Most Reverend Eminence/Excellency,
Monday, 12 November 2012
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
The text from the Synod of Bishops in Rome has certainly been giving me food for thought over the past few days. Members of the Ordinariate will be particularly pleased with much of what has come out of the Synod; the New Evangelisation being a central part of the Ordinariate’s mission. Beauty, art, and aesthetics were picked up at several points over the message, but two particularly stand out:
We also want to thank men and women involved in another expression of the human genius, art in its various forms, from the most ancient to the most recent. We recognize in works of art a particularly meaningful way of expressing spirituality inasmuch as they strive to embody humanity’s attraction to beauty. We are grateful when artists through their beautiful creations bring out the beauty of God’s face and that of his creatures. The way of beauty is a particularly effective path of the new evangelization.
|Closing Mass of the Synod of Bishops|
The beauty of faith must particularly shine in the actions of the sacred Liturgy, above all in the Sunday Eucharist. It is precisely in liturgical celebrations that the Church reveals herself as God’s work and renders the meaning of the Gospel visible in word and gesture.
|Five hundredth anniversary of the Sistine Chapel's completion|
|The Holy Father exchanges the Pax with the Ecumenical Patriarch|
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Given that attendances in Anglican parishes in Central London are typically around the 80-120 level, these are significant numbers. Just as we have seen with the Ordinariate, the people who leave are often among some of the most committed, not merely those with the most knowledge of the Faith, but also those who give the most of their time (and sometimes of their money) to the running of the parish. How could the impact of these departures have been anything other than significant on the forceful drive for Catholic Unity that was once the proud boast of many an Anglo-Catholic parish?
The last group often has much in common with a significant proportion of many a congregation, who quite simply like what they see before them every Sunday morning, and are not in the least bit worried if somewhere else, someone they have never heard of is causing difficulties for other people they have never heard of on a subject for which they care little. One can understand: church politics are rarely appealing.
|The Church of England heading in a new direction?|
As mentioned in our post More than Words, whether acting in his capacity as diocesan or in his capacity as provider of alternative episcopal oversight, Dr Chartres let Anglo-Catholic parishes get on with things, allowing the temptation for individual parishes to think that all was well in their world to continue, allowing them to think that all was safe in their comfortable bubble, that the publicity surrounding troubles in the Church of England at large was nothing to do with them. After all, did not their diocesan bishop still come along, vest properly (more or less) and do pretty much everything that was asked of him liturgically? Outwardly, all was well.
Whatever the House of Bishops offer, whatever Synod decides, Anglo-Catholics in 2013 will need a new way to see and understand their identity, mission and long term role within Anglicanism. A simple overwhelming 'I'm a Roman Catholic paid by the Church of England' will no longer do, not morally, not spiritually, not liturgically, not theologically and not practically.
|The Catholic Church: heri et hodie ipse et in saecula|