The second and final day of the annual Anglican Use Conference began as the first day did, with Morning Prayer according to the Book of Divine Worship in the crypt chapel of the Cathedral in Newark. On this Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Father Davis delivered a moving and powerful sermon lamenting the absence of Our Lady from the devotions of Anglo-Catholic churches.
The final session of the conference on Saturday morning began as Dr. Anne Barbeau Gardiner, Professor Emerita of English at John Jay College of the City University of New York, presented a fascinating history of great literary beauty on the English convert kings of the 17th century.
In response to a question about publication of the papers delivered at the conference, Steve Cavanaugh again confirmed that they would be published in Anglican Embers, the quarterly journal of the Anglican Use Society, and that in addition some of the material would be provided on the Society website.
The conference continued with a question-and-answer session with Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, introduced by Msgr. Sheehan. This was a follow-up to the Bishop’s canonical discussion of the personal ordinariates as presented to the conference the previous evening. Among the questions presented were two from Fr. Bergman, one relating to the status of individuals originally baptized outside of the Anglican tradition, but fully initiated through Confirmation within the Pastoral Provision. The second question concerned the manner in which Church real property might be held under the ordinariates, specifically, would church property be held in the name of the ordinariate, or in the name of the local diocese, or in some other form? Bishop Arrieta was thoughtful and gracious in his answers, and took the occasion to underscore the importance of cooperation between the personal ordinaries and the diocesan ordinaries, but it was clear that these and other details have yet to be worked out.
Bishop Arrieta was warm, friendly, and sincerely interested in the concerns of both the Pastoral Provision community and the Anglicans who are discerning reconciliation. As a curial official in the Holy See, Bishop Arrieta may be in a position to make the pastoral concerns of both groups better understood in Rome. Mr. Blake, Archbishop Myers and Monsignor Sheehan were farsighted and prudent in inviting the Bishop to participate in the conference. And in his partcipation, Bishop Arrieta demonstrated that he is more than a scholar and canonist, but is also, as befits the grace of his orders, a kind and thoughtful pastor of souls. I pray that the Bishop will be consulted by the Holy Father and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Before the conference adjourned, the final appearance was by the Traditional Anglican Communion Bishops. Archbishop John Hepworth, Bishop Carl Reid and Bishop David Moyer, who had been present throughout the conference, stood before the assembly while Archbishop Hepworth spoke with feeling, describing the way in which the churches of the TAC (ACA in the United States of America) will proceed as the ordinariates are established. (Archbishop Louis Falk had been present throughout the first day of the conference but was unavailable during this session.)
This is not the proper forum, and I am not the proper reporter, to interpret the Bishops' intent. There are important pastoral issues to be considered as these Bishops work with their people, and it is clear that the Bishops will do this work with great love and great sensitivity. I hope it will be sufficient in this forum to say that the conference was most favorably impressed with the remarks of Archbishop Hepworth, and that the conference expressed a clear message of approbation and welcome with an enthusiastic standing ovation for these Bishops that was the concluding event of the conference. Clearly this is a time of great hope and great promise for the people of the Traditional Anglican Communion and for the cause of Christian unity.
Following the adjournment of the conference, the Anglican Use Society conducted its annual meeting, which was open to all present. Then, at noon, the concluding Mass of the conference was offered in the crypt chapel of the Cathedral Basilica.
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