Thursday, October 7, 2010

Analysis of Papal Visit

Ignatius Insight links two follow-up articles from Catholic World Report and Homiletic and Pastoral Review on Pope Benedict's visit to England and Scotland last month.

In the first, George Neumayr comments on the new Battle of Britain.

In the second, Donal Anthony Foley recalls Pope St. Gregory the Great sending St. Augustine of Canterbury to bring Christ to the Anglo-Saxons: "Non Angli, sed Angeli! The Pope's visit to Britain."

Both articles are steeped in history. Neumayr's references the more recent history of World War II, which Pope Benedict mentioned several times during his visit, reminding the people of Great Britain how they had stood up to great evil in the mid-twentieth century. Foley rehearses Warren Carroll's thesis that the English Reformation prevented the restoration of Christendom, which the Holy Roman Empire and England could have fostered.


  1. Funny how Catholic Revisionists always leave out the part about when Augustine arrived he was (to his surprise I am sure!) greeted by Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Christians bearing the Cross of Christ boldly. He did not bring Christ or Christianity to the land of angels. He did get things organized along the continental pattern and resolved issues liturgical and other things.

  2. Not just Catholic Revisionists:
    "Christians in Britain, especially in England, look back with the most fervent gratitude to the events of 597, when Augustine landed on these shores to preach the gospel to the Anglo-Saxons at the behest of Pope St Gregory the Great. For Christians of all traditions and confessions, St Gregory is a figure of compelling attractiveness and spiritual authority – pastor and leader, scholar and exegete and spiritual guide. The fact that the first preaching of the Gospel to the English peoples in the sixth and seventh centuries has its origins in his vision creates a special connection for us with the See of the Apostles Peter and Paul; and Gregory's witness and legacy remain an immensely fruitful source of inspiration for our own mission in these dramatically different times. Two dimensions of that vision may be of special importance as we reflect today on the significance of Your Holiness's visit to us."
    --so spake the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey on 17 September 2010