The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Friday, June 25, 2010

The King's Good Servant

Heide Seward has a pair of recent posts on her blog Seward's Folly this week that are both well worth the time it takes to read.

The first, under the heading of "The King's Good Servant" begins:
Today is the Feastday of St. Thomas More, my patron saint, and of his companion in martyrdom, St. John Fisher. Thomas More, of course, resigned his post as Chancellor of England rather than go along with Henry VIII's attempt to make himself Supreme Head of the Church in England. John Fisher was Bishop of Rochester at the time and the only one in the House of Bishops who challenged Henry head on, and he lost his head for it on this date in 1535. Thomas More followed him on July 6.

Considering the upheaval that King Henry precipitated in subsequent years and which was continued by his daughter, Elizabeth I, I wonder that there is anyone today willing to make excuses for either of them. And yet, even my own actions (or inaction, to be more precise) served as an apology for the English schism...

You may read the rest on her site.

Her second post is a follow-up on her earlier post on this year's conference of the Anglican Use Society:
I have attended four successive Anglican Use conferences, and at each of the previous three there has been a point at which someone in authority has had to stand up and remind us that we are not in Canterbury anymore. That is, in the midst of a discussion about what the Pastoral Provision might look like in the future--possible revisions to the Book of Divine Worship, the training of future priests for Anglican Use parishes, etc.--we have tended to slip into a "strategizing" attitude. Put another way, the discussion turns to what we might negotiate with the Holy See in order to preserve our Anglican patrimony. Not that negotiation itself is bad; it is indeed necessary to work out the nuts-and-bolts of what the new Ordinariate will look like. But ultimately, the decisions will not be the result of a mere consensus between Anglicans and the Holy See...

Read the rest of "Anglican Use Conference 2010 - Part II: The Servant of the Servant" at her blog.

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