I’m often asked why I decided to join the Catholic Church, and specifically, why I joined the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.
The simple answer is that I came to understand through the grace of God that the Catholic Church was the Church Jesus Himself founded and He wished us all to be one. Once I came to that conclusion, I needed to join the Catholic Church for the love of God.
For some reason people usually respond to that answer with “OK, but are you sure you didn’t really join because you couldn’t live with A, or you don’t believe in B?” Maybe this is a common response because we as a society have become so polarized that we only know how to define ourselves in negative terms. I’m against this. I won’t do that. I won’t let them do this.
For me, coming into full communion has been an experience of positives. I have been drawn closer to God. I feel more at peace. I love the faith handed down to me.
While Leo XIII could not find that our Anglican orders were valid Catholic orders, he wished to put that all aside to let us Anglicans know how much the Church desired us. He wrote “Assuredly, with an exceeding great joy, their Mother, the Church, will welcome them, and will cherish with all her love and care those whom the strength of their generous souls has, amidst many trials and difficulties, led back to her bosom. Nor could words express the recognition which this devoted courage will win for them from the assemblies of the brethren throughout the Catholic world, or what hope or confidence it will merit for them before Christ as their Judge, or what reward it will obtain from Him in the heavenly kingdom!” (from the oft forgotten concluding section of Apostolicae Curae)
The Catholic Church yearned for the return of her children to her home. Like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, this was not about coming to a new place to argue or to build a fortress to fight a war, but an embrace between long separated family who love each other.
So why the Catholic Church and the Ordinariate?