Your questions about the Anglican Ordinariate answered

CHARLESTON—So far this year, over 1,600 people have entered the Catholic Church through the Anglican Ordinariate, with 36 groups at some stage of reception right now, said Father Scott Hurd.
Father Hurd, a former Episcopal priest who entered the church under the pastoral provision, visited Church of the Holy Communion recently to discuss the papal decree and what it means to Anglicans and Catholics.

Father Patrick Allen, pastor of the Episcopal church, and about six families are planning to start an Anglican community in Charleston under the provision.

Father Hurd, who was ordained for the ordinariate, is currently serving as its vicar general. He said a question and answer sheet available at addresses the most common concerns people have.

Here are some of those questions:

What is “Anglicanorum coetibus?”
An apostolic constitution issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 that authorized the creation of ordinariates, geographic regions similar to dioceses.
The U.S. Ordinariate was approved in January 2012. Parishes in the ordinariates will be Catholic yet retain elements of Anglican heritage and liturgical practices.

Why did the pope authorize this and how is it different from regular conversion?
Creation of the Anglican Ordinariate was in response to repeated and persistent inquiries from Anglican groups worldwide who wish to reunite with the Catholic faith. Ordinariates allow entire groups to enter, not just individuals.
The process allows them to retain their Anglican liturgical heritage and traditions while being fully Catholic.

Can priests who convert under the Anglican Ordinariate celebrate Mass?
Yes. These priests will celebrate an Anglican-use Mass plus traditional Catholic Masses.
“They’re Catholic priests in every sense of the word, but are ordained for Anglican communities,” said Msgr. Steven Brovey.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said it is his intention that priests ordained under the Anglican Ordinariate receive the full faculties of a priest, including sacraments and other liturgical and pastoral duties.

Can Catholics attend Anglican-use Masses?
Yes. Attendance at either service — Anglican or traditional — meets the Mass obligation for all Catholics. 

Do all former Anglicans and Episcopalians who convert have to join the ordinariate now?
No. They may choose to enter a local diocesan parish as an individual or join the Ordinariate, whose parishes, while fully Catholic, will retain elements of their Anglican heritage and liturgy.

What are some of the Anglican elements?
Father Allen said it is hard to pinpoint one thing, as the differences are wrapped up in the wording of the liturgy and prayers.
The website states: The liturgy in ordinariate parishes will be fully Catholic, but will feel similar to traditional Anglican liturgy in terms of music, structure and prayers.
Parishes will use the “Book of Divine Worship”, which is a Vatican-approved Catholic liturgical book based upon historic Anglican liturgies, with the prayers adapted to fully reflect Catholic belief. Both the Book of Divine Worship and the Roman Missal will be authorized for use.

Can lifelong Catholics join the ordinariate?
While lifelong Catholics are welcome to attend Masses in an ordinariate parish, they would be members of a regular diocese.

Can ordinariate priests marry?
Former Anglican bishops, priests or deacons who are married may become priests for the ordinariate. Non-married clergy who are ordained Catholic priests may not subsequently marry.