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, December 24, 2011

Bishop Robert Mercer to be received through the Ordinaraite

22 Dec 2011

An update for all TAC clergy in the UK

Dear Brother,

On December 8 while en route to Vienna, Archbishop Hepworth made a 24 hour stop over in England. He lunched with me in Worthing and then went on to celebrate the holy communion at St Agatha’s, Portsmouth, in the evening. In his sermon he reminded us that the BCP of 1662 remembers three conceptions, of the Lord, of the Lady, of the cousin. St Stephen’s College, the fine ACA school in Coomera, Queensland, of which he is President, has an orchestra and a choir which were due to perform in St Stephen’s cathedral, Vienna, a place we associate with the music of Haydn, Mozart and the Vienna Boys Choir. Naturally enough, the President wanted to be present for that. Since he would already be in Europe, he would stay on for some holiday, mostly travelling on trains through the mountain passes of Austria and Italy. His Grace was in excellent spirits and health.
The Archbishop has already written a letter to all bishops of the TAC, a copy of which I shall send you. He also undertakes to write a further letter to the TAC clergy in the UK. You will appreciate that it will be some days before he is home in Adelaide in the state of South Australia. Between them these two letters may make clear his thoughts about the TAC, yourself, himself.
Some of you do not take New Directions, the monthly magazine of Forward in Faith, UK. I therefore enclose a photocopy of an article which appeared in the December issue. Make of it what you will. So far the Polish National Catholic Church of the USA, formerly an autocephalous part of the Union of Utrecht or Old Catholic Communion, has not had a concordat of inter communion with the TAC, of the kind we have had with FinF.

I am just back from a quarterly residence at Mirfield. I desire and hope to remain a member of CR until I die.

Monsignor Newton intends to chrismate me in St Agatha’s, Portsmouth, on Saturday January 7 @ 15 minutes past noon. The rite will take place with in the context of the monthly Eucharist which the Isle of Wight group of the Ordinariate celebrates in St Agatha’s. The rite is not private. Enclosed is the text of a letter of “resignation” which I was required to send to our Episcopal Visitor. In preparation for chrismation I am required to refrain from receiving communion at Anglican altars. If and when I am to be ordained I shall give you the dates.

Yours fraternally,

+Robert Mercer CR

from the web site of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales.

Fr. Chadwick has also posted this story, and the comments at English Catholic provide additional detail (and of course, speculation).

(The article to which Bishop Mercer refers is linked to here: Looking for a new home?. The web site for New Directions is here.)

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