That is to say, I have lost it - my camera, that is. Either at Allen Hall or on the train home. So until it returns, or I get an old one working again, this blog will only have documents or drawings to offer.
Yesterday deserved some pictures. We were at Allen Hall for the meeting of all the ordinariate priests and those soon to be ordained. So many of us that the student body was nowhere to be seen; I think their vacation has already begun. It was especially good meeting old friends in the "second wave". Those in the archdiocese of Southwark are still awaiting a date for their deaconing - the Archbishop was away at a crucial moment so documents did not get to Rome in time. It will be good though to be able to attend the Ordinations of Paul Gibbons and Donald Minchew Before then there are still a few outstanding Priestings: Fr John Hunwicke's in Oxford (which alas I cannot attend) and Fr David Boundy's in Salisbury at the end of July when I hope to concelebrate. (Incidentally I fancy "Deaconing" and "Priesting" are not words commonly used among Catholics - maybe part of our Anglican Patrimony?)
The train was late yesterday, the buses even worse, so I crept into the Library - we were too many for the usual lecture room - to find our Ordinary in full flow. He seemed in particularly good form, and we had helpful contributions from Mgr Broadhurst and Mgr Burnham. It seems the book now in production (our temporary "Ordinariate Use" for the Offices, Calendar &c) is a little delayed and will not be available until September.
After lunch, a Group Photograph (already on the Ordinariate site), then another of the second wave of former Anglican clergy, and after that single mug-shots so that "celebrets" can be produced - documents to enable us to be accepted as Priests anywhere in the world. Then a major contribution from Fr Kristian Paver, the Chancellor for the Ordinariate. He was hugely helpful in answering all the questions thrown at him, many of which concerned Marriage - marriage breakdown, divorce, annulments &c. Perhaps the most important part of his message was simply this: "Care for the divorced and remarried is a pressing and central part of the Church's ministry today". All of us in local Groups have our part to play in exercising that care, and seeking to help regularise the situation after remarrige, if that is at all possible.
The oddest thing about arriving late was to discover Mgr Keith speaking about me - he was waving a document (reproduced above) with the news that the three of us who had been Anglican Bishops but were now retired were to be made Monsignori. It will be good to catch up (as I hope) with Mgr David Silk at Buckfast next week : and Mgr Robert Mercer's elevation will be a great encouragement to many especially those in the TAC or who have been in his care in time past. As for me, members of our Group and other friends have been inundating me with congratulations, and I was also warmly greeted when I said Mass this morning (of SS John Fisher and Thomas More) in Lymington. Mgr Mercer was typically self-deprecatory: 'it doesn't mean a lot', he said. Certainly the accompanying letter mostly told us what we could no longer wear... the purple cassock, the ankle-length sleeveless purple mantle, the sash with tassels, the buckled shoes - all were abolished in 1969. Rather a mercy - I always found purple a very unflattering colour! And since I rarely wear a cassock the one remaining piece of finery will not often be on view (black cassock with purple trimmings, and a purple cincture). But it was very kind of our Ordinary to commend us to the Holy Father for this honour, and I have to admit to being rather happy about it.
10 hours ago