More than 1,400 Anglicans want to join Catholic Church under “Personal Ordinariate” for U.S.
(Romereports.com) As of January 1, 2012, Anglicans in the United States, now have the option of joining the Catholic Church under a so called ‘Personal Ordinariate.’ The decision was established by the pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. This allows Anglicans to join the Church while still keeping part of their liturgical practices.
Its official name is “The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter,” which will be led by former Episcopalian bishop Jeffrey Neil Steenson. It will be based in Houston, Texas.
Jeffrey Neil Steenson joined the Catholic Church in 2007 and was ordained a priest in 2009. The 59 year old priest is married and has three children. Because of this he won’t be ordained a bishop nor will he be allowed to ordain priests. He will however, be part of the Conference of Catholic Bishops where he’ll have voting power.
So far, over 100 Anglican priests have applied to become Catholic priests in this newly established ordinariate. Fourteen hundred Anglicans from 22 different parishes have also showed interest. By being part of this personal ordinariate, members will be in full communion with the Catholic Church.
This is only the second Ordinariate to be established by the Church. The first one was back in January of 2011, under the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for England and Wales. Currently, other cases are also being considered for Australia and Canada.
Worldwide roughly 77 million people belong to the Anglican Church. The U.S. Episcopal Church has just under 2 million members.