Baltimore, Md., Nov 15, 2011 / 16:15 pm
Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl announced today that an Anglican ordinariate in the United States will be canonically erected on Jan. 1, 2012, the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.
“I remain convinced this ordinariate will be a true expression of the Catholic Church,” said Cardinal Wuerl, who made the announcement Nov. 15 at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore.
Cardinal Wuerl is serving as the Vatican's delegate for establishing a U.S. Anglican ordinariate.
He explained that he recently received a letter from Cardinal William Joseph Levada, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying that Pope Benedict has approved the erection of a U.S. ordinariate.
Ordinariates are similar to dioceses but typically national in scope. Pope Benedict authorized the creation of ordinariates for Anglican communities seeking to enter the Catholic Church in his 2009 apostolic constitution, “Anglicanorum coetibus.”
They will allow entire communities to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage and liturgical practices.
Cardinal Wuerl said that he anticipates approximately 2,000 people joining the American ordinariate when it is established in January.
He explained that two Anglican communities – one in the Diocese of Fort Worth and the other in the Archdiocese of Washington – have already come into full communion with the Catholic Church in anticipation of the new ordinariate being created.