Monday, January 16, 2012

Ordinariate Anniversary and a Triumph

My congratulations to the the Ordinariate on it first anniversary. Mgr Newton writes poignantly in a Pastoral Letter:
What of the future? We face it with faith and hope, committing it to the Lord. There is a constant stream of men and women being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate, we expect several new groups to be received at Easter and we are preparing for a number of ordinations to the priesthood around Pentecost. In addition several young men are exploring the possibility of ordination within the Ordinariate. This is all extremely encouraging but could be a strain on our limited financial resources. I ask you to be generous in your financial stewardship; not simply making your financial contributions in response to needs but in response to God’s overwhelming generosity to us in Christ “who though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” 2 Cor 8:9. If we all do this we will be able to prepare for the future with confidence.
One of the more interesting elements of the anniversary was the Oxford University Latin Sermon preached in the University Church by (Fr) John Hunwicke, the former Vicar  of St Thomas' Oxford who is still patiently waiting to hear if he is to be ordained as a Catholic priest of the Ordinariate.
Fr Z pipped me the post on this one, you can find JH's sermon, in Latin, and a paraphrase of which this is an excerpt on WDTRS.
The walls around us heard Newman’s ‘silver voice’ gathering in great herds of young men. As an Anglican, he worked for unity in writings such as Tract 90; but his voice was not the only one to do this. Edward Bouverie Pusey, most learned man of his age, author of an Eirenicon, preached a University sermon on the Eucharist, crammed with quotations from the Greek Fathers, which led to his suspension, for two years, from preaching before the University! A Bampton Lecturer, Eric Mascall, mathematician as well as theologian, defended Catholic truth and wrote of the unity of the Eastern and Western Churches. Such men exemplified Archbishop Michael Ramsey’s description of the Anglican theological method as “Divinity done within the sound of church bells”! These and men like them may have died as Anglicans, but they are such as Aidan Nichols, a Roman Catholic theologian, had in mind when he coined the felicitous phrase “separated doctors of the Catholic Church”.
It is a great sadness for me and for many both inside the Ordinariate and outside that John Hunwicke preached this sermon as a layman, with permission of Monsignor Newton. It is a sign of the openness to the Ordinariate and of respect for him personally that John Hunwicke was chosen by the University to preach the Latin Sermon this Year. This really should have been considered a small triumph for the Ordinariate but instead has been passed over with scarcely a word.
For many on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the Tiber JH embodies and articulates the "patrimony" not just of Anglicanism but more particularly of the Oxford Movement, not just in his erudition and knowledge of the Classics and the Greek and Latin Fathers but his ability to express their thought in a quintessentially English manner. For those who count themselves as the tattered, not yet swimming, remnant of the Oxford Movement his non-ordination, one of only two, is a source of anxiety which seems to suggest that the sons of Pusey are not quite welcome in the Catholic Church as the Pope might have suggested and the Church in England has not quite assimilated Newman's legacy.


Joshua said...

I for one - and I am would be the least in a very long list I am sure - would gladly petition for him to be ordained forthwith, and with the ecclesiastical equivalent of backpay (I ask not for apologies - they are for heretics and such - and we mustn't expect prodigies and miracles).

If no E&W bishop will lay hands on him, too-Catholic ex-blogger as he is, how about the Holy Father? The Ordinariate being what it is, the Ordinary is a Vicar of His Holiness; and I daresay BXVI could fit one more candidate into an upcoming ordination at St Peter's in Vaticano.

Little White Squibba said...

Whenever Fr Hunwicke gives public utterance (such as here and in Texas) we are brought back to the original inspiration of the Ordinariate: continuity, synthesis and variety within the framework of orthodoxy. That these qualities have so quickly been largely lost sight of is a testimony to the political skill of the Roman Catholic authorities in England and to the willingness of the Ordinariate to surrender their independence of thought.
The fact of his preaching this sermon, and still more the content of it, will not endear the preacher to the authorities who have been so anxious to put him in his place. It will be seen as dreadful boat-rocking.

georgem said...

How desperately the Catholic Church needs priests like him but I fear that as far as the authorities in E&W are concerned he is too smart for his own good.
The delay in his ordination, and that of others brave enough to come into full communion with us, runs directly counter to the intention of the Holy Father and is nothing short of a disgrace.
I would gladly sign a petition, but I am unsure whether it would help his cause or risk further pettifogging entrenchment.
I am sure I am not the only one offering up prayers for him daily, my chosen sponsors being Sts John Fisher and Thomas More, as well as petitions to the Holy Spirit to pierce the hearts and minds of our bishops with grace and courage.

John Ross Martyn said...

Cannot we be told why Father Hunwicke cannot be ordained as a Roman Catholic priest?

vetusta ecclesia said...

I think that what terrifies the RC hierarchy is the fact, fully exemplified in Fr JH, that the Anglican clergy are so much brighter and better educated in every way than their Roman counterparts.

Fully agree with all comments on this fascinating and outstanding man.

Sue Sims said...

This is one of those excruciating (almost in the original sense) situations where any attempt to do something (petitions, etc) would probably end up making things worse. Prayer is all we can do - and for those who have his contact details, personal messages of support.

Fr William R Young said...

I have followed Fr Hunwicke's bloggings for a very long time, and with great pleasure and edification. It does smack of meanness that he has not yet been accepted for ordination, but holy desires grow by delays. For all our support, we need to remember that no one has a right to ordination. When one remembers the public utterances of so many ordained over the years (not Ordinariate!) one does wonder what it is substantially that is objected to in Fr Hunwicke. But then, only gold bears testing by fire.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I don't entirely agree, some are, some aren't.

I am often shocked by the lack of theological formation or even catechetical formation of many Anglican clergy, especially in those branches of Anglicanism that are by nature touchy-feely.
Often theology is replaced by sociology.

Ahenobarbus said...

I am a great 'fan' of John Hunwicke's blogging (albeit scant of late): I hope he takes heart and, 'perseverans in bono', returns to address us as Fr. Hunwicke once again.

Alan Harrison said...

For those of us who have not (yet) swum the Tiber, the derferred ordinations are a stumbling block - or, more precisely, the _omerta'_ (sorry, can't do italics or diacriticals in your combox, Father)which surrounds them is.

In Fr Hunwicke's case, it is pretty clear that something in his blog has rattled someone's cage. If you like the blog, as I do, you would describe it as scholarly. If you don't like it, I suppose you might describe it as pedantic, but I find it difficult to spot anything which might constitute a bar to his "remoulding".

The other case, if I have correctly identified the person you mean, is in some senses even more disturbing, but comment would be impossible without unfairly identifying him.

motuproprio said...

One very clear lesson is that the St Luke's Centre in Manchester has to be treated with the utmost seriousness. verb sap

FrBT said...


Is there a committee that investigates St Luke's centre in Manchester? I refer to the number of referrals, finances, qualifications of the staff, administration etc.

By committee - I mean independant persons, who are specialist in their own fields.

I have heard of several harrowing stories coming from people who have been to St Luke's in Manchester.

I would like to know if the Director of the Centre is independant from the Curia in Salford Diocese?

Are the personnel qualified to the required specs by British Governing Bodies?

I am not convinced that I would give this Centre a 100% pass rate to clarity and probity.


GuidoM said...

That place in Manchester, having been through it myself is nothing short of shocking and heretical!

I shall stop there and say no more lest i go mad.

But motuproprio you are right. You have to play their game if you want to get anywhere

RIchard said...

Have never been comfortable with the way that St Luke's operates - I have known of excellent candidates for the priesthood give up because of the ordeal endured there, and priests who have abandoned the ministry because of the shocking way in which they were dealt with there. A mere anonymous complaint can lead to a priest being sent there for "assesment" by people who have obtained spurious degrees in the u.s.
I read about the campaing to order disclosure of the 'secret archive' which each bishop keeps. I wonder if a priest could compel his bishop to release the information held in the archive under a FOI request?