Thinking Anglicans has posted a press release by the Roman Catholic bishops of England in which an anticipated timeline for the establishment of the Ordinariate in England is laid out.
They anticipate that the five previously-announced Anglican bishops will be received into full communion with Rome in early January and ordained Roman Catholic deacons and priests before Lent, so that they might assist with the preparations of the other Anglican clergy and lay people who will be received into the RCC during Holy Week. Those other former-Anglican priests should be ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood around Pentecost. So we should have some idea how big the English Ordinariate will be at the time of its launch around Easter and it should be fully functional by early summer.
Nothing is said in this release about how the clergy and parishes of the Ordinariate will be financed long-term. The Church Times reports, however, that "Archbishop Nichols said that a fund had been created 'so that the Ordinariate can get going', and that money had been sought from 'one or two contributors and trusts'. It had been agreed that RC dioceses would contribute £25,000 to the fund, he said." Of course, there are not any numbers yet available for how many converts or Ordinariate parishes there will be. We shall know by early June if the predictions of fifty priests and around 600 lay converts are accurate.
This is intriguing, to say the least! But is it the earthquake within the Anglican Communion that some were predicting earlier this year? Hmmm. Time will tell.
UPDATE: Britain's Catholic Herald reports that the RC dioceses of Britain have contributed a quarter of a million pounds to formation of the Ordinariate, not just 25,000 pounds as the Church Times reports.
The dioceses of England and Wales have pooled a quarter of a million pounds to fund the Ordinariate, it was announced today.
The news was announced at a press conference this morning by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Catholic bishops’ conference of England and Wales, and Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark.
Archbishop Nichols said that according to the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus the clergy are the responsibility of the Ordinariate, financially and otherwise, but that the bishops had been looking at putting together money from contributors and trusts to form a fund. He said the dioceses have put in a quarter of a million pounds. He said: “We’ll do it together to start with and then it all depends on the Ordinariate.”
Bishop Alan Hopes, who has been one of the bishops in charge of liaison with Anglicans wanting to take up an ordinariate, added that places in which groups were formed, the local dioceses would provide help to Anglican clergy coming over both in terms of housing and financial aid.
The archbishop stressed that the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus was in no way about “acquiring property through this.” He said “the simpler route is the best in that those who come in use Catholic churches.” But he said that the question of buildings would be settled on a local basis, depending on the size of the groups of Anglicans and the arrangements made by the local churches.