Yesterday the Ordinariate officially got underway with the three defecting bishops being ordained priests in the Roman Catholic church. Vincent Nichols’ sermon was actually quite interesting. Forget the fuss over the Ordinariate being dedicated to Mary (of Walsingham no less – nice little dig at the “two shrines” business there I thought, and a reminder that Anglicanism formally rejects such “fond thing[s] vainly invented” ), for me the interesting paragraph to ponder was this one.
In his Letter to the Ephesians, St Paul speaks about the variety of gifts given to the community of believers. While recognising that variety, in this Mass we focus, in particular, on the gift of the ordained priesthood within the Catholic Church. It is a priesthood which takes it shape, its purpose, its experience from the Cross of Christ, the great cross above us, referred to so movingly by Pope Benedict. Through this ordained priesthood, the one, same sacrifice of Christ is made real at the altar and offered again to the Eternal Father. It is made present as the sacrament of our salvation. This Mass, every Mass, is at once the prayer of Christ and the prayer of the Body of Christ, his people. Through it Christ constitutes the Church afresh each day, both in Himself and in its visible unity, in the world. This is the work of the ordained priest â€“ the daily constituting of the Church â€“ and it is a priceless gift and service for which we thank God constantly. To this one sacrifice we bring our own small sacrifices, the losses and hardships we carry through failure and sin, through the pursuit of truth and love, through the passing of time. All is offered to the Father in one sacrifice of praise to become a means of our salvation.
What I’ve done is highlight in red the bits I don’t agree with, and it surprised me how with just the removal of a few words I could probably agree with most of what the Archbishop said.
Would you have had more or less words in red?