Greetings from Rome–and the joy of hearing Cardinal Sarah speak

20190513_074708Greetings from Rome.

I apologize for the light blogging as in the run up to my trip I had one of the busiest weeks in my work life as a journalist covering the events around Canada’s National March for Life. 

I caught a cold even before the events got into gear, so I had to martial my energy carefully to make it through the week.

Part of the reason why I’m here is related to the Symposium 2019 in October to mark the 10th anniversary of Anglicanorum coetibus.

Today, I met Patrick McCain, a seminarian of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter who is at the North American College, (he’s holding the umbrella) and Fr. Walter Oxley, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  I will attend Vespers at the College tomorrow night and take Patrick out for supper.


I seem to have brought Ottawa weather with me to the Eternal City.  It’s cloudy and chilly, with rain and temperatures around 5 or 6 C predicted for tomorrow.  A highlight of my trip is that I attended an event where Cardinal Sarah presented his latest book with Nicolas Diat: Le soir approche et déjà le jour baisse.


The event was in French, but I understood everything said well enough to be riveted.  Cardinal Sarah decided not to speak about his new book, and instead about Pope-emeritus Benedict’s recent letter: The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse.  

He expounded on the letter, stressing that as Pope Benedict said, the sexual abuse crisis is a crisis of the loss of faith in God.  He said it is true that homosexuality is not the cause of the sexual abuse crisis, but is, instead, a symptom of the loss of God, as is all unchaste behavior on the part of priests.  He told me he plans to publish the text, and when he does I will provide a link.



From all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment, Good Lord, deliver us.

IMG_5298_3Last week there was news a group of theologians, clergy and others, including Fr. Aidan Nichols, OP and Fr. John Hunwicke, had signed a 20-page letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy and asking the bishops of the Catholic Church to act.

We have great affection for Fr. Aidan Nichols whom many of us met personally in 2011 when he addressed a conference aimed at Anglicans interested in a possible ordinariate.  He’s shown above with then Bishop Peter Wilkinson of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.  He is now Msgr. Peter Wilkinson and retired in Victoria, B.C.

Upon reading the news of the letter I felt like I was trying to navigate between the Scylla of heresy and the Charydis of schism.  I do not like this tension between the Catholic faith as handed down from the Apostles and loyalty to the Pope who is a sign of unity and Communion.  The Pope should be the guarantor of that Catholic and Apostolic faith, and that is the reason why he is a sign of unity.   When I became Catholic I was not required to believe the Pope is an oracle of the Holy Spirit and everything he says on a plane or in a private letter is directly the voice of God.  There are limits on the definition of papal infallibility.  In some quarters, however, you would never know that.  Seems those most dissident under Pope Benedict XVI are singing the oracle song today. Continue reading

Join us in Rome for Symposium 2019

IMG_1798Now is the time to register for Symposium 2019, an academic conference on the liturgical, ecumenical, ecclesial and canonical implications of Anglicanorum coetibus on its 10th anniversary.

You can find details of the symposium and registration here.

Space is limited and if you are planning on traveling to Rome, best to book your accommodations as soon as possible.

Register here:

Great interview with Andrew Petiprin on “Becoming Catholic in a Time of Scandal”

Peter Jesserer Smith has a great interview up at the National Catholic Register with Andrew Petiprin, a former Episcopalian canon working in the chancery of an American diocese, who became Catholic with his family on Jan. 1.

Some might therefore look at Andrew Petriprin as a man who has sold everything to run into a burning house. He left his priestly ministry and position as a canon to the bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee to follow Jesus Christ’s call to enter the Catholic Church Jan. 1, the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.

But Petiprin told the Register that amid the Church’s worst scandal since the Reformation era, there is an “outpouring of grace happening now” — and that, for whatever reason in the midst of this present crisis, God has drawn him and other Christian disciples of Jesus Christ into the fullness of communion and truth found in his Catholic Church.

And, of course, we have to look at what he says about Anglicanorum coetibus and Anglican patrimony! Continue reading

Ordinariate member elected Premier of Alberta

The newly-elected Premier of Alberta is a Catholic of the Anglican tradition, belonging to the Canadian Deanery of Saint John the Baptist.29103747_10156137311342641_5846974212161377586_n_0

Yesterday, the Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MLA, a former federal cabinet minister responsible for numerous portfolios, including as Minister of Defence, was elected the new Premier of Alberta with over 55% of the vote, winning 63/87 seats and a huge majority.

The ordinariate Catholic community is delighted to see one of our own elected as the new Premier of Alberta, a province with two ordinariate communities.

Raised Anglican, Jason became Catholic about thirty years ago when in university. Many people see the ordinariates as a gift to those Anglicans still seeking to become Catholic without leaving behind their heritage, but for many of our members, like Jason, the ordinariate is a restoration of the Anglican tradition to Catholics like them who had previously had to give it up.

As Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Minister for Multiculturalism, Jason became acquainted with and befriended religious communities of all cultural backgrounds, and is understood to have met almost all the patriarchs of every Catholic and Orthodox rite or tradition. He surely understands the beauty of the Catholic Church’s diversity in unity, of which the Anglican ordinariate is a special part.

Congratulations to Jason and to his entire team, and may God’s blessings be upon them as they receive this mandate and embark on this time of public service to the people of the great province of Alberta.

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Podcast with Msgr. Carl Reid now up

215The podcast interview with Msgr. Carl Reid is now available on the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society website.

Thank you to Tim Motte from the cathedral parish of Our Lady of Walsingham for editing and production work.

In other news,  seems the Australians and the Canadians are getting a jump on registrations to Symposium 2019 marking the 10th anniversary of Anglicanorum coetibus.  

If you plan to travel from overseas, now’s the time to make your reservations.




Vatican enhances Ordinariate norms

For only the second time since they were initially promulgated, the Complementary Norms for the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus have been updated, and the two provisions of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI for Catholics of the Anglican tradition have thus been confirmed and strengthened by the Holy See.

Image (3)Some of the changes made to the norms are somewhat cosmetic but others reflect, for the most part, current practice, thus entrenching what is already normally done in the ordinariates. The most important of these changes explicitly link the Ordinariate to the Pastoral Provision and affirm the Catholic identity of the Anglican liturgical tradition belonging to the ordinariate.

Back in November 2009, the constitution and its norms were released at the same time and came into effect simultaneously. Since then the Complementary Norms have been updated only once, under Pope Francis, in May of 2013, when a single clause was added specifying that cradle Catholics may join the ordinariate in certain circumstances. [The previous §2 (2009) then became §3 (2013), and because of these latest changes is now §4 (2019).] Continue reading