Monday, January 2, 2012

Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Precisely two years ago I wrote a post (link) on an Apostolic Constitution, Anglicorum Coetibus (Groups of Anglicans). Today comes a story in the New York Times telling us of the first implementation of that constitution. An Episcopal group has been joined in communion with the Catholic Church. Its former bishop, Jeffrey N. Steenson, has been named the Ordinary of the Chair of St. Peter headquartered in Houston. My post explains what an “ordinary” means; by this appointment Steenson becomes a member of the United States Conference of Bishops, indeed the first married priest ever (three children).

Soon after my original posting I noticed that that post began gathering a steady readership. At first I thought the title caused this traffic (When the Ordinary is Extraordinary); then I began to wonder; but the stats don’t really tell you anything. My post had noted an event that had taken place on November 4, 2009 and we had read about in the pages of the The American Conservative. The odd coincidence of today’s story on that subject, first broached January 2, 2010 here, appearing in the paper on January 2, 2012, makes me think: Meaningful coincidence. So here it is, recorded.


  1. This is very interesting. Do you think the RCs will use the new Anglican congregations as a means of introducing married clergy more widely?

  2. The "constitution" as now written admits Anglican priests already married. But after the joining of the congregations, new priests to serve them in the future must be celibate. I expect the Church will not back off the celibacy requirement unless it absolutely cannot recruit a clergy for lack of males willing to accept that condition.


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