Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Dr Ken McKay's 1980 lecture on St Boniface



The battle to maintain authentic Catholic Faith and practice within the Anglican Church of Australia from the 1970s (a battle we mostly lost!) resulted in the formation of a close network of fellow warriors who became friends across the vast distances between Australian capital cities. Among the most highly respected of our circle were Dr Ken Mckay and his wife Gloria. In fact, they had been prominent leaders of Unity Peace and Concord (UPC), The Association of the Apostolic Ministry (AAM) and then Forward in Faith Australia (FiFA). When FiFA dissolved, it's last real act was to publish three lectures given by Ken, with a moving foreword by Bishop David Robarts.

As today is when the Church commemorates St Boniface, Bishop and Martyr, I share with you Ken's lecture delivered at Christ Church Brunswick, Melbourne, on 15th June 1980 in honour of St Boniface. I do not for a moment apologise for the length of the post! Following the lecture is Bishop Robarts' tribute to Ken. 

St BONIFACE, MISSIONARY BISHOP AND MARTYR
It is June the 5th, 755 (or possibly 754). At dawn, in the northernmost province of windswept Holland, the ancient Frisia, at Dokkum, an aged bishop is waiting with his entourage to conduct a confirmation. A company appears, not the expected confirmees but pagan Frisians. The bishop, together with his party of 52 (including Eoban, the newly-appointed bishop of Utrecht), is massacred. Story and history mingle as attempts to lay his body to rest at Utrecht and Mainz, his archiepiscopal see, are miraculously thwarted. It is finally returned to Fulda, the German Benedictine monastery which he founded and long planned as his final resting place. Many of his books survived his martyrdom, and three of them are still to be seen in the Landesbibliothek at Fulda. The monk Radford of Utrecht had reported that it was with a book that the bishop defended his head against a sword blow, to no avail. One of the three surviving tomes, a codex of the Gospels in an Irish hand, is almost cut in two. Piety is satisfied, and a book pierced by a sword remains this martyr’s normal symbol.

We have heard much of late of the United Kingdom’s debt to the Common Market, a sordid matter of inflating pounds and pence. It is timely tonight to contemplate the incalculable debt incurred by Europe from across the Channel. In 1946, when there seemed great cause to give thanks for Britain’s isolation from the Continent, it was a European, Wilhelm Levison, who remarked: “Twice in her history England has exercised a broad, deep and lasting influence upon continental ways of thought and life.” One influence has been recent: the role of the British Constitution in the past 200 years. The other took us back a further 1000 years, to one Englishman whose long active public life, particularly between 718 and the mid 750’s, contributed enormously to the shape of Church organization and influence in France, Germany, the Low Countries and even Italy virtually until the Reformation period.

We honour Wynfrith of Crediton, a West Saxon of Wessex, better known as Boniface : monk, bishop, statesman, administrator of genius, evangelist par excellence, and martyr. He crowned a life of service with a glorious death. Nor was it lost upon his first biographer Willibald that there was exemplary perseverance and singleness of purpose in his closing his missionary life where he had first begun it – although then in unrewarding times – among the pagans of Frisia. From Milret, bishop of Worcester, Boniface’s death elicited the remark that he was “the glory and crown of all whom the Motherland has sent forth to the European continent”, and, from a higher vantage-point, the 20th century, Sir Arthur Bryant accorded him the ultimate accolade: “No Englishman’s work has had a greater influence on the world.”

Boniface’s martyrdom on June the 5thprompted an ensuing English Synod to decree that that day would be held in annual remembrance, and that he would rank with Gregory the Great and Augustine of Canterbury as one of the three patrons of the English Church. This decree is a reminder that Boniface, too, was discharging a debt. Within a century of the arrival of the Roman Mission in England in 597 (we all remember the story which prompted it: “Not Angles, but Angels”, and its modern improvements), within a century not only had the Synod of Whitby given victory to the Roman cause over Celtic Christianity, but Anglo-Saxon missionaries were descending on Europe in what was to become a golden shower. It was in 690 that Willibrord of Northumbria went to Frisia as an evangelist, to become eventually bishop of Utrecht, where he still preaches from horseback to the population outside St. John’s Church. [My slender claim to talk to you tonight derives from a common residence with Willibrord and Boniface in Utrecht, a fruit of which is the curious doctoral garment you see draped around my shoulders, a hood which, by the usual Dutch paradox, I’m forbidden to wear in Holland.] There are tides, we are told, in the affairs of men. The tide which flowed into 7thcentury England ebbed into 8thcentury Europe and transported the Gospel far and wide.

In that troubled, transitional period it is no surprise that Boniface’s years of birth, consecration and death remain matters of dispute. Exeter celebrated the 1200thanniversary of his death in 1955, so let 755 suffice for that. But it was somewhere between 672 and 680 that Wynfrith was born near Exeter, possibly at Crediton, if the 14thcentury tradition of an Exeter bishop is to be believed. (If it is not, tell it not in Exeter.) Wynfrith he was, not to become Boniface until he sought, and obtained from Gregory II in 719 a roving commission to evangelize the heathen, and a new name to go with the task. Willibrord had received from Pope Sergius I in 695 the name of Clement to go with is elevation as Archbishop of the Frisians, but Wynfrith’s Papal name predated his episcopal elevation by some three years.

We are told that he was a precocious child, bent on the monastic life against his father’s wishes. Certain it is that at the age of 7 he became a child oblate at the monastery of Adescancastre (possibly Exeter) under Abbot Wulfhard. The child oblate received and education, but at the cost of permanent monastic obedience. It may pain us to hear Pope Gregory II advising Boniface that children assigned to a monastery cannot later leave and marry, but the system gave us the Venerable Bede, and it gave us Boniface. He later moved to the monastery of Nursling near Southampton under Abbot Winbert, where he was later to command attention as a diplomatic envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury and be offered the succession at Nursling, which he declined.

Boniface was a man of drive, and vision, and destiny, called to missionary service in the fullness of time. He had one lesson to learn the hard way : love of God was not enough. In that violent, unpolished era to serve God and feel a kinship with the tribes of Northern Europe could not produce a harvest without the tolerance of the secular arm. (If this disenchants us, we would have been ill at ease during the whole Reformation period.) In 716 he sailed to Frisia with some of his monks, a fourth in the wake of the three W’s (whom you may choose to think of as converted big M’s): Wilfred of York, Wictbert of Ireland and Wilfred’s pupil, Willibrord of Northumbria. He met only frustration and returned to Nursling, for the political situation was insurmountable.

Between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Carolingian Empire (which Boniface partly made possible) arose only one power with an element of stability, the Merovingian empire, the Kingdom of the Franks. It embraced Western and Eastern sections, Neustria and Austrasia, to oversimplify. In the same vein we may think of Neustria as Gaul or France and Austrasia as Germany, although the Lowlands were a sphere of influence of the latter. Power was passing from the monarchy to the Mayors of the respective palaces. In Austrasia Charles the Hammer, Charles Martel, was dominant, the iron man needed in an iron age. It was he who drove back the Moslems in 732 near Tours and Poitiers, when they invaded from Spain, and who defeated the Saxons in 738 and made them pay tribute. The Frankish kingdom was then divided between his sons Carloman and Pepin the Short. When Carloman retired to a monastery, Pepin III became effective ruler of the whole kingdom. In 751 he destroyed the fiction that the Merovingian House was in control by deposing Childeric III, became king himself, and so the dynasty which produced Charlemagne was born. But when Boniface came on the scene Charles Martel was still engaged in hostilities with Radbod, the Pagan king of the Frisians. It was of Radbod that the story is told that he came within an ace of being baptized, but that when he asked whether he would meet his ancestors, and was told No, they would be in Hell, he decided that he would not split up the family. (Fortunately for Boniface at a later date his son Aldgils II had no such scruples). After a period of Frankish supremacy which had permitted Willibrord’s early successes, Radbod regained Utrecht in 714, persecuted the Christians and drove them underground. Willibrord, who had been there for 24 years, for 19 of them as Archbishop of the Frisians, was forced to flee to a monastery he had founded in Echternach, now an idyllic spot in Luxemburg, where, incidentally, on Whit-Tuesday the Bishop of Luxemburg joins the populace in dancing in honour of Willibrord. Boniface made no progress and withdrew to Nursling.

By 718, however, he was in Rome, never to see England again. During his monastic years from oblate to priest, Boniface had absorbed those standards of order, discipline and obedience which marked not only the Benedictine order, but also the whole Roman mission from Augustine of Canterbury onwards. There is undoubtedly a Celtic influence in the sanctity, asceticism and consuming evangelism which took Wynfrith to Europe, from which his ancestors had come, but, along with the 7thcentury Anglo-Saxon Church, he accepted as natural the moral and honorary primacy of Rome, which was to convert him to a Boniface and spend him in the service of the Papacy. Boniface made three arduous trips to Rome, served four Popes and by them was commissioned to evangelize the heathen successively as priest, bishop, Metropolitan of Germany beyond the Rhine and papal legate. His mandate from Gregory II as bishop contains interesting details, including:

“We have commanded him not to ordain a man who has been married twice or one who has married a woman not a virgin, or one who is not fully instructed, or a man suffering from a physical defect, or who is notorious for a crime whether civil or ecclesiastical, or who is known to be subject to some liability. If he finds such persons in office he shall not advance them. Under no circumstances whatsoever should he accept Africans who dare to apply for admission to ecclesiastical orders, because some of them are Manichaeans and others are known to have received Baptism several times. He shall endeavour not to diminish but rather to increase the services and adornments of the churches and whatsoever endowments they possess.”

In the German provinces of Hesse, Thuringia and Bavaria, where he organized diocesan Church government, he established a papacy-oriented structure which disregarded its debt to itinerant or settled Celtic evangelists. This was even truer of his commission in 741 to reform the ecclesiastical organization in France, where Celtic, that is, Irish influence, had hitherto prevailed over Roman. Boniface was an incurable letter writer. “Ever since I dedicated myself”, he says in 745, “nearly 30 years ago to the service of the Apostolic See . . . it has been my custom to relate to the Supreme Pontiff all my joys and sorrows”. To him he turned for guidance in the countless problems which arose in a missionary situation : the degrees of affinity permitted by the marriage laws, giving Communion to lepers, and to parricides, the conjugal rights of husbands, the sale of slaves to the heathen, not to mention his troubles with worldly clergy (who “are shiftless drunkards, addicted to the chase, who marched into battle and shed with their own hands the blood of Christians and heathens alike”).

Some of his remarks now make quaint reading. Can one eat horses, wild or tame? (Filthy and abominable, replied Gregory III) – jackdaws, storks, or beavers (No food for Christians, said Zacharias.) How long should bacon fat be kept before eating? (The Church Fathers provide no information, said Zacharias. Was there nosmile on his face when he dictated that reply? But he wasable to provide Boniface’s messenger with a manuscript indicating where the sign of the cross should be used in the Canon of the Mass.) There is general disfavour now at Boniface’s acquiring from Rome in 751 a charter for his favourite monastery of Fulda to be subject only to the Apostolic See, but such a practice is known in England from at least 680.

However, Boniface’s feelings for ecclesiastical order are tempered by a concern for tradition and for morals. There was, for example, on one occasion widespread comment (including from Rome) that he did wrong in allowing the marriage of a godfather to the widowed mother of the godchild. He shows no awareness that a papal opinion is final, but sends letters in disbelief to many, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, asking for ancient authorities who assert it to be a mortal sin. He is no respecter of persons, especially where his converted weaker brethren are concerned. In his jealousy of a Christian’s credibility, the same letter which submits to Zacharias on the Pope’s succession to office bluntly asks him to prevent abuses at Rome which the sensual and ignorant pagans throw in his teeth, all the hallmarks of the dolce vita, I’m afraid, like New Year celebrations and overindulgence in food. We may wonder what the Pope thought of the suggestion that he ban the sale of amulets and bracelets. With the same scrupulosity he charged Archbishop Cuthbert of Canterbury with the sins of the nation:

“I will not conceal from Your Grace that all the servants of God here who are especially versed in Scripture and strong in the fear of God are agreed that it would be well and favourable for the honour and purity of your Church and a sure protection against vice if your synod and your princes would forbid matrons and nuns to make their frequent journeys back and forth to Rome. A great part of them perish and few keep their virtue. There are very few towns in Lombardy and Gaul where there is no a courtesan or harlot of English stock. It is a scandal and a disgrace to your whole Church.”

King Aethelbad of Mercia probably took long to recover from a lengthy letter, sent in the name of Boniface and his seven coadjutor bishops (in 746-747), attacking inter alia his sexual activity with nuns.

Boniface’s standards are uniformly severe. Ostentatious dress he pronounced “sent by Antichrist to herald his coming”. In rather familiar language he called intoxication “an evil peculiar to the heathen and our race, for neither the Franks nor the Gauls nor the Lombards nor the Romans nor the Greeks practise it”. He abstained from alcohol himself and required the same of his monks at Fulda. And yet we notice with pleasure that, as an inducement to Egbert, Archbishop of York, to send him copies of the works of the Venerable Bede, Boniface sends himtwo small casks of wine “asking you in token of our mutual affection to use it for a merry day with the brethren”.

It is easy to construct a picture of a censorious fanatic, lacking the saving grace of humour. But could he have fulfilled his mission with less than an iron will? Austrasia and Neustria alike showed him in abundance the fate of those who compromised – false bishops who did not even preach, priests of strange milk and honey diets, stranger doctrines and scandalous lives, all men of great influence whom it embarrassed him to meet at court (the subject of more letters to Rome). 

The rigours of his mission called for super-Pauline discipline and an unerring sense of direction. The Papacy recognized this power in him, and would not let him rest. “You are not at liberty, brother”, wrote Gregory III in 739, “to tarry in one place when your work there is finished. Wherever God shall open to you a road to the salvation of souls, carry on with your preaching.” So, when news reached him, shortly after his first commissioning, that the notorious overlord Radbod of Frisia was dead, Boniface hastened up the Rhine and spent three years from 719 to 722 serving under Willibrord at Utrecht. Willibrord sought to detain him, but that same combination of restlessness of spirit and a sense of being a man under authority drove him back into Germany, wild parts of Austrasia like Hesse and Thuringia, subject to Saxon incursion, later also to Bavaria. From a roving commission as evangelist he became a Bishop without a see and an archbishop without a province. It was not till 745, in possibly his late 60’s, that a synod gave him a diocese to fill the gap, Cologne by intention but ultimately, after local protests, Mainz. He pleaded in vain several times to be allowed to lay aside his onerous administrative burdens ; we know from his final days in Frisia that it was no quiet retreat that he was seeking.

The obstacles he faced beggar description – basic human problems, such as priest Wigbert mentioned in the same letter in which he reported to the Glastonbury community missionary successes in Germany: “though there are many difficulties and dangers and we are constantly beset by hunger, thirst, cold and the hostility of the heathens”. He took enormous risks in destroying pagan temples and centres of worship. His personal destruction of the Oak of Thor at Geismar in Hesse was tactically a great success, but the accounts make plain the ugliness of the pagans’ mood. His constant travelling speaks volumes for his stamina. Not that volumes were in ready supply. There were intellectual privations. He writes letters far and wide looking for books. In 733 he wrote to abbot Duddo that he has commentaries on only two of Paul’s letters, Romansand 1 Corinthians. It is chastening to reflect that at the time he was Metropolitan of Germany beyond the Rhine. We also remember the inadequacies of a courier service which produced answers to correspondence many months too late to be useful, and sometimes showing so little appreciation of the missionary’s task as to constitute no reply at all.

But there were also the stresses within the forces of the Church – self-seeking clergy, backsliding converts. Above all the ambivalence of the secular power, always authoritarian and promoting self interest. Where it supported the Church it undoubtedly profited, for the English missionaries contributed to the consolidation of the state, a process which was to continue into the 9thcentury under Charlemagne. But the Church competed with the secular arm. Benefactions and privileges alienated so much property from the state, that many rulers responded to this running sore by reclaiming church estates. When Charles Martel, a Catholic prince, to whom Europe owed enormous gratitude, died in 741 it was popularly believed that his sequestrations of church property had consigned him straight to Hell.

No less impressive than the obstacles were Boniface’s heroic achievements. He attracted to his mission a large number of Anglo-Saxon and other priests and monks and nuns. He founded many monasteries with their aid and established a pattern which became endemic after his death. Let two statistics suffice for many: It is calculated that nearly 100 monasteries were established in Bavaria between 740 and 748. Fulda, which he founded in 744, had, by the time of the death of Abbot Sturm in 779, upwards of four hundred monks.

Diocesan government as we know it was a product of Boniface’s work in large tracts of France and Germany. He established four bishoprics in Bavaria, four in France and of course reorganized many more. He established the influence of the papacy in Northern Europe, and strengthened the development of centralized secular power, and of the unity of Western civilization. When Pepin III, father of Charlemagne, seized the Kingship of the Franks with the blessing of Pope Zacharias, it was Boniface as Papal Legate who anointed him, the first of the Carolingian kings.

Of some importance was the restoration of synods in Austrasia when Carloman succeeded Charles Martel in the eastern country. Boniface proclaimed there had been none for 80 years, although scholars would now cut this figure by half. But there was still real achievement in the fact that four were held between 742 and 747 with Boniface presiding and Pepin held some also in Neustria. Synods of the whole kingdom took place in 745 and 747. Two developments quickly emerge. In 746 Pepin, his bishops, abbots and chiefmen (principesin the formula of synod) send Pope Zacharias a questionnaire on 27 points of canon law, confirming for us the acceptance of Papal headship. Secondly, it becomes very clear that the bonds between England and Europe grow tighter, and that the tides of reform begin to return from whence they came. At least the Frankish Synod of 747 influences the English reform synod of Clovesho in 747 in the choice of its legislation. Another debt is starting to be discharged.

How, then, shall we remember Boniface? George Greenway, commemorating him in 1955, suggests one way: “St. Boniface was a great Christian and a great Englishman, but he was also a great European. Perhaps this is the most important lesson he can teach us in our day”.

It is a thought as pertinent to us as to England in a shrinking world and enlarging multicultural societies. But for his epitaph, the way in which hewould have liked to be remembered, I think we turn to what he wrote to Abbot Huelbert of Wearmouth in 746-747:

“We earnestly beseech you, kind brother, to assist us with your holy prayers in our labours among the rude and savage people of Germany, where we are sowing the seed of the Gospel. Pray that we may not be scorched by the fiery furnace of the Babylonians, but rather that the seed strewn in the furrows may germinate and grow an abundant harvest. For, in the words of the Apostle, ‘neither he that plants nor he that waters is of any accounts, but only God who gives the increase.’”

Let us thank God for St. Boniface who sowed good seed and left us all his debtors.

* * * * * * * * * *

Kenneth John McKay looked back to his Australian origins through great grandparents who were Irish Catholics and migrated here in 1852, settling near Castlemaine in Victoria. His grandfather, though, decided that the Catholic Church “was only after your money,” and became an Anglican. Ken’s parents lived initially in Shepparton, and Ken attended its State Primary School where in Goulburn Valley style, correct answers were rewarded with quarters of fruit. His response to this was, “I tried to be very smart indeed.” However, he was not there for long.

The arrival of the Great Depression meant moving out, with his father seeking employment wherever it could be found, while his mother and the two children moved around various rooming houses, mainly within Melbourne’s inner South Eastern suburbs. This meant attending several schools before going on to Melbourne High. Perhaps such an unsettled childhood may have contributed towards a certain lack of self-confidence – he never dared learn to drive – yet his interest in people also gave him a remarkable range and number of friendships.

Ken’s school reports survive and it is clear he had a natural aptitude for languages and a good deal else. At Elwood Central he achieved an average of 99.75% for Latin with everything else being “excellent”. He finished Dux of the school with an overall average of 97.5%. At Melbourne High he continued to excel, particularly in Latin, but also in Mathematics. Comments included “exceptional”, “ outstanding  ability”, and  “a splendid student”. 
  
At Matriculation level Ken took out five Firsts, and as a result of prizes and scholarships entered Melbourne University in 1945.He began studying French, Latin, and Ancient History, with a view to becoming a schoolteacher; towards the middle of the year, however, he had an impulse to study Classical Greek. By this time the first year Greek students, who were assumed to have done Greek at school – which he had not – were well advanced in the subject. Nonetheless Ken managed to pass Greek that year, as well as attaining an Exhibition in Latin.

The next year a Beginner’s Greek Summer School was started for students wishing to study  Greek in first year and who were starting from scratch. Ken sought to enrol for it but the Professor of Classics told him to act as tutor instead. Having tutored in the first week of the first Beginner’s Greek Summer School, he was to go on to tutor in the last week of the very last Summer School forty years later. Numbers of significant Church figures along with a great many Parish clergy of various traditions undertook this “crash course” at his hands; I should not forget the Religious, especially many Jesuits. One such, Gerald O’Çollins, with whom I studied Greek 1, went on to become an internationally renowned New Testament scholar and Professor in Rome.

Ken continued to excel in his studies and in third year was awarded the Wyselaski Scholarship which enabled him to proceed to a Master of Arts in 1948.His chosen topic reflected his historical interest: “Judaea as an example of first century Roman Provincial Administration,” but no suitable supervisor was available. So instead it was: “The Aeolic origin of the Homeric Poems,” which turned him more towards philology, and in which he was to inspire many others.

There were other interests in Ken’s life too: not least a deep involvement in the Anglican Church, initially through the Church of England Boys Society. The leader of his group was an Anglo-Catholic: Ken wrote, “in the process of equipping myself to counter his beliefs, I discovered that I agreed with him”. He became widely, as well as locally, active in Anglican affairs for the rest of his life; perhaps most notably, the Anglican Men’s Society, of which he was Diocesan Chairman, then for six years the National vice-chairman, the highest position a layman could hold. From 1977 to 2010 he ran a highly successful and far famed Annual AMS book fair as a fundraiser. His knowledge of and love for books was unbounded.

After completing his M.A. Ken accepted a Junior Lectureship in Brisbane (along with being Vice-Warden of St. John’s College) at the University of Queensland. The former he described as “a form of slave labour,” under an odious professor with a heavy Classics teaching load, much of it new to him. In the first week he wrote 5 resignation letters, tore them up, and survived an alienating environment and the humidity for 3 years – a formative experience.

He returned to Melbourne in 1954 with both a PhD thesis and the Ordained ministry in view. Neither were realized. He gained a temporary lectureship which became permanent in 1956 and continued until his retirement in 1992. As well as teaching he wrote articles for scholarly journals and a book on Callimachus in 1960.

With the introduction of sabbatical leave, Ken resolved to convert his work on Callimachus into a doctoral thesis with this year off. During Matriculation year he had started learning Dutch “for the hell of it” and kept this up. Ken and Gloria were married in 1955 and by this time had three sons. A Dutch scholarship and renting out their home enabled the family to take the sea voyage to Holland and then to the University of Utrecht where Ken prepared and defended his Doctoral dissertation in Dutch. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters cum laude in 1962 and his thesis became a second book.

While he was away Ken was promoted to Senior Lecturer, in 1968 to Reader and Associate Professor. It would be reasonable to assume that the machinations of University politics lay at the heart of his failure to receive a full Professorship. He more than delivered the goods, as a highly regarded academic, and as a teacher.

Ken’s lectures have been described as “a wonderful combination of erudition and wit”. He said once, “some say that Bowra’s book on Pindar is not his best book. Again, there are some who say Bowra has not got a best book”. His lectures on Comparative Philology were particularly remembered: he could make a subject that most thought dead, come alive. He had such detailed knowledge of texts and scholarship that some found it overwhelming. One former student said,” Just to sit in the room with him was to gain a sense of what there was to be known, up against which one’s own ignorance could brush”. As one who was privileged to sit at his feet, with this I am in total agreement. Ken had a quietly passionate, witty, yet eruditely informative, presence.  There was also reticence and humility, he was simple yet complex.

Above all Ken was a deeply Christian man. I treasure memories of him introducing me to saints and martyrs like Ignatius of Antioch as he opened up another world for me, passing on, and embodying in his own unique way, the Great Tradition of the Catholic Faith. Indeed, he was radiant to us in its transmission. Great teacher as he was, one was aware of the old adage that the faith is caught rather than taught.

It was because of this deep conviction that Ken took exception to the proposed innovation of women as priests, and in the early 1970’s became Founding Chairman of a group seeking to uphold the Apostolic Ministry entitled Unity Peace and Concord – a significant identification, and as to which very things their opponents seemed heedless in a determination to introduce change regardless of the cost. Unity Peace and Concord was caught up into the international Association for the Apostolic Ministry which then became Forward in Faith. Ken – and Gloria – were actively committed to these in turn. The three following addresses variously reflect the context of Ken’s commitment to upholding the Apostolic Ministry, as do the three martyr bishops themselves, who gave their lives in union with their crucified Lord, in its exercise .

Shortly before he died – and with what courage and fortitude did he endure his final illness -Ken, with deep gratitude, was received by Bishop Peter Elliott into full Communion with the Catholic Church as the first member of the, as yet to be, Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. In his last few months Ken was visited daily by a procession of visitors from  many places, and varied walks of life, who made up the rich network of his relationships. We will continue to walk with him as we too rejoice in the wonder and unfathomable mystery of Christ Our Lord and God, with Mary our Mother, Ignatius, Cyprian, Boniface, and the whole company of heaven.  

The Right Reverend David Robarts OAM
National Chairman, Forward in Faith Australia.

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