On the road to true ecumenism

Msgr Harry Entwistle (ACBC)

The former head of Australia’s Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross says the Ordinariate’s success is part of a long-term progression towards true ecumenism. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

Msgr Harry Entwistle, 79, has been a Catholic priest since 2012. That same year, he was named the first head of the Australian Ordinariate, which is aimed at welcoming groups of Anglicans, former Anglicans now Catholic and anyone else seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Msgr Entwistle, who in “retirement” will continue to care for his Western Australian parish of St Ninian and St Chad.

Canadian Msgr Carl Reid recently became the second priest to lead the Australian Ordinariate, taking over from Msgr Entwistle last month.

Media Blog spoke with Msgr Entwistle about his ministry as he moves into his new stage of life.

Originally from Lancashire, England, Msgr Entwistle became an Anglican deacon in 1963, then priest in 1964.

“I spent 22 years as a prison chaplain, having come to Australia in 1988 in order to set up a prison chaplaincy in WA. When I came here, there had just been a riot in the Fremantle prison that had started in the Catholic chapel and things were a bit tense.”

Msgr Entwistle’s ordination as a Catholic priest came after years of discernment and a persistent feeling that “the Anglican Church that had given birth to me, and which I was nurtured by, was no longer what it was and it could no longer claim to be Catholic”.

“It dawned on me that to be Catholic you have to be in unity with the Holy See, following the example of John Henry Newman,” he said.

“Rome has been extremely generous in that they have created a separate, independent diocesan-like structure with our own ordinary and our own liturgies, which they have approved, based on Anglican traditions,” Msgr Entwistle said.

Msgr Entwistle said 2019 was a particularly important year for the Ordinariate. It marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which allowed for the Ordinariate to be set up, and Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman will be canonised next month.


Retired head of Personal Ordinariate reflects on role (ACBC Media Blog)

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