Wednesday, December 27, 2006

News from the Roman Streets


Some of my parishioners work in Rome, one with the EU another with a NGOs and another with the UN as a translator.

During the visit of the Rowan Williams to Rome I posted a story a few questions about the Anglican Eucharistic celebration at St Sabina. I was a little surprised by the furore that followed in the comments, so I was rather interested in the reaction “on the street” in Rome to the visit. Apparently there was more than a little horror and shock, even laughter at the appearance of female clergy in clerical dress at Evensong in S Maria Minerva. At S Sabina the Dominicans saw no problem, however the Jesuit Rector of the Gregorian fumed about the event in private and then at a public lecture a few days later erupted with fury and indignation, his concern mirrored many other Roman theologians and Catholic members of the English community at the confusion that was caused, apparently many of the parishioners at S Sabina received Holy Communion because they thought the event was a Catholic Mass, the parish’s normal vestments and vessels were used. The rite had all the appearance of being a Catholic Rite. The Rector in his comments seemed to mirror some of the stronger, and in my opinion more uncharitable comments on this blog.

As a footnote to this post: apparently a young Anglican in clerical dress and holding the hand of his girl friend was jeered at in the street. This is what happens when signs and symbols and confused, and when people do not quite understand what they are doing.
All that being said, those who heard William's lecture on the Rule of Benedict and Europe were much impressed, by his insight and intelligence. If you haven't yet, read it as a Christmas treat, it is as full of insight as his condemnation of the Bush/Blair involvement in the Middle East.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

There was another truly shocking scene at Loudes last summer, in a cafe just outside the domain a young man in clerical dress was seated with an infant on his knee, holding hands with and whispering to, a very attractive young woman who both blushed and giggled in respose . I am pleased to say they were not stoned, as he was a married Roman Catholic priest who had once upon a time been an Anglican priest, and they were his charming and Papal approved family.Life is always so much more complex than we would wish.

Mark said...

Father Ray, I think that's the real issue after all: the confusion that it will cause to all. For example, Roman Catholics then end up breaking their own strictures by going to what they thought was a Roman Mass, and then the poor cleric gets jeered at because they thought he was something else... *sighs* I would have thought Rowan Williams would have known better.

Anonymous said...

I too heard about the Rector Magnus' comment, it was very strong, very firmly based on the Pope's theology, rooted in "Dominus Jesus£

Anonymous said...

The young man in clerical dress should have known that his behaviour would cause scandal. He could have taken his wife and child out wearing civilian dress. Perhaps he was looking to make a point.

Our once Anglican married now Catholic priest discussed with a journalist the difficulties of fitting a double bed into a presbytery bedroom and then seemed surprised at the consternation his comments caused.

John said...

Married clergy are peculiar to a few of those countries that have a high protestant population. In Rome Orthodox priests are seen with their wives from time to time but they tend not to give public signs of affection.

Maureen Pickering said...

I think that the peculiar charism of the CofE is they do their own thing in a bullish disregard for those around them.

Anonymous said...

Any links to the comments by the rector of the Gregorian?

Seems curious that the J's were indignant but not the D's. Can anyone explain that dynamic please?

Anonymous said...

Maureen, the C of E charism is typically British.