Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Modifications of the complementary norms of Anglicanorum coetibus, Prot. N. 217/08-43128, 14 June 2013.
In a letter to the Ordinary of the Anglican Ordinariate for the Chair of St. Peter in the United States, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith communicated modifications to Article 1.4 and Complementary Norm 5.1 of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicorum coetibus. The modification addresses a particular question of who is eligible for membership in the Ordinariate. The changes were confirmed by Pope Francis. The Prefect’s letter follows.
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH14 June 2013
Prot. N. 217/08-43128
Dear Monsignor Steenson,
During the Ordinary Session of this Dicastery held on May 29, 2013, the Cardinal and Bishop Members of the Congregation heard a report on the Personal Ordinariates established under the auspices of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Following that report, the Members considered the specific question of the evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate.
The Apostolic Constitution (Article 1 §4) and the Complementary Norms (Article 5 §1) establish the requirements for canonical membership in the Ordinariate. The question discussed during the aforementioned Ordinary Session was framed this way: If a baptized Catholic leaves the practice of the faith due to a lack of catechesis, and this person returns to the practice of the faith through the evangelical and catechetical activity of the Ordinariate, could this person become a member of the Ordinariate?
In responding to this question, it was noted that Article 1 §4 of the Apostolic Constitution speaks of “Sacraments of Initiation” and not simply “Baptism.” It seemed therefore both desirable and possible to modify the current legislation in such a way so as to acknowledge a proper evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate while at the same time respecting the intentionality of Anglicanorum coetibus.
Any modification to the Apostolic Constitution or Complementary Norms, however, must be articulated on the basis of objective criteria as membership in the Ordinariate may not be extended for purely subjective motives or personal preference. The reception of all of the Sacraments of Initiation is to be considered the objective sign of an adequate catechesis. Consequently, if a baptized Catholic lacks one or other of the Sacraments of Initiation, and then motivated by the liturgical and pastoral activity of the Ordinariate requests reception of Confirmation or Eucharist, this may be considered an objective criterion allowing canonical inscription in the Ordinariate.
As a result of this discussion, the Members of the Congregation approved modification of Article 5 of the Complementary Norms to the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. This modification was confirmed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in an audience granted to me on May 31, 2013, and therefore takes immediate effect. The new formulation of the Complementary Norms read as follows:
Complementary Norms5 §1: The lay faithful originally of the Anglican tradition who wish to belong to the Ordinariate, after having made their Profession of Faith and received the Sacraments of Initiation, with due regard for canon 845, are to be entered in the apposite register of the Ordinariate. Those who have received all of the Sacraments of Initiation outside the Ordinariate are not ordinarily eligible for membership, unless they are members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate.
5 §2: A person who has been baptized in the Catholic Church but who has not completed the Sacraments of Initiation, and subsequently returns to the faith and practice of the Church as a result of the evangelizing mission of the Ordinariate, may be admitted to membership in the Ordinariate and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation or the Sacrament of the Eucharist or both.
5 §3: Lay faithful and members of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, when they collaborate in pastoral or charitable activities, whether diocesan or parochial, are subject to the Diocesan Bishop or to the pastor of the place; in which case the power of the Diocesan Bishop or pastor is exercised jointly with that of the Ordinary and the pastor of the Ordinariate.
While this modification does not address all questions and circumstances regarding canonical membership in the Ordinariate, it is my sincere hope that this decision affirms the essential mission of evangelization that is shared by all members of the Church, particularly by those who have embraced the fullness of Catholic communion as the fruit of their longing for the truth.
With prayerful best wishes, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Gerhard L. Müller
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Modifications of the complementary norms of Anglicanorum coetibus, Prot. N. 217/08-43128, 14 June 2013, CLSA, Roman Replies and Advisory Opinions, 2013, 43-45.