Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A ‘new beginning’ for Cloyne (Comment)

Bishop Paul Colton, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross congratulates Bishop William Crean after his ordination.Even near-Baltic conditions couldn’t deflect from the palpable sense of joy around St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh on Sunday. 

Parishioners from all across the Diocese of Cloyne packed into the cathedral and some even speculated that tickets for a Cork-Kerry All-Ireland final would be easier to come by that a ticket for Sunday’s ordination Mass.

The fact that Bishop William Crean is a Kerryman didn’t seem to rekindle the usual rivalry between the two neighbouring counties. 

Archbishop Dermot Clifford – another Kerryman – has been acting as Apostolic Administrator in Cloyne since Bishop John Magee stepped aside in March 2009.

Sunday was, as Bishop Crean said, a “new beginning” for Cloyne. It had been 26 years since St Colman’s has seen an Episcopal ordination and flags were fluttering in the sea air for Sunday’s celebration which involved the participation of almost 20 bishops and over 150 priests including many from Cloyne and Bishop Crean’s confreres from Kerry. 

The ordination liturgy was punctuated with a beautiful selection of music which drew on the Church’s Latin tradition, the fine repertoire of liturgical music in the Irish language and many familiar English hymns.

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown struck the right note at the beginning introducing the Mass as Gaeilge with a broad Manhattan accent.

Most of the people present at Sunday’s ceremony probably hadn’t been at an Episcopal ordination before. 

It was a fact evidently not overlooked by organisers: at appropriate times during the Rite of Ordination a discreet commentary was provided, helping the congregation to take a more active part in the liturgy.

In a ceremony resplendent with symbolism, the new bishop was reminded about the duties of his office, then all bishops present came forward and in a silent gesture that represents an unbroken line from Christ laid hands upon Dr Crean. 

After being anointed with the oil of chrism, the new bishop was invested with the visible symbols of his office: a Book of the Gospels reminding him of the duty to preach the Word of God in season and out of season. 

An Episcopal ring represents fidelity to the Church, the mitre which represents the quest for holiness, and the crozier – or staff – which represents the bishop’s responsibility to guide and lead the people entrusted to him.

There was rapturous applause when Bishop Crean was led to his chair – the Cathedra – which represents his role as shepherd for the entire Diocese of Cloyne. 

The role of the bishop as a symbol of unity in a diocese was given powerful effect as parishioners from all across the dioceses, joined by priests, religious and representatives of other Christian traditions came forward to greet Bishop Crean.

The past 

Sunday was a day of great joy: a day for setting out anew, conscious of the past and the hurt that has been caused, but not imprisoned by the past.

Bishop Crean was quick to pay tribute to Archbishop Clifford for his diligence in beginning the work of healing in the diocese. 

“Due to his oversight and direction a robust and comprehensive safeguarding policy and structure is in place throughout the diocese,” he reminded parishioners.

“We can be confident that best practice now prevails and will be subject to continual reviews. Today I renew my commitment to continue the work of healing and reconciliation that is so necessary for all.  This work will take time, understanding and patience,” Bishop Crean said.

No comments: