Anna Arco's Diary

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To go? Or not to go? Anglican deliberations

Bishop Edwin Barnes, the emeritus Anglican bishop of Richborough, has written a piece on the Anglo-Catholic blog about the increasingly reticent sounds coming from Britain about the possibility of joining an Ordinariate. Entitled ‘Cold Feet’, the article gives a sense of the mood in England and Wales towards taking up the offer of an ordinariate among Catholic members of the Church of England.

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Written by annaarco

June 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

Archbishop Vincent Nichols talks about the Papal visit

We interviewed Archbishop Vincent Nichols about the Papal visit in September after he presented the new booklet promoting the visit. During the interview he explains why he is pleased it is a state visit, what is exciting about it and why he is emphasising Cardinal John Henry Newman’s role as a parish priest. He also invites Catholics in England and Wales to put their support behind the Pope during the visit by praying, coming out to the events and giving financial and spiritual support.

Here is the exclusive interview: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

June 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Archbishop Peter Smith talks about the Apostles, the history of the Church and moving to Southwark

Full text of my interview with Archbishop Smith. I left out some sections because I was taking too long with transcribing. NB It is all pretty rough. If there are gramatical errors or spelling mistakes, please ignore them.

How does it feel to be coming home?

To be honest I have mixed feelings about it. I was well settled in Wales. It was a very sensitive situation when I first got there after the resignation of Archbishop Ward, so I got kind of parachuted in. It was quite difficult. But over the eight and a half years I’ve been there I’ve got to know the priests and the people. And they’re a great lot.

They’ve got a great faith and a great sense of humour. But I don’t think they could quite work me out as when I first came. They weren’t used to it I think. I’ll miss them an awful lot. It’s a much smaller diocese than this, not geographically but in terms of numbers which makes it easier for the bishop to get to know people. And the other thing when I went there was that there was virtually no relationship with the local media.

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Written by annaarco

June 11, 2010 at 8:00 am

In Austria the battle over priestly celibacy rages

While Pope Benedict’s former Zauberlehrling , Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn managed to extract himself from comments he made earlier this year about re-examining priestly celibacy in light of clerical abuse of minors, the debate over celibacy continues to rage in Austria and Germany. Bishops have been pitted against brother bishops and the mood is ugly.

The Ober-Oesterreichische Nachrichten reported today that more than 59 per cent of Austrian priests would like to abolish mandatory celibacy—and the number, unsurprisingly, is highest in the ultra-progressive diocese of Linz, where three quarters of the priests would like to abolish the tradition. It is a poorly kept secret that many of Austria’s priests keep mistresses.

One interesting detail on the matter is that, according to the study cited in the OONachrichten, younger priests tend to be more in favour of mandatory celibacy while older priests up to the age of 75 are more decidedly against it.

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Archbishop Smith installed in Southwark

Archbishop Peter Smith, formerly of Cardiff, was installed in his old home diocese this afternoon. In his homily he addressed growing secularism, the challenges facing the Church, the abuse crisis, finally reminding Catholics to take heart.

There is an interview with Archbishop Smith in this Friday’s Catholic Herald, which is not to miss (even if I say so myself) and I will be posting the full transcript of the interview on the blog tomorrow.

A teaser for my  interview:
For a man who is about to be installed as the new Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith seems surprisingly relaxed. He whistles as he comes down the stairs in Archbishop’s House, his clerical collar is pushed to one side and the top buttons of his shirt are undone.

His parlour is impeccable, the books and DVDs tidily arranged in glass bookcases, and the only indicators of his recent move from Cardiff are some empty cardboard boxes outside the door and stacks of pictures that still need to be hung. He’s been working on the homily for his enthronement and preparing a talk that he is giving the day before to the Anglican directors of education in Warwick, a promise he made well before he heard the news of his appointment. Read more.

Over at Westminster Archdiocese, Patrick Daly has a full report on the enthronment ceremony.

Written by annaarco

June 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Pre-World Cup, Neocats win Clericus Cup

It’s the biggest foot-balling event in the world before the World Cup’s kickoff in South Africa in two weeks time. Erm. Ok. Fine.

It’s the Catholic Church’s biggest foot-balling event: The Clericus Cup and it’s just bee run, a second time in  a row, by a smoking hot team of international seminarians put up by the Neocatechumenal Way. Their team “Redemptoris Mater” beat the students at the North American College “The North American Martyrs” one : nil in the Clericus Cup final in Rome on Saturday.

Since February, 300 clerics and young priests from 63 different nations took part in the tournament which has been running for four years now. There are 16 teams made up of the different seminarians and the competition is organised by the Catholic Sports Association of Italy.

Written by annaarco

May 31, 2010 at 2:12 pm

The end of the St Vitus dance? Church and State find compromise over Cathedral

A long running dispute between Church and State in the Czech Republic concerning the ownership of St Vitus Cathedral in Prague has come to a close. Archbishop Dominik Duka OP of Prague signed an agreement with the Czech President Vaclav Klaus to share the care of St Vitus on Monday ending an 18 year long dispute over the Church’s property rights.

After the fall of Communism, Duka’s predecessor Cardinal Miloslav Vlk started a courtbattle over cathedral ownership. The battle has raged for years, swaying in the favour of one party then the other.

Archbishop Duka said: “ It is clear that this particular property cannot be judged on purely legal grounds. This cathedral is a historical, spiritual, national and cultural symbol dear to the heart of all Czechs – regardless of their faith.”

When Cardinal Vlk stepped down, Radio Prague reported that his three greatest failures were a) the inability to end the dispute over the ownership of the Cathedral b) reaching a final agreement on Church property restitution and c) establish a concordat between the Holy See and the Czech Republic.

When Archbishop Duka was nominated, he pledged to put an end to such disputes between Church and State in the Czech Republic.

He said: “The unresolved situation is blocking the development of villages, towns and regions. We want such an agreement that would benefit the whole society, which means also churches and religious societies.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

May 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Respected Moral theologian appointed to Linacre centre

Former Dominican friar and bioethicist Professor David Jones has been nominated to succeed Dr Helen Watt as director at the Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics. The post was held by Professor Luke Gormally from 1981 to 2000.

Dr Jones is known as an eloquent defender of Catholic moral teaching in the public arena. He has a reputation for being a canny theologian with nous and comes across well in the media.

The Linacre Centre will be renamed after the renowned Catholic philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. Earlier this year the centre relocated to Oxford University to work in close academic cooperation to Blackfriars Hall–the Dominican Permanent Private Hall.

Dr Jones is currently the Professor of Bioethics at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham and is the author of The Soul of the Embryo: An enquiry into the status of the human embryo in the Christian tradition (Continuum 2004). His doctorate was published and is entitled Approaching the End: a theological exploration of death and dying (Oxford University Press 2007). With the publication of the new General Medical Council’s rules for withholding treatment from terminally ill patients were published today and the growing clamour to legalise other forms of assisted suicide, Dr Jones’s appointment is timely. He has spoken in favour of the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway, a palliative care programme for dying patients in hospitals and is a member of the the National Liverpool Care Pathway Reference Group.
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Written by annaarco

May 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm

First formal request for Ordinariate in Britain comes from TAC

It looks like the first moves towards establishing an ordinariate in the United Kingdom have been made by the Traditional Anglican Communion in this country. According to Anglo-Catholic, the group–which is small in Britain– has made a formal request to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

This is part of their letter stating that they will take up the new canonical structure offered in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, published last year:

We therefore request that:

1) That the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in the United Kingdom and a Personal Ordinariate be erected.

2) That we may establish an interim Governing Council.

3) That this interim Council be directed by the Holy Father to propose a terna of names for the appointment of an Ordinary in a UK Ordinariate.

While we cannot speak for other groups of Anglicans in the United Kingdom, we shall be delighted if others apply for acceptance under the terms of Anglicanorum coetibus.

NB: It is important not to confuse the Traditional Anglican Communion with traditionalist groups in the Church of England. TTAC counts as a continuing Church and is not in Communion with Canterbury.

Written by annaarco

May 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm

The art of illumination

I’m late on picking up on this, but for those people who are interested in manuscripts, illumination and/or reading the Office on a regular basis, the Metropolitan Museum in New York is exhibiting one of the Duc de Berry’s more famous book of hours. If you happen to be passing through New York before June 13 “The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry” , is worth a peek, if not several hours.

The Belles Heures of the Duc de Berry is an extended devotional work, which is more than an ordinary book of hours. It also includes the life of St Catherine of Alexandria, the foundation of the Carthusian Order and the institution of the Great Litany by St Gregory the Great.

The Duc de Berry’s book belongs to the Cloisters.  The book has been unbound and the individual illuminations are on display. Visitors can take magnifying glasses and wander around looking at the beautiful devotional images.

Written by annaarco

May 10, 2010 at 2:12 pm