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ORDINARIATE FESTIVAL: Dr William Oddie speaks at Warwick Street
Friday 19th September 2014

The Ordinariate's festival weekend began on the evening of Friday 19 September with a talk given by the leading Catholic writer, Dr William Oddie, at the Ordinariate's central church, Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London. Dr Oddie, who was an Anglican priest before he converted to Catholicism 25 years ago, is a former editor of the Catholic Herald and the author of several books, including The Roman Option, which was published in 1997 and gives his insider's account of the origins and possible future for what was then known as the "Roman Option", in which disaffected Anglicans were seeking in the early 1990s to move en masse to the Catholic Church.

Speaking about the Ordinariate to a gathering of more than a hundred members of its laity and clergy at Warwick Street, Dr Oddie said: "an unexpected part of Pope Benedict's legacy was his wonderful gift to those of us who had made their individual submissions to the Holy See many years before the word Ordinariate was invented, to those of us who had simply renounced Anglicanism, lock, stock and barrel. Now it seemed that Pope Benedict was almost inviting us to reconsider that renunciation".

He said a particular joy for him, at his first experience of the Ordinariate's new liturgy was singing the composer, John Merbecke's creed, which "all came back as if it was yesterday, and it was a wonderfully moving experience".

Dr Oddie went on to give a fascinating account of how the discussions aimed at achieving some form of corporate unity for Anglicans with the Holy See in the early 1990s came to nothing because of the opposition of the Catholic Bishops in England and Wales at that time. A generation later, when Anglicanorum Cœtibus was announced, he said it was, for him, almost too much for the mind to take in: "but it has indeed now happened. And here, tonight, WE all are. Thanks be to God: and thanks, too, to Benedict, his good servant."

The talk was followed by a reception in the parish room.

For more pictures of this event click here

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The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
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