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

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Statement on "Fortnight for Freedom"

Lord God Almighty, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace: Give to the people of our country a zeal for justice and the strength of forbearance, that we may use our liberty in accordance with your gracious will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for the Nation
Book of Divine Worship, page 503

Recent decisions by the executive branch of the United States federal government threaten both our Church’s ability to express its moral teaching within its own ministries and our constitutional freedoms. We know that attempts by the state to regulate, define, and constrain the ministries of the Church are not new. For two millennia the Church has lived in tension with the state and many of our defining moments came in times such as these. In particular, people of the Anglican tradition have reason to be cautious when the state interferes in the life and ministry of the Church. Since before the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket in 1170, the Anglican theological tradition has strained against the desires of the state to define the Church.

Within this legacy we are justifiably proud of the freedom enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution while also justifiably concerned about recent attempts by the U.S. federal government to limit the Church’s vocation to serve others in accord with its moral teaching.

Therefore, in solidarity with faithful Catholics throughout the United States, I urge Ordinariate parishes and communities in the United States to observe the Fortnight for Freedom by upholding in prayer, education and witness the cherished protections of religious liberty. I also urge the faithful of the Ordinariate in the United States to read and share with friends the Statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Religious Freedom: Our First, Most Cherished Liberty.

Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson

from the Ordinariate web site

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