Pope approves updated norms for former Anglicans/Episcopalians

13 April 2019
Pope Francis signs a document. Image: Vatican Media/FILE.

 

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith publishes new complementary norms for former Anglican ministers and lay faithful who have joined the Catholic Church.

Released on Tuesday, the updated Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus were approved by Pope Francis on March 8th and signed by Cardinal Luis Ladaria and Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, Prefect and Secretary of the CDF, respectively, on March 19, 2019.

Anglicanorum coetibus governs the institutions and Personal Ordinariates that minister to the lay faithful originally of the Anglican tradition, known as Episcopalians in the United States.

The updated Complementary Norms integrate the experience of the past 10 years and seek to make their application more in tune with the spirit of the Apostolic Constitution.

Currently, three Ordinariates of former Anglican ministers and lay faithful exist: the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales; the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States; and, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.

The new Norms introduce several modifications to those promulgated in November 2009.

Liturgical celebrations

The most substantial change regards the use of the Missal, known as Divine Worship, in liturgical celebrations. An entire article, number 15, was added to regulate the liturgical form approved by the Holy See for use in the Ordinariates.

Divine Worship “gives expression to and preserves for Catholic worship the worthy Anglican liturgical patrimony, understood as that which has nourished the Catholic faith throughout the history of the Anglican tradition and prompted aspirations towards ecclesial unity.”

First, use of the liturgical form is restricted to the Personal Ordinariates.

Second, the Norms allow any priest incardinated in an Ordinariate to celebrate Mass according to Divine Worship when not in a parish belonging to the Ordinariate, if done privately. The celebration of Mass with a congregation is possible, if the pastor of the church gives his permission.

Third, if a pastoral necessity exists or no Ordinariate priest is available, any diocesan or religious priest may celebrate Mass according to Divine Worship for members of the Ordinariate. Non-Ordinariate priests may also concelebrate Mass under the liturgical form.

Pastoral Provision

Two changes are made to Article 4. The updated Norms extend the Ordinariate to allow former Anglican ministers already incardinated in a Catholic Diocese by virtue of the  Pastoral Provision to be incardinated into a Personal Ordinariate. They also say that clerics joining an Ordinariate must excardinate from their former Diocese.

The Pastoral Provision was issued in 1980 to receive married former Anglican clergy into ordained Catholic ministry in the United States.

Baptism of lay faithful

A new paragraph is inserted into Article 5. It says any validly baptised Christian who was evangelised by the Ordinariate may join it by receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist. A person who has not been validly baptised may also join through the Sacraments of Initiation.

Clergy formation

Article 10 regards the formation of clergy, and was adapted to the current situation. The new Norms change “candidates for priestly ordination” to “Ordinariate Seminarians,” who study at institutions with Latin-rite seminarians.

It also allows the Ordinariate to organise its own programs for the ongoing formation of clergy.

With thanks to Vatican News and Devin Watkins, where this article originally appeared.

 

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