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Bishop Randazzo ‘obvious choice’ says outgoing ordinariate head Msgr Carl Reid

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The Holy See has appointed Bishop Randazzo as apostolic administrator of thePersonal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Photo: Supplied
The Holy See has appointed Bishop Randazzo as apostolic administrator of the
Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Photo: Supplied

After more than a decade, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross will experience a major change in its leadership—and its retiring ordinary has given it his blessing.

Msgr Carl Reid said that while he is disappointed the new leader is not a member of their community, Bishop of Broken Bay Anthony Randazzo is an “obvious choice” due to his long involvement with the ordinariate since the promulgation of Anglicanorum Coetibus by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Holy See has appointed Bishop Randazzo as apostolic administrator of the

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ordinariate, and while it may have initially raised a few eyebrows it is now seen as a positive change for both the ordinariate and the wider church.

Traditionally, its leadership has been sourced from its own membership who have had previous episcopal experience as bishops in the Anglican communion.

However, Msgr Reid believes it will be “business as usual” for its 17 clergy and hundreds of parishioners around Australia.

“At the community level, where ‘the rubber hits the road,’ the Ordinariate will continue to operate as it has been, day by day, under the guidance of Bishop Anthony Randazzo as the Apostolic Administrator,” he said.

“It’s a very small genepool of former Anglican bishops who are now members of the Catholic Church and of anybody that could have been chosen who is not an Ordinariate priest, Bishop Randazzo is the obvious choice.

“He was in Rome when Anglicanorum Coetibus … was introduced and he got to know Bishop Steven Lopes, our Bishop in North America when the whole thing began.

“He has that connection and free access to Bishop Lopes, that would not be quite so well founded were it anybody else in Australia.

“By my age, which is mid-70s, I’ve learned to accept where God has put me at particular times and circumstances and therefore, I have no regrets.”

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross is one of three such ordinariates in the world created by Pope Benedict in 2012 to provide a pathway for Anglicans to full communion in the Catholic Church while retaining elements of their worship, traditions, and spiritual heritage.

Fr Stephen Hill, Bishop of Broken Bay Anthony Randazzo and Msgr Carl Reid. Photo: Supplied
Fr Stephen Hill, Bishop of Broken Bay Anthony Randazzo and Msgr Carl Reid. Photo: Supplied

Bishop Randazzo, who will continue as Bishop of Broken Bay as well as President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conference of Oceania, said his appointment demonstrates the Holy Father’s personal care for the ordinariate and his trust, “which I am honoured and humbled by.”

He said his priorities will be to pray with the priests, meet and listen to members of the Ordinariate, ensure they have good pastoral care, access to ongoing formation, and that they are nourished and fit for mission.

“I would encourage the community not to lose focus of where they have come from because they bring with them a marvellous patrimony … spiritually, theologically and liturgically, and to not give up on the good news of the Gospel,” he said.

“After a 10-year period, the Holy See has decided it’s time for review, refocusing on mission and engaging with the community of the ordinariate in the local churches around the country.

“It’s not because there’s something wrong. I am always mildly amused that in the church in this day and age when we are constantly talking about the fullness of our Catholic tradition and being open to the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit, that as soon as the Holy Father chooses one of the different options people say, ‘Oh, there must be something wrong.’

“This is actually an opportunity for us to reflect upon the personal approach that the Holy Father has in the overseeing of the pastoral care of this particular community in Australia, which also extends as far as Guam and Japan.

“Catholic doesn’t mean ‘one size fits all,’ you’ve only got to look at our Melkite, Maronite, and our Ukrainian and Syro-Malabar rite, all these beautiful churches have provided pathways for millions of people across the world to embrace communion in the Catholic church.

“The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, while not a church in the same way as the Eastern churches, it is a community within the Catholic Church to facilitate people’s faith life, conversion, mission, call to holiness, and their discipleship in Jesus Christ.”

Fr Stephen Hill, administrator of St Joseph’s Newtown, home to the ordinariate community of St Bede the Venerable, said he was very optimistic about the future of the ordinariate under the guidance of Bishop Randazzo.

“I know as a man he has a genuine love for the church, and that he’s only got one agenda, and that’s the gospel of Jesus Christ—which is really positive for the ordinariate and the wider church,” Fr Hill said.

Bishop Randazzo will officially take up his role of Apostolic Administrator of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross next month.

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