Fr. Thomas Rosica CSA, moderator of SALT AND LIGHT TV, aptly quotes Ignatius of Antioch — one of the earliest Church Fathers — to mark the significance of Steven Lopes’ Consecration as our Bishop: VBI EPISCOPVS IBI ECCLESIA: Where the Bishop is, there is the Church: with the provision of a Bishop, the Ordinariate has reached full maturity, a full and permanent member of the Universal Church. That is just the beginning of this excellent interview, however. Fr. Rosica introduces one of its most striking passages by enquiring whether the Ordinariate is interested in acquiring new members? Here is our Bishop’s answer:
As a Priest I’ve been talking the language of mission and evangelization for years, as we’re trained to do. I don’t know that I ever truly understood it or experienced it until I immersed myself in the clergy and the faithful of the Ordinariate. All of these folks have come into Catholic communion. They’ve sacrificed for it. They’ve put family life on the life for it; many of them. Many of the priests who are married, when you think about resigning their ministries, stepping out into the unknown, not even being aware if the Catholic Church was going to ordain them: well, they have to feed their families, and put their kids through school; how do they meet those obligations as well? All of that makes for a very, very compelling story of the discovery of the truth, the beauty, and the goodness of the Catholic Church; and giving your life over to it, to the prompting of the Holy Spirit leading to full communion — it’s a story of faith; it’s a story of courage; and it’s a story that has been lived, practically, by almost everyone in my diocese right now. I’m astounded by the examples of courage and faith that I hear every single day; and as they begin to share that story — which is hard for people to do, actually, because you don’t want to sound like you’re tooting your own horn or making yourself out to be better than someone else — it is apparent how deeply God has been working in their lives: and that’s attractive. I’m attracted as their Bishop: I want to be with that; I want to celebrate that; I want to experience that! And so I think that as that story begins to unfold, it is a very compelling and attractive force for Unity — for Catholic communion.
Thanks to blogger Deborah Gyapong for pointing to this. We agree with the introduction on her always-worthwhile blog FOOLISHNESS TO THE WORLD: “Pour yourself a hot beverage and prepare yourself to watch a great interview by Fr. Thomas Rosica of Canada’s Salt and Light TV of Bishop Steven Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Proud to say he is my bishop!”