Coupled with the next post below it will seem that I am bashing Anglicans and Muslims. I am not. I post this in the spirit of Christian love. I am not advocating the burning of qur'ans, or going to war on Anglicans, but my message is ecumenical. Not the new ecumenism of V-II of embracing the differences and acknowledging the similarities, but the ecumenism which welcomed the sinner and dwelt on conversion.

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: I want you to take a good look at this picture. Besides it being an outstanding photo of our fantastic pope, I want you to take special notice of his gentle non-threatening gaze, as well as the stole worn around his neck.

A stole is a large piece of cloth worn around a clerics neck. It is a symbol of his ministry and spiritual authority. It is modeled after the Jewish prayer cloth called a tallit. The tradition obviously comes down to us from the apostolic age, as Jewish apostles wore tallitot (plural for tallit) while preaching the gospel to Gentiles. This is why the stole is seen as a symbol of authority to Christians.

Anyway, this particular photograph is very interesting because you see the pope was sitting in Westminster Abbey, when it was taken, where he was to address the spiritual leaders of the Church of England. Westminster Abbey is the primary place of worship for Anglicans. It's sort of like the Anglican answer to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The stole he wore around his neck was not his normal stole. It was the one worn by Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903 AD). Pope Leo XIII was the pope who elevated John Henry Newman to the office of cardinal-deacon, so since the pope would beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman two days later, it somewhat explains his use of Pope Leo's stole. However, there is a deeper symbolism here, and this pope is well known for teaching through symbols. Pope Leo XIII was also known as the pope who officially declared Anglican religious orders invalid...

...Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.-- Apostolicae Curae, 36...

I will welcome the joining of the Anglican communion with the Catholic church. My thoughts are this, where will those who left the church for personal convenience go to if that happens.

God will sort this out. Hopefully it will be in my lifetime.


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