The following statement was read by Fr Ivan Aquilina, Vicar of St John the Baptist, Sevenoaks, this morning at Mass:
Christ is the human face of God; the fullness of Revelation. He lives in his church and operates through the baptised who are his hands, his feet and his merciful face. What the Church believes across all nations, by everyone and down the centuries is his unmistakable voice.
With the recent developments in the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion I have increasingly found myself in a situation where I cannot preach the Gospel of Christ and celebrate his sacraments with any integrity. It is the generous offer of Pope Benedict XVI in the form of the Ordinariate that gives me the joy of continuing this faithfulness to this Gospel. The move to the Ordinariate also gives me the opportunity to offer to you the greatest witness I can possibly give you.
For this reason I have written to the Bishop of Rochester notifying him that I intend to resign from this Parish in order to become a Roman Catholic in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Fr James has notified the same bishop that he intends to resign for the same noble reason.
God willing, our last Sunday with you will be the 6th of March. On Ash Wednesday, a group from this parish will start the journey to be in full communion with Pope Benedict and received in the Catholic Church during Holy Week.
Now that the time of reflection is over, the time of the parting of friends has come. Parting is sad, but it will be healed by love. We need to make sure that this is truly a parting of friends with generosity from all sides.
This is not the time to say goodbye. I am sure we will have the opportunity for that during the next few weeks. Today is the time to hold each other in prayer and give thanks to what we have received and given to each other.
I will always hold you in my prayers and will always be available for you from within the Catholic Church in the Sevenoaks Ordinariate Personal Parish.
Fr Ivan D Aquilina
13th February 2011
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