The 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”.
With great sadness we convey the news that His Grace, Archbishop Boniface Grosvold, fortified by the sacraments of Holy Mother Church, peacefully passed away in his sleep at 1:00 AM (6am BST) today July 21, 2016 in the ICU of University Hospital, London, Ontario. His Grace was attended by Monsignor George Hamilton-Roberts who administered to him the comfort and consolation of the sacrament of holy Unction and remained praying at the side of the archbishop as he continued his pilgrimage home to God Who is One. Archbishop Boniface was one of the few remaining third generation Old Roman Catholic bishops following those who had known the pioneers of our movement after Archbishop Mathew (memory eternal).
From the Old Roman Catholic Clerical Directory: Most Rev. Dr. Boniface Grosvold was born on 4 June 1942 in Chester, Nova Scotia. As a young man he moved to Ontario where he was employed as a church musician and where he discovered Old Roman Catholicism.
On 28 October 1969 (Feast of SS Simeon & Jude) he was tonsured and admitted to the minor order of cleric by Archbishop Nelson Dudley Hillyer of the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church. He at that time took the religious name of “Boniface” and has been known by that name since. During successive Sundays in January of 1970 Bro. Boniface was admitted by +Hillyer to the minor orders of door keeper, reader, exorcist, and acolyte. On Easter Sunday (29 March) 1970, +Hillyer admitted Bro. Boniface to the sub-diaconate.
Feeling that his future was in another jurisdiction, Brother Boniface resigned in the summer of 1970 from the Ontario Old Roman Catholic Church and joined Holy Saviour Old Roman Catholic Parish of Niagara Falls, New York, and its bishop-elect Fr. William Mark Plested.
On 30 and 31 August 1970 respectively, Boniface was ordained a deacon and a priest by the retired Old Roman Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, the Most Rev’d Earl Anglin Lawrence James (1901 to 1978). On 28 September 1970 Fr. Plested was consecrated bishop for the Old Roman Catholic community in Niagara Falls, NY by +James, and both he and the now Father Boniface based their work there.
On 19 January 1972 the work was legally organized by the incorporation in the Province of Ontario of the Old Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Ontario, which took in also the American Parish of Holy Saviour, which then served as the Pro-Cathedral.
On 20 July 1974, Fr. Boniface was consecrated the auxiliary bishop for the Old Roman Catholic Church, Diocese of Ontario in Holy Saviour Old Roman Catholic Pro-Cathedral by the Old Roman Catholic Archbishop of New England, the Most Rev’d Edward Carleton Payne, assisted by Archbishop William Mark Plested of the ORCC Diocese of Ontario.
On 30 November 1974 Bishop Grosvold was enthroned as the second Bishop of the ORC Diocese of Niagara Falls, New York, and Ontario, in succession to Archbishop Plested. On September 11th. – 12th., 1976, he was elected Metropolitan-Archbishop and Primate.
Since October of 1997, the See of the Diocese, also known as the “Old Roman Catholic Church In Canada”, has been in London, ON Canada.
Archbishop Boniface’s legacy includes great strides ecumenically in Canada between the Old Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church in Canada and the Roman Catholic Church, the respective bishops of which locally in Ontario he had continually counted as both friends and colleagues. Successive Anglican bishops of London (ONT) had continually extended gracious hospitality to +Boniface both by inclusion at their important diocesan events and in the lending of churches for great ORC occasions, most notably Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church and the Collegiate Chapel of the University of Huron. Episcopal consecrations, often of an international character, celebrated by +Boniface were always supported by Anglican colleagues and usually accompanied musically by the choir of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, London (ONT). The Roman Catholic diocese too had been gracious in the lending of churches for ORC missions and liturgies, most notably the chapel of St Joseph’s hospital for many years, providing a home for the local ORC congregation until the Lady Chapel of Bishop Cronyn was generously provided by the Anglican diocese. With his guidance and interest, the Old Roman Catholic Church solidified its presence in Africa, South America, India, Europe as well as in North America and many of today’s ORC bishops are “Apostolic sons” of +Boniface.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Archbishop Boniface, for the bishops he fostered and the faithful they serve. Memory eternal. Requiescat in pace.
Please pray for the following priests as they continue their ministries in the Old Roman Catholic Church…
The Reverend Father George von ABEL (Brighton, UK), received and incardinated by Metropolitan Jerome (Lloyd) OSJV of the Province of Europe into the Metropolitanate of Selsey. Appointed and licensed as an assistant priest of the Brighton Oratory (South East Mission).
The Reverend Father Paul FORD (London, UK), received and incardinated by Metropolitan Jerome (Lloyd) OSJV of the Province of Europe into the Metropolitanate of Selsey. Appointed and licensed as an assistant priest of the Brighton Oratory (South East Mission) and Chaplain to Hertforshire Police Constabulary.
The Reverend Father Terrence MERRIFIELD (Southampton, UK), received and incardinated by Metropolitan Jerome (Lloyd) OSJV of the Province of Europe into the Metropolitanate of Selsey. Appointed and licensed as an assistant priest of the Brighton Oratory (South East Mission) and a Chantry Priest.
Lynmouth, UK: Between Sunday 18th October to Thursday 22nd October, clergy of the bishopric of Selsey joined their Ordinary, Metropolitan Jerome OSJV in Chapter. Accommodation was provided courtesy of Canon Emilio Tundidor-Suarez OSJV at The Rock House hotel and by gracious permission of the Anglican Bishop of Exeter, the daily round of liturgical Offices, private Masses and Conventual Solemn Mass took place in the parish church of St John the Baptist, Lynmouth. During the week, the clergy enjoyed addresses and facilitated discussions concerning the pastoral application of the priestly life by Fr Christopher Buckley CMP.
The Chapter enabled clergy from all over England to come together in prayer and in fellowship and provided the opportunity for both personal interviews with the Metropolitan as well as the more formal consultative process of a Chapter with His Grace. Resulting from the discussions of the formal Chapter itself, the Metropolitan acceded to a petition seeking permission to offer liturgically the Sarum Use for Mass and the development of closer working relationships in mission with other Christian denominations sympathetic to the faith and ethos of the Old Roman Catholic Church. A report was also received from the Chicago Synod courtesy of Metropolitan William and shared with the Chapter.
All who attended very much appreciated the opportunity to gather in such a beautiful location as the small seaside harbour village of Lynmouth and the comfortable surroundings of The Rock House hotel and the very great privilege of worshiping in St John’s church. A vote of thanks was made by Chapter for the facilitation and company of Fr Buckley, the hospitality of Canon Tundidor-Suarez and the generosity of the Bishop of Exeter and the people and parish of Lynmouth in the use of their church.
Returning to the north of England, Frs Charlesworth and Buckley with Metropolitan Jerome visited the shrine of Our Lady of Capel y Ffin courtesy of Fr Richard Williams of Haye-on-Wye and prayers of thanksgiving were offered there for the success of the Chapter and the safe journeying home of all Chapter attendants.
The ordination took place at St. Anne Old Roman Catholic Mission in Chicago, and Rev. Mr. Ontko will serve in Madison, WI.
Your Holiness Pope Francis
Your Beatitudes the Patriarchs of the East
Your Excellencies the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences
The Christians of Iraq face an enormous tragedy
The Christians of Mosul (Nineveh Province, Iraq), horrified, have fled the city with only the clothes they were wearing. Their churches have been profaned and on August 2, a mass migration took place from the villages of Telkev, Batnaya and Telleskuf as, knowing that the small town of Sinjar alongside other neighboring villages had fallen and seventy persons had been massacred, gave rise to panic. There, on Monday, August 4, ISIL commenced the bombardment of the village of Telkef and a young Christian was killed. This having been said, it is evident that there is practically no collaboration between the central government and that of the Kurdish Region and, in addition to that, the new government is not yet formed!
As for our political parties, they have failed in every tangible manner, and this for reasons well known to everyone as well as to each of these parties themselves.
As for the Church, she finds herself completely alone, more than ever; nevertheless her leaders are strongly required to react before it is too late in applying the necessary pressure on the international community as well as those other decision-makers in view of fundamental answers necessary to the scandalous crimes and the destructive conspiracies that affect, above all, unarmed citizens in Iraq, Syria, and in Palestine – Gaza.
It should be noted that the motivation for all of these killings is the lust for everything that lies beneath the earth like oil and gas…what else explains this war so curiously radicalised and, as if following an excellently premeditated plan, does not take the least account of the destinies of the people.
We are equally shocked and indignant with the absence of a vigorous position taken by Muslims and their religious leaders, not the least because the actions of these factions represent a menace for Muslims themselves.
In fact, speeches are good for nothing, so too declarations that rehash condemnations and indignation; the same can be said for protest marches. In addition, while appreciating the generosity of our donors, we would say that donations and fundraising too are not what will solve our problems. We have to demand a large-scale administrative [governmental] operation on an international level. There is in fact the need for awareness, in conscience, regarding this simple human principle: the demand for real actions and solidarity because we are before a crisis related to our very existence, facing the fact that “we will be or we will not be.”
This is an appeal from the bottom of the heart in the search for a solution that lies uniquely in the hands of the international community and above all with the great powers. We address ourselves profoundly to their consciences and that they should review their positions and to re-evaluate the impact of the situation of today.
These powers face a human and moral responsibility. It is no longer reasonable to take recourse to double standards. They are called to free themselves from their narrow interests and to unite themselves in a political and peacekeeping solution that puts an end to this conflict. These powers must vigorously exercise pressure on those who support financially and train militarily these factions and so cut short these sources of violence and radicalisation.
Concerning the Christians of Iraq, in our pastoral ministry towards them, we also call upon the international community: our Christians are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, as too they are in need of an efficient, true and permanent protection that reassures them that there is no end to their existence, whose origins are so deeply rooted in Iraq; this also concerns Christians in other regions of the Middle East that are burning and being torn apart.
We also appeal to our brothers and sisters around the world, that they too be truly with us in solidarity at this our time of suffering this terrible ordeal; that they live with us this feeling of solidarity as if belonging to the same family.
We are in need of a communion of the heart, and for prayers with our faithful during this terrible ordeal as we experienced during the visit of the delegation of Bishops of France presided by His Eminence Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon.
We remain believing in dialogue, exchange and conviviality.
That God may grant us the grace and possibility to overcome this trial, that He remove from all hearts all hatred and violence.
In great union of prayer,
Louis Raphael I Sako
Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans
30/07/2014 Statement from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
In the midst of all destruction which is taking place in the Middle East and with the recent events like killings and displacements which affected Christians and others, and in the midst of the conflicts in Syria and the attack on Gaza, we hear some officials of Western governments giving declarations from time to time or publishing some “studies” to express their unreal empathy with Christians of certain areas and showing their solidarity with them, describing their circumstances in a way that supports the logic of minorities. But the most recent of these declarations is that of the French government regarding its readiness to accept the Iraqi Christians and granting them a political asylum, in addition to the study issued by the American Ministry of Foreign Affairs that describes the presence of the Christians in the Middle East as “a shadow of its former status”.
We, in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East, would like to confirm that the difficult circumstances in the East do not justify anybody’s attempt to misuse them as “Trojan Horse” to empty the East from its Christians, declaring that what Christians are confronting in the East is similar to what is happening to religious or ethnic minorities in other places of the world. We believe that helping the inhabitants of the East, Christians or Muslims, starts with uprooting terrorism from its homeland and stop nourishing the movements of extremism and Takfirism (religious prejudice) , whose financial resources are very well known as well as the states and the governments that offer them the ideological, logistic and military support through undeclared international alliances. The best way to help Christians and Muslims in the East is by restoring peace through dialogue and political solution, and through practical rejection of all resources that nourish the reasons of this extremism, refusing the injustice towards Palestinians, adapting an honest Media that shows the active role of the Christians in the life of their homelands away from any statistical division of people.
We say it to all: the only embracing place for Christians and Muslims of this area is their homelands, in which they have been living together for many centuries, building a unique civilization recognized by a real partnership; a civilization that transferred to the West the human heritage and enriching it. We, the Christians of this land, will not accept to be treated through the logic of minorities which is imposed on us from abroad, and we reconfirm that we were and are still committed to the message of our Gospel, which has arrived to us from our ancestors 2000 years ago. Our forefathers carried and transferred this message to us enduring numerous afflictions. And we will keep this seed which we have received here in the East, growing it and being loyal to it.
23/07/2014 Statement from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
At a time when Syria’s wounds have been bleeding for more than three years, amidst the wounds of Iraq, which has experienced conflict since the 1980’s, amidst the unrest that is sweeping countries near and far, and amidst the world’s indifference to Palestine’s wounds, which have not healed in almost seventy years, these days in particular we are witnessing a multiplication of these wounds in the expulsion of Mosul’s Christians and the all-out assault on Gaza amidst a disgraceful international silence.
The cycle of violence sweeping Iraq and Syria, expelling peaceful citizens has not let up, as recent events in Iraq and specifically in Mosul have completed the series of murder, religious prejudice, and terror.
We strongly condemn attacks on any segment of society in this Middle East and we especially condemn the attack on the Christians of Mosul and their being compelled by force of arms to change their religion under the penalty of paying the Jizya or abandoning their homes and having their property confiscated. These fundamentalist movements that are trying to become mini-states through force and terror with outside moral and material support are the greatest threat to people in the Middle East and to coexistence there. We ask the international community and specifically the United Nations and all global powers and organizations to take into proper consideration what is happening in Iraq, Mosul and the entire Middle East.
We call on them to deal with the current situation courageously, with a genuine language of human rights and not a language of interests that uses the principles of human rights and exploits them in the service of narrow aims and interests. We ask the countries that provide outside support to these groups, whether directly or indirectly, to cease immediately from all forms of material, moral, logistical and military support for these extremist groups and so cut off at its root the terrorism that is first of all a threat to the peace and peoples of those countries. We likewise call for an end to resorting to any form of violence as a means by which citizens deal with each other.
Because we in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East constantly affirm that Christians and Muslims are two lungs of a single Middle Eastern body that stands on citizenship and common life, we reject anything that would first of all hurt Islam’s reputation for tolerance, brotherhood and peaceful life, which we have experienced, and secondly disrupts the right of citizens to have a civic presence free from sectarian or racial pressures.
As the world watches what is happening in Mosul, the chain of violence is repeated in the Gaza Strip under various justifications, amidst a frightening international silence. This is happening while the outside world is content to watch a bloodbath that has not spared women, children and the elderly. It is as though the Middle East has become a testing-ground for every sort of weapon and a fertile soil for every sort of plot. It is as though the people of the Middle East are a commodity created to be dough in the hands of the forces of evil, when they are created to be the image of the Lord’s splendor and the focus of the Creator’s good pleasure, with good relationships with their fellow citizens and fellow humans.
We in the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East understand the common fate that binds us to our Christian and Muslim brothers in Palestine. We implore the international community for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the sinful siege on our brothers in Palestine, whose cause remains par excellence the cause of Humanity.
The attachment of the Palestinians to their land and their longing to return to it is a cause for hope for all those suffering in this Middle East and a mark of shame upon the faces of those for whom “human rights” end at the hills of Palestine while at the same time that they traffic in these “rights” in order to intervene in the affairs of other peoples.
We pray that God give peace to the world, that He give strength to all those in distress, that He cause peace to be lasting in the Middle East, so that humanity may enjoy well-being and tranquility.
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