Thursday, April 20, 2006

Irish Gone Wild?

Well, my inbox is telling me that Ireland is all up in a twist over an Easter Mass at which a priest of the (Anglican) church of Ireland "concelebrated" alongside an Augustinian priest.

The liturgy took place in the Republic, in the archdiocese of Armagh (which straddles the north-south border). Suffice it to say, Archbishop Sean Brady -- St Patrick's successor as primate of All Ireland -- isn't pleased. He's opened an investigation.

Oh, and my fearless leader is quoted.

The deep-rootedness of the differences between the Roman Catholic Church and even 'high-church' Anglicanism at the official level were seen in the South not so long ago when Cardinal Desmond Connell berated President Mary McAleese for receiving the Anglican Eucharist.

Significantly, the Church of Ireland Primate, Robin Eames, has come out in support of Sean Brady and, no doubt, will be interviewing the Rev Graham about what he sees as a well-intentioned but misguided initiative.

Signficantly, too, the Drogheda Rising has become a subject of intense interest among English Roman Catholics and Anglicans alike. According to Catherine Pepinster, the editor of the influential Catholic weekly, 'The Tablet', Catholics and Anglicans including church leaders in England regularly attend each others' services.

Catholics, she points out, however, are not supposed to receive Communion at an Anglican service, although liberal Catholics wish that they could as a sign of unity.

And here's something of note which didn't resonate back in January, when the mega-ecumenical conference at Durham was held....
In January at an ecumenical conference in Durham attended by some Irish theologians, the local Anglican bishop, Tom [NT] Wright, presided at a Communion Service in a Catholic chapel.
Wasn't aware that it was a Catholic chapel. Hmm.

Stay tuned -- this story's got Eire downright transfixed. Or befuddled. Take your pick.