A National Church Cannot Be Catholic
During a Friends of the Ordinariate appeal at the Church of the Transfiguration, Kensal Rise (London), on 4th and 5th October, Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, discussed the tensions that exist for those who are both citizens of the state and citizens of heaven.
Mgr Newton was invited to visit the Church of the Transfiguration by Fr Sean Thornton, the parish priest, who also invited the Friends of the Ordinariate to hold an appeal on the same weekend. While at Kensal Rise, Mgr Newton preached at the four Sunday Masses – celebrating two of them.
Referring to the Gospel of the day (“Caesar’s Coin”), Mgr Newton said: “There might sometimes be conflict between a Christian’s obligations to the state and to the Church.” Mentioning that “the Church of England is often beholden to Parliament”, he continued by saying that a Christian’s “primary duty is always as [a] citizen of heaven.” As such, disciples of Christ “[must] follow and obey the truth, even if that means sacrifice and uncertainty.” After testing God’s will “against Scripture and Tradition”, this devotion to the truth, as well as a search for unity, is what led many former Anglicans to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church via the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Quoting the Dominican theologian, Timothy Radcliffe, Mgr Newton also said: “The notion of a national Church cannot be catholic.”
Speaking after the event, Dylan Parry of the Friends of the Ordinariate, who had accompanied Mgr Newton during the weekend, said: “We would like to thank Fr Sean Thornton and the parishioners of the Church of the Transfiguration, Kensal Rise, for their kindness and hospitality, as well as for their generous contribution to the work of the Ordinariate, which was made during a retiring collection for the Friends after all Masses.”
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