Musings July 2019 Edition 33
By the Reverend Monsignor Harry Entwistle,
Musings 33 July 2019
MUSINGS OF THE ORDINARY EMERITUS
Dear Ordinariate Members and Supporters
It is said that ‘Life is a journey, not a destination.’ That is true of our personal lives and it is true of the journey many of us began 7 years ago when Pope Benedict XVI responded to our requests to enter into full communion with him by erecting the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 2012.
For some Anglicans seeking unity, the gift of Pope Benedict was the destination they could not embrace, and so ‘walked away’ as some of Jesus’ disciples did after the feeding of the five thousand (Jn 6:66). Those of us who received the gift with joy have found the journey to be a testing one, but one we have undertaken in faith that the unity of all Christians is what Jesus prayed for on the night before his betrayal.
“To get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.” (T.S.Eliot, East Coker)
I think many of us can relate to these words of T.S.Eliot, and even on our journey, some who walked with us have left us, while many others have joined us.
We have now arrived at an end point which is also a beginning. Endings open the door to beginnings and OLSC is preparing to welcome Msg Carl Reid as the new Ordinary and to travel the next stage of the journey. Our first leg of the journey has been one of laying the foundations, which unexpectedly has come to include Japan with a pro-community in the Philippines.
The next phase is to build on these foundations in order to ensure that the unique gifts of the English Spiritual Tradition are able to be shared more widely within the Catholic Church. It would be foolish to suggest that this task will be easy, but under the leading of the Spirit and the commitment of all Ordinariate members and supporters to the task God has asked of us, we will not fail.
Within the Catholic Church of Australia at this time, the bishops have posed the question to the faithful, “What is God asking of us at this time?’ This is not a question asking what the faithful think should be done to ‘fix up’ the Church and make it ‘relevant’ to modern liberal Western society. To attempt to do that is pursuing fool’s gold.
The question is not one about how to enable the Church to survive in our age. It could only do that by ceasing to be Catholic. Nor is it one about finding strategies to revive the Church. Like the raising of Lazarus, revival is restoring someone or something to what it was before, and everyone has their own view about what this should be.
The question is about what GOD wants, and what GOD has always wanted from the creation onwards, is to bring order out of chaos, which is nothing less than resurrection.
God is not asking us in the Ordinariate to struggle on as best we can in the hope that we will grow and somehow survive. Neither is he asking us to revive some glorious era of Anglo-Catholicism within the Catholic Church.
He is calling us to the new life of resurrection by finding a new place within the Australian Catholic Church at this time so that we can be faithful to our heritage while being committed to the mission of the Church and its evangelisation of the world.
The road to resurrection is always via the Cross of suffering in which we find comfort and wholeness.
“The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food;
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood –
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.’” (T.S.Eliot, East Coker)
As I hand over the reins of leadership to Mgr Reid, I thank you for your kindness and support during my tenure as Ordinary and with you, welcome Mgr Carl and his wife Barbara to Australia and the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross.
I invite all of you who can attend the celebrations of Mgr Reid’s installation to do so in order to offer a warm welcome to the Reids and the officials from the Vatican, the United States and the UK, as well as to those Australian Bishops who will be present.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Monsignor Entwistle was the first Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Educated at St Chad's Theological College, he was ordained a priest in the Church of England Diocese of Blackburn in 1964. After reception into the Roman Catholic Church, he was ordained to the priesthood in St Mary's Cathedral, Perth on 15 June 2012.