Saturday, 22 September 2012


The Roman Catholic congregation which shares our church is usually looked after by a local priest, but he's been away on holiday, so Fr Ignatien from Burkina Faso has been with them for the last couple of weeks. He asked whether we could meet up to have a conversation so we did. I'm afraid I was worried that he was going to ask whether our parish could send his some cash, but we didn't go anywhere near that subject (just as well as we don't have any), instead talking about the differences between the RC and Anglican observances. He was a bit bemused to discover that the theoretical head of the CofE is the Queen, but at least he can go back to the minor seminary where he teaches with a bit of a clearer idea of what the Anglican Church is and how it works; or doesn't work.

On a previous occasion he asked me whether the Blessed Sacrament was reserved in the aumbry in our Lady Chapel as indicated by the candle burning in front of it, and then took to genuflecting in the proper manner whenever he passed it. And for several days this week a young Hispanic-looking lady has been coming in to the church soon after 9am, standing in front of the Sacrament for a few seconds praying, and then leaving. On Friday she brought a friend!

I haven't spoken to the two young women so they can be forgiven for thinking this is a Roman church, but Fr Ignatien must surely realise the Sacrament in the aumbry has been consecrated by me (it wasn't him, after all!). In theory, therefore, it isn't 'the Sacrament' at all and he shouldn't be doing anything in front of it. I wonder whether the Pope knows about this dreadful indiscipline. What are they teaching RC priests in seminaries these days?

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