While a great deal remains to be worked out with respect to the new ordinariates being created for converts to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism, the BBC today reports an interview (click the title of this blog entry to read it) with Monsignor Andrew Faley, Assistant General Secretary of the English and Welsh Catholic bishops' conference, in which Mgr Faley details some aspects of how the new structures will function in the U.K.
Among the interesting insights in this article:
Those who imagine the ordinariates will function with a high degree of autonomy from the Roman rite parishes in their neighborhoods (like some sort of Anglican "uniate" church) may be disappointed to read Mgr Faley's comments to the BBC that "ordinariate members would be expected to co-operate with their local bishop and the life of their local Catholic parish. 'They can't live separate from it... that would be a "sect" approach and that would not be tolerated within the Catholic understanding of the church,' he said."
Mgr Faley indicates that one should not assume the new quasi-episcopal ordinaries will be former Anglican bishops. Indeed, he thinks it is unlikely that they would be so in England: "Within the nature of the bishops' conference as it currently stands it's almost certain that the ordinary of the ordinariate would be a celibate Catholic bishop. ... There is the possibility that he would be [a married former Anglican bishop] - but within the culture of the bishops' conference I think that's highly unlikely."
In England Mgr Faley says it is unlikely that the former Anglican parishes who join the ordinariate will be able to retain their buildings. They will more likely share facilities with a neighboring Roman rite parish.
The new ordinariate parishes may be served by married former Anglican priests who are subsequently ordained as Roman Catholic priests. However, married men who have not been ordained as Anglicans before they enter the ordinariate will not eligible for ordination. (Mgr Faley does not speak to the question of married men who are already candidates at the time they convert but are not yet ordained.) This was reasonably clear from the Apostolic Constitution itself, but Mgr Faley's remarks do remind me that there will probably not be very many married ordinariate priests within a few decades.
In addition, Mgr Faley says these ordinariate parishes will be using a standard liturgy based upon the Book of Common Prayer rather than the various rites they presently use. (Many Anglo-Catholics in the U.K. actually use the Roman rite today, though Mgr Faley thinks they will no longer be able to do so within the new ordinariates.)
Of course, things might be quite different in the United States. But these are interesting observations, nonetheless.