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In, but not of . . .

07 July 2008

by Margaret Duggan

FIFTY years ago, the Lusitanian Church’s first bishop was consecrated. Since its foundation in 1880, when a group of Roman Catholic clergy and laity committed themselves to Anglican faith and order, using the 1662 Prayer Book, it had been overseen by Bishop Riley of the Episcopal Church in the United States. In 1884, it issued its own Book of Common Prayer.

In 1980, it was fully integrated into the Anglican Communion, not as part of the diocese in Europe, even though it is within that diocese’s territory, but as an extra-provincial diocese under the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury; and it is happy to stay that way.

A couple of weeks ago, it celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first bishop with a colourful and overflowing service in St Paul’s Cathedral, Lisbon, once a Carmelite church and convent. The present Bishop, the Rt Revd Fernando Soares, presided, and the Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd Alan Harper, preached.

The service included the ordination of the Revd Fernando Santos to the priesthood, and Eduardo Junior from Angola to the diaconate (right, either side of Bishop Soares). Two new cathedral canons were admitted, joining the Revd James Rosenthal from the Anglican Communion office, also a Canon of Lisbon.

It was an international concelebration of the eucharist. Bishop Soares was joined at the altar by the Primate of Brazil, the Primate of the Old Catholic Church of Germany, and the (Episcopal Reformed) Bishop of Madrid. Guests included bishops from the Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches.

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