Friday, March 23, 2018

A Quick Look At The Complementary Norms

A week ago I was checking on a detail and had reason to look through the Complementary Norms for the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Much of it is de minimis and common sense, and I see nothing unusual there. Other provisions, though, especially those farther down, lead me to question whether the ordinariates in practice reflect what was envisioned at the time Anglicanorum coetibus was promulgated.

Article 3, for instance, is noncontroversial and, at least on its face, ought to be observed:

The Ordinary, in the exercise of this office, must maintain close ties of communion with the Bishop of the Diocese in which the Ordinariate is present in order to coordinate its pastoral activity with the pastoral program of the Diocese.
On the other hand, the February controversy over Our Lady of the Atonement's intent to administer first communion to diocesan Catholic children who attend the OLA school, but who aren't members of OLA parish families, at the age of reason instead of at about twelve according to diocesan policy, indicates that coordination with the pastoral program of the territorial archdiocese isn't necessarily automatic -- and, since this policy applies to Bp Lopes as ordinary, it reflects on his performance.

For that matter, Abp Garcia-Siller had already told Fr Lewis of his preferred policy months earlier -- not a good look for Lopes. As local observers have pointed out, that members of an OLA faction would be running to Church Militant with their version of the story certainly doesn't help matters as they relate to Article 3.

Article 7 seems to be honored mostly in the breach:

§1 The Ordinary must ensure that adequate remuneration be provided to the clergy incardinated in the Ordinariate, and must provide for their needs in the event of sickness, disability, and old age.
Only a handful of OCSP communities can provide compensation for clergy. Beyond that, after six years, it doesn't appear that the communities that can't pay clergy now will ever be able to do so in the future. A retirement program has been implemented, but it has limited eligibility.
§2. Candidates for priestly ordination will receive their theological formation with other seminarians at a seminary or a theological faculty in conformity with an agreement concluded between the Ordinary and, respectively, the Diocesan Bishop or Bishops concerned. Candidates may receive other aspects of priestly formation at a seminary program or house of formation established, with the consent of the Governing Council, expressly for the purpose of transmitting Anglican patrimony.
At minimum, I would be interested to see whatever agreements might be in effect between "the Ordinary and, respectively, the Diocesan Bishop or Bishops concerned". The recent disastrous examples of Frs Kenyon and Reese suggest that priestly formation in the OCSP is not reliable.

And "Anglican patrimony" has never been adequately defined, and in fact is probably not susceptible to definition. In Bp Lopes's Vienna address, he seems to refer to it primarily as a limited number of Cranmerian prayers added to an Ordinary Form English mass, with some English archaisms emended into the canon as well. But the implication here and elsewhere is that the "patrimony" is somehow more than this -- but what it is has never been stated. Thus we have laity insisting to an audience of the faithful that the "Anglican patrimony" exempts OCSP members from the requirement of contrition in the sacrament of penance, without contradiction from OCSP clergy.

§3. The Ordinariate must have its own Program of Priestly Formation, approved by the Holy See; each house of formation should draw up its own rule, approved by the Ordinary (cf. CIC, can. 242, §1).

§4. The Ordinary may accept as seminarians only those faithful who belong to a personal parish of the Ordinariate or who were previously Anglican and have established full communion with the Catholic Church.

One difficulty with this provision is that the definition of "Anglican" isn't clearly established, and a number of current clergy don't strictly qualify. Several have simply been "Anglican" for brief periods while riding a Protestant denominational carousel, which violates at least the spirit of this provision. Others have been members of tiny groups-in-formation that appear to have been established specifically to qualify as "parishes" of which they are members, and only to allow their ordination.
§5. The Ordinariate sees to the continuing formation of its clergy, through their participation in local programs provided by the Episcopal Conference and the Diocesan Bishop.
I would be interested to see if any OCSP clergy have participated in any such diocesan local program.

Artilce 14 refers to potential problem areas:

§2. If there is no vicar, in the event of absence, incapacity, or death of the pastor, the pastor of the territorial parish in which the church of the personal parish is located can exercise his faculties as pastor so as to supply what is needed.
There are few full OCSP parishes, and so far, this particular contingency hasn't occurred. But given the small size of even most full OCSP parishes, I question whether a territorial bishop will think it's worthwhile to divert a diocesan pastor to fulfill this function, when he's probably fully, or more than fully, occupied with his own territorial parish.
§3. For the pastoral care of the faithful who live within the boundaries of a Diocese in which no personal parish has been erected, the Ordinary, having heard the opinion of the local Diocesan Bishop, can make provisions for quasi-parishes (cf. CIC, can. 516, §1).
It's hard to avoid thinking that this provision has been cited by some territorial bishops in resisting the formation of quasi-parishes, apparently at least in St Petersburg and San Bernardino, and at least provisionally in Rochester. Given what must be considered a high defect rate in OCSP ordinations to date, I've got to think this resistance is prudent, and we may well see more instances.