CA RDINA1. Basil Hume paid a warm tribute last week to the retiring Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Donald Coggan. and to his wife Jean for their lives of "dedicated service".
Fle said in a letter to The Times that Dr Coggan's vision of life went beyond the constrictions imposed by the institutional aspects of a Bishop's job and "above the controversy which attracts immediate attention."
"He treasures the things of the Spirit which really matter. These are not "news" in the conventional sense, but good news for those who are hungry for a word from God. It is this that so many of us have appreciated in him. In this tribute I would like to associate a great Christian lady. his wife Jean," the Cardinal said, "May they be able to continue their lives of dedicated service strengthened by the knowledge of the respect in which they are both held." Preaching in Canterbury Cathedral last Friday night at his final eucharist as leader of the Anglican communion, Dr Coogan urged Christians to remain faithful to the Gospel message as preached by St Paul, whom he described as "a man built on a big scale".
"The greatness or St Paul lies in this — that he compels us to face the things that really matter, in the here and now and in the long vistas of eternity," he said.
Dr Coggan stressed that St Paul made it clear that creed and conduct went together: this ruled out any suggestion that religion could be kept in one "water-tight compartment" and life in another. "To live as "children of the light" is to let that light shine in the very darkest and most problem-ridden corners of a very dark and perplexing world," he said.
Dr Coggan's official retirement comes exactly 24 years to the day since he was consecrated a Bishop.