church.  
Fr Mark is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Westminster and currently acting director of the League.