Head of Anglican ordinariate grateful for former pope’s generosity, hopeful for future

By MARIO BIRD

Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson is a Catholic priest and former bishop in the Anglican Church. In 2012 Benedict XVI appointed him to lead the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, the new structure in North America by which former Anglicans can enter the Catholic Church while preserving many of their traditions.

As a married man, Msgr. Steenson cannot be ordained a bishop and thus depends on Catholic bishops to ordain priests for the Anglican ordinariate.

In March he was at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Anchorage where he delivered the homily at Father Ken Bolin’s ordination to the priesthood. Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz ordained Father Bolin for the Anglican ordinariate.

After the liturgy, Msgr. Steenson spoke with the Catholic Anchor.

Could you comment on the Anglican ordinariate, how you’ve seen it develop, and how you think it will continue with the next papacy?

Msgr. Steenson: Our time with Pope Benedict was way too short! He created the ordinariate for the U.S. and Canada just last January 1. But he had been involved with this project when he was Cardinal Ratzinger. He’s so important to this.

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