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St Theodore of Canterbury, Archbishop

posted Sep 18, 2012, 2:08 PM by Rochester Ordinariate
Talk about ecumenism:  A Greek, consecrated by the Pope, sent to be Archbishop of Canterbury.  Perhaps we should have the Ordinariate of S. Theodore!

Tomorrow, September 19, we remember S. Theodore, seventh Archbishop of Canterbury, b. at Tarsus in Cilicia about 602; d. at Canterbury 19 September, 690. We also remember S. Adrian of Canterbury, the African abbot appointed by S. Theodore, his companion.

Theodore was a monk (probably of the Basilian Order) but not yet in Holy Orders, living at Rome in 667, when Pope Vitalian chose him for the See of Canterbury in place of Wighard, who had died before consecration. After receiving orders, Theodore was consecrated by the Pope himself, on 26 March, 668, and set out for England, but did not reach Canterbury until May, 669. The new primate found the English Church still suffering from the jealousies and bitterness engendered by the long Paschal controversy, only lately settled, and sadly lacking in order and organization. The dioceses, coterminous with the divisions of the various kingdoms, were of unwieldy size, and many of then were vacant. Theodore, says Bede, at once "visited all the island, wherever the tribes of the Angles inhabited", and was everywhere received with respect and welcome. He made appointments to the vacant bishoprics, regularized the position of St. Chad, who had not been duly consecrated, corrected all that was faulty, instituted the teaching of music and of sacred and secular learning throughout the country, and had the distinction of being, as Bede specifically mentions, "the first archbishop whom all the English obeyed".

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