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

Reflections from Fr. Longenecker

Some of the more prominent "online" Pastoral Provision priests have been pretty quiet about the new Constitution; but it's no mystery why. As it turns out, Fr. Christopher Phillips is on a pilgrimage with students from his school in Rome itself. Many other Pastoral Provision priests are on retreat in Florida. One of them, Fr. Dwight Longenecker writes:

The group of us who are gathered here have all made our own way from various denominational backgrounds through the Anglican Church to be ordained as Catholic priests. Naturally, the place is buzzing with excitement and interest over the Apostolic Constitution. Copies are printed out for us and we'll be going over it together in detail. Over the next few days I will be interviewing some of my colleagues, and hope you will enjoy learning about their various conversion stories and their paths to ordination. I also hope to interview Mgr. Stetson--the priest who oversees the pastoral provision.

We began with a celebration of Mass together and none of us missed the fact that on this day when the Apostolic Constitution was published was also the Feast of the foundation of St John Lateran. The great church in Rome which is the Pope's cathedral and the location of his teaching authority. It is this authority which has brought all 'home to Rome'.

So be sure to keep checking his blog Standing on My Head for more reflections on the new Apostolic Constitution.

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