South African Navy Festival Day

The South African Navy had a Festival Day earlier today and I was there. It was a wet and blustery day in the East Dockyard in Simon’s Town, but enjoyable nonetheless. Here are a few pics taken with the BlackBerry.

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Msgr Keith Newton on Traditional Anglican Communion Priests Joining the Ordinariate

Did you receive many requests from the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), who had already split from the Anglican Church in the past?

There are twenty or so priests who put in their request last year. We just had a response from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and five of them have been given a ‘nulla osta’. We are now in the process of discerning their vocation to be catholic priests.

Having the ‘nulla osta’ doesn’t guarantee your ordination. Most of them however, did not receive the ‘nulla osta’ for a variety of reasons: some of them have no lay faithful at all, some of them have irregular marriages, some of them have received very little training and were ordained after very short courses.

These TAC priests do not fulfill the necessary requirements. So one of the most important aspects is be that – even those TAC priests who are going to enter the Ordinariate – will be ordained at the end of the process, not at the beginning of it.

Source (and the whole interview).

HT:  Don Henri in a comment here.

You may in fact wish to read the entire post in which the comment was made, ‘The Traditional Anglican Church in England’, on Fr Anthony Chadwick’s blog here. It’s a bit tangled, but worth reading.



Will Rowan Williams Join the Ordinariate?

Since many are wondering (whispering), why not have a poll on the question? But first, here’s a little whisper:

This Friday morning brings significant breaking news on the ecumenical front — six days after Rowan Williams’ latest meeting with B16 (above), Lambeth Palace has announced that the 61 year-old theologian will retire as archbishop of Canterbury at year’s end, to become Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

The first non-Englishman to occupy the chair of St Augustine since the Reformation, Williams leaves the symbolic headship of the world’s 70 million Anglicans after a difficult decade-long tenure marked by infighting between his Communion’s branches on issues of teaching and identity, headlined by splits over the ordination of women and, in particular, openly-gay clergy into the church’s episcopal leadership.

A keen student of the Benedictine spiritual tradition who (under the tutelage of a monk) reportedly considered becoming Catholic as a young man, despite the internal hurdles of his turn at the helm, the 104th Archbishop departs his post with Vatican-Lambeth ties quite possibly at their warmest since Pope Paul VI famously took the ring off his finger to give to Archbishop Michael Ramsey at the close of Vatican II…

An especially warm rapport has developed between Williams — a world-class theologian in his own right — and Benedict XVI, most recently evidenced by the Pope’s invitation for the archbishop to address this October’s Synod of Bishops dedicated to the pontiff’s top pastoral priority, the New Evangelization. While some commentators aimed to interpret 2009′s Anglicanorum coetibus – Benedict’s response to requests from Anglican groups to enter Catholic communion as a unit — as Rome’s “parking a tank on the lawn of Lambeth Palace,” the bond made for perhaps the emotional high-point of the following year’s papal State Visit to Britain as the successors of Peter and Augustine presided together at Vespers in Westminster Abbey, marking a Pope’s first pilgrimage to the iconic London church dedicated to St Peter.

So lets have it then. What do you think?


Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, Resigns

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has announced he is to step down after ten years as he admitted that the row over homosexuality in the Church has been a “major nuisance”.

Dr Williams, 61, will leave at the end of December to take up a new role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January. The Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has been informed.

His reign has been plagued by bitter rows over gay clergy and women bishops that have left him struggling to prevent the Church from unravelling.

Explaining his reasons for leaving, Dr Williams admitted that “crisis management” was not his “favourite activity” but denied the rows over homosexuality had “overshadowed everything”.

But he said: “It has certainly been a major nuisance. But in every job that you are in there are controversies and conflicts and this one isn’t going to go away in a hurry. I can’t say that it is a great sense of ‘free at last’.”

Dr Williams said his successor would need the “constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros”.

It was December 2002 when he was confirmed as 104th Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the 77-million-strong Anglican Communion.

Lambeth Palace said he would continue to carry out his duties until the end of the year while the Crown Nominations Commission would consider “in due course” the selection of a successor.

He described the Church of England as a “great treasure” which was still a place where many people sought inspiration and comfort in times of need.

“I would like the successor that God would like,” he said. “I think that it is a job of immense demands and I would hope that my successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros, really.

“But he will, I think, have to look with positive, hopeful eyes on a Church which, for all its problems, is still, for so many people, a place to which they resort in times of need and crisis, a place to which they look for inspiration.

“I think the Church of England is a great treasure. I wish my successor well in the stewardship of it”…

There is more here.

See also: Archbishop of Canterbury resigns: tributes to Rowan Williams, here.

And: Six days after meeting with Pope, Rowan Williams announces retirement as Archbishop of Canterbury, here.

That said, here is the Archbishop himself:



Bible Archaeology

Is this Britain’s First Christian Burial?

Anglo Saxon grave reveals 16-year-old girl laid to rest with a gold cross

The Daily Mail reports:

Laid to rest in her best clothes and lying on an ornamental bed, she was probably of noble blood.

Quite how the 16-year-old Anglo Saxon girl died and who she was remain a mystery.

But she was buried wearing a gold cross – suggesting she was one of Britain’s earliest Christians.

Her well-preserved 1,400-year-old grave has been discovered by Cambridge University scientists, who described the find as ‘astonishing’.

The burial site at Trumpington Meadows, a village near Cambridge, indicates Christianity had already taken root in the area as early as the middle of the 7th century.

It was not long after St Augustine, a monk in Rome, was sent by Pope Gregory the Great to convert the English in the year 595.

Starting in Kent, his team of 40 missionaries slowly worked their way around the country and he became the first Archbishop of Canterbury two years later.

But progress is thought to have been slow and sometimes difficult, and Christians and pagans co-existed for many decades.

The new find gives an insight into this transition period as she was also buried with a knife and glass beads to use in the next life – a pagan tradition of ‘grave goods’ which goes against Christian beliefs. Dr Sam Lewsey, an expert in Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, said: ‘This is an excessively rare discovery. It is the most amazing find I have ever encountered.

‘Christian conversion began at the top and percolated down. To be buried in this elaborate way, with such a valuable artefact, tells us that this girl was probably nobility or even royalty. This cross is the kind of material culture that was in circulation at the highest sphere of society.’

The grave is one of 13 Anglo Saxon ‘bed burials’ to be discovered. Usually reserved for noble women, they involved being laid to rest on a wood and metal frame topped with a straw mattress. Such burials are not found after the 7th century.

The girl’s inch-wide gold cross, studded with cut garnets, has been dated to between 650 and 680AD.

It was probably sewn into her clothing around the neck and may have been worn in her daily life.  Four graves were found at the site, the others containing an individual in their 20s whose gender is unknown, and two girls in their late teens, who had no religious signs.

It raises the question of whether the woman buried with the cross had an official role in the fledgling Christian church.

Wow, this is very interesting.

There is more with photos aplenty here.