Walter Cardinal Kasper, the soon-to-be-ex-Prefect of the Christian Unity Council, undoubtedly set out to make gestures at the Lourdes International Mass; gestures to the old pre-Oxford-Movement style of Anglican Liturgy. Like old-style Protestant Evangelicals, he presided at the (ritual) North End; the altar lacked both cross and candlesticks. Somebody should have told Professor Kasper that since the 1840s Anglicans have somewhat developed their ritual practices. Indeed, some of our clergy, including my predecessor Fr Thomas Chamberlain, were physically persecuted for their doings. How different Kasperliturgie was from the pictures the tatshops of Lourdes were still showing: our Holy Father celebrating only a few days previously: seven candles and a crucifix on the altar. And how good it is to have a proper Anglican Pope after all these years. Kasper should copy his boss.
Two particularly interesting features, however. Despite the regulations that 'non-Catholic ministers' may not preach the Homily after the Gospel, Rowan, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England (does that make him de jure to be a Legatus natus of the Holy See?) did just that. Was it at the invitation of the Ordinary, Jacques our bishop? Or is Cardinal Kasper himself getting demob happy? And why did not Geoffrey Rowell carry a crosier? After all, as he reminded us, we were in his diocese.