Scripture says: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.
In this case, in England, it is more a case of the Lord took and the Lord gave.
You may have heard by now that a new bishop has been appointed as Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham: Fr. Robert Byrne, a founder of the Oxford Oratory.
If you are wondering what sort of fellow this new bishop is, here is something about him which I solicited from an English cleric friend (edited, rewritten):
The Oratorians took over a church which the Jesuits had reduced to a shabby barn. They stripped the gray paint away and made it look like church again. The fine old relics chapel (the Jesuits had the relics and reliquaries cremated) was beautifully restored and hundreds of new relics were collected. He is likeable, with an easy and attractive pastoral manner. The Oxford Oratory under him became a centre of evangelisation. [A few years back during one of my visits to Oxford, a group of the students there had me say Mass at the Oratory, which wouldn’t have happened without the benign nod of the locum tenens. At the time, I thought good thoughts about what was going on there.] It is expanding in terms of Oratorians and congregation. They are well into a physical development which will include more accommodation for brethren, a Newman shrine and a Newman library. There is a good “reform of reform” high Mass and regular Extraordinary Form Solemn Sunday Vespers. He continues the old English way of preparing converts individually and receiving them when ready. [Do I hear an “Amen!”? This is interesting to me because that is how I came into the Church. The usual RCIA course would have driven me off. Also, Byrne had been involved in the English/Welsh conference’s ecumencial office.] The Oratory has moved towards versus populum liturgy and there is a regular Extraordinary Form Sunday Mass. He has been a friend to the Ordinariate.
This is positive. My clerical Jedi powers tell me that the force was strong with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbp. Mennini, in this nomination. Let us hope that it remains strong.
As a matter of fact, let us remember Archbp. Mennini in our prayers. Pray that Mennini’s influence prevails often in the naming of bishops for that “precious stone set in the silver sea”. Add prayerful bids for confusion to his enemies, which are not few.
Say a prayer also for the bishop-elect, Fr. Byrne, who must be… well… more than a little apprehensive. It is hard for me to imagine what he is going through in preparing for the day of his consecration. God Bless our bishops, so attacked by the Enemy.