Friday 27 May 2011

Pastoral Message of CBCEW - November 1993

This message was first published by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales in November 1993:

As the first ordinations of women to the priesthood in the Church of England draw near, a number of Anglicans, both laity and clergy, who are unsure about their future in the Church of England, have approached members of this Bishops’ Conference. We are aware, too, that many others, in some ways represented by those who have approached us, await our response. In the light of these discussions, and of our own careful consideration of all the issues involved, we now wish to address publicly the questions they have raised.

Our responsibility, as bishops of the Catholic Church, is to ensure that the Catholic community in England and Wales, in its faith and life, is within the full communion of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, united in bonds of faith and sacraments, with a clear awareness of its universality. Our ministry as members of the College of Bishops in full communion with the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter, is one of the visible signs of that universality. Within this Catholic Church there is a clear doctrinal structure and vigorous debate, both of which are needed for Church life. There is also to be found a variety of styles of prayer and liturgical practice. The distinctive and complementary roles of laity and clergy, and women and men, are a point of continuing development.

Many of those who have approached us manifestly share this vision of the Catholic Church. Their concern is not primarily that women are to be ordained to the priesthood. Rather they are struggling with the question of the authority by which the decision to ordain women to the priesthood has been made by the Church of England and the implications of that decision for those who wish, above all else, to live their Christian life in the Catholic tradition. Many have arrived at the conviction that visible communion with the Bishop of Rome is a necessary element of Catholic life. They believe they can no longer work within the Church of England to achieve that end. To them we wish to extend a warm welcome.

Those who have approached us make very clear the personal sadness and distress which they experience at this time. For our part too, we take no encouragement from the difficulties being faced in the Church of England. The urgent task of announcing the Gospel in Britain needs the strength and vigour of all Christian communities. This same task also underlines the importance of the search for unity of life and witness among all the followers of Christ. Working vigorously for this unity remains one of our grave responsibilities. It is our conviction that this search for unity would not be assisted if another ecclesial body were to emerge from present doctrinal and pastoral difficulties.

Approaches have been made by clergy of the Church of England, both singly and in groups. In some few instances groups of parishioners with their pastors have also made approaches, enquiring about the possibility of coming into full communion with the Holy See, embracing the fullness of Catholic life. After our Low Week meeting we stated that our aim in welcoming those who wish to join the Catholic Church must be their eventual total integration into the Catholic life of our dioceses. This remains our aim. Other paths have been suggested. We have looked carefully at the suggestions of the establishment of a Personal Prelature or of a Special Pastoral Provision, such as exists in the USA. We are of one mind that, in our particular circumstances, such alternatives would serve to increase the multiplicity of Church identities in an unhelpful and confusing manner. Our determination in this matter does not imply any lack of respect or esteem for the tradition, strengths and vision of Christian living represented by those who are approaching us. In fact the opposite is the case. We are convinced that the Roman Catholic community, diocese by diocese, will be enriched by the eventual full integration of those who bring with them not only the traditions of English Anglicanism, but also its commitment to reach out to those who are on the margin of Christian living, or beyond. But for this to be the case, it is essential that we strive to come together in a fully integrated manner, a challenge which will involved real change for all concerned.

It is this fundamental conviction that gives shape to the ways in which we have agreed to respond to those who approach us.

1. We welcome those who have served as clergy in the Church of England, and will endeavour to express in specific ways the value of the ministry they have exercised. We gladly acknowledge and esteem their faithful celebration of Word and Sacrament in the Church of England. We would never suggest that those now seeking full communion with the Roman Catholic Church deny the value of their previous ministry. According to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, the liturgical actions of their ministry can most certainly engender a life of grace, for they come from Christ and lead back to him, and belong by right to the one Church of Christ. We recognise in the ministry they have exercised a call from God. This is the basis for our readiness to assume a continuity of ministry, normally leading to ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church, depending on a process of mutual discernment. A period of study, preparation and integration, suited to the requirements of each person, will also be necessary.

We are convinced that our solemn duty to ensure the unquestionable validity of the sacraments to be celebrated with and for the Catholic community means that we cannot accept any residual doubts as to possible defects affecting the validity of the orders already conferred in the Church of England. This means we must ask all who are chosen to exercise priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church to accept ordination in our Church as the fulfilment of their ministry and its full integration into the Apostolic Succession. This is a difficult and sensitive matter, but we are reassured that so many who have approached us understand quite readily this need for certainty in such a crucial matter.

2. As is well understood, there are special difficulties faced by those who have thus far exercised ministry in the Church of England and are married. The celibacy of priests in the Church of the Latin Rite is the norm. It is a witness to the total love of Christ for his Church and a treasured part of our tradition. This is not at stake. In fact, it is shared by some who are seeking the fullness of Catholic life and priesthood. Rather, in these exceptional circumstances, consideration has to be given to the manner and extent in which it is possible, and desirable, to permit exceptions to this norm. This is because the discipline of the orders of those married clergymen who now seek full communion with the Holy See permitted them also to take up the vocation of married life. We understand and accept that they may well be convinced of the continuity of their vocation to serve the Catholic Church in the priesthood. This is a matter which we are pursuing with sympathy for those who have approached us.

3. In welcoming those pastors who approach us together with a group of parishioners, we wish to state that we respect and esteem the bonds of fellowship that exist within such a group and between the group and its pastor. While insisting that the decision of faith entailed in coming into full communion with the Catholic Church is always one  which must be made individually, we will do all we can to respect and build on those precious bonds of shared discipleship. Steps are now being considered which will enable a group to stay together for as long as it is wishes not only during any period of enquiry and exploration, and in the process leading up to reception into the Catholic Church, but also, if thought fit in particular circumstances, after that point. The process whereby that group becomes, in practice, fully one with the Roman Catholic local community may, indeed, be gradual. On the other hand, once important steps are taken, and misapprehensions or misgivings removed, it may well be that the common identity of full Catholic faith opens up a much easier process of integration into the local Catholic parish community than is now envisaged by some. The Catholic community in many parts of England and Wales is already characterised by a diversity of culture and background. It is Catholic faith shared within the visible unity of the Church which forms our identity.

At this important time, it is clear that the way forward requires of us all both generosity and patience. For many troubled in conscience difficult decisions lie ahead. We are exploring ways in which they can be given additional spiritual and pastoral support. We will do all we can to encourage the Catholic community to give a warm and generous welcome to all who join it at this time. Similarly, we will seek not only to protect but also to enhance key ecumenical relations so that ecclesial life may be strengthened and the service and common witness required by the Gospel given in our society.

19 November 1993

Monday 23 May 2011

Resolution of the Plenary Meeting of CBCEW - April 1994

This continues our series of posts of texts pertaining to the transition and reconcilation of Anglicans into the full communion of the Catholic Church in the 1990s.

Matters relating to the Reception of Anglican Clergy into the Catholic Church.


In recent weeks and months approaches have been made by members of the Church of England unsure, about their future, to most of the Roman Catholic Dioceses of England. These have been both from individuals and groups, clergy and laity. Some have already been received into full communion with the Catholic Church; others are about to be so received; others are making first enquiries about what such a journey involves and how they will be received.

The discussions which have taken place, with individuals and groups, involving both bishops and Catholic laity, have made clear a number of important perspectives and some widespread misunderstandings. It is these we now wish to address.

First, there should be no doubt that those approaching us are not simply wishing to avoid the advent of women priests. To describe them in such terms is inaccurate and a real disservice. Rather they reveal depth of Catholic faith which is both impressive and moving. The doctrines they hold concerning the sacraments and the Eucharist in particular, including its reservation for prayer and devotion, are substantially Catholic. Many follow the same devotional and liturgical practices as we do; they have a deep respect for the Holy Father and acknowledge the primacy which is his as the successor of Peter.

It is important for members of our Catholic community to understand that for some of these Anglicans, especially the clergy, the principal aim in their Church life has been to help bring about the visible unity of the Church of England with the See of Peter. In their judgement, recent decisions make this no longer a realistic possibility within the Church of England, and lead them to seek that full visible unity individually or in groups. As we said in our statement of November 1993: “Many have arrived at the conviction that visible communion with the Bishop of Rome is a necessary element of Catholic life. To them we wish to extend a warm welcome.”

Secondly, it has become clear that question the key question from many who are approaching us is the view they should take the sacramental life they have faithfully lived as members of the Church of England. This is an important question for our Catholic community, too. It is the clear teaching of the Second Vatican Council that visible elements of the Church of Christ can and do exist outside the boundaries of the Catholic Church. The visible elements and sacred actions spoken of by the Conciliar Decree on Ecumenism include “the celebration of the memorial of the Lord's Supper” (para 22). These sacred actions, and the ministries by which they are carried out, are clearly to be found in the Church of England. Catholic teaching is, then, that the liturgical or sacred actions of those in the Church of England “most certainly can truly engender a life of grace and, one must say, can aptly give access to the communion of salvation.” (para 3). No one who is considering full communion with the Catholic Church is, therefore, expected to deny the value of the liturgical life they have celebrated in the Church of England, which has sustained them to this point. Rather they are coming to recognise that it is “through Christ's Catholic Church alone … that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained.” (para 3).

These perspectives have important consequences for the nature of the journey into full communion to be undertaken by those seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. Undoubtedly they will engage in a period of exploration of contemporary Catholicism, offered in discussion with the neighbouring Catholic community. But the period between their decision to leave the Church of England and their reception into full communion need not be lengthy. As the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults states, when speaking at the reception of baptised persons, such preparation is to be “adapted to individual pastoral requirements” (No 391). For those who have been accustomed to regular, if not a daily, Holy Communion in the Church of England, a lengthy delay before they are admitted to the Eucharist is not desirable. Their sharing in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church will help the process by which they come to an experience of being part of the local Catholic community.

As we stated in on the 1993 November meeting, in welcoming those clergy of the Church of England who are approaching us, “We recognise in the ministry they have exercised a call from God. This is the basis of our readiness to assume a continuity of ministry, normally leading to ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church, depending on a process of mutual discernment.” For some this has already begun. So, too, has the exploration of ways in which we can respect and build on the bonds of fellowship that exists between groups of Anglican laity who wish to lead a Catholic life and their pastors.

In all these matters we ask that the five principles enunciated in our 1993 Low Week meeting be kept in mind. They are:

  1. the conviction that the fullness of Catholic life, and the Orders which part of it, is to be found in the visible communion of the Catholic Church.
  2. the aim for those who seek to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church must be their eventual total integration into the life of the Catholic community.
  3. that those seeking full communion are required to accept the teaching authority of the Church in matters of faith and moral, as exercised by the Pope as the successor of Peter and by the College of Bishops acting in union with him.
  4. that we reiterate our commitment to developing ecumenical relations with the Church of England and with other Churches and communities; we will continue this dialogue and common effort in the new circumstances that now obtain.
  5. that we are confident that the Catholic community will be enriched by the spiritual heritage of those seeking full communion and that Catholics will show generosity of heart as they work with us in the duty of meeting the needs of those who are now approaching us.
We are thankful that our ecumenical relationships remain good. Our commitment to the search for the full visible unity of the Church remains undiminished, rooted in the conviction that such is the will of Christ. His solemn prayer makes clear that this visible unity is necessary for the effective proclamation of the Gospel in our society:

“Father, may they all be one, just as you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.” (John 17.20-21) 

14 April 1994

Sunday 22 May 2011

Pastoral Message of CBCEW - April 1993

Over the course of the coming days and weeks we will be publishing some texts from the 1990s, especially pertaining to the management of the transition of Anglican clergy  and laity to the Catholic Church. Many of these, it is thought, are not available elsewhere online. There are significant differences between the circumstances of the 1990s and the current development - the difference between individual and group reconciliation being chief amongst them. Having said that, many of the texts enunciate, in a helpful way, the journey of many of Anglicans towards the full communion of the Catholic Church and the official response of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, to their requests.

First is a Pastoral Message from the Archbishops and Bishop of England & Wales to the Catholic priests and people of their dioceses. It was read in parishes on the Fourth Sunday of Easter 1993. 

Last November, the General Synod of the Church of England passed a resolution authorising the ordination of women to the priesthood.  Although this measure was agreed by a two-thirds majority, it left a number of Anglican clergy and laypeople not only opposed to the decision itself but also deeply troubled in conscience. As has been well-publicised, some have turned towards the Catholic Church and begin to consider whether they might seek full communion with our Church.  The extent of reaction has taken many by surprise.  The uncertainty about the numbers involved has helped to fuel rumour and misunderstanding.

Many different hopes and anxieties have been expressed, in the nation at large as well as within the Church of England and within our own Catholic community. As your bishops, we have listened to these and have reflected together on the sensitive pastoral and ecumenical issues which are involved. During our Low Week meeting at Westminster, we have been able to agree on certain principles which must guide our response, and we have begun to set out some practical ways forward. More detailed reports of these discussions will be available through the media, but we also wish to send this pastoral message to all our priests and people. Our purpose is to explain these principles and invite you to share with us the process of proud reflection which is needed at this time.

It is important first of all to understand that, for many of those Anglicans now looking towards the Catholic Church, the Synod vote last November brought to a head some long-felt difficulties. These people, by no means all clergy, are concerned particularly about authority. They do not believe that the General Synod has the authority to admit women to the priesthood. They believe that decisions about a matter of such doctrinal importance should not be taken by the Church of England alone. Even though much discussion focused on attitudes to women and ordination, it is the issue of the teaching authority claimed by the Church of England which is at the heart of present anxieties. It is to this that we, as Catholics, must respond.

We believe that whilst the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to all Christians by virtue of their baptism, it is the bishops of the Catholic Church, together with the Pope, who have the task of teaching with authority those things which Christ has revealed to us as saving truth. It is this understanding of authority, as the sure way to truth, which in recent years led us to explain that the Anglican vote to ordain women would in fact change our relationship with the Church of England, adding a real obstacle to our hopes for unity. It is this same teaching authority, expressed especially in the ministry of the Pope, which some Anglicans now wish to recognise and adhere to.

Our response must reflect our deep pastoral concern. As a Catholic community, one of our first responsibilities is to welcome those who seek with a sincere hearts to belong to our Church. Each person’s journey into the Catholic Church is unique, but in these present circumstances, we shall wish to acknowledge the value of the ministry and life of faith, which those who now seek to join us have already experienced.

In the light of some fears which has been expressed, let it be clearly understood that this does not mean bargaining with truth, nor a wholesale abandonment of the disciplines of our Church. Nor is compromise sought in what is expected of those seeking full communion with the Catholic Church. We gladly welcome their rich devotion and personal holiness, but we look towards their eventual total integration into the life and mission of the Catholic Church. This remains true whether their approach to ask is as individuals or in groups. Our response will be generous and understanding. It will be guided by the same principles, even if in the difficult period of transition, these may be expressed in different practical forms suited to varying situations in our different dioceses.

We repeat: we shall look towards eventual total integration into the Catholic Church. But this is a new situation and we must feel our way forward sensitively, courageously, with understanding and faith. Of course it will also, in general terms, be after due consultation with the Holy See. It is communion with the one universal Catholic Church which those troubled at this time are seeking, not some negotiated change of membership at the local level.

We hope that those who join us as a result of these events will come to live happily a truly Catholic way of life, in accordance with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. But we cannot expect that the issues and concerns of the present time can be resolved quickly, not least because of the uncertainty created by the parliamentary legislation now needed by the Church of England to implement the decision of last November’s Synod. For our part, we must proceed patiently, and with prayer.

Whatever the outcomes of this process, our ecumenical relationships continue because they are central to our response to the Lord’s will for his Church. The real bond a baptism still unites us, and we must make every effort to build upon that bond, not only with our Anglican brothers and sisters but also with other Christian communities. Together we are called to serve God’s kingdom in our world. Together we have a mission to proclaim the Gospel in the circumstances of our own society in this country, as well as in the wider world. Our ecumenical commitment must always keep in mind this larger purpose.

We ask you to pray that is together we will find the right ways forward for the whole of God’s Church. Let your prayer guide your contribution to the reflection and conscientious questioning, now taking place in the whole Church. We need to have a deep reliance on the Holy Spirit, who unfailingly guides the Church in the way of truth. ‘But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part, is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.’ Eph 4:15-16.

Signed: In the name of the Bishops of their Provinces,

+George Basil Cardinal Hume, for the Province of Westminster
+Derek Worlock, for the Province of Liverpool
+Michael Bowen for the Province of Southwark
+Maurice Couve de Murville, for the Province of Birmingham
+John Aloysius Ward, for the Province of Cardiff


+Francis Walmsley, Bishop of the Forces

Thursday 19 May 2011

Diaconal Ordinations for the Ordinariate in Portsmouth

© Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

On Friday 13 May 2011 three candidates for ordination as deacons in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, were ordained by the bishop of Portsmouth in his cathedral church.

A few months earlier, Bishop Crispian Hollis ordained former Anglican bishop of Richborough and Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford, Edwin Barnes as a deacon and then a priest in the Catholic Church. Just as with Fr Barnes’ ordination to the diaconate, this was a low-key affair, this time in the chapel of St John, the cathedral’s patron.

The Revd David Elliott, sometime Priest in Charge of the well-known Anglo-Catholic parish of the Most Holy Trinity, Reading, the Revd Jonathan Redvers Harris, who until recently was the Vicar of All Saints’, Ryde on the Isle of Wight, and the Revd Graham Smith from Bournemouth, represented three distinct areas of the diocese of Portsmouth, which are now linked by their association with the Ordinariate. The Revd Christopher Pearson, who leads the London (South) Ordinariate Group and was ordained to the diaconate at Aylesford Priory on the previous Saturday, deaconed the Mass, which was concelebrated by the Dean of the Cathedral, the Canon Chancellor of the diocese of Portsmouth, the Parish Priest of Ryde, and Fr Edwin Barnes, who represented the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton.

At 10.30am, the sacristy bell was rung as Come, ye faithful began. This has become something of a favourite at Ordinariate ordinations – surely because of the paschal theme, but also undoubtedly because of the resonances with the exodus of the ancient People of God:
God hath brought his Israel into joy from sadness;
loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters;
led the dry-shod and un-harmed
through the Red Sea waters.

The hymn, which was also sung in Cambridge at the diaconal ordinations, is a fine example of the Anglican tradition of translating patristic hymnody for use in the vernacular liturgy; maintaining the unbroken tradition of the Church within the broader context of contemporary liturgical practice. The translator, The Revd J.M. Neale, contributed over sixty translations for the English Hymnal and was also one of the principal founders of the Society of St Margaret, from which the first Religious of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, originated.
Bishop Hollis introduced the Mass with a warm and informal manner – a real and genuine sense of joy tempered by an equally impressive level of respect for the ministry which the three candidates exercised in the Church of England.
An unaccompanied Responsorial Psalm was followed by the Gospel and the Rite of Ordination. Fr Edwin Barnes, who is resident in the diocese of Portsmouth whilst being a priest of the Ordinariate, presented the candidates to Bishop Hollis on behalf of the Ordinary. As such, and as a former Anglican bishop, he wore the pectoral cross and ring – sharing for a particular action and moment in jurisdiction of the Ordinary.

Bishop Hollis, in his homily, then spoke of the significance of the occasion and the correlation between the candidates’ own journey to that day and the journey all the faithful make towards Easter. He also drew on the First Reading from Acts 9, making a clear link between the conversion of Saul, the ongoing and continual conversion of all the faithful, and the place of the Ordinariate within that wider call.

The Litany of the Saints was then sung as the candidates prostrated before the altar. After the laying-on of hands and the Prayer of Consecration, each was vested in a stole and dalmatic. The Revd James Bradley, a member of the Executive of the Catholic League who undertook a pastoral placement in Reading during his time at St Stephen’s House, assisted the new Deacon David Elliott as the Veni Creator was sung in Latin, to plainchant. The Liturgy of the Eucharist then followed and was concluded by a few final words by the bishop, the blessing and the Regina coeli.

Afterwards, the small group which represented the family, friends and groups of the three new deacons, were entertained in Bishops’ House.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

New Anglican Bishop of Richborough

Fr Norman Banks,
Chaplain to HM The Queen
We warmly congratulate Fr Norman Banks, vicar of Walsingham, on his appointment as bishop of Richborough. Fr Banks served for a number of years as a trustee and member of the Council of the League and inspired in so many ways our focus on the importance of honouring the martyrs in a spirit of reparation and the healing of memories, as called for by Blessed Pope John Paul. He was instrumental in ensuring that the cell where the last sub-prior of Walsingham Priory, Fr Nicholas Mileham, was held on the eve of his martyrdom was dedicated as a chapel in the old Sue Ryder building. The League placed an altar there, bearing our emblem of the crossed key and crozier, in memory of our much loved late General Secretary, Geoffrey Wright. Until the future of the building and possible use and access to the cell-chapel are settled, Fr Banks has been looking after the altar. Before the Sue Ryder building closed, the altar was much used for mass and was at the time one of the few places in Walsingham where Catholics and Anglicans alike could celebrate a eucharist in the same holy space.

Let us pray that, thanks to the prayer and faithfulness of all the martyrs, Catholic and Protestant alike, and their self-oblation in union with the sacrifice of Christ, the Christians of today may grow ever closer together into fullness of communion in his one Church. We know how deeply Fr Norman cares for the Catholic faith as it has been lived in the Anglican Church and what it has promised for the reconciliation of all Christians. So we assure him of our prayers for God's blessing in his future ministry to bring about the day of unity in Christ's one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

Monday 9 May 2011

Ordinations of Deacons for the Ordinariate within the Diocese of Westminster: Anglican & Catholic Patrimony

Fr Mark Woodruff (left) vests the new Deacon Timothy Bugby
(c) Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
Friday evening 6th May 2011 saw the ordination of seven deacons, all formerly serving as priests in the Church of England. Each belongs to a group of clergy and lay people who aim to form personal parishes as part of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. There are three groups at the moment  within the territory of the Diocese of Westminster - Hemel Hempstead, North London (Enfield) and Central London.

Fr Mark Woodruff, director of the League was a concelebrant and assisted the Revd Tim Bugby, to vest in the stole and dalmatic. Deacon Timothy is a member of the Hemel Hempstead Ordinariate Group.

The new deacons were consecrated by Bishop Alan Hopes, Episcopal Delegate for the Ordinariate from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, on behalf of the Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, at the Church of Our Lady of Victories, Kensington. Our Lady of Victories was the Pro-Cathedral of the Diocese of Westminster before the consecration of Westminster Cathedral.

The Liturgy was a fine mix of the best of the Catholic musical tradition and elements of English litrugical patrimony that have long since been owned and absorbed within Catholic worship. It is interesting to reflect on the mutual histories. The Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei were from the Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina, famous as the Mass formerly sung as a rule at papal coronations. Probably dating from 1562, it comes from the time of the closing sessions of the great Catholic reforming Council of Trent. Thirteen years after Thomas Cranmer crafted his first Book of Common Prayer, launching the Anglican liturgical patrimony that was set a year later to simple music by John Merbecke (organist of St George's Chapel, Windsor, who had once composed polyphonic music for the Catholic liturgy, but who had become a convinced Calvinist and theological controversialist, narrowly escaping the death penalty for heresy, thanks to the clemency of Bishop Stephen Gardiner), the Council had completed its work of aggiornamento - the Catholic reform - to meet the conditions and challenges of a world beyond the Middle Ages, along with the continuing effects of the Renaissance. It is not really accurate to speak of a counter-Reformation, since the roots to the Catholic reform go back further and show remarkable continuity with development and growth in the Middle Ages, not least in the development of a firmly Catholic humanist tradition (Erasmus, St Thomas More) and movements of lay and religious spiritual revival (such as in the Low Countries, cultivating the Devotio Moderna), the effects of which can be traced not only in the pietistical objectives of Protestant Reformers, but more truly in the Carmelite reform inspired by St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross and subsequently in the genesis of the Society of Jesus. In England, the Carthusians were at the forefront of this spiritual renewal process. This was doubtless more than part of the reason why they found themselves almost the first to be confronted by Henry VIII, as he wrested control of the Church, its orientation and purpose. Whereas England embraced a truncated, partial reform in response to the crisis in the Church after the end of the Middles Ages, the Catholic Church completed a reform that opened the Liturgy to the involvement of the people, cultivated liturgical spirituality, provided for the thorough training of the clergy in orthodox theology and philosophy, so as to enable the catechesis of the faithful in their Catholic faith, and opened up a vigorous sense of mission not only around the world, but also in Europe in response to the challenge of the Protestant Reformers. Perhaps the greatest of its exponents in Europe was St Francis de Sales, whose transparent holiness and zeal as a pastor and teacher won back to the Catholic faith the diocese of Geneva, even if not the city itself. Under Queen Mary I, England was a first laboratory for the reforms contemplated by the Council; and Professor Eamon Duffy has shown, in Fires of Faith, that however else history has judged this reign, its religious policy of catechesis, preaching, liturgical development, mission and persuasion were not only effective but popular, later to be emulated in other parts of Europe. By 1562, England had been channelled back into Protestantism for four years and the English Church was not to benefit from the post-Renaissance renewal of music and worship, pioneered by Palestrina's new approach in the spirit of the Catholic reforms, for over 400 years. The choice of this particular Mass setting, composed at a time of rupture in the Church at the root of the Anglican schism and thus its missing out on the full process of reform within the Church, was inspired, since it represented something of a healing of histories, a resetting of something that had been dislocated. Those with an Anglican patrimony could reclaim a symbolic part of their missed Catholic heritage.

The entrance hymn was from the time of the Church before the Great Schism - St Fulbert of Chartres' Ye choirs of New Jerusalem, translated by Robert Campbell, who brought into English many Latin hymns (notably the hymns of Charles Coffin from the Paris Breviary). This great favourite has occupired a place in Anglican worship for 150 years, but is less well known as a hymn to sing at mass in the English Catholic Church. The tune, St Fulbert, was written by Henry Gauntlett (1805-1876), the organist, composer and organ-builder who had the distinction of having been the first person to be awarded a Doctorate of Music by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with pontifical powers to oversee ecclesiastical and university education reserved to the Pope before the breach with Rome, in 200 years. He is also famous as the composer of the tune, Irby, for Once in Royal David's City. In the Anglican church, the custom is not to omit the Amen at the end of hymns concluding with a trinitarian doxology, and with St Fulbert the Amen is preceded by an Alleluia. This did not happen at Our Lady of Victories - it is not their tradition - but there was a sense of expectation to sing it, as many present were, or had been, Anglicans familiar with this custom of singing Alleluia. Amen.

During the vesting of the new deacons, Veni Creator Spiritus was sung in Latin. In future, when the Ordinariates benefit from their own distinctive Use of the Roman Latin rite, will it become the custom to sing the much-loved translation into English by Bishop John Cosin from the 1662 Anglican Ordinal - Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire? The signs are that this could be so - Cosin's version was indeed sung at the ordinations for the pastors of the Ordinariate groups in the Southwark archdiocese the very next day at The Friars, Aylesford, with its short and to the point rendering of the doxology in a stanza of just two lines:
Praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Indeed, Amen. The last hymn was Thine be the glory, a fairly recent arrival in English, but now a hymn that truly belongs to all Britain's Christians. It had its origins in the French-speaking Swiss Reformed Church, and stands as another example of different Christian patrimonies, in the exchange of spiritual riches for which Vatican II's Decree on  Ecumenism hoped, informing and infusing each other.

This seems to be the first of the Ordinariate ordinations in which the participants were furnished with the full text of the presentation of candidates, marking the exceptional constitutional nature of the Ordinarite and its provsions for the ordination of married transitional deacons destined for ordination to the priesthood:

Bishop Hopes: Do you judge them worthy?
Mgr Newton: After enquiry among the people of Christ and upon recommendation of those concerned with their training, and with the permission of the Holy See, I testify that they have been found worthy.
And the Ordinariate has its first permanent deacon. His Honour Judge James Patrick was a non-stipendiary assistant priest at All Saints' Anglican Parish, Clifton, Bristol. As a circuit judge he holds public office and this prohibits his ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Should he step down, or when he retires from the judiciary, he will become eligible to be ordained priest.

As at the ordinations in Cambridge in Easter Week, Bishop Hopes included after the Election by the Bishop and Consent of the People the Vatican-approved prayer of thanksgiving - and thus Catholic recognition - for previous Anglican ministry "derived from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church". This led directly into the Bishop's homily, which we hope will be made available in due course. At the Ordinariate ordinations in the Archdiocese of Southwark the following day at Aylesford, it seems that Bishop Hines also used the same prayer; but he placed it with the invitation to prayer, prior to the Litany of Saints (which, as it is Eastertide, was sung standing while the candidates prostrated). This is the position suggested by the Congregation for Divine Worship in the rite at which the Prayer of Thanksgiving was used at the Ordination of Mgr Graham Leonard and subsequent priestly ordinations of former Anglican priests in the diocese of Westminster under Cardinal Hume, whose initiative it was.

Finally, for the Offertory the motet was William Byrd's Haec Dies, the Gradual for Easter used at both mass and the office throughout the eight days of Easter. Byrd was probably born in 1540 at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. He witnessed the collapse of the shortlived and futile Henrician pseudo-Catholic Church in 1547 and its replacement by a more thorough Protestant Reformed Church of England under his son, with worship in English according to the First and Second Books of Common Prayer until Queen Mary restored the English Church's allegiance to the Catholic Church. Possibly by then he was a Chapel Royal choirboy. Certainly he was a pupil of Thomas Tallis, who as a Gentlement of the Chapel from 1543 to his death in 1585 was a leading court composer, serving Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. Like Byrd he remained a Catholic throughout, but avoided religious controversy, adapting his musical style and output to the tastes and requirements of his royal employers. The young Byrd collaborated with Tallis, John Sheppard and William Mundy in writing new music for the Sarum rite used by the Chapel Royal towards the end of the reign of Queen Mary in 1558. Thereafter, with the Church of England re-established and its Prayer Book restored, Byrd's public musicianship had to serve the requirements of Queen Elizabeth. After he too became a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal in 1572, he collaborated with the aged Tallis on the publication of a collection of motets in Latin. Dedicated to the Queen, the collection comprised items used in the Chapel Royal, in which the Prayer Book was used in Latin translation. But Haec Dies comes from Byrd's own 1591 second volume of Cantiones Sacrae, containing his later output of motets more specifically reflecting his Catholic perspective. Like his subsequent Masses and the Gradualia that date from the reign of James I (Byrd's long life ended in 1623), they may well have seen service in the clandestine masses and performances of religious music in the houses of Catholic patrons.

So Haec Dies represents an attempt to recover the tradition of a Catholic musical and liturgical patrimony Byrd treasured from the time of his youth, as well as to renew it with influences from the continent and developing tastes in secular music, at the same time as his outstanding and innovative contribution to the emergence of the Anglican musical and liturgical patrimony. But despite his high reputation as a master of European Renaissance music in his lifetime, and despite such illustrious pupils as Peter Philips, Thomas Tomkins and Thomas Morley, the English tradition of Latin sacred music died with him. The place of his secular music in the repertoire declined with changes in popular taste and it was only his Anglican music that preserved his fame beyond the Restoration, until it too fell out of use. But the story does not end there. Despite various attempts in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to revive interest in his enormous output over such a long life, it took an Anglican clergyman and musicologist, Edmund Fellowes, to edit and publish twenty volumes of Byrd's music as well as the remarkable series, Tudor Church Music, through which he also recovered the long forgotten works of other English Renaissance composers, notably Orlando Gibbons.

So the selection of Haec Dies could not have been more apt for the ordination of deacons for the Ordinariate. Ostensibly a piece of Catholic patrimony from the age of the Tudors, it speaks of the genesis of the Anglican musical patrimony by the same hand. Furthermore, it was recovered for re-reception within Catholic worship through the scholarship of a Church of England priest, as a labour of love that he thought would enrich the Anglican choral tradition in such places in which he served as Bristol Cathedral, St George's Chapel, Windsor, and St Michael's College, Tenbury (1856-1985 - a school founded by Sir Fredreick Gore Ouseley as a model for church music raised to the highest standards, in reaction to its parlous condition in the mid-nineteenth century).

It is interesting to reflect that the sacred music of the English Renaissance that is associated with the Anglican patrimony par excellence, especially Choral Evensong, owes its place deep in the heart, imagination and folk memory of the Church of England's cathedral tradition to the efforts of a clergyman who flourished in the first half of the twentieth century, a matter of mere decades ago. It is also worth bearing in mind that long before Anglicanorum Coetibus, the restoration of Anglican patrimony brought with it some treasures to be restored to their rightful and much loved place in the Catholic liturgy too.

Sunday 8 May 2011

New Trustee Ordained

Bishop Hine, Mgr Keith Newton, Deacon James Bradley
(c) The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
We warmly congratulate the Revd James Bradley on his ordination to the diaconate in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on Saturday 7th May in the Relic Chapel at The Friars, Aylesford by Bishop John Hine, along with seven others who formerly served as clergy in the Church of England dioceses covered by the Catholic archdiocese of Southwark.

Until recently, Fr Deacon James was assistant curate in the Anglican parish of St John the Baptist, Sevenoaks, working alongside the vicar, the Revd Ivan Aquilina, who was also ordained on Saturday. Together they have been leading a vibrant group aiming to become a parish of the Ordinariate.

James has been helping to lay good foundations for the Ordinariate through keeping a full photographic record and maintaining a blog with news on developments, analysis and events. On the strength of his work he was recently invited to attend a conference for Catholic bloggers in Rome,  convened by the Pontifical Council for Social Communitions. He was co-opted as a member of the Executive and trustee of the Catholic League in March, in the stead of Miss Mary Lamb who died in December.