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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Restoration in England

Following the Puritan Rebellion and Cromwell dictatorship, England restored the monarchy, the episcopate and the Book of Common Prayer to national life. Charles II, who had been smuggled to France with the help of Catholic subjects, and who grew up in Catholic France, returned to England and as king was also Governor of the Church of England. But both he and his heir, James II (VII of Scotland) would convert to Catholicism. James being the last Catholic to sit on the throne.

In a presentation to the Anglican Use Society in 2010, Dr. Anne Barbeau Gardiner tells the story of these two royal brothers who brought the Church of England near to a full restoration - to Catholic communion. But who ultimately failed due to the Puritan objections that would once more bring war to the realm and a foreigner to the throne.
Read Dr. Gardiner's fine essay in our Advent 2010 issue:

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