Interesting chat at dotCommonweal about Cardinal Law receiving an Episcopal bishop, Jeffrey Steenson, into full Communion. Most of the commentary there centered on Law’s unworthiness as a scandal-touched figure to continue in the limelight. There’s that, yes, but I had other questions, too, as I commented on the site:
When a person is received into full communion, are they received by the individual as much as they are received into a particular community? Does the location have any significance at all? By that I wonder if by going to St Mary Major, is Bishop Steenson planning on serving that particular community? Or do we receive prelates and other public figures in a way distinctive from the average joe or jane?
Supposedly, Tony Blair is becoming a Catholic. Will he join in his wife’s parish church? Will he enter full Communion at some cathedral?
Individuals facilitate the joining into union with Rome. Even bishops. Would Cardinal Law not have been a better choice for sponsor rather than presider, given his close relationship with Steenson? And if bishops demur from being sponsors, what does that say about the status of that vital ministry in their eyes?