13th February 2021

Just chatting to someone from the Parish Church on Waterside, it could have been a much longer chat but for the biting cold. He was saying how much he appreciated Bernard Loveland when he went to preach there during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Bernard settled into their community so easily and when he came to communion went up to receive with everyone else. It made a deep impression on him. I remember in Rome going to a service on the death of the Anglican vicar in Rome who was killed riding his bike. It was in the Anglican church in Rome and at communion I went up to receive as well. When we got back to college the Senior Student took me to one side and gave me a good ticking off, sending me to the Rector. The Rector was far less concerned and said: ‘I completely understand your position, it is just that you have to think about it more carefully when you are in charge of a community.’ The Catholic Church’s rules on this are clear, but there is always a question of personal integrity as well. Bernard said it just felt right apparently, and that is not an argument to be ignored, after all feelings are an important guide to how we act, reflecting our conscience often. The Catholic Church believes that receiving communion is not just a matter of that moment, but depends on a number of things including being in full communion in faith with each other, and also what we believe communion to be. The sad thing is that ecumenism seems to have stumbled at the moment after the heady days after Vatican II. We may find those days again. Something will spur us to achieve it as I am sure unity in some form must be God’s will.

2 thoughts on “13th February 2021

  1. Disregarding Sherlock Holmes’ famous dictum that ‘It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data.’ I shall jump feet first into the contentious issue of receiving the host and taking the chalice in a non Catholic Church by asking wherein lies the power and the authority of the officiating minister to consecrate the bread and wine?

    When Jesus openly fed the multitude on the hillside He was taking care of their bodily needs. When He instituted the Eucharist, for our spiritual needs, He did so amongst a chosen few in the privacy of the Cenacle. There is a marked difference between the two events.

    Trees are not fish. Fish are not birds. Birds are not men. Men are not angels BUT, men and angels share a spiritual life. In like manner Catholics are NOT C.of E., are NOT Baptists, are NOT Methodists etc etc BUT we do have a commonality, a communion (note the small ‘c’), a shared hillside of belief.

    Ecumenism is the hillside and a genuine loving care for our neighbour. The Cenacle is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. United but different.

    In my far from clearly stated opinion.


  2. It’s interesting and very sad that these days, there appears to be a reversal of Vatican II an the Ecumenism that surrounded it. Over the last 10 years, certainly here in Cambridge, there is less respect for other churches, and more of a separation. Whenever I come up to Cumbria and stay with friends in Barbon, I attend the village church and sing in the choir and participate in Communion, but that is after having been to the Catholic church in Kirkby Lonsdale. It is a personal issue and one of respect for others in the community that is not necessary our own.
    Father Hugh I find your Homilies and thoughts extremely refreshing and marry up with the person who used to be our parish priest, Msgr Tony Rogers. Thank you.


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