Last week the ordinariate created by Pope Benedict XVI for former Anglicans announced that a special liturgy was to be launched in London next month. It mixes the Roman Rite with material from the Book of Common Prayer. I was an Anglican rector until 1978, but was re-ordained 21 years ago to serve as an Orthodox priest. I was shown a copy of the liturgy and wanted to see how it had been put together.
The story goes that an Archbishop of Canterbury - which one, we had better not name - is speaking to a fellow-bishop and bemoaning the fact that he has virtually no authority to make anything happen. 'Your Grace,' replies the other bishop, 'You must remember that the Church of England is not one Church, but 43 separate dioceses.' A priest is in the room, overhears the conversation and interrupts: 'My Lords, the Church of England is not 43 dioceses, but 16,000 parishes.'
With the discovery of the body of a Catholic king, one might think that the only worry for the local Catholic bishop would be where the service of re-interment should be held, when it should be held, which rite to use; the old Sarum or the Tridentine, who to invite, and so on.
Manage my subcription hereManage
Sign up for our newsletterSign Up