Tantur International Advisory Board Member, the Right Reverend Jonathan Goodall, SSC, Bishop of Ebbsfleet of the Church of England and former chaplain and ecumenical secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury, was a member of the Anglican delegation at the canonization of Bishop Oscar Romero on October 14th, 2018, accompanying Archbishop Emeritus of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. Oscar Romero is recognized as a saint in both the Catholic and Anglican church, and was also canonized along with Pope Paul VI, the driving figure behind the founding of Tantur Ecumenical Institute, as well as five other members of the Church. Bishop Jonathan's relationship with Tantur extends back to his residence at Tantur during the rectorship of Fr. Thomas Stransky, CSP (1988-1999).
Bishop Jonathan offered the following reflections on the experience:
“What can I say of last Saturday’s longed-for joy? We now have the examples and prayers of seven more saints. Not only two bishops - Pope Paul and Archbishop Oscar - but with them two priests, two sisters, and a young boy from Naples.
Everyone knows of Anglican debts to the generous leadership of Pope St Paul VI: promoting Roman Catholic dialogue with the Anglican Communion, and healing the enmity of centuries with the Church of England. They are seeds yet to come to full harvest. Fewer people know of the love Anglicans have for St Oscar. His killing happened on the eve of Robert Runcie's enthronement in Canterbury, and in his sermon the new archbishop called the “murder of Archbishop Oscar a sober reminder that life and death for the Gospel are still the way Christians are called to change the world.” The archbishop included Oscar among the saints in the prayers, and the recognition of his matryrdom is something which Anglicans have prayed for from that day.
But of course their saintly example is more than their gifts to Anglicans. Together the seven new saints, in different ways, remind us of the place of our own suffering and our closeness to others’ suffering in our growth in holiness. The church has a responsibility for the margins, for all those who suffer the suffocating and desensitising effects of wealth and self-concern in our world, as the Pope I think was trying to say to us in his homily. These saints - most publicly perhaps St Paul and St Oscar - went out to meet the suffering and vulnerable, and their examples for us are wonderful!”
For more information about the Anglican delegation for the canonization of Oscar Romero, visit the Anglican Communion News Service.
Photo details: The Right Reverend Bishop Jonathan Goodall, SSC, Bishop of Ebbsfleet and Tantur International Advisory Board Member, with the Anglican delegation for the canonization of Oscar Romero, led by Archbishop Emeritus of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, fourth from left. Photo copyright Anglican Communion News Service.