Saturday, May 15, 2010

Personal Ordinariate for the Torres Strait

It continues to delight me to hear the glad tidings of the approach to full, corporate reunion with Rome, the lynchpin of Catholic communion, by groups of Anglicans; and it especially moves me to read of the Traditional Anglican Communion's Church of the Torres Strait, those brave Continuing Anglicans who broke with the morally corrupt and doctrinally aberrant Australian Anglican mainstream back in 1997, as it now fulfils the catholic impulses of its High Church evangelists, and applies formally for a Personal Ordinariate.  Apparently their bishop, Tolowa Nona, with the unanimous support of his clergy and people, is now petitioning the Pope for this blessing.  Thus the Coming of the Light reaches its natural fruition in Catholic Unity.

God grant it, and right speedily!

In passing, I make the remark that this unique part of Australia, with a distinct people, the Torres Strait Islanders, already has something of its own unique polity: while part of Queensland (annexed in 1872 and 1879),  the status of the islands of the Torres Strait is sui generis; on the part of the Commonwealth, the Torres Strait Regional Authority exists, paralleled by that State's Torres Strait Island Region, and the Shire of Torres... with their firm ethnic identity, could these islands become a self-governing Territory under a special statute?  (When Papua New Guinea became independent in 1975, the Islanders were insistent that they were Australians – after all, the vast majority of them now live on the Mainland; famously, the High Court's Mabo judgement ruled that the Islanders have unextinguished traditional property rights over their homeland; they therefore have a special status.)

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