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HOUSTON: Pope Francis Names First Bishop to Lead Catholics Nurtured In The Anglican Tradition

HOUSTON: Pope Francis Names First Bishop to Lead Catholics Nurtured In The Anglican Tradition
Bishop-elect Steven Lopes to be introduced at press conference today in Houston, Texas
Rome sends top official to North America to lead structure equivalent to a diocese
Vatican also approves use of new texts for the celebration of Mass

media@ordinariate.net
November 24, 2015

Pope Francis has named the Rev. Monsignor Steven J. Lopes to be the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter: a structure equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition.

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established by Pope Benedict on Jan. 1, 2012, with its headquarters located in Houston, Texas. Founded to serve Roman Catholics across the U.S. and Canada, it is the first diocese of its kind in North America.

The Ordinariate was created to provide a path for groups of Anglicans to become fully Roman Catholic, while retaining elements of their worship traditions and spiritual heritage in their union with the Holy Roman Church.

With this appointment, Pope Francis affirms and amplifies Pope Benedict's vision for Christian unity, in which diverse expressions of one faith are joined together in the Church. By naming Bishop-elect Lopes, the Pope has confirmed that the Ordinariate is a permanent, enduring part of the Catholic Church, like any other diocese -- one that is now given a bishop so that it may deepen its contribution to the life of the Church and the world.

Bishop Lopes' appointment comes just five days before the Ordinariate begins using Divine Worship: The Missal, a new book of liturgical texts for the celebration of Mass in the Personal Ordinariates around the globe. The texts were approved by the Vatican for use beginning the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29, 2015.

Bishop-elect Lopes was directly involved in developing these texts for worship; since 2011, he has served as the executive coordinator of the Vatican commission, Anglicanae Traditiones, which produced the new texts.

The new missal is a milestone in the life of the Ordinariate, since the Ordinariate's mission is particularly expressed through the reverence and beauty of its worship, which shares the treasury of the Anglican liturgical and musical traditions with the wider Catholic community.

Pope Benedict's vision for Christian unity and the concrete ways that Pope Francis is implementing that vision demonstrate that unity in faith allows for a vibrant diversity in the expression of that faith. The Ordinariate is a key ecumenical venture for the Catholic Church and a concrete example of this unity in diversity.

ABOUT BISHOP-ELECT LOPES

Steven Joseph Lopes, 40, is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. As the bishop-elect of the Ordinariate, he will reside in Houston, Texas.

Bishop-elect Lopes was born and raised in Fremont, Calif. The only child of Dr. Jose de Oliveira Lopes (deceased) and Barbara Jane Lopes, he attended Catholic schools in the Golden State, including the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco. He earned licentiate and doctoral degrees in sacred theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained a priest in June 2001 and spent the first several years of his priesthood as an associate pastor at two parishes: St. Patrick Catholic Church in San Francisco and St. Anselm Catholic Church in Ross, Calif.

Since 2005, he has served as an official of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office responsible for promoting and preserving Catholic teaching. He was named a monsignor in 2010.

His family includes his mother, Barbara Jane; his step-father, Abilio Dias; five step-brothers; and a step-sister.

Bishop-elect Lopes follows in the footsteps of Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, who was named the first Ordinary (or head) of the Ordinariate when it was established in 2012. Msgr. Steenson's retirement from his position as Ordinary is effective today, upon Pope Francis' appointment of Bishop-elect Lopes. However, Msgr. Steenson has been appointed Administrator of the Ordinariate and will continue to oversee its day-to-day activities until Feb. 2, 2016.

Bishop-elect Lopes is the first bishop to be named for any of the three Personal Ordinariates in the world: Our Lady of Walsingham in the United Kingdom; the Chair of Saint Peter in the United States and Canada; and Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.

The ordination of Bishop-elect Lopes is planned for Feb. 2, 2016 in Houston.

A biographical summary, photos, statements from Bishop-elect Lopes and Ordinary Emeritus Msgr. Steenson and other materials are online at www.ordinariate.net/bishop-elect-lopes.

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter is a structure equivalent to a diocese for Roman Catholics who were nurtured in the Anglican tradition. Based in Houston, Texas, the Ordinariate has more than 40 Roman Catholic parishes and communities across the United States and Canada and is served by 70 ordained Roman Catholic priests and deacons.

*****

Bishop to lead US Ordinariate of former Anglicans

https://www.catholicculture.org
November 24, 2015

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, 63, as Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, the ecclesial structure in the United States and Canada that ministers to former Anglicans who have entered the Catholic Church.

The Pontiff has named Msgr. Steven Lopes, a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as the Ordinariate's first bishop.

Msgr. Steenson, a former bishop of the Episcopal Church, has been ordained to the Catholic priesthood but is not eligible for ordination to the episcopate because he is married. He welcomed the appointment of Msgr. Lopes:

What wonderful news from the Holy See this morning, that Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Steven Lopes to be the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter for Canada and the United States!

This is the happy outcome of much careful consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to whom I first made this request almost a year ago. I welcome this news with all my heart, for the Ordinariate has now progressed to the point where a bishop is much needed for our life and mission. A bishop will help to give the Ordinariate the stability and permanence necessary to fulfil its mission to be a work of Catholic unity, whose roots are to be found in the great texts of the Second Vatican Council.

*****

Statement on the appointment of Bishop-elect Lopes

by Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson
http://ordinariate.net/news/statement-on-the-appointment-of-bishop-elect-lopes
November 24, 2015

What wonderful news from the Holy See this morning, that Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Steven Lopes to be the first bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter for Canada and the United States!

This is the happy outcome of much careful consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to whom I first made this request almost a year ago. I welcome this news with all my heart, for the Ordinariate has now progressed to the point where a bishop is much needed for our life and mission. A bishop will help to give the Ordinariate the stability and permanence necessary to fulfil its mission to be a work of Catholic unity, whose roots are to be found in the great texts of the Second Vatican Council.

That the Ordinariate would ultimately be headed by a bishop has been the intention of Anglicanorum coetibus, the apostolic constitution under which we were established in 2012. It is indeed an encouraging sign that we have reached that goal. With the inauguration of our new missal, Divine Worship, on the first Sunday of Advent, the time seems especially propitious.

It was on the occasion of my reception into the Catholic Church in 2007 when I first met Msgr. Lopes, and we have worked closely together ever since. There is no one who knows better the work of the Pastoral Provision and the Ordinariates: those entities created in response to Anglicans seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Msgr. Lopes has been deeply involved the Anglicanae Traditiones Commission, charged with identifying "that liturgical expression which has nourished and maintained Catholic faith amongst Anglicans throughout the period of ecclesial separation and which in these days has given rise to aspirations for full communion with the Catholic Church." He is thus uniquely qualified to be our first bishop.

It is particularly noteworthy that the Holy Father's appointment is the culmination of a process for selecting an ordinary laid out in Article IV of the Complementary Norms of Anglicanorum coetibus. This provides for a significant consultative process that begins with the Governing Council of the Ordinariate presenting a terna of candidates. I am grateful to the members of the Governing Council, who accomplished this task with discernment and discretion.

I am grateful, too, for the encouragement, wise counsel, and support of the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops during these first four years of the Ordinariate's existence. I will always treasure the friendships made with these bishops. Their warm welcome for us pilgrims has certainly deepened the joy we know as Catholics.

Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary Emeritus

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