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The Ordinariate Again

Digitalnun has not had a good week. Perhaps it's because she is still a bit groggy, or perhaps it's because her voice is too hoarse to manage a querelous tone, but she is slightly moithered by the latest pronouncements about the Ordinariate. Archbishop Rowan has reacted with his customary courtesy and good nature, seeing in the Ordinariate a hope of a revaluing of Anglican patrimony, but the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have had to tackle the nuts and bolts of setting up the Ordinariate and have come up with some surprising (to Digitalnun) statements.

£250,000 to fund the Ordinariate was the first surprise: that seems very little indeed, scarcely enough to do more than pay for a small office and its telephone bills. Perhaps the bishops are not expecting many to take the Ordinariate route. That would seem to be the case. Then the timetable for ordination seems amazingly short: former Anglican bishops to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood by Easter, other Anglican clergy around Pentecost. The idea presumably being that ordination will precede further study and formation. So much for long and mature discernment! I can't help wondering whether it will allow Anglicans wishing to join the Catholic Church through the medium of the Ordinariate enough time to discover what the Church is like from the inside, and what they would be taking on by ordination. Finally, Archbishop Vincent has made it perfectly plain that the Catholic Church in this country is not expecting any buildings to accompany migrating clergy and parishioners. I never thought there would be, but it is good to have it properly acknowledged.

All in all, enough to make Digitalnun wrap a wet towel round her head while she gets down to the business of prayer because, joking apart, these are serious matters affecting the life and happiness of many. When the Bishops' Conference issues statements one doesn't quite understand, it is always wise to go straight to the top. God, after all, is in charge -- no matter how much we, his servants, think we are.