A Visit from Head Office

Cardinal Levada at Allen Hall

Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the CDF, visited the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham over the last two days. Yesterday evening there was a reception for the Friends of the Ordinariate (and we do have some very influential friends, it seems).  We met in the Archbishop of Westminster's house, and a very happy evening it proved.  Mgr Keith stressed to us all the financial needs of the Ordinariate, and all attending were encouraged to do what they could to help with the initial funding of this amazing experiment.

Today, Cardinal Levada gave us more of his time, speaking to all the recently ordained priests and giving us an overview of how Rome expects us to evangelise and grow.  He spent half an hour fielding some very difficult questions from us — could he help us discern just where the line was to be drawn between being too separate from the rest of the Catholic world, and simply being subsumed into the English diocesan systems?  The Catholic Church welcomed the gifts we were bringing with us; but were our wives simply to be tolerated, or were they indeed treasures which the whole Church needed to welcome?  Did not a married priesthood make chosen celibacy all the more highly valued?

Attentive Monsignori: Broadhurst and Newton

Allen Hall pulled out every stop, and we celebrated a very happy Mass of the Archangels (for it is Michaelmas Day) and the Seminary also laid on a splendid lunch which we enjoyed in the warmth of the late-summer garden.  The Cardinal's visit was a great boost to us all, a reminder that the Holy Father expects great things from us, and that we must not disappoint him.

The Cardinal at lunch in the garden

We returned to our separate corners of the Vineyard — as far scattered as St Austell in the Southwest and Deal in the Southeast, the Isle of Wight in the balmly waters of the English Channel, and bracing Inverness on the northeast coast of Scotland — all of us determined to pray more intently, to work harder, and to seek to make the Ordinariate an effective instrument in the conversion of England, and the Unity of Christ's Church.

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.

2 thoughts on “A Visit from Head Office”

  1. Fr Mark,

    Fr Ed Tomlinson gave a hint about what Cardinal Levada said to them:
    "He spoke to us about the development of the Ordinariate, about its ecumenical potential and about the hopes and expectations for its future development. We then has some questions, during which time we were encouraged to develop and hold a careful line between upholding our patrimony on the one hand, and thus remaining and offering something distinct, and working within the present structures and thus remaining a part of the whole family."
    You can read it here: http://www.tunbridgewells-ordinariate.com/blog/


Leave a Reply