|Archbishop Di Noia: a source of encouragement|
Members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham were up in London for our annual meeting, and for the first time ever in Westminster Cathedral the Rite used was the recently approved Ordinariate Mass, with its echoes of Cranmer and the 16th Century Church of England.. In his sermon, he Archbishop gave us great encouragement. He saw the Ordinariate as an answer by the Holy Spirit to many years of prayer for Unity. We had thought we knew how Unity would come, through deep theological conversations conducted among the wise men of our Churches. Instead, with the initiative of Pope Benedict, the log-jam of discussion gave way to an invitation which many of us could not refuse. We no longer simply talked about Ecumenism, we did it.
|Chatter among the Chasubles|
|Mgr Broadhurst catching up with friends.|
[Behind him the picture of our Patron - apparently with toothache]
The Archbishop did not pretend that he had a route-map to show exactly where the Ordinariates were heading (for ours in these Islands is only one of three so far established).He spoke of other separated bodies which, Like the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in America, were being led ever more rapidly in unorthodox directions - and in all these bodies there still remained elements which were more true to their roots in Scripture; he spoke of such unhappy traditionalist groups as catholic - catholic Methodists, catholic Lutherans, catholic Presbyterians. Many of these were, sometimes to their own astonishment, turning towards Rome for help - the sort of help which the many groups of Anglicans had sought. It was that seeking which had met with the response of "Anglicanorum Coetibus", So this little experiment in ecumenism which is the Ordinariates in Great Britain, in the USA and in Australia might be just the cloud no bigger than a man's hand which will one day grow to encompass much of the Christian world.
|Members of the Bournemouth Mission (Archbishop nd Ordinary in the background)|
All of us who attended this weekend's events will surely have returned home with renewed enthusiasm for mission, certain that what we had encountered in Westminster was worth the journey.