Posted by: fvbcdm | May 27, 2017

Feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury (27 May 2017)

In the year 596, Pope Saint Gregory the Great wished to begin the evangelization of the south of England. The Pope was himself a Benedictine monk of the monastery on the Coelian Hill in Rome, just about two blocks away from the Colisseum. He sent forty of his fellow monks to England, where they landed in the southeast corner of the island in the area called Kent.  There they made their first foundation at a place called Canterbury, which therefore became the first diocese of that land.  Thus for the centuries of Catholicism in England, the title “Archbishop of Canterbury” referred to the highest ranking English prelate of the Catholic Church.  Then, when Henry VIII forced the split of the Church in England from the Catholic Church in the 16th century, the Protestants took the title with them.  So today, “the Archbishop of Canterbury” is the religious head of the Anglican/Episcopal church. Those of us who keep up with religious developments in the news know that the Episcopal Church in this country is experiencing major difficulties because it has ordained women as bishops, and even a practicing homosexual man.  Not only are individuals and whole parishes leaving the Episcopal Church in our country, but even entire dioceses are thinking of doing the same.

We and our Anglican/Episcopalian friends look back to the arrival of Saint Augustine at Canterbury as the beginning of Christian life in the south of Great Britain.  Today we celebrate Saint Augustine of Canterbury, so we might well pray for the eventual reunion of Rome and Canterbury, and for the more proximate help of God for our separated brothers and sisters who are undergoing such problems in their religious life and organization. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.

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