19 June 2012

Bishop Frank Weston of Zanzibar

There has never been a more eloquent speech given by an Anglican bishop than that given by Bishop Frank Weston at the Anglo-Catholic Conference of 1923.  He continues to speak to the Anglican diaspora within the Catholic Church of our missionary duty, and it is completely in accord with the New Evangelisation called for by Blessed Pope John Paul II and confirmed by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI.  I suggest that this central text be upon the minds and hearts of those who will participate in the Anglican Use Conference on the New Evangelisation later this year:


If you are Christians then your Jesus is one and the same: Jesus on the Throne of his glory, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus received into your hearts in Communion, Jesus with you mystically as you pray, and Jesus enthroned in the hearts and bodies of his brothers and sisters up and down this country. And it is folly—it is madness—to suppose that you can worship Jesus in the Sacraments and Jesus on the Throne of glory, when you are sweating him in the souls and bodies of his children. It cannot be done.

There then, as I conceive it, is your present duty; and I beg you, brethren, as you love the Lord Jesus, consider that it is at least possible that this is the new light that the Congress was to bring to us. You have got your Mass, you have got your Altar, you have begun to get your Tabernacle. Now go out into the highways and hedges where not even the Bishops will try to hinder you. Go out and look for Jesus in the ragged, in the naked, in the oppressed and sweated, in those who have lost hope, in those who are struggling to make good. Look for Jesus. And when you see him, gird yourselves with his towel and try to wash their feet. 

+Vexilla regis!