On the invitation of Archbishop Ian Ernest, Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Cardinal Kurt Koch delivered the homily on 25 May at the weekly Tuesday Eucharist of the Anglican Centre in Rome. Archbishop Ernest presided at the liturgy and welcomed Cardinal Koch and other ecumenical guests. The homily reflected on the gospel of the day in which Jesus reassures Peter that no one leaves everything for the sake of the gospel without being repaid a hundred times over “houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and property”. Cardinal Koch noted that fathers were not included in the list, explaining that in the new community of Jesus there is no longer the human father. “Entering into this community of Jesus’ followers” the Cardinal explained, “means moving out of the civic community with the patriarch at the centre to be integrated into a new community, with God alone at the centre. Hence the community of disciples only lives in the spirit of Jesus when they don’t just proclaim God’s word but are themselves a place where God lives.” Noting the feast of Saint Bede, the Cardinal observed how Bede put Christ at the centre in his exegesis and in his history; it was due to Bede, after all, that we date human history from the birth of Jesus, God’s incarnation.
Cardinal Koch saw this same Christocentrism in the words of Pope Benedict XVI addressed to journalists on his apostolic journey to Great Britain in 2010: “If Anglicans and Catholics see that both are not there for themselves, but are rather instruments of Christ…; if both follow together the priority of Christ and not themselves, they draw closer together, because the priority of Christ brings them together …”; then they “are united in commitment to the truth of Christ who comes into this world, and so they find themselves also placed reciprocally in a true and fruitful ecumenism.”
Cardinal Koch expressed his profound gratitude to Archbishop Ian Ernest and Mrs Kamala Ernest for both the beauty of the liturgy and the warmth of their hospitality.