Here's an interesting article in The Guardian thanks to a tip from a distinguished English Ordinariate priest. The writer is editor of The Tablet (a modernist, left-wing rag).
I'd suggest this is about more than money. It gives an intriguing insight into church politics, Benedict's vision of the church, his personal thinking, and the way he perceives Britain.
News of the donation came hard on the heels of a talk given by the papal nuncio to Britain to the bishops of England and Wales. You might expect a talk on the issues facing the church here would have focused on attendance of mass, priest shortages, and the response of English Catholics to the new version of the English mass, imposed by Rome and not exactly going down a storm in the parishes. Instead, top of the nuncio's agenda was the ordinariate.
Now if the man who is the pope's number one diplomat in the UK makes what is officially known as the personal ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, top of his agenda, you can take it as read that the message has come from on high and that it is seen as being of the utmost importance. And what Archbishop Antonio Menini said to the English and Welsh bishops was: "Do please continue to be generous in support of their endeavours." That's code for: "Knuckle under and make this work." And it wasn't the first time that the bishops got this message: Benedict urged them to be similarly enthused about the ordinariate during his final message to them at the end of his 2010 UK papal visit.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, traveled to Edmonton last week and I noticed the Western Catholic Reporter has reports of his talk as well as the full text on their web site.
We Christians have no monopoly on adoration. Like the other religions, we prostrate ourselves as creatures in the face of the God who transcends all things.
Nonetheless, our adoration involves something unique and exclusive, which no other religion can approach. This is the adoration in Spirit and in truth, of which Jesus speaks when he converses with the Samaritan woman at the well.
This adoration is that of Jesus Christ himself, the adoration of the Son begotten of the Father before all the ages. He came to earth to draw humanity into his filial love for the Father, into his eternal adoration, which he opens to us through faith, Baptism and the Holy Eucharist.
There is nothing more beautiful than this eucharistic immersion in the mystery of the Three and in the ocean of their love, through the offering of the only-begotten Son. This offering is placed in our hands and we unite our own offering to it so as to participate, already now, in eternal life, that is, in the infinite exchange of love between the divine persons.
There is nothing more beautiful than to know and to live at that moment the marvel of Christianity, the certainty of loving and of being loved, the joy of possessing God and of being possessed by him, the gladness of belonging to the kingdom of absolute love.
Dostoyevsky came out with an idea that few of us will ever understand – “Beauty will save the world”. I often wonder how this can be, as beautiful buildings, paintings, musical instruments and every form of human art are usually the first victims of war and man’s inhumanity to man. Has beauty ever saved us from anything?
There is something about art and beauty that cannot be disputed and softens the hardest people. Ideologies are always hollow, smooth talking and empty, whether they are philosophical ideas, plans for reorganising society or even the literalist understanding of the Gospel. Even here, my use of words only adds to the proliferation of clashing ideas, so my thought will only be of limited use. It would be better to produce a work of art!
However, the use of language can be in itself a form of art, when a writer has a talent for fine prose and poetry. The use of words is an important part of our liturgy, without which the actions, ceremonies and symbols would only at best have ambiguous meanings. I am a fervent believer in a world of ideas signposted by the triple transcendentals of goodness, truth and beauty. These are not my ideas, but those of Plato, Saint Augustine and many of the other Church Fathers and Saints.