THE leaders of the only three communities established for former Anglicans who sought communion with the Catholic Church will meet for the first time in Australia next month.
Monsignor Keith Newton, of the Ordinariate in the United Kingdom, Bishop Steven Lopes, of the Ordinariate in the United States, and Australia’s own Ordinary Monsignor Harry Entwistle will meet in Brisbane at the end of August for their first gathering in Australia.
A representative from the Holy See will also attend the meeting, which coincides with the fifth anniversary of the Australian community, the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, which was formed on June 15, 2012.
The ordinariate, or better known as the personal ordinariate, is one of the Church’s newer canonical structures and allows Anglicans, who desired full communion with the Holy See, to join the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI responded to a request from Anglicans asking to be united with the Holy See in 2009 by promulgating the apostolic constitution titled Anglicanorum Coetibus.
The constitution allowed for the creation of canonical structures called ordinariates within the Catholic Church.
Ordinariates, which function similarly to dioceses, are allowed to maintain traditions of the Anglican Communion, including liturgy, and spiritual and pastoral traditions.
The ordinariates use their own form of the Roman Rite approved by the Holy See called “Divine Worship”, which draws from Anglican sources.
Any Catholic can attend at an ordinariate Mass as it is in full communion with the Church.
The first ordinariate was established in the UK in 2011, followed by the USA in 2012 and soon after the Australian community.
There are now 13 communities within the Australian ordinariate plus two more in Japan.
There are three leaders or ordinaries in the world, and their meeting in Brisbane will be their first public appearance in Australia.
East Brisbane ordinariate priest Fr Tony Iball said the meeting of the three ordinaries in Brisbane was significant for the Australian ordinariate’s fifth anniversary celebrations.
“Celebrating our fifth anniversary with the three ordinaries being present and coinciding with our annual clergy residential meeting helps us to focus on the importance of Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation in Anglicanorum Coetibus for Anglicans to come into full communion with the Catholic Church and the Holy Father,” Fr Iball said.
Fr Iball said the meeting would also be a sign of hope to groups and individuals who seek to unite with the Catholic Church.
“Our gathering and celebrations will also focus on the hope that the establishment of the ordinariates in America, the UK and Australia should not be seen as one-off experiences but should give encouragement by example to other groups seeking unity with the Universal Church and those interested in ecumenism generally to continue seeking unity among Christians after many centuries of division,” he said.
The meeting of the three ordinaries will coincide with a public lecture on the future of ecumenism by Queensland-born theologian and former Anglican, Professor Tracey Rowland on August 30 and a Mass on the Solemnity of Our Lady of the Southern Cross on August 31.
The Mass in August will be celebrated by Ordinary Monsignor Harry Entwistle according to the Ordinariate Missal, Divine Worship, at Mary Immaculate Church, Annerley, from 7pm.