CATHOLIC ONLINE REPORT: Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, was received in a private audience
When the account of this period of Church history is written the Anglican Ordinariates will be given the placement they truly deserve. They are the beginning of the healing of the wounded and divided Body of Christ. They also mark the beginning of a great homecoming and a new missionary age of the Church.
Monsignor Keith Newton, the Ordinary of the Personal ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - I have covered the Anglican Ordinariate from its early seeds and prophetic beginnings. I am convinced it is part of the Holy Spirit's work in a new missionary age of the Church. It is the first step in a course which will move us toward a coming full communion of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I received a release from the Vatican Information Service on April 1, 2011: "Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, accompanied by Bishop Alan Stephen Hopes, auxiliary of Westminster, England, and by Msgr. Keith Newton, ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham." This only underscored to me the importance which Pope Benedict XVI attributes to the Ordinariates as they are being formed.
On Saturday morning, January 15, 2011 in Westminster Cathedral Church, Church history was made and a prophetic homecoming began. Three former Anglican Bishops who had resigned their ministry in order to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church through the Anglican Ordinariate were ordained as Catholic Priests. The prophetic nature of this amazing moment of Church history the first Ordinariate was further highlighted when the first one was dedicated to Blessed John Henry Newman.
Along with several others who had written extensively on this subject I expected this patronage. It confirmed that the Holy Father's choice to raise Cardinal Newman to the altar as Blessed this past year in person was profoundly symbolic and prophetic. It concretized the significant connection between Blessed Newman and the extraordinary events we are currently living through.
Toward the end of his historic visit to the United Kingdom to preside over the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, an Anglican convert who prayed for the reunion of the Anglican communion with Rome, Pope Benedict XVI gathered with all of the Bishops. At the end of the address he spoke these words:
"I asked you to be generous in implementing the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. This should be seen as a prophetic gesture that can contribute positively to the developing relations between Anglicans and Catholics. It helps us to set our sights on the ultimate goal of all ecumenical activity: the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all. Let us continue to pray and work unceasingly in order to hasten the joyful day when that goal can be accomplished."
When the account of this period of Church history is written the Anglican Ordinariates will be given the placement they truly deserve. They are the beginning of the healing of the wounded and divided Body of Christ. They also mark the beginning of a great homecoming and a new missionary age of the Church. Blessed John Henry Newman's work as a member of the communion of saints, praying for his Anglican brethren, continues. During his time with us he wrote about the possibility of finding a place within the full communion of the Catholic Church for Anglicans and prayed for this possibility. His prayer is now being answered.
This first Ordinariate being named after Our Lady of Walsingham was no accident. I have no doubt that the Mother of the Lord continues to pray for the healing of the Body of her beloved Son. The prayers of a mother are profoundly powerful. The apparition and the title given to the Mother of the Lord birthed a deeply held devotion shared by both Catholics and Anglicans. A shrine bearing her name in England is frequented by both Anglicans and Catholics.
On March 26, 2011 a six month celebration of the 950th anniversary of the appearing of Our Lady of Walsingham to Richeldis de Faverches, a Saxon noblewoman in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, England began. The faithful filled Westminster Cathedral for a Liturgy presided over by Most Revd Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster. Concelebrating with him was the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton. Just this past month along with the other two priests ordained with him, John Broadhurst and Andrew Burnham, Fr Keith Newton was given the honor of being named a Monsignor. These are prophetic times indeed.
The Motu Propio and Apostolic Constitution which established the Ordinariate allows for Ordinaries to be chosen from among either Priests or Bishops. Last year I wrote an article based upon reports that the first ordinary chosen would be the former Anglican Bishop of Richborough, Fr. Keith Newton. We now know this was more than a rumor. Monsignor Newton was indeed named the first Ordinary of the Ordinariate in England and Wales. His choice to lead the first Ordinariate was one more example of the profound wisdom contained in the juridic structure which the Holy Father put in place for our Anglican friends coming home.
The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham under the patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman now has its own beautiful website where readers can follow the historic development of this wonderful work of the Holy Spirit. There you can also sign up to receive regular mailings. There they confirmed the Press report from the Vatican Information Service I read Friday morning in an article entitled "Ordinary has meeting with Pope Benedict XVI":
"Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, was received in a private audience today by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. During a scheduled visit to the Holy See, Mgr Newton met with the Holy Father and presented him with a number of gifts on behalf of the Ordinariate.
"Mgr Newton was accompanied by the Episcopal Delegate of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, Bishop Alan Hopes, and the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, William Cardinal Levada. It was the first time that the Ordinary had met with the Holy Father since his nomination as Ordinary of the first Personal Ordinariate in January this year.
"During his time in Rome, Mgr Newton has been attending meetings and engagements to aid the ongoing establishment of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham."