1 hour ago
Saturday, 7 January 2012
The reception of Bishop Robert Mercer CR has already been covered in the Anglo-Catholic blog. But since I was there, and have a couple of pictures so far unpublished, it may be worth saying a little more about the event.
Bishop Mercer has been a leading figure among "continuing" Anglicans, and was for some years Metropolitan of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada. His reception into the Catholic Church represents the first Bishop from the TAC grouping (the Traditional Anglican Church) to join an Ordinariate. Now we look forward to his ordination as a Priest - and perhaps too to the Episcopate, as the only celibate former Anglican bishop within the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. That is only speculation on my part. He may be considered over the hill, being past the supposed retirement age for Catholic clergy.
I was especially glad that we had a fair representation from our Bournemouth Group. Those who do not know the South Coast readily confuse Plymouth and Portsmouth (about as far apart as London and Leeds) and assume that Bournemouth, between the two, must be next door to both. In fact from our Ordinariate Church to its neighbour in Portsmouth is around fifty miles, much of the route heavily congested. So well done those who made the journey.
It was good to hear once more familiar Prayer Book words - the Prayer of Humble Access, albeit bowdlerised, and other phrases from what Geoffrey Kirk is wont to call "Dr Cranmer's little compendium". Better still to know that those words were being used in a fully Catholic context, and that the Mass was more pre- than post-Reformation.
All credit to Fr Maunder of the TAC and his faithful flock, who made us so welcome and put on a first-rate reception after the Mass.