On 15 January 2011, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a Decree which formally established a ‘Personal Ordinariate’ in England and Wales for groups of Anglican faithful and their clergy who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
The establishment of this Ordinariate was the first fruit of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which means groups of Anglicans, issued by Pope Benedict XVI on 4 November 2009. The Constitution and the Complementary Norms published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith provide the essential norms which will enable members of the Ordinariate to preserve within the Catholic Church those elements of Anglican ecclesial prayer, liturgy and pastoral practice (patrimony) that are concordant with Catholic teaching and which have nurtured and nourished their Christian faith and life.
The Ordinariate exists for those Bishops, Priests and people in the Anglican Communion who seek to enter the Catholic Church and be in full communion with the Successor of Peter: not just those who seek to enter it now, but those who will do so in years to come; and who retain a love and a gratitude for the Anglican forms of faith and worship which are part of the Church’s heritage, and which make up what is called our patrimony.
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