Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Methodist Cardinal?

With the meeting of the Cardinals to elect a new Pope, I thought this would be a good time to mention a (probably) little known tidbit.  Namely, that, yes, indeed, it seems that there has been a Methodist Cardinal!

If one travels to the World Methodist Museum at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina (at the headquarters of the World Methodist Council), or if one picks up the book, Treasures of the World Methodist Museum, one will discover a ring given to Methodist Bishop, Fred P. Corson, by Pope Paul VI.  At the time that the Pope gave the ring to the Methodist Bishop, he said, "I have made you a Cardinal In Pectore."

A Cardinal In Pectore literally means, a Cardinal in my breast or heart.  It is a way that a Pope makes a "secret Cardinal."  Now, as a secret cardinal, they cannot function as a Cardinal unless and until the Pope makes such appointment public.  Indeed, in some cases, the person in question may not even be aware of their elevation to the position of Cardinal!  However, once it is made public, the Cardinal gains rank among the Cardinals from the time of his In Pectore appointment.  -  If the appointment is never made public, then the Cardinalship ceases at the time of the Pope's death.

It does not appear that Bishop Corson's appointment was ever made public by the Pope.  However, made public or not, whether one is able to function as Cardinal or not, whether one is aware that the Pope has given you that rank or not, a Cardinal In Pectore is, nevertheless, a real, true Cardinal (so long as the Pope is alive)!

Why would a Pope make a secret Cardinal?  In general, Popes may do so when it seems that such a person's life would be endangered by giving them such a position.  An example of this would be Cardinals named in the People's Republic of China or prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. . . . Perhaps another reason for making a "secret Cardinal" might be that the person in quesiton is a PROTESTANT, METHODIST BISHOP!

It really does raise the question, though, can the Pope really name as Cardinal a non-Roman Catholic, whose orders are not recognized by the Church of Rome?

Well, Bishop Corson was elected a Methodist Bishop in 1944.  He also served as the President of the World Methodist Council in 1961.  He was an observer at the Second Vatican Council.  He also held a number of private audiences Popes, and was considered to be close friends with Pope Paul VI.  -  And apparently the Bishop of Rome esteemed him so highly he made him a Cardinal In Pectore!

Pope Paul VI and Bishop Fred P. Corson
(picture found on eBay)
Bishop Corson died in 1985.  Pope Paul VI died in 1978.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Devotional Thought

As I was praying Morning Prayer, this morning, I sang the following hymn by Charles Wesley as found in Wesley Hymns, compile by Ken Bible, Lillenas Publishing (Nazarene), 1982.  The final line struck me, especially.


O My All-sufficient God

O my all-sufficient God,
Thou know'st my heart's desire;
Be this only thing bestowed;
I nothing else require,
Nothing else in earth or skies,
Not through all eternity;
Heav'n itself could not suffice:
I seek not Thine, but Thee.
Following the hymn, on the same page, was the following quote from John Wesley's A Plain Account of Christian Perfection:
"One design you are to pursue to the end of time, the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity.  Desire other things so far as they tend to this; love the creature, as it leads to the Creator.  But in every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your view.  Let every affection, and thought, and word, and action, be subordinate to this.  Whatever you desire or fear, whatever you seek or shun, whatever you think, speak, or do, be it in order to your happiness in God,the sole end, as well as source, of your being."

The Final Meeting of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission

The following article has been copied from the original post at the Anglican Communion News Service.  -  I am very pleased to report it, here, and I look forward to the final reports being made public in 2014.

I have two great (personal) hopes for this:  1.) That the Wesleyan-Anglican Society, in our pursuit of affiliation with the World Methodist Council, might contribute to the proposed Anglican-Methodist International Coordinating Committee, the purpose of which would be to oversee and foster relationships between Methodist and Anglican member churches; and 2.) That the Church of the Nazarene (a WMC denomination) might take advantage of this report and the "toolkit" for opening talks with the Anglican Church in North America (which, I understand, is not an official Anglican Communion province, at this time).

Here is the article:

The final meeting of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission for Unity in Mission (AMICUM) took place 22 February to 1 March 2013, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, hosted by the Anglican Communion. Members of the Commission worshiped together morning and evening, and the Eucharist was celebrated according to both traditions.
Click for Hi-Res Image
AMICUM Group Photograph
Photo Credit: ACNS
The Commission has after five years completed the phase of work mandated to it by the World Methodist Council and the Anglican Communion, and has now prepared a report for both bodies. As the last three words in its title suggest (Unity in Mission), AMICUM aims to foster the unity of the Church so that the Church can engage more fully in God’s mission of love to the world. The report begins and ends with biblical reflections, on our Lord’s prayer for the unity of his people that all might believe, and on the radical nature of Jesus’ ministry as a mandate for mission.
AMICUM has set out key points of agreement concerning the interchangeability of ordained ministries, and the awareness of each Communion’s need of the other. It sees a common, interchangeable ministry as crucial in making the unity of the Church visible.
The report analyses the place of the apostolic tradition and the nature of the oversight (episkope) in the life of the Church. It explores the history of oversight, and the way it has been exercised in the Methodist and Anglican traditions, and the way it is exercised today.
AMICUM has closely monitored dialogues and agreements around the world, and has drawn lessons and recommendations from these which it now offers to both Communions. The report shows that each tradition has affirmed the authenticity of the other’s ministries, and encourages churches that have not yet entered into mutual agreements to do so.
A toolkit is provided for churches wanting to move into closer co-operation, giving questions for consideration to enable this process to advance.
AMICUM is recommending that the World Methodist Council and the Anglican Consultative Council establish an Anglican-Methodist International Coordinating Committee to oversee and foster relationships between Methodist and Anglican member churches.
The Report will be published during 2014.
The Commission is grateful for the warm hospitality given by the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, at the Parish of St John’s Ocho Rios, by the United Theological College, where the Commission worshiped, and by Bishop Howard Gregory. At this meeting AMICUM met the President of the Jamaica Methodist Church, the Rev Everard Galbraith, and the Rev Dr George Mulrain who gave a lecture on Anglican and Methodist relationships in the Caribbean and the Americas.
Present at the meeting were,
The Revd Professor Emeritus Robert Gribben (Uniting Church in Australia) (Co-Chair)
Dr Elizabeth Amoah (Methodist Church, Ghana)
The Revd Dr Wong Tik Wah (Methodist Church in Malaysia)
The Revd Professor Sarah Lancaster (The United Methodist Church)
The Revd Gareth Powell (The Methodist Church) (Co-Secretary)
AnglicansThe Rt Revd Harold Miller (The Church of Ireland) (Co-Chair)
The Revd Canon Professor Paul Avis (The Church of England)
The Revd Garth Minott (The Church in the Province of the West Indies)
The Rt Revd Dr P Surya Prakash (The Church of South India)

Lutheran World Federation Observer
The Rt Revd Walter Jagucki (Great Britain)

The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan (Co-Secretary) (Anglican Communion Office)
Mr Neil Vigers (Anglican Communion Office)
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