Anglican-Catholic Super-Cathedral Planned in Christchurch, New Zealand

Anglicans in Christchurch are talking about sharing a cathedral with the Catholics, a move that would have worldwide ramifications.

The Press:

Rebuilding Christchurch’s two wounded cathedrals into one ‘unprecedented’ Anglican-Catholic super-cathedral is under discussion at top levels in the Anglican Church.

The Sunday Star-Times understands the possibility of an ecumenical, or joint, cathedral to unify the two churches has been discussed behind closed doors for months.

If given the green light, it would bring the Catholics and Anglicans together under the same cathedral roof for the first time in the world since the churches split in the 16th century.

Christchurch’s Bishop Victoria Matthews was reluctant to speak publicly about the controversial idea for fear it would ‘kill the possibility’. But she confirmed she had informally discussed it with local Anglicans.

‘There are conversations about this going on, but those conversations are with ourselves,’ she said.

The idea had not been raised officially within Christchurch’s Anglican Diocese, was yet to be broached with the city’s Catholic leaders and was currently only an Anglican ‘hope’.

‘It’s fair to say there are many individuals in the diocese who would welcome the idea,” Matthews said, adding that while the Christ Church Cathedral demolition was before the High Court, the ‘delicate conversation’ had been put on hold.

‘It’s something that I would love to be able to discuss, but at this point we can’t. We have to wait for this thing to get out of the courts before it even becomes a good conversation.’

Matthews said the Anglican Church would patiently wait for the ‘right moment’, rather than ‘raising the question at the wrong moment and it’s dead in the water’. If the super-cathedral was accepted it had the ‘potential of being huge’ for Christianity worldwide, not just Christchurch.

The earthquakes have already ignited a spirit of co-operation between Anglican and Catholics in Christchurch, Matthews added. Three churches, two Anglican and one Catholic, have already allowed the other denomination to worship on their site although the services are held separately, she said…

More here.


Bible Archaeology

Western Wall Passes Annual Health Check

Ahead of Judaism’s High Holy Days when hundreds of thousands will visit the holy site, engineers inspect Western Wall to ensure stability • Office of the rabbi of the Western Wall confirms that site is safe and ready to receive the faithful.

A team of engineers closely examined Jerusalem’s Western Wall — a remnant of the ancient Temple destroyed in 70 C.E. — on Tuesday. The inspection is carried out annually to the check stability of the site ahead of the High Holy Days.

With less than two weeks to go before the Jewish New Year and the start of the most important days in Judaism ahead of Yom Kippur, when hundreds of thousands of people are expected to visit the site, engineers examined the ancient stones.

The office of the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, said there were no abnormal findings in Tuesday’s test. Tests in previous years have uncovered stones damaged by bad weather, but no problems were found this year.

In 2003 an engineering survey of the Western Wall was undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority which mapped the stones in the wall and physical problems, and undertook to monitor the state of the wall’s preservation. A survey by engineers in 2009 spotted detached building material and found that stones in the upper courses of the wall were in danger of falling. Conservation efforts were undertaken to remove hazards and stabilize the original stones. The wall was stabilized and annual maintenance is now carried out to monitor the situation.

Source:  Israel Hayom



Australian Ordinariate Ordinations Today

UPDATE:  Ordinariate Ordination Report here (with photos).

Well, the service this morning went for two and a half hours! That was due to a combination of factors, eight ordinands + more than a hundred ordaining priests (I didn’t count them – and I am not good at estimating numbers). The laying on of hands and the greeting of peace – two separate rites within the ceremony – took ages, as each ordaining priest laid hands upon / greeted each ordinand.

The ordinands were (for Melbourne) Andrew McCarter, Benneth Osuagwu, Jerome Santamaria, and Kevin Williams; (for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross) Neil Fryer, James Grant, Christopher Seton, Ramsay Williams.

Archbishop Denis Hart was the ordaining minister, and Father Harry Entwistle, the Ordinary of OLSC, was the first of the presbyters to lay on hands after the Archbishop. A suprise visitor and concelebrant (he wasn’t listed on the program) was His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney.

The Cathedral was full…

Rest here.


Just a reminder: 8 candidates will be Ordained to the Priesthood at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne (on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), today. 4 candidates are from the Ordinary of Our Lady of the Southern Cross and 4 from the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Now I also see David Schütz is there:

It’s about half an hour yet, but the excitement is building towards today’s ordinations in Melbourne for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. Full report after the event!



Archbishop of Canterbury: My Job is too Big for One Man

The Anglican Church is drawing up plans for a historical overhaul that would see the introduction of a ‘presidential’ figure to take over some of the global role of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has revealed.

The Telegraph reports:

The outgoing leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans suggested a form of job share after admitting that he had failed to do enough to prevent a split over homosexuality.

Dr Williams said a new role should be created to oversee the day to day running of the global Anglican communion, leaving future Archbishops of Canterbury free to focus on spiritual leadership and leading the Church of England.

In his last major interview before he steps down later his year, he acknowledged that he had struggled to balance the growing demands of the job at home and abroad and admitted he had “disappointed” both liberals and conservatives.

He also said that the Church had been “wrong” in its treatment of homosexuals in the past but reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Daily Telegraph, Dr Williams also acknowledged that his handling of the controversy over the role of Islamic sharia law in Britain had caused “confusion” but said he stood by his central views.

He also voiced concern that politicians with little or no connection to religion were coming under the influence of secular campaigners and called for more Christians to go into politics.

And he hinted at a possible change in relationship between the monarch and the established Church when the Prince of Wales becomes king, remarking that he was “more quizzical” than his mother about the Church of England.

But he also voiced optimism about the state of the Church and said that despite a fall in attendances at services, “popular spirituality” is alive and well.

Dr Williams was speaking as Faith in the Public Square, a collection of his lectures dealing with subjects as diverse as human rights, secularism and multiculturalism, is published.

Looking back over his time at Lambeth Palace, which has seen a string of controversies over issues such as the ordination of homosexuals and the question of women bishops, Dr Williams acknowledged that there had been “mistakes”.

“I know that I’ve, at various points, disappointed both Conservatives and Liberals,” he said.

“Most of them are quite willing to say so, quite loudly.

“That’s just been a background to almost everything, a pretty steady ‘mood music’.”

Arguably the biggest crisis he has faced has been the split between traditionalist provinces, including the rapidly growing African churches, and liberals following the ordination of the first openly homosexual Anglican bishop, Gene Robinson in the US.

He acknowledged that he had failed to do enough to stop the split developing but said that was proof that the role of leading the Anglican Communion and the Church of England had become too much for one person.

“Thinking back over things I don’t think I’ve got right over the last 10 years, I think it might have helped a lot if I’d gone sooner to the United States when things began to get difficult about the ordination of gay bishops, and engaged more directly with the American House of Bishops,” he said.

He went on: “I think the problem though, is that the demands of the communion, the administrative demands of the communion have grown, and are growing.

“I suspect it will be necessary, in the next 10 to 15 years, to think about how that load is spread; to think whether in addition to the Archbishop of Canterbury there needs to be some more presidential figure who can travel more readily.”

He insisted that future Archbishops should still retain a “primacy of honour” and remain as “head” of the Anglican Communion but said there should be “less a sense that the Archbishop is expected to sort everything”.

He also disclosed that discussions were under way about overhauling the way the Anglican Church is organised around the world, adding “watch this space”.

Last night Bishop Mouneer Anis, the leader of Anglicans in the Middle East and North Africa – who is chairman of the Church’s leaders in the so-called “Global South” welcomed the suggestion.

But he added: “Speaking personally, I think having a presidential figure will not solve divisions unless the presidential figure has the support of the primates of the Anglican Communion.

“So [it has to be] someone who is elected, who sits and talks with the primates and would have an executive role to implement what they decide.”

And he said it was news to him that the discussions were taking place.

Closer to home, the Archbishop also reaffirmed the Church’s opposition to same sex marriage and warned it would lead to a legal “tangle”.

But he added that the Church had been “wrong” in the past in its approach to homosexuality…

More with a video interview here.

The CofE has been ‘wrong’ about far more than ‘homosexuality’ in the past. Listening to Archbishop Rowan Williams, it reads more like 20-20 hindsight on display… And history will not look on him kindly.