The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross will be the third Personal Ordinariate created by Pope Benedict XVI following the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus was announced in November of 2009. A Personal Ordinariate is a church structure for particular groups of people who wish to enter into communion with the Catholic Church.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Many Anglo-Catholics in Australia have long awaited the day when they might be able to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church just as the fellow Anglicans have been doing recently in the United Kingdom and the North America. Their wait will soon be over.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference issued the following press release:
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, announced today that Pope Benedict XVI intends to announce the establishment in Australia of a Personal Ordinariate for Former Anglicans to commence on 15th June 2012.
A Personal Ordinariate is a church structure for particular groups of people who wish to enter into communion with the Catholic Church.
In 2009 Pope Benedict announced special arrangements to serve groups of Anglicans who wished to join the Catholic Church. This provision allows them to maintain some of the traditions of prayer and worship of Anglicanism.
Personal Ordinariates have already been established in the United Kingdom (2011) and the United States of America (2012).
The Australian Bishops have already put in place procedures to enable clergy and lay church members to join the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate.
Archbishop Hart hopes that there will be a warm welcome to those wishing to enter the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate.
"I am confident that those former Anglicans who have made a journey in faith that has led them to the Catholic Church will find a ready welcome", he said.
This new community will have the status of a diocese and will be known as the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury.
Rather than wait until twelve months after the U.S. Ordinariate was established, the Holy Father wasted little time in offering the invitation from the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus" to those in Australia.
Both Ordinaries for existing ordinariates were quick to offer their heartfelt congratulations.
Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary of the U.S.-based Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, welcomed the announcement with the following statement:
"The news that the Holy Father will establish a Personal Ordinariate in Australia, the third in the world, is truly wonderful, as it marks another important step toward Catholic unity.
"I offer my prayers, good wishes and encouragement to all those who will become part of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, and I pledge the support of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter."
Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for England and Wales, said, "This is great news for the Church in Australia, and for those from the Anglican tradition who are seeking to fulfill the goal of full visible unity with the Apostolic See, whilst maintaining essential elements of our Anglican tradition.
"A close bond already exists between the Ordinariate here in the UK and our brothers and sisters of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. It is my hope that similarly strong ties can be established with our Australian counterparts, especially as we look forward to the publication of a common liturgical use."
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross will be the third Personal Ordinariate created by Pope Benedict XVI following the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus was announced in November of 2009. The goal of this constitution is to serve Anglican clergy, individuals and groups who seek to become Catholic while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage and tradition.
Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online (http://virginia.catholic.org). He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
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