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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bridging the Tiber

I am trying to imagine how those Anglicans who have asked for unity must be feeling right now. If I can remember correctly, as an Episcopalian, I imagined unity with Rome as a kind of covering Rome would throw over the Anglican Communion, offering legitimacy, blessing, collegiality, and support for the Anglo-Catholic interpretation of Anglicanism, without being intrusive. I may have imagined a kind of unity that we could take off the shelf and use to our advantage when it suited us, and put back on the shelf when we were finished with it. It would certainly have suited us to have Catholic recognition of Anglican orders, Catholic endorsement of Anglican sacraments, Catholic representation at Anglican altars at special functions, Catholic bishops' hands participating at Anglican ordinations, and Catholic boosts to the Anglican ethos of having a special place and role to play as the bridge church. We would have been pleased to have Catholics at Anglican communion rails, and Catholic contributors in our pews. In other words, I imagined that we could be Anglican first, and Catholic when it suited us...

Read the rest of Fr. Ernie's reflection on his blog How Can I Keep from Singing?.

No comments:

Post a Comment