|Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh|
I hope that increasing numbers of Christians adopt the practice of wearing a cross in a simple and discreet way as a symbol of their beliefs. Easter provides the ideal time to remind ourselves of the centrality of the cross in our Christian faith.Cardinal O’Brien contends that the sign of the cross is not a morbid way of looking back but acknowledging the path set out for us by Christ Himself. Although O’Brien did not reference it in his homily, the theme of proudly wearing our cross is influenced by the cases before the European Court of Human Rights about two British women who were dismissed from their jobs by wearing cross pendants while at work.
Cardinal O’Brien’s exhortation that the faithful take up their crosses and wear them is a stark contrast to the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who urged Anglicans to attend church on Sundays, even if they are “a bit vague” about religion. As Williams celebrated his final Easter as the spiritual head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury revealed that he does not lose any sleep about cultural Christians who just attend at Easter and Christmas. Williams hopes that the Christian story will wash over them but that there would not be a doctrinal examination.
It would not be surprising if such pusilanimous expressions of faith from Archbishop of Canterbury Williams inspires another wave of orthodox Anglicans joining the “Our Lady of Walsingham” Ordinariate in England that Pope Benedict XVI created in his 2009 Motu Proprio “Anglicanorum Coetibus”.