Eagle eyes…

Ordinary Time 30/Trinity 23 – Thursday

Eve of the memorial day for Martin Luther (d. 1546) & other Continental reformers – Australian Anglican Calendar

Firstly a “Hi!” to an Ed Cheu who seems to have linked to my blog from his blog on blogspot. Well, I seem to be appearing on his blogroll. And I think he’s in HK (or Taiwan), going by his posts. Given that he seems to post a lot on liturgical matters and RC canon law, I’m surmising that he is either a Roman Catholic deacon (permanent or “transitional”) or a priest. Unfortunately, most of his posts are all in Chinese (except for a few in Latin, that I can roughly translate and get an idea of what he is blogging on, or English).


The cover of the WYD08 8-DVD set
The cover of the WYD088-DVD set

Some of you might remember some of my posts on WYD earlier on in the year. Like the one when it was the “Days in the Diocese” here in Brisbane. And the post I did just before the Opening Mass with George Cardinal Pell as the presider. 

The JCI event in the Brisbane Central Deanery last year was magical (if I can use that word). Solemn Vespers at St. Stephen’s was very good and Abp. John Bathersby delivered a thought provoking homily on prayer. 

I’ve been watching parts of the above 8-DVD set since it arrived earlier on this week. Mainly the “Journey of the Cross & Icon” (JCI) and the “Highlights & Ancillary Events” DVDs. I’m going to have to set aside some time to watch the entire Stations of the Cross DVD given that I missed out on catching it live. Seeing what actually went on at the JCI Mass at the Convention Centre for the Archdiocesan Youth Day event on the JCI DVD brought back memories of the slow bubbling of enthusiasm for WYD that was present in the Brisbane Archdiocese back in 2007.

But there is an interesting thing that I did spot last night when I was watching the first hour and a half of the Highlights DVD. At about 1hr 29mins and 2 seconds, a familiar outline might be recognized by those who are from the Chinese Methodist Church in Australia and who read this blog. Here’s a couple of crappy resolution screencaps.

Take a guess who is meeting with the Holy Father?
Take a guess who is meeting with the Holy Father?


C'mon EMP-ers... you know who this is!
Come on EMP-ers, you know who this is!

For the record: those from the WYD08 team who stumble across this blog, I only have put up these two low-res screencaps for illustrative purposes only and if you so want them removed if I have inadvertently breached copyright by placing these on my blog, please let me know in a comment to this post and I will comply.

You might recognize the person. A similar pic was printed on the back page of the August ’08 edition of Methodist News.

You were right if you guessed that it was Pikachiew… I mean, Bishop Albert Chiew of CMCA (those from EMP Youth would get that in-joke). And yes, I was surprised to see his meeting with the Holy Father captured for posterity on video and then used in the highlights disc. I am curious as to how he found the Holy Father to be in person in the limited time he had to meet him and what was said between the two of them. My gut feeling is that all the leaders and/or representatives of the various church bodies that make up the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) were invited for the meeting. And given that Bp. Chiew is the leader of the Chinese Methodist Church in Australia and CMCA is a member of the NCCA, hence the attendance.

In the first pic above, you can clearly see Bp. Chiew shaking hands and having a few words to the Holy Father. George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney and Primate of Australia for the Roman Catholic Church is in the background with his red zuccheto clearly visible on his head.

On the left of the guy with the earpiece, you can make our Bp. Robert Forsyth, Anglican Bishop of South Sydney. He must have been the representative of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney to the meeting given that Abp. Peter Jensen stated quite clearly that he would not be in attendance (I think he might have been at GAFCON then), nor would his brother, the Dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the Very Rev’d Philip Jensen.

The funny thing (well to me at least) is that earlier on in the DVD, you see Bp. Forsyth wearing his episcopal Anglican cassock (colored purple, as is the standard color for bishops) for the meeting. I say it’s funny because the Sydney diocese is highly evangelical and most Anglican ministers there don’t seem to enjoy wearing vestments of any kind (even the standard cassock, surplice and tippet is not really seen from what I understand of the Sydney diocese). Then again, this is a formal event so go figure with the formal ecclesiastical attire.

You can also see a clergyman from one of the Eastern Orthodox communions that are represented in Australia just to the right of Pope Benedict with the headgear. If I had to put money on it, I’d say that it was the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia, His Eminence Abp. Stylianos.

What was the event? An ecumenical gathering of Christian leaders on July 18, 2008 in the Crypt of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney during the week of World Youth Day celebrations. If you’re interested, the Holy Father had some good words to say at the meeting to the other Christian leaders who were present with him.

Bp. Forsyth’s words on behalf of the other Christian leaders at the meeting were cordial while also frankly acknowledging the differences between various Christian groups that should not be glossed over in ecumenical discussions and deliberations. Feeling rather glad to see that a tiny little church communion like CMCA managed to get some press and video time (huzzah!) in what has to be one of the largest Christian gatherings that Australia has ever seen.

+ Pax Christi,
bf 2217hrs


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