Debate: Will the Ordinariates help revitalise the Church?

An Anglo-Catholic service at Holy Trinity, Reading (Photo: Daniel Lloyd, courtesy of James Bradley)

Anglo-Catholics in England and Wales are preparing to seek an Ordinariate within the next few weeks – possibly even on October 9, the date of Blessed John Henry’s feast day and of his conversion.

Ordinariate groups are already forming across the country. According to the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet, they are likely to be “small congregations, energetically committed to mission and evangelism and serving the neighbourhood in which they are set”. As The Catholic Herald said in its leading article this week, future members of the Ordinariate are essentially offering to help revitalise the mission of the Church.

On the other hand, many people fear the Ordinariates could be divisive. They are yet another faction in the Church, with different traditions and liturgy.

So, will the Ordinariates – and specifically the soon-to-be-formed Ordinariate of England and Wales – revitalise the Church? Or will they be just another source of conflict?