Posts Tagged ‘Our Lady of Walsingham’

Letter to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Dear +Lindsay,

Thank you for all the work that you, the guardians and others do at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. It is vitally important that the Shrine’s historic witness to Our Lady’s place in the Christian faith is maintained and developed. This is why I value being a Priest Associate of the Shrine.

I, like many catholics within the Church of England, welcome women’s ordained ministry. Along with many priests within the Society of Catholic Priests (SCP) and beyond, I find it painful when my sisters in the college of priests are not welcome to preside at the Eucharist at the shrine.

Now that some former Anglican priests have joined the ordinariate, this may be an opportunity to review the situation. Those who join the ordinariate seek re-ordination as both deacons and priests, and have, at some level, rejected their Anglican orders. While I appreciate the generosity that the Shrine may exercise in allowing them to preside, it seems strange that no such offer is made to women priests who are in Anglican orders.

The place of Our Lady in enabling the Incarnation is central to all Christians regardless of denomination. This centrality is witnessed to by the presence of an Orthodox chapel within an Anglican shrine. It would be witnessed to in allowing ordinariate priests to preside at an altar within the Shrine grounds. The offering of an altar to women priests would be a further witness to the place of our Lady in the salvation of all Christians.

Please could those at the Shrine consider making an altar available for women in priestly orders to preside.

Yours in Christ

Paul Kennedy
Rector Portsmouth & Winchester Chapter SCP.