A written interview with Bishop Lopes in Inside the Vatican

In the May 2017 issue of “Inside the Vatican” Jan Bentz has published an interview conducted with Bishop Lopes in the context of the Liturgical Conference in Herzogenrath, Germany at the end of March 2017. You can read the full interview by clicking on the link above.

Here is an excerpt on discerning “Anglican Patrimony”, a subject very close to our hearts as the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society:

5 thoughts on “A written interview with Bishop Lopes in Inside the Vatican

  1. “The most tangible sign of our patrimony is liturgy, the way that our communities pray”. If we accept the membership figures published elsewhere on this blog, OCSP membership and attendance is at least five times greater than that of the OOLW, and growing. What is the difference? The fact that DW is used pretty much exclusively in North America, while only very selectively in the UK, is surely a factor.


    • I doubt that differences in liturgical use are anywhere close to the primary factor in the apparent difference in growth. The two ordinariates have very different dynamics.

      >> Most of the communities of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham are communities that were under the “alternative pastoral care” of former “flying bishops” John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham, and Keith Newton in the Church of England. The Scottish ordinariate communities and the community of St. Agatha in Portsmouth, which came from The Traditional Anglican Church (TTAC), which was the British province of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), stand out as notable exceptions to this pattern. In this type of situation, it’s difficult to avoid some degree of a “good ol’ boy” network that’s less than fully receptive to others. I think that most of the communities that have come to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham fit the pattern of its founding communities. Even where the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham does have gathered communities, the preponderance of the members came from the Church of England.

      >> According to the comments by Bishop Lopes in a recent interview, the intact communities received into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter came from no fewer than fourteen (14) different ecclesial bodies, and there are also at least a few “gathered” communities whose initial members came from numerous ecclesial bodies. The pastoral leaders of the founding communities thus had to welcome one another as equal partners as a matter of survival. The heritage of coming together in this way makes the institution naturally receptive to welcoming new communities, and there are ongoing efforts to gather new communities where ordinariate communities do not exist.

      What is apparent, however, is that recent developments have made life in the Church of England less tenable for many of the Anglo-Catholic strain of Anglicanism. There’s no doubt that many Anglo-Catholic pastors and congregations are seriously exploring their options and discerning their way forward. Discrete conversations with the leadership of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham are part of that discernment process, but these conversations will remain “under the radar” so actual moves will come as complete surprises to all who are not part of the affected communities.



      • “Good ol’ boy network”? I think you are amalgamating two very icompatible concepts. Brits don’t do “good ol’ boys”. They do Old Boys, and they have a network, but this is an entirely different thing.


    • When we are considering possible reasons for the differences in numbers in the UK and North America, it is important to realise that the Anglican Use/Ordinariate movement is much older in the States than in Britain. Several of the Ordinariate parishes are large, long-standing communities with their own church buildings and considerable financial resources, which is not the case in the UK. It is fair to say that all of the Ordinariate groups in the UK are gathered communities, with only a relatively small kernel of members who came together from one or several Anglican parishes. It is therefore noteworthy that in several parishes growth has been quite astounding. Most Precious Blood and Pembury are examples of this.

      The Ordinariate in the UK owns only one church and has exclusive use of one other (and a chapel). All the other Ordinariate churches are diocesan churches which the Ordinariate either runs or shares, including the two mentioned above and even the Central Church in Warwick Street. The establishment of the first personal parish in Chelston, Torbay, is therefore a significant milestone and augurs well for the further development of the Ordinariate.

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      • Yes, the canonical erection of the ordinariate’s first official parish is a major milestone for both the parish and the ordinariate! And, significantly, this parish did acquire its own church building and other facilities.

        But the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham also has several instances in which ordinariate clergy are serving as the canonical pastors of diocesan parishes while leading ordinariate groups which meet at those parishes. In such situations, there’s typically two Sunday masses — one according to the ordinary form, ostensibly for the diocesan parish, and the other according to the Divine Worship form, ostensibly for the ordinariate community — with combined programs for sacramental preparation, spiritual formation, and other functions, such that the two entities effectively run as one. In such cases, it would make sense for the ordinariate community to have formal status as a parish or at least as a mission, especially where the ordinariate community is the larger.



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