|Mgr Keith and Bishop Michael|
Today priests of the Ordinariate met in St Patrick's Soho to hear Michael Nazir Ali - and what a tour de force it was. He began by reminding us of the rapid growth of the Christian Faith throughout the world over the past century. In Africa and East Asia that growth has been phenomenal. It is only in Western Europe that the churches are in decline.
He then went on to speak of world Islam, its diversity in different regions, and the reasons for its animosity towards particularly Israel and Christianity.
He talked enthusiastically of the challenge for the Catholic Church - to be more open to diversity (and the Ordinariate was a good sign in that direction) and to different expressions of faith coming from different ethnic and cultural situations. We threw all manner of questions at him, even challenging him to join us in the Ordinariate - and it was apparent that we have a great friend in the former Bishop of Rochester. He wants us to reach out of our former Anglo-Catholic comfort zone and realise there are many evangelicals who are well disposed towards the Catholic Church and need us to encourage them.
|a chance to meet|
For me one of the most important contributions of the day was from a priest who has been given a diocesan parish to run. It had been built up by
|Mgr Broadhurst comes between the Ordinry and Fr Ed Tomlinson|
|Fr Keith Robinson communicates with |
We are all hugely grateful to our Ordinary for giving us these opportunities to meet and exchange views, and to listen to some outstanding theologians. Next time we meet, on February 12th 2015, it will be in Westminster with an opportunity to concelebrate with the Cardinal at the Cathedral's 5.30pm Mass. That day the Ordinaries from the USA and Australia will be with us so if you are a priest who might have been present today but had recently bought an Ox or married a wife maybe next time you will remove all obstacles and join us. It really is a very encouraging occasion.
|An encouraging occasion|