The Failure of the Ordinariate?

From a recent comment by Fr. Phillips of Our Lady of the Atonement on Rorate Cæli:

When our parish was established a little over twenty-nine years ago, it was the first of the “Anglican Use” parishes. Although we would like to be part of the Ordinariate in this country, we will be waiting until it is more closely conformed to Pope Benedict’s vision. Speaking for myself, I’m not interested in returning to a form of Episcopalianism, even if it is in communion with the Holy See.

This is exactly what I said at the inauguration of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. The Ordinariate, as it is evolving, is not, according to the letter or its spirit, a faithful reflection of the Holy Father’s express will in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum cœtibus. I am not happy to have been the first to make the observation that the purpose of this Ordinariate seemed to be to recreate The Episcopal Church circa 1990, simply without women — or (at least openly) homosexual — bishops. The Ordinary seems a thorough Modernist and is an avowed enemy of Catholic Tradition. While the Rorate Cæli post suggests that Cardinal Wuerl is pulling the strings, I am certain that the Ordinary need not have been unduly pressured to adopt the same positions. After all, it should not be forgotten that Monsignor Steenson is on record as saying that it was only possible for him to become Catholic because of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council!

With respect to the law, the Ordinariate has adopted positions that not only contradict Anglicanorum cœtibus but also the Holy Father’s 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum liberating the traditional form of the Roman Rite. The Mass of the Saints is banned from the venues of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Monsignor Steenson’s priests are using the Novus Ordo Missæ, as opposed to even the Book of Divine Worship, but the TLM has been eliminated.

Just a few short years ago, Monsignor Steenson was a bishop in an Episcopal House of Bishops with supposed women bishops, in a “church” that had canonised contraception and abortion, and all manner of perversion. Certainly it was right that he resign his Anglican orders and convert to the Catholic Church — if only to remain a Christian — but his meteoric rise to power in his new ecclesial home is proving (for the faithful) to have been an unwise decision on the part of the cabal of American bishops with a vested interest in the Ordinariate and who groomed him for the role as Ordinary.

And where pray tell is the Anglican Patrimony in all of this?

It is tempting to ask the question of whether or not the Ordinariate is a failure. From the hopeful perspective of the many thousands of faithful Anglican Catholics who looked to Anglicanorum cœtibus to preserve and propagate the riches of the Anglican Patrimony, yes, the Ordinariate is an abject failure. But something leads me to believe that there was a different, opposing, agenda from the very beginning, and judging the Ordinariate by this purpose and standard, perhaps the whole project is actually a resounding success!

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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  1. Perhaps you should rename your post as “The Failure of an Ordinariate”. I don’t think the one in England and Australia are becoming Episcopal, but they are indeed Anglican in communion with Rome.

    But perhaps the American Ordinariate is not a complete loss. There are parishes there so I have read, that are faithful to the vision of an Anglicanism united with Rome.

  2. Another blog. I’ve got my eye on you.

    Could you please elaborate point by point what you think The North American Ordinariate should look like?
    What evidence do you have that Ordinariate clergy are not using the Book of Divine Worship but Novus Ordo Missae? I am in contact with quite a few of them and I know of none that use it unless they are helping the local Roman Rite parish in which I can see them using NOM. I have a great respect for Father Christopher Phillips, OLA Parish and Academy. Has he abandoned the BDW? I know the Academy uses the NOM during the week on some days in a beautiful Latin, ad orientem, chanted version the way it is supposed to be done.

    As far as your animosity toward Msgr. Steenson let me ask you this:
    Is he doctrinally or dogmatically deficient in any area?
    Is he a Mason?
    Does he support abortion, euthanasia, and/or birth control openly (not in his private opinion)?
    Will he vote for Obama?

    As far as the TLM is concerned I understand his reasoning. I would prefer if he would allow the Old Sarum Use in Latin and/or English which I believe is part of the Anglican Patrimony.

    Hope you are not offended by my interrogation. I am just curious about where you are coming from.

    Are you going to be attending Incarnation Catholic Church?

    This inquiring mind wants to know.

    1. Matthew, I may be able to answer some of these questions for you via email. As you’re already aware, I usually say in my blog posts all that I am prepared to say in that forum and at that time. It should also be obvious that I am in no position to answer some of these questions (e.g. how the man will vote in the presidential election).

      1. ALRIGHTY THEN! I’ll be in touch via e-mail. Thank you for your response.

        That last question was my death-dealing humor.

  3. Regarding this one point:

    “it should not be forgotten that Monsignor Steenson is on record as saying that it was only possible for him to become Catholic because of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.”

    I think the meaning should be understood as “only possible for him to become a Catholic while bringing his Anglican traditions with him,” in which sense I have heard my own pastor Fr. Bradford say the same thing, and I doubt anyone could reasonable accuse Fr. Bradford of being an enemy of tradition.

    As for the other points, it is certainly difficult to understand why the decree about the TLM within Ordinariate parishes has come about, and how it can be justified.

    1. Steve,

      That may be the case, but from my conversation with him last spring in Orlando, and framing that in the context of the very weird and illicit decisions being made by the Ordinary, I do believe him to be a “Spirit of Vatican II” kinda guy.

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