Sunday, April 12, 2020

Patriarchal Allocution on Easter 2020 Speaks of Hope, Challenges, and Service

HHE Don Rutherford I 
PATRIARCHAL SEE 12 April 2020 (ORCNS) - HHE Don Rutherford I, Florentine Archfather and Cardinal Count of Sainte Animie gave his annual Easter Allocution today from the Résidence Sans-Souci Ouest. The Archfather’s message was one of hope, while acknowledging the serious challenges facing the Church, and especially the clear and present danger facing the poor and vulnerable around the world as a result of government response to the current pandemic. His Holy Eminence also gave his sincerest thanks to the clergy and lay leadership of the Imperial Patriarchate for all that they do in service to others. Among the acknowledgments were the Walsingham Guard and Naval Guard for being among the first to respond to the needs of communities during the pandemic. The Easter Allocution is one of five Patriarchal Allocutions given at specific times during the year by the Archfather. The allocution ended with an apostolic blessing. The video and complete transcript of the allocution are provided below. 


FROM the Florentine household to the Christian faithful around the world, grace, peace, and Our Apostolic blessing on this glorious Resurrection Sunday in the year of our Lord 2020. This year our Holy Week celebrations, as well as the start of the Easter season find the world in a state of confusion. The recent pandemic and the government responses to that pandemic have caused much panic, much confusion, much upheaval and turmoil. Indeed the government responses to the pandemic in many countries around the world have put hundreds of millions of people, particularly the poor and the vulnerable, at severe risk – especially those who are at severe risk for starvation. As we began our Paschaltide season, we must not allow ourselves to forget the condition of those who are the most poor and vulnerable as the governments take the steps that they take. Likewise we must not forget those who are suffering from health problems, whether it is the COVID-19 or any of the many other ailments, illnesses, and contagious diseases with which humanity must cope.

Fortunately there is much to celebrate, not the least of which is the Resurrection of Christ. On Good Friday, we experienced the death of the earthly body of our Lord. Then He went down into hell to bring the good news to those who were waiting. And on this day, on this day the tomb was empty. Our Lord conquered death. He conquered the grave in fulfillment of the promise, in fulfillment of the prophecy, that we may all have the hope of everlasting life.

And so as we sit in a world of confusion, a world of illness, a world in which so many people are forgotten by the very people in power who are supposed to take care of them and to care for their condition, we nevertheless know that the final and eternal victory is ours. It is indeed a fallen world, and though we are in it, we are not of it. The kingdom that we serve is of course ultimately not of this world. It is the kingdom of Christ, which has no end. Indeed we know that there are so many more important things to deal with than the concerns of this life. We should concern ourselves primarily with the Kingdom of Heaven, and while we are in this life, we should do what we can and do what we must to establish that kingdom here on earth.

Our Lord, as we celebrate each Holy Thursday, instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist that we may join ourselves with His Holy Sacrifice and thereby work towards the hope of eternal salvation. On Pentecost, which is to come, we will again, as we do each year, celebrate the descent of the Holy Ghost that was promised by Christ, that we may not be alone. And it was at that time that the Apostles, just as they were ordained priests at the Last Supper, were ordained what came to be known as bishops.

It is to Christ’s Holy Church that the authority was given and exists still to this day to administer the Kingdom of God here on earth. Nothing on earth stands above Holy Mother Church, and nothing ultimately has authority over it. It has been, since the institution of Christ's Holy Church, an unfortunate feature of life on Earth that the civil authorities and civil organisations often act contrary to the will of the Church and to the will of God, standing indeed against Christ’s Holy Church, the very Bride of Christ, and standing against the Bishops, the very successors of the Apostles. Yet, we must remain firm against this. We cannot give in. We must not. It is our duty to put God and His Holy Church above all else. Again, as we know from this Sunday, this Resurrection Sunday, as we are reminded each year on Resurrection Sunday, the final victory is ours.

Now, I would also like to point out that the Imperial Patriarchate is continuing to experience a growth in vocations. And, during this time of global pandemic our various institutions, particularly the Walsingham Guard and Naval Guard, are highly involved in health and humanitarian service. In fact, the Walsingham Guard was among the first to respond to the needs of local communities, as well as providing high-level policy work. It is through the tireless efforts of our clergy and of the members of our humanitarian and other organisations that the Imperial Patriarchate helps to make the world a better place, in the example of Christ, flowing from the altar of God, indeed, helping to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. And as churches have found themselves persecuted in this time of confusion by the civil governments in their responses to the pandemic, as they find their rights and their authority usurped, and they have changed their model, the model of the Imperial Patriarchate, Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church has shown itself resilient. Indeed, with our mission-based approach, the Imperial Patriarchate, Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church has led the way, with our approaches being emulated from everyone from the Pope in the Basilica of St. Peter to many parishes around the globe. You, the clergy of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, the clergy of this See, should be proud of yourselves, and I thank you very much for your service over the years, as I also thank the members of the Walsingham Guard and Naval Guard, the Noble Company St. Mary of Walsingham, and our other organisations and apostolates for all the service that they give, for all the time that they spend in selfless service to others.

And now prepare yourselves to receive God's blessing.

Et benedictio Dei omnipotensis, Patris, + et Filii, + et Spiritus + Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat semper. R. Amen.