Sunday, 27 February 2011

Fr Elliott announces his Resignation from Holy Trinity, Reading

I have informed the bishop of Oxford of my intention to resign my post here at Holy Trinity in order to be part of the Reading Ordinariate Group which will meet at S. James’ Church from Ash Wednesday. As a consequence my last Sunday at Holy Trinity will be 6th March 2011.

When the Lord appeared to his disciples beside the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection he charged Peter three times to look after his flock. This duty as chief pastor has passed down to our own days in the office of the Pope. Mindful of this mission, on Good Friday 1994, Pope John Paul II renewed Christ’s call of unity to his disciples urging Christian believers not to remain divided. The following year in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint Pope John Paul gave notice of his intention ‘to promote every suitable initiative aimed at making the witness of the entire Catholic community understood’. The dawning of a new Millennium became a focus for this task of renewing the call to unity of all Christians ‘until they reach full communion’.

More recently in 2009 Pope Benedict XVI issued the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus as an initiative to further the goal of Christian unity, recognising those Anglican separated brethren seeking unity. Unity is demonstrated in the end not by words but by actions; ecumenical dialogue is cosmetic without the true intention of visible communion. Before he was given the charge to guard Christ’s flock, Peter instinctively swam ashore to be at one with the Lord. In that same spirit the Holy Father has made a bold initiative in erecting a Personal Ordinariate in England and Wales so that unity can be achieved, and I among others wish with gratitude to enter the full communion of the Catholic Church and be united to the See of Peter. It is for this reason I have tendered my resignation as priest-in-charge of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Reading.

Many of us had hoped in times past that the Church of England would as a whole be reconciled with The Catholic Church. It has however chosen another path and, surrendering its birthright by craving the Zeitgeist has forfeited the blessing of unity. However our brothers and sisters in the Church of England remain co-workers in God’s vineyard and it is with thanksgiving in my heart that I remember those who have given me support in my Christian journey thus far. I would especially like to thank everyone at Holy Trinity for their support, love, and prayers over the time I have spent here. This journey has brought me to the point where, with joy, I can hold fast to the rock of Peter, and take my place in the family of the Catholic Church which stretches round this globe. May the Pope as the Universal Pastor may continue to draw to himself the lost brethren of our world, and thus build up the Church militant here in earth.

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