The text of Bishop Steven J. Lopes homily at the Aug. 27 installation of Msgr. Carl Reid as Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross can be found here.
I urge you to listen to or read the whole thing, for it is a powerful message that exhorts all of us to deeper conversion in Jesus Christ. It also calls us to mission and evangelization.
Here are some key points the Bishop made about the Ordinariates for Catholics of Anglican Patrimony as we approach the 10th Anniversary of Anglicanorum coetibus, Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution that brought the Ordinariates into being.
The Ordinariate is young, very young in the sweep of Church history. As we approach the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the ecumenical vision of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis is only beginning to take shape. At the same time, rather fundamental questions still loom. We are only beginning the demanding process of laying a foundation for the future flourishing of [this] mission diocese. The Ordinary and the Governing Council have to tackle seemingly innumerable questions of finance, policy, development, structure, real estate, and personnel. And all of this is so that our parochial communities can grow into the full
stature of parish life envisioned by the Apostolic Constitution.
My predecessor, Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, compared life in the Ordinariate to building an airplane while also trying to fly it…it takes a lot of duct tape! It is not always easy or even possible to see where this is all headed.
We in the Ordinariate have been given a privileged share in the Church’s mission
of communion and evangelization. I would therefore like to propose that we are to engage that mission one step at a time precisely as the way forward. An essential facet of that mission is preserving and promoting the patrimony of Anglican and English Christianity.
Another essential part of the mission—one dear to the heart of Pope Benedict, I might
add—is the ecumenical value of the Ordinariate. On the personal level, the Ordinariate
provides people with a welcome reception into full communion with the Catholic Church
in a way that is perhaps not so overwhelming to people coming out of a Protestant tradition.
More globally, the Ordinariate demonstrates that unity with the Catholic Church does not
mean assimilation and uniformity. Rather, unity in the expression of the truth of the
Catholic faith allows for a vibrant diversity in the expression of that same faith. The
Ordinariate does essentially that.
Pope Francis has gone to great lengths to underscore the missionary and evangelical
character of the Ordinariate as well, and I would urge you to see his appointment of a new Ordinary here in that light. We have been given extraordinary tools for evangelization: the confidence of Catholic doctrine and sacramental Order; the profound beauty of our liturgy; the rich heritage of our English patrimony; the transparency and accountability built into our governance structure; a joyful narrative about the communion of the Church that we extend to our brothers and sisters who long for the abundant life of Christ without even knowing it.