And now for something completely different…

We live in interesting times.

Mere days after the “inauguration” of the Bishop of Rome, the world witnesses another major ecclesiastical event: the “enthronement” of the Archbishop of Canterbury.


And just as the Patriarch of Constantinople attended the event of the Roman Pontiff, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, attended the event of the Anglican prelate, and – according to this schedule – read the lesson (look down to 3:25pm). (I haven’t been able to find any more detail on this). (Nb. in the picture above, I can also spot Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor and Cardinal Kurt Koch, centre left).

To make the occasion even more interesting, while the Roman Bishop was installed on the Feast Day of St Joseph, Protector of the Church, the Anglican Archbishop was installed on the day of the execution of his predecessor Archbishop Thomas Cranmar.

But amid all these similarities and contrasts, the greatest contrast of all would have to be the ceremony itself. Again, see the link above for details, and this page at The Daily Mail for all the colour photographs.

In comparison, one can perhaps be a little appreciative of the new style at our own HQ.

About Schütz

I am a PhD candidate & sessional academic at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. After almost 10 years in ministry as a Lutheran pastor, I was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. I worked for the Archdiocese of Melbourne for 18 years in Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations. I have been editor of Gesher for the Council of Christians & Jews and am guest editor of the historical journal “Footprints”. I have a passion for pilgrimage and pioneered the MacKillop Woods Way.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to And now for something completely different…

  1. Matthias says:

    The African dancers, was that a nod to Welby’s previous stint in Nigeria? or a new liturgical dance troup for Anglican Vicars who oppose the Ordiniariate?
    I was disgusted at the time of Peter Brock’s funeral how ,he a Buddhist, was buried from St Paul’s Melbourne and the two women in his life grandstanded with the lady Dean of St Pauls at the steps of the cathedral.

  2. adam says:

    I watched this enthronement live last week in Canterbury and the new Archbishop certianly put his mark on the ceremony. It had loads of symbolism especially the seating in the chair of St Augustine and the bishop kissing the famous Book of the Gospels brought by Augustine in 7th century to England. This book is the oldest extant book of the Gospels and resides in Cambridge now (not Canterbury unusually).
    Justin Welby for a man who has been a bishop for less than 18 months, is an extraordinary man. Very articulate and direct and always smiling. But there is an inner core of steel there and the Anglican Church has found an admirable man at 56 for this difficult post.
    In the congregation were 2 cardinals and 7 catholic bishops amongst the gaggle of anglican bishops who stood around the seat of Augustine.
    When I was there last december for the commemoration of the martyrdom of Thomas aBeckett on Dec 29 the former archbishop, Williams, presided over a huge crowd.
    At the end most went to the place on which Beckett was murdered. A small altar is there and overlooking it is a simple black iron cross. It is moving to be on the spot the brave and saintly bishop was struck down.
    Canterbury cathedral reeks with history. The great sadness though that always hits me there, is the fact that Henry VIII ransacked so many monasteries and churches. The scars of his actions can also be seen in this great cathedral in the crypt.

    • Schütz says:

      Don’t you think that the Canterbury ceremony was just a little over the top? I mean, if we are comparing installation services, the Vatican job wins for pure simplicity, despite being a much bigger event. Just compare the vestments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *