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.