During a recent visit to the parish of Costa Azahar I was able to pay a courtesy call on the Bishop of Tortosa, the Most Revd Dr Xavier Salinas i Viñals, whose churches we borrow.
My meetings with Spanish bishops are always interesting and very cordial. I wasn’t expecting, however, to have a conversation with Bishop Xavier about the great Anglican classic text by Archbishop Michael Ramsey, The Gospel and the Catholic Church. Much to my surprise I learned that Ramsey’s great work has just been published in Catalan translation!
Bishop Xavier is proud of one of his predecessors, (a Dutchman born in Utrecht), who became Pope Adrian VI in 1522, just five years after Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses against indulgences on the church door in Wittenberg. Pope Adrian VI apparently admitted that some of the disorder in the Church was the fault of the curia itself. He was Pope for only 18 months, but it is intriguing to imagine how Church history might be different had he lived longer and himself initiated some reforms!
The Parish of Costa Azahar, one of the newest pastoral charges in the Diocese, extends from Valencia to Tarragona in Spain and presently has 3 worship centres. The priest-in-charge, the Revd Paul Needle, (who is also our Diocesan Communications Officer) will be retiring from this parochial responsibility early in 2012 and the process has begun to recruit his successor. The parish website is here.