The so-called Anglican Catholic Church in Canada (ACCC), which has about 45 parishes, has written to Rome to apply for an ordinariate. Its three active bishops propose setting up a governing council to suggest a terna from which the Pope can select the Canadian ordinariate's first ordinary or canonical head.
The wording and the method of proceeding proposed in the letter suggest that Rome has told them what to write. So that appears to be how it works: Rome appoints a governing council which then advises the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) whom to appoint as ordinary.
But hang on. Where does the national bishops' conference fit into this?
When the ordinariate scheme was announced in London and Rome last year, the understanding was clearly that Anglicans seeking an ordinariate would apply to the local bishops' conference, who would then (presumably) get the go-ahead from Rome. This is not just a procedural matter. Negotiations over what is permissible and what is not in the liturgies of the ordinariates are be carried out with the bishops' conference, not with Rome. Ecclesiologically, that makes sense: the ordinariates, after all, will be part of the local Church.
In a previous post reporting how a traditionalist Church of England bishop had been trying to circumvent the local Catholic hierarchy, I quoted Mgr Andrew Faley, the priest responsible for the negotiations on behalf of the bishops' conference of England and Wales. "The authority of the Church in working this out rests with the bishops' conferences and not with the CDF", he clarified.
Hence Australia, where Peter Elliot, a Melbourne auxiliary, has been appointed by the Australian bishops' conference to negotiate with Anglican traditionalists there over the terms of the ordinariate which the Traditional Anglican Communion has applied for.
But is this true of Canada? I've searched the Canadian bishops' conference website in vain for a statement on any application to the bishops by the ACCC. But there's nothing.
Perhaps I'm missing something.