Ottawa Archbishop responds to blog

_MG_890555Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, who received our parish into the Catholic Church five years ago, not only retweeted my tweet of the post “The Myth of the Disgruntled Anglican,” he commented on it:

Replying to

The five years have passed very quickly: may your joy continually attract others to the Roman Catholic family…

What a blessed Archbishop Prendergast was to us in the run-up to our coming into the Catholic Church.  He continues to be a blessing to us and to the whole archdiocese which is alive with fruitful apostolates that he encourages.

Back in the days when our parish was a member of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada and so disdained by the Anglican Communion that many Catholic bishops did not want to associate with us because it might upset ecumenical partners, Archbishop Prendergast always had time for our clergy and treated them the same as he would any other clergy.

_MG_884237When we were received into the Catholic Church, he not only assigned a magnificent mentor priest, Fr. Francis Donnelly, a Companion of the Cross, to look after our Sunday Masses and be present while then Bishop Carl Reid led our catechesis to prepare for entry into the Catholic Church, Archbishop Prendergast came to celebrate our then Anglican Use Mass a few times.

He even took time out of his busy schedule to rehearse!  I kidded him whether he had to train for the ballet of genuflection in our Mass, but he said he was used to it since he also celebrates the Extraordinary Form at the Fraternal Society of St. Peter (FSSP) parish in the Ottawa archdiocese.  Our first Christmas Eve, when Fr. Francis was unable to come to celebrate Mass, nor could any of his brother Companions, Archbishop Prendergast came himself.  What tremendous paternal care he showed us!

_MG_884136.jpgWhen he received us into the Catholic Church, he again celebrated the Anglican Use Mass ad orientem.  Note the altar arrangement!  Fr. Francis proclaimed the Gospel. Archbishop Prendergast used some of the finest gold vestments in his cathedral sacristry for the occasion.

The gift of Fr. Francis meant that when he couldn’t come to celebrate Mass he would send a brother Companion.   One who came most frequently was the former General Superior of this wonderful charismatic, Marian, Eucharistic and Magisterial order, who is now Bishop Scott McCaig of Canada’s military Ordinariate.

3 thoughts on “Ottawa Archbishop responds to blog

    • Yes, and a model in the quest for Christian unity that I pray all Catholic bishops to emulate!

      Going back to the address by Bishop Lopes at the University of Vienna (Austria) a couple months ago, I find the following paragraph to be particularly insightful.

      From 1960 to 2005, there were no fewer than 7 serious attempts to effect a corporate reunion of an Anglican Ecclesial Community with the Catholic Church. All efforts ultimately failed, though it was extremely instructive to study the documentation and understand why these attempts failed. Ultimately, this understanding would shape the new approach represented by the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Here, please understand that I can only speak in generalities as the documentation in question remains in the CDF’s closed archives and therefore is under the pontifical secret. But let us say, for example, that if the Holy See worked with a group of Anglicans to elaborate a proposal, and if that proposal was then entrusted to an Episcopal Conference for implementation, and if that Episcopal Conference then simply killed the proposal in committee, then a new approach might involve consultation with local Episcopal Conferences but reserve the actual oversight and direction of the implementation to the Holy See itself. Or if a previous proposal for corporate reunion incardinated the converting clergy into local Dioceses, and if those priests were then reassigned or assimilated into the local Diocese so that they could not minister to their former communities and foster the particular identity of those communities, then a new approach might involve creating a juridical structure which would allow the incardination of priests and the canonical membership of laity so that their distinctiveness was not lost to assimilation into the much larger sea of Catholic life.

      The failure of seven (7) previous “attempts to effect a corporate reunion of an Anglican Ecclesial Community with the Catholic Church” probably was a major factor in the distrust that caused many to bolt when it became obvious that the magisterium of the Catholic Church was taking the most recent overtures seriously. This detail makes the success of the present ordinariates even more crucial for the cause of ecumenism. Resistance, or worse still, sabotage that has come from some other diocesan bishops, which I have to regard as utterly diabolical, obviously has catastrophic consequences for ecumenism that go far beyond the immediate case.



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