Very interesting answers in this lengthy interview granted by the leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Primate John Hepworth, to The Australian (some of these points were reiterated by him in his brief intervention at the Forward in Faith UK conference this Saturday).
Ordinariates around the world:
Inquirer: In place of conventional dioceses, the new arrangements envisage "personal ordinariates". Are they akin to the military ordinariates for dispersed groups of personnel in the various branches of the armed forces?John Hepworth: Yes, and they are at the heart of what the Pope proposes. They are similar to dioceses but are groupings of people rather than a territory. Under this arrangement the ordinary (who may be a priest or a bishop) will be the shepherd of the Anglican people within the Catholic communion in his area. There will probably be a considerable number of these groupings around the world.
Inquirer: Have decisions been made yet about the liturgy you'll use?JH: An international group is working at the moment on the liturgical books for the new Anglican structure. I anticipate something that combines glimpses of pre-Reformation English worship, the glorious liturgical language of the Reformation period and contemporary understanding of the way Christians should approach God will eventually be approved.
Inquirer: How do the Pope's proposals mesh the Latin celibate discipline for all clergy with Anglicanism's longstanding acceptance of married priests and bishops?JH: Bishops in the new Anglican structure will be unmarried. This is out of respect for the tradition of Eastern and Western Christianity. But priests who come from Anglicanism will be able to serve as priests in the new structure, whether married or not, after satisfying certain requirements. The truly radical element is that married men will be able to be ordained priests in the Anglican structure indefinitely into the future. It is anticipated that Anglican bishops who are married when they joined the new structure will still be able to serve as priestly ordinaries, exercising some of the responsibilities of bishops.
The Eastern Orthodox:
Inquirer: How will the Orthodox react to the new arrangements? Will they be viewing the next six months as a test of Rome's ecumenical bona fides?JH: Already there are stories circulating that the Patriarch of Moscow has urged his ecumenical negotiators in the Vatican to hurry in order that the Anglicans do not get too far ahead. They're probably apocryphal, but we do know that the Russian Orthodox Church is very close to achieving unity with Rome. It is the largest of the Orthodox churches of the East. We also know that the Orthodox are watching the Anglican process very closely to try to assess the extent to which Rome is serious about tolerating many different traditions of Christianity within the scope of the Catholic Church. I have had conversations with members of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Coptic Church about the parallels between their conversations with Rome and ours. Christian unity throughout the world is at a very similar moment. Conversation and co-operation are beginning to evolve into forms of organic unity that still protect diverse Christian traditions of worship and spirituality.
Tip: Mr. Peter K. T. Perkins