The recently appointed Dean of the Abbey Church and Cathedral of St Albans, Dr Peter Moore, was host to an unusual and distinctive gathering last Friday, ineluding the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Bruno Heim, whom he had invited to plant a tree in the Cathedral orchard in honour of Pope Adrian IV.
Why Adrian IV? Because he was Nicholas Breakspear, native son of Si Albans, and, of course, England's only Pope. The tree which the present Pope's representative planted has thus become a symbol of
ecumenical growth C nlightenment.
And there can be no more energetic protagonist of such enlightenment than the present Dean of St Albans unless it be, perhaps, its Bishop, Dr Robert Runcie apart of course from the Apostolic Delegate himself.
And the choice of a tree seems surely a particularly felicitous one. Its Christian symbolisms are obvious, and at St Albans it was nice to be present at so ingenious an extension of
last year's national theme of "Plant a Tree."
Congratulations iticali%■hile to the Dean of St Albans. the Apostolic Delegate and to Pope Adrian who did not, by the way, cede Ireland do King Henry II of England. (The document purporting to show that he did is a forgery.)
A Christian Unity Award is to be presented by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in London today to the AnglicanRoman Catholic International Commission. The award -honours the memory of Fr Paul Wattson, founder of the Society of the Atonement, pioneer of the Christian Unity Movement in the United States and originator of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The presentation 'this year coincides with the 75th anniversary of' the founding of the Atonement Friars_ This is the sixth presentation or the award since its inception in 1961% Previous recipients have included: Rev Louis Boyer, President of the Unitas Association, Rome (1961): Cardinal Lawrence Shehan of Baltimore. episcopal director of the Bishops' Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (1964): Cardinal Augustine Bea, director of the Secretariate for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome (1965): Dr Martin Marty, editor (1968); Dr Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury (1972).
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission is a 2I-member theological dialogue group established by Pope Paul and the Archbishop of Canterbury to explore the future relationship of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
Its most recent achievement (and the basis for the award) is its presentation for study of a document on ministry and ordination in both churches.
The document is known as "Ministry and Ordination: A Statement of the Doctrine of the Ministry Agreed by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.. Canterbury 1973".
Clifton SVP praised
Members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in the Clifton diocese. holding their first diocesan general meeting in the Apostle Room of the new Cathedral of SS Peter arid Paul last Sunday, were praised by Bishop Rudderham for their good work for the Church.
Bishop Rudderhain presided over a gathering of well over 1(X) Brothers and Sisters of the Society, organised by Bristol Central C:ouncil, of which the president is Bro Ron Emmerson, by permission of the parish priest, Mgr T. J. Hughes.
The guest speaker was tiro Peter Willis, the National Chairman of the Society. He .reminded members that this was a Holy Year, and urged them to renew. their lives in the same spirit of service which had inspired their founder, Frederic Ozarrani, more than 100 years ago.
Personal involvement, whether visiting people in their homes, or in prisons or institutions, was today as necessar3. as ever, he said.
Alter the meeting, Bishop Kudderham said Mass in the .Cathedral thus providing an opportunity for all make a Iloly Year visit.