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Ordinariate is here to stay, declares cardinal

05 July 2024


The Rt Revd David Waller at his consecration at Westminster Cathedral, on Saturday

The Rt Revd David Waller at his consecration at Westminster Cathedral, on Saturday

A SENIOR Vatican official has given fresh backing to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the diocese created in 2011 for Anglicans seeking full union with the Roman Catholic Church.

“The Ordinariate’s existence reflects a profound and beautiful reality about the nature of the Church and the Gospel’s inculturation as a rich English heritage,” the Prefect of the Dicastery for Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, said in Westminster Cathedral on 22 June.

The Cardinal was preaching at the consecration of the Rt Revd David Waller as Ordinary and first Bishop Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (News, 3 May).

The Ordinariate’s “meaning and mission”, the Cardinal said, was to offer a “path towards full participation in the gift of apostolic succession” for those who had left the Church of England, while also enabling them to maintain what Pope St Paul VI had called the Anglican Communion’s “legitimate prestige and worthy patrimony of piety and usage”.

Bishop Waller said that Pope Francis had made “a very clear statement that the Ordinariate is here to stay” by sending Cardinal Fernández to consecrate him.

“We’ve moved on from the prejudicial notion that this is just about disaffected Anglicans seeking a ghetto in the Catholic Church. Tiny though the Ordinariate may be, it’s fully part of the Catholic Church, and encapsulates a vision of realised ecumenism which makes it important to the Holy See,” Bishop Waller told the American OSV News.

One of Bishop Waller’s first duties will be to ordain four priests, including the former Bishop of Monmouth, Richard Pain, in London, on 20 July.

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