...is London's famous Jesuit church and it is magnificent. A beautiful Mass there this evening to mark the centenary of the National Catholic Library (founded 1912) and to see the presentation of the Bene Merenti medal to a longtime volunteer staff member. Celebrant at the Mass was Bishop John Sherrington. The church gleams and glitters - it's in superb condition and, on this bitterly cold evening, was gloriously warm. There are several Masses there every Sunday including the sung Latin one which is noted for its fine music.
Back in 1992, I was in the Catholic Library - then based in Westminster, just behind the Cathedral - on the day the Church of England Synod debated the ordination of women. The librarian asked the two people - one was me - working in the reference room if we minded if she listened to the debate on the radio. We rather wanted to hear it too. We listened. I was underwhelmed by the arguments put for priestesses. I thought the people explaining how Scripture and Tradition pointed to the continuity of the Church's teaching in this matter had the better of the debate. I had to leave the library before the discussion ended. As I walked down Victoria Street I saw people coming out of the Synod, and two gleeful ladies told me they had won. I was sad.
But things have moved on and now, twenty years later, we are watching with awe the opening chapters of the next part of the history of Christianity in these islands - the unity for which so many have prayed, the fruit of ecumenical efforts over the years. We have the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. Deo GRatias.