Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said that he hopes the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham will “continue to flourish”.
During a reception organised by the Friends of the Ordinariate, Cardinal Nichols said that the ordinariate was a “balancing act” between “showing the deep desire of Benedict XVI to appreciate the distinctiveness of many aspects of the Anglican patrimony, which are consistent and expressive of Catholic faith, and yet, on the other hand, to show how it is very much an organic part of the visible Catholic [Church] centred around the Holy Father.”
He went on to say that it was important to “find that balance between distinctiveness and identity.”
The reception was held on Sunday after Solemn Evensong and Benediction at the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street.
The event was held in honour of the the visit of Mgr Jeffrey Steenson and Mgr Harry Entwistle, the leaders of the Ordinariates in the US and Canada and Australia respectively. The Benediction was given by Mgr Keith Newton, the leader of Britain’s Ordinariate.
Guests included the Rt Revd Hlib Lonchyna, Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London, the Rt Revd Alan Williams, Bishop of Brentwood, Mgr Vincent Brady, representing the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, and Mgr John Armitage, the newly appointed Rector of the National Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Cardinal Nichols said: “It is only gradually, and with great openness on the part of all of us, that we will see the fulfilment of this enrichment that Pope Benedict desired.
“For me this [evening] is a very lovely moment, which sees another step in a process in which I have been involved for a very long time and I hope that, both here and in Australia and the United States [and Canada]… the insight and foresight of Pope Benedict will flourish.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols also said that the question must be asked: “How do we continue properly to engage in an open and very constructive dialogue and search [for unity] with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion as it is today?”
Evensong was led by Fr Mark Elliott Smith, the parish priest of the Ordinariate’s central church.