RIP Cormac, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor

September 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Today on the Feast of St Giles, Abbot, the sad news of the passing to eternal rest of His Eminence Cormac, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, emeritus Archbishop of Westminster and previously Bishop of Arundel & Brighton. His Grace, Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey communicated the condolences of the clergy and faithful of the Province of Europe to His Eminence, Vincent, Cardinal Nichols and the clergy and faithful of the Roman Catholic Church in England & Wales.

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Metropolitan establishes new Congregation for Religious & Apostolic life

July 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Brighton, England, UK: On Sunday 23rd July, 2017, His Grace Metropolitan Jerome OSJV of Selsey issued a decree erecting a new congregation for the governance of religious Orders and societies of apostolic life. Acceding to various petitions received by canonical orthodox Old Roman Catholic bishops, His Grace has responded by providing a centre of focus, administration and governance that “the clergy and faithful may have confidence in the discernment and governance of religious life and those societies of apostolic life which they may desire to join or form for the furtherance of the Faith, their personal sanctification and acts of collective piety, and in which to engage in common charitable works and collective acts of corporal mercy.” Recognising that there are many who feel called to devote their lives demonstrably to Christ through religious consecration or who wish to sanctify their lives more deeply through pious associations, and recognising that often such people are mostly through physical distances unable to form conventional religious communities, and even those that are require guidance and counsel, it is hoped the Congregation of the Divine Charity may provide a centrally administered focus for religious vocations, the development of religious Orders and provide governance for such institutions and groups.

There is a long history of religious Orders in Old Roman Catholicism but due to size. the distances between churches, parishes and dioceses, various attempts at religious life by small groups have often fizzled out, resulting in a few stranded vocations whether professed or tertiary without support, guidance and counsel. The idea of the Congregation of the Divine Charity or “CDC” is to provide an umbrella structure through which religious vocations may be expressed and directed toward existing communities and Orders, new orders may be helped and founded, and to act as a point of information for bishops and the wider church about the religious Orders as well as provide governance and oversight.

The CDC provides a structure for incardination, assessment and discernment of religious vocations. The Congregation will have a common Postulancy programme for individuals exploring the religious life to begin tentatively living it with guidance and get to know those Orders and communities that are members of the Congregation, to explore the particular charisms and spirituality already available and perhaps seek to try their vocations further through an elected novitiate. The CDC also provides a way of trying vocations without putting at risk smaller Orders for whom it may be difficult to practically assess a vocation or take the risk of admitting an unknown person to a small community; postulants and religious will get to know each other through the postulancy process before a postulant and an Order mutually elect to begin a novitiate. Already the Congregation has been joined by the Oratorians of St John Vianney (founded 2007) and a new Dominican Order and a Benedictine Congregation of Hermits, both in early stages of formation. It is hoped the CDC will inspire a revival of religious discernment and vocation within the Old Roman Catholic tradition in the 21st century.

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Pentecost & London 2017

June 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey during his broadcast homily for Pentecost Sunday referred to the news of the terrorist attacks in London on Saturday 3/6/17, resulting in the tragic deaths of seven people and seriously injuring another forty-eight, including Emergency Service personnel and Police.

His Grace began with a reflection concerning the fulfilment of the promise of the Holy Spirit to the Church and its enabling power upon the Apostles. He made reference to an allegory of the Tower of Babel and the event of Pentecost in Jerusalem, where once God had confounded humanity by the curse of language, how He then enabled the Apostles to preach the Gospel through the “gift of tongues” i.e. in the languages then spoken in Jerusalem as referred to in today’s Epistle from Acts, resulting in the conversion by St Peter’s preaching of 3’000 people!

Revisiting a favourite Johannine theme, heavenly citizenship, Metropolitan Jerome reminded the faithful that,

“…our eternal life, remember, has already begun from the moment of our baptism, so that whatever happens in this life, we are assured by the promises of Christ and our own fidelity, that salvation which will ensure that we receive, light, joy and peace for evermore in love and in union with God.”

Having established that confidence which the faithful should have by virtue of their heavenly citizenship, he then went on to admonish them to be receptive to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, particularly for our own time…

“But the time is now for us ourselves too, to be inspired by the Holy spirit to spread the Gospel and enable others to know the peace, love and light of Christ, particularly as our world becomes ever darker by this false religiosity of hatred that is threatening our communities, threatening our way of life, threatening our very being. We should not be afraid my brothers and sisters either, to speak the truth again, to allow the Holy Spirit to enable us to have the strength and the confidence to name that false religiosity which is Islamism.”

Metropolitan Jerome continued urging the faithful to be empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit to respond to the present crises affecting families and communities globally, i.e. Islamism*, by preaching and living the Gospel.

How many more of our brothers and sisters in the faith must be persecuted and martyred before the Church speaks with one voice? Not just to bemoan and bewail the atrocities, but to speak for the Truth and give the solution, which is the Gospel, which is the good news of redemption, of repentance and forgiveness and of being embraced by the love of God and embracing each other with that true love, with that self-sacrificial love, of that love in service, of that love that seeks the good truly of the other, without thought for oneself. Its time my brothers and sisters, for the Church, particularly in the West, and particularly in this country, to wake up! To be truly prophetic, rather than pathetic. To speak the Gospel, to speak the Gospel Truth, and with confidence.

The homily recorded at The Brighton Oratory, June 4th, 2017 is available to view in full here beginning at 12:39.

*N.B. it should be appreciated that “Islamism” should not be confused with “Islam” according to the peaceful practice of the majority of religious adherents. Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts. The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles, or more specifically to movements which call for full implementation of sharia. It is commonly used interchangeably with the terms political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism.

Manchester Arena 2017

May 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey’s statement concerning the awful tragedy of the suicide bomber at the Manchester Arena, UK, yesterday evening:

After the confusion of last evening, the nation has awoken this morning to the awful clarification of an horrific event, a suicide bomb attack at Manchester Arena, as young adults and children were exiting the venue after a pop concert. The thoughts and prayers of our faithful should of course be for those families and friends affected by the tragedy of such a needless loss of young life and potential at the hands of a tortured individual clearly motivated by intolerance, hatred and bitter sadness. 

“If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Corinthians 12:26) as local churches and congregations respond to the suffering and grief of those affected, and as the nation grieves and offers consolation, let us Christians, wherever we may be, strive together to bear witness to the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) and Light of the world (John 8:12), Our Lord Jesus Christ. May we in the sharing of suffering and compassion, testify to the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), demonstrate and share that hope with others, that hearts might yet be comforted and brought to share in the knowledge of that only true love which conquers hate, the love of God.

Sadly this tragedy speaks to a darkness many are frightened to recognise but which is yet consuming our world unabated, despite its horrendous crimes against humanity. Islamism. Our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Middle East and Africa have already borne brave witness and great suffering to this threat which yet would destroy the peace and stability we currently enjoy in the West. Let us not be afraid to call out that false religious fervour that destroys faith in God and in neighbour and by our witness to Jesus Christ, show to all “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6) that will bring true peace to all. Oremus pro invicem.

Given at The Brighton Oratory, May 23, 2017.

Octave of Christian Unity 2017

January 18, 2017 Leave a comment

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins today, the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, January 25th 2017. Begun in 1908 as the “Octave of Christian Unity”, and focused on prayer for church unity, the dates for the week were proposed by Father Paul Wattson, cofounder of the Graymoor Franciscan Friars. He conceived of the week beginning on the ancient Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (the Confession of Peter, the Protestant variant) on 18 January, and concluding with the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on 25 January.

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This year’s theme on the occasion of the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the Reformation, the theme: “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Corinthians 5:14-20) has been chosen. The materials for the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has two accents: reflection upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation and secondly recognizing the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the unity of the Church. In selecting this theme, it is viewed as an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.

For 2017, it should be noted that this biblical text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gift from God, intended for the entire creation. “God was reconciling the world (kosmos) to God’s self in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (v.19). As a result of God´s action, those who have been reconciled in Christ are called in turn to proclaim this reconciliation in word and deed: “The love of Christ compels us”.

The 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity CBTI (Churches Together in Britain & Ireland) material is dedicated to the memories of the Revd Stephen Brown who passed away in February 2016 and the Revd Canon Gwynn ap Gwilym in July 2016 (with whom, Metropolitan Jerome of Selsey studied biblical Hebrew at Aberystwyth University). Both had served as dedicated members of the CTBI Writers Group for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for many years, making enormous contributions through their creativity and colleagueship which will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Archbishop Mathew who ensured the continuance of the Old Roman Catholic Church at the beginning of the 20C, understood that it was necessary for the unifying of Christ’s Church on the basis of the original tenets of the Christian Faith as it was once believed by all Christians everywhere, to have complete cooperation with Christians of the Eastern Churches. Thus he was able to affect in 1912 a union between our western Latin Church with those of the Byzantine East, namely the Apostolic Sees of Antioch and Alexandria. It has been the constant goal of the Old Roman Catholic Church to affect this unity with the See of Rome expressed in the following prayer composed by Archbishop Mathew. It is still a prayer of current Old Roman Catholic hierarchs to realise this intention for Our Lord Jesus Christ “ut unum sint” (Latin: ‘That they may be one’ cf John 17:21).

Archbishop Mathew’s Prayer for Christian Unity

Almighty and everlasting God, Whose only begotten Son, Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd, has said, “Other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd”; let Thy rich and abundant blessing rest upon the Old Roman Catholic Church, to the end that it may serve Thy purpose by gathering in the lost and straying sheep. Enlighten, sanctify, and quicken it by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, that suspicions and prejudices may be disarmed, and the other sheep being brought to hear and to know the voice of their true Shepherd thereby, all may be brought into full and perfect unity in the one fold of Thy Holy Catholic Church, under the wise and loving keeping of Thy Vicar, through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen.

Categories: Churchwide, Social News

A message for Christmas 2016

December 23, 2016 Leave a comment

abplloydselseya1The Metropolitan of Europe’s Christmas message for 2016 is published ahead of the celebration of the commemoration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ this coming Sunday. In his message, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV, Archbishop of Selsey, reflected on the meaning of the Incarnation as a practical reality in the lives of those seeking to realise the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. His Grace referred to the many hundreds of volunteers who will be hosting and serving Christmas Day lunches “to the poor, the disadvantaged and the unwanted of society” expressing the significance of the Incarnation i.e. “the manifestation of God’s love in Christ Jesus” by their service “giving of their time and energy”.

Referring to a “host of cherubic volunteers” – a nod to the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate he founded in 2013 – Metropolitan Jerome made mention of his own efforts to provide hospitality to one hundred of the homeless of the city of Brighton & Hove on Christmas Day in conjunction with the Brighton Corps of the Salvation Army; His Grace will be the chef! Inspired by “The Hub” homeless drop-in with which he partnered The Brighton Oratory with the Salvation Army for over six years, the Cherubs Kitchen apostolate operates commercial franchise kitchens“not for profit” fundraising to support local homeless projects and provide NVQ catering apprenticeships and work experience/rehabilitation placements.

The central message of the broadcast however, emphasised the possible universal application of the meaning of Christmas, i.e. the Incarnation of God’s love in Christ, through following the command of Our Lord “to love one another” cf John 13:34-35. His Grace suggested that was the simplest way to interpret the meaning of Christmas and to “receive faith, be inspired by hope and by experience in the sharing of both, God’s love toward us and toward each other”. His Grace concluded the broadcast by imparting his apostolic blessing to all viewers.

The film was recorded in the main kitchen of the Cherub’s apostolate and the music composed by Kevin Macleod is titled “Everlasting Hope”.

A Pastoral Letter for Christmas 2016

December 18, 2016 Leave a comment

Metropolitan William of Kentucky’s pastoral letter for Christmas to the clergy and faithful of North America.

willmyerscoaCHRISTMAS PASTORAL: 2016

DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST:

As we progress in this new Church year and this new calendar year we acknowledge that 2016 was a challenging year for Americans. A divisive election, violence throughout the world, and uncertainty made us reflect on our core values. Sometimes the problems of the world seem insurmountable. But we then remember that we are not of this world. In all things we must aspire towards sainthood and an eternity with God. This is not an easy path—it is a marathon and not a sprint. But we are comforted by the words of Saint Augustine “You aspire to great things? Begin with little ones.”

Let us then reflect on the littleness of an infant. Our Lord became “incarnate by the Holy Spirit, of the Virgin Mary: and was made man” first in the form of an infant. How easy it is to love a God who came to us as something so fragile, sensitive, and most in need of care. Infants, like God, give us hope and deserve our love and devotion. Through our understanding of Our Lord’s infancy we can grow to understand His progression to manhood and eventual suffering on the Cross. As Our Lord grew, so does our faith and understanding of the complexities of our faith.

It is understandable, then, why so many pious devotions like the Infant of Prague, the Holy Infant of Atocha, Santo Niño de Cebu, etc. have grown among the faithful with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Christ Child helps us to see God, as Christ Jesus, as vulnerable like us and helps us understand His mission as man. I commend you to the Christ Child and hope He will bless you and your family abundantly now and always.

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