Tuesday, December 22, 2009

St Wilfrid: not entirely forgotten.

I didn`t post anything about St Wilfrid on his feast day (October 12th) as it seemed the general policy was to ignore this saint even in the year of the 1300th anniversary of his death. People I`ve mentioned it to say `Well he`s more of a Yorkshire person`. It`s true he was bishop of York but he was also bishop of Hexham and was bishop of Hexham when he died in 709. Of all the Northumbrian saints he was the one who most exemplifies unity with Rome. Maybe this is why he is unpopular.
Yet not everyone forgot. In this month`s Northern Cross there is an article (p.9) about the choir of Hexham abbey making a trip to Rome to commemorate the 1300th anniversary of the saint`s death. They sang a Mass in St Peter`s. So at least the Anglicans think he is worth remembering.
On the subject of Anglicans and English bishops, in a recent interview , Mgr Faley, the assistant general secretary of the episcopal conference of England and Wales spoke to the BBC about the new ordinariate for former Anglicans. While the complementary norms for Anglicanorum Coetibus say the bishops of the Ordinariate are to be chosen from a terna presented by the Governing Council of the Ordinariate and thus would be expected to be a member of the Ordinariate, Mgr Faley thinks it is unlikely that this will be the case.
"I really don't know," says Mgr Faley. "There is the possibility that he would be - but within the culture of the bishops' conference I think that's highly unlikely."
I keep thinking about the phrase `the culture of the bishops` conference`. There is no mention of it in canon law as regards the suitability of a candidate for episcopal consecration. The code asks that a candidate be `outstanding for his solid faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence and human virtues and endowed with other talents` as well as having a good reputation, be at least thirty-five years old and have a doctorate or at least a licence in theology, canon law or scripture or be at least `truly expert` in these disciplines.
I can`t help wonder whether St Wilfrid would have fitted into the culture of the episcopal conference?
PS I`m delighted to see Mgr Mark Davies of Salford has today been appointed as coadjutor bishop for the diocese of Shrewsbury. That`s cheered me up.


Dilly said...

What qualities in Mgr Davies give you reason to be grateful? Is he strong on vocations? Sympathetic to the EF? I have just been discussing with my sister her desire to attend an EF in the Wilmslow area - it would be nice to think that more, and more frequent EFs would follow. And with the Oblates leaving Rock Ferry after 150 years, the pressing need for vocations is becoming more and more of an issue.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Mgr Davies left Ushaw just before I arrived but I seem to know him somehow. He has always struck me as a very sound and capable
priest in the times I`ve met him. I can`t say anything about specifics such as vocations and the EF but I can`t see him been less than keen on vocations and I can`t imagine he would have any problem with putting the Motu Proprio into effect.

Fr Michael Brown said...

The interview with the new bishop gives a lot of hope. I can`t work out how to link to it but you can reach it through the link on the Hermeneutic of Continuity.

1569 Rising said...


I know that this has absolutely nothing to do with the sainted Wilfred, but I am sure that you, or one of your erudite(?) posters will be able to settle a family argument.

Before the changes in 1970, how many Fast and/or Abstinence days were there in Advent - and which were they? My 1951 and 1960 Missals give conflicting information, and familial peace and harmony depends on the answer.

Pastor in Monte said...

We in Sussex also think highly of St Wilfrid: during his exile he converted the people of this area by teaching them to fish (according to local traditions). He is a secondary patron of the Arundel and Brighton diocese, and in my church in Steyning we have a really very good wooden relief of him.
He is also a patron of the English Oratory-Fr Faber took the name Wilfrid in his honour—and he is the patron of the London Oratory novitiate.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Did the diocese of Arundel and Brighton mark the centenary? Or even the Oratory? It`s all rather mystifying.

ScepticalBeliever said...

1569 Rising: the answer is 'a canny few' and, yes, your query had nothing at all to do with 'the sainted Wilfred'! Post-Christmas boredom often leads to such incidents. Happy New Year.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Sorry 1569 your request got lost in the Christmas break. I`d go with Sceptical as I don`t know off the top of my head. There were the three ember days and Christmas eve for a start.

Ben Whitworth said...

I think St Wilfrid's whole career could be summed up in the sentence: 'He did not fit into the culture of the bishops' conference'!

all_4_gzus said...

There was a conference at York, which looked good, but which I was unable to attend: http://www.yorkminster.org/learning/lectures-courses/st-wilfred-1300th-anniversary-conference/