Edward the Confessor would not have been surprised by the 'spiritual humanism' proposed recently by the Archbishops of Westminster and Canterbury, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor told a gathering at Westminster Abbey last Friday evening. He was preaching at a Festal Evensong for the Octave of the Feast of St Edward the Confessor, the English king (1042-1066) who re-founded the Abbey on the site of a monastery. The Evensong was part of the Abbey's celebration of the thousand-year anniversary of the birth of the Confessor, whose tomb lies in the Abbey. The Evensong was sung jointly by the choirs of Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. The Cardinal told a packed Abbey that they had "come to commemorate a king born a thousand years ago and to hear him speak to our time". He said Edward's shrine had made the Abbey "the symbolic heart of England's corporate life", in which the mausoleum of kings made clear that "power and privilege are not enough". The truly human society is a society governed not by expediency, or self interest, the Cardinal added, "but by vision, in accordance with the deep laws of creation, and responsive to the will of God." The Abbey's continued presence was a reminder of that vision. It "is a twitch upon London's thread, tugging it always back to its heart," the Cardinal said. Modern Britain was far more diversified, culturally and religiously, than in Edward's time, and so needed a "spiritual humanism" that drew on the tenets of true religion, the Cardinal went on, referring to the speeches he and the Archbishop of Canterbury made recently at an interfaith gathering in Lyon. Edward the Confessor, who had a "wider perspective and a generous vision" would not have baulked at what the two archbishops proposed, the Cardinal added. Source: Archbishop's House
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