Very Big, Texas

Once upon a time in Texas

Texas has a great history, and nowhere more than the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolis.  Once it was all oil and cattle.  Those are still there, but Texas is also high-tech, and where the Church is concerned it is making history.  Perhaps the largest (so far) of the Anglican Use communities in the USA is in San Antonio.  Not so large, but equally important to the Church in the States — and beyond — is the Pastoral Provision parish of St Mary the Virgin, Arlington.  That church and congregation was one of the first to leave the Episcopal Church and join the Catholic Church.  Now they are eagerly looking forward to being part of the Ordinariate in North America.

This week they are hosting a Conference at which two Englishmen are among the many distinguished speakers, Msgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the English & Welsh Ordinariate, and John Hunwicke, redoubtable former Vicar in Oxford and soon (we hope) to be a Priest of the Catholic Church.

Both their addresses are recorded and may be heard via the Ordinariate website.  Msgr Keith gives a rundown of where things are now in the United Kingdom, and speaks of his hopes for the future.  He also encourages us to ensure that as Ordinariates are established across the world we shall deepen and extend our ties of friendship.  Certainly I found huge enthusiasm to learn about the way the first (English) Ordinariate was going, when I visited Arlington three months ago.  Since then, of course, there has been huge progress, and it is worth listening to Msgr Keith's take on events.

John Hunwicke gave a masterly account of part of our Patrimony, a part which non-Anglicans, and perhaps even non-Englishmen, find hard to understand.  He told how Dom Gregory Dix was thoroughly disliked by the hierarchy — because he had both wit and scholarship on his side.  Now does that remind you of anyone?  He spoke about Ronnie Knox and his devastating dismembering of Pilgrim's Progress (the work of "pseudo-Bunyan") using the techniques of Biblical analysis popular in his day.  I should like to hear him, sometime, on Knox's proof that "In Memoriam", attributed to Alfred Lord Tennyson, was in fact written by Queen Victoria.  He had the audience rocking with laughter when he spoke about Bishop Headlam being locked in her Wendy House by his wonderful young grandaughter.  I do hope and believe that the Catholic hierarchy can understand our English sense of humour, for otherwise the future of the Ordinariate might be beset with difficulties.

Hunwicke Attentive (at Allen Hall)

There are more addresses and events recorded, but time has prevented me from viewing all of them yet.  That will be a pleasure to savour after the two Masses in Southbourne where I preach this evening and tomorrow.  Meanwhile, if you have a moment, do latch on to the Anglicanorum Ustream site (but remember the time difference if you want to hear a live broadcast).

Author: Fr. Edwin Barnes

Bishop Barnes read theology for three years at Oxford before finishing his studies at Cuddesdon College (at the time a theological college with a rather monastic character). He subsequently served two urban curacies in Portsmouth and Woking. During his first curacy, and after the statutory three years of celibacy, he married his wife Jane (with whom he has two children, Nicola and Matthew). In 1967, Bishop Barnes received his first incumbency as Rector of Farncombe in the Diocese of Guildford. After eleven years, the family moved to Hessle, in the Diocese of York, for another nine years as vicar. In 1987, he became Principal of St Stephen’s House, Oxford. In 1995, he was asked by then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, to become the second PEV for the Province. He was based in St. Alban’s and charged with ministering to faithful Anglo-Catholics spread over the length of Southern England, from the Humber Estuary to the Channel Islands. After six years of service as a PEV, Bishop Barnes retired to Lymington on the south coast where he holds the Bishop of Winchester’s license as an honorary assistant bishop. On the retirement of the late and much lamented Bishop Eric Kemp, he was honored to be asked to succeed him as President of the Church Union. Both these appointments he resigned on becoming a Catholic in 2010. Fr. Barnes is now a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, caring for an Ordinariate Group in Southbourne, Bournemouth.

12 thoughts on “Very Big, Texas”

  1. It is sometimes hard for those who have spent a lifetime regarding bishops as figures of fun who are always worth taking down a peg or two, to be circumspect enough to tone things down in a wholly different environment. 'Too clever by half' is a very English put down, and we do need to remember that erudite wit is an important element in the patrimony, so I hope the adverse votum will soon be reversed.

  2. First of all, let me express my thanks to the Anglo Catholic blog, St. Mary the Virgin (which I've had the honor to attend on several occasions), and OL of the Atonement for making this conference available to us all – you have done a wonderful good for us! I hope that reports on the conference will continue to come in from those who attended, providing their thoughts and experiences, etc.

    Msgr Newton spoke of a short paper written by Msgr Burnham on liturgy – both a shorter and longer version. Will either be made available to those of us not in attendance?

    1. Msgr Burnham wrote a whole book on liturgy, Heaven and Earth in Little Space, which is well worth a read.

  3. Truly dislike those 30 second ads because the volume is so high! Can't turn it down or off. Makes me not want to watch. An unnecessary annoyance.

    1. Sorry, Matthew. It's the price we pay for having the videos archived to be watched at later times. The the UStream service costs us nothing, which fits perfectly into our budget, but the cost does involve putting up with advertisements.

      1. There were only a few times where the ads intruded—but we can go back and listen to the parts we missed, which is good.

        And, I will not be buying any AirWick carpet cleaner or whatever it was they so annoyingly advertised!


  4. I'm looking forward to knowing what the liturgy for the Ordinariate is going to be and the status of Fr. Hunwicke's much anticipated ordination to the priesthood in the Ordinariate. I don't like the secrecy surrounding everything associated with establishing the Ordinariates and what's happening to Fr. Hunwicke.

    Why should we have to wait so long? Msgr. Burnham's proposals for the liturgy were submitted in March, weren't they?

    1. On the issue of Rev Hunwicke, it is none of our business and I suggest, other than offering our prayers for him, we leave it at that.
      As for secrecy, given the rather extreme reaction to any kind of educated guesswork relating to the Ordinariates, I welcome it,
      I suggest that we just wait and see what is coming very soon. Patience, with humility, is a great virtue.

  5. The paper was reproduced on the UK Ordinariate Portal last night. Two short quotes:-

    "You will appreciate that I am not quite in a position to unveil where the working party has got to. For one thing, it was meeting only a few days ago and its deliberations will have to be fed back to the Holy See before too much is public. What I can do is mention some of the directions in which we are heading. I think we can assume that distinct liturgical provision for the Ordinariates will be almost entirely in traditional language. "

    I hope this means a rite which uses "Thee" and "Thy" rather than "You" and "Your" when addressing the Almighty.

    "Meanwhile the first tranche of texts submitted by the working party incorporated substantial elements from the Use of Sarum. Imagine liturgical history, so the conceit goes, had the emerging vernaculars of the Renaissance period not been vehicles of theological polemic. Imagine how things would have emerged had Dr Cranmer been a loyal servant of the Church, the Annibale Bugnini of his age. At worst, this conceit is a harmless game. At best, it might yet lead to the emergence of a fine Ordinariate eucharistic rite, including, after five hundred years’ torpor, some of the jewels of traditional Catholicism as found in the Use of Sarum."

    Sound doctrine in Cramnerian English – yes please! But, with Rome on vacation in the Alban hills, I doubt the Congregation for Divine Worship will have much to say before mid-Autumn at the earliest.

  6. some people are drawn towards the conspiracy theory of life……. everything about the Ordinariate has proceeded very rapidly……. the book will arrive. It is surely worth a wait to get it correct; hopefully it will be around for more than a year or two. There is a beautiful article in the Catholic Herald this week about the new mass books for use in the Catholic Church from September onwards – it is quite clear that even after the text has been agreed there will be a considerable time before the bound copies appear.

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