St Stephen’s House, Oxford, was host to a conference entitled “The Gospel and the Catholic Church: discussing Anglican Patrimony today”. This was the first of its kind, and saw speakers from both the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church come together to speak on unity, worship, and relations with the modern world.
From the Ordinariate Mgrs Keith Newton, the Ordinary, and Andrew Burnham, the assistant to the Ordinary.
Of particular interest is the talk given by Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, OP of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
He, as an outsider speaks with great warmth of the Anglican Patrimony, and its ability to influence the life of the Catholic Church; liturgically and in other ways.
Di Noia spoke of Anglicanorum Coetibus in the context and as a fruit of the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium:
“The elements of sanctification and truth that are present in the Anglican patrimony are recognized as properly belonging to the Church of Christ and thus as instruments of grace that move the communities where they are employed towards the visible unity of the Church of Christ subsisting in the Catholic Church”
He also cited Pope St. Gregory’s correspondence with St Augustine in forming a liturgy for the English peoples, and that the fundamental purpose of liturgy then as now is “…pastoral motivation: the salvation of souls through sacramental grace.”
D Noia also firmly rooted his words in the thought and teaching of Pope Benedict, and his feelings on the liturgy of the Church of England, that at heart, it preserved the essentials of Catholic truth; a “potency” if you will, which has really only faded with the advent of contemporary forms of worship.
Towards the end of his talk, Di Noia speaks of where there is still work to do:
“There is much in this tradition that remains to be recovered: the zeal for sacred beauty, parochial experience of the Divine Office, a robust devotional life, a developed biblical piety, the vast treasure of sacred music.”
But he is extremely encouraging of the work that has already been done; and his warmth in pointing out that from now onward those parts of the Prayer Book which express the Catholic faith are no longer a lone voice, but rather fully and integrally part of the worship of the Catholic Church, and, in a way, always have been. He finishes as he began by speaking about St Mary’s, 46th Street, New York (Smoky Mary’s, as it has long been affectionately known) and his confusion as a young man, about its ecclesial origins. He was convinced it was a Catholic church and concludes that, in the final analysis, he was not far from the mark.
You can read the full talk here.