COI Gazette – 3 August 2012

Pictured in the Chapel of Trinity College Dublin are (from left) Joseph Bradley, Dr Kerry Houston and Margaret Bridge

Pictured in the Chapel of Trinity College Dublin are (from left) Joseph Bradley, Dr Kerry Houston and Margaret Bridge

Trinity College Dublin Chapel Choir appoints music posts for new academic year

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Chapel Choir recently announced details of two appointments for the 2012/13 academic year.

Margaret Bridge has been reappointed for another year as the Choir’s conductor and Joseph Bradley has been appointed organ scholar to the College.


Editorial

FIGUR ES IN CHUR CH HISTOR Y

26 – RI CHARD OF DUNDAL K (c.1295-1360)

Richard FitzRalph, popularly known as St Richard of Dundalk – where he was born – was one of the most learned men ever to become Archbishop of Armagh. He is included in the list of Commemorations in the 2004 Book of Common Prayer (page 22) and is also remembered in a popular couplet: ‘Many a mile have I gone, and many did I walk/But never saw a holier man than Richard of Dundalk’.

He had a brilliant career at Oxford, where he was a Doctor of Theology and Fellow of Balliol College and, later, Chancellor of the University. He held a variety of ecclesiastical appointments, as well as canonries in several cathedrals, including Lincoln, Lichfield, Armagh and Exeter. He spent some time in Avignon, where the papacy was situated in what has been called its ‘Babylonian captivity’ and visited it twice more later in his career. In 1346, he became Archbishop of Armagh.

As a speculative philosopher, he was worldclass, being described as one of the great Scholastic luminaries of his day. He fostered learning among his priests by sending many of them to take higher studies in Oxford. He is also said to have been zealous in visiting the various Church provinces and in bettering financial as well as spiritual conditions in his own see.

As Archbishop of Armagh, Richard was concerned to defend his primatial authority against the exemption claimed by the See of Dublin. He also acted on occasion as a peacemaker between the Irish and the Anglo-Irish. He was noted for his knowledge of the Bible and his preaching skills, many of his sermons being still extant. Some of these were theological in character and others were of a more popular nature, dealing with ecclesiastical, social and moral issues.

A major preoccupation of his time was the spread of the orders of friars which – in spite of their popularity – he felt detracted from the parochial ministry and lacked discipline, not being fully subject to lawful ecclesiastical authority, especially that of bishops. He even had the temerity, unusual at the time, to question the whole concept of voluntary mendicancy (support of ministry by begging) and set forth his position in his De Pauperie Salvatoris and his Defensorium Curatorum.

In an early form of proto-ecumenism, he was made a member of a commission to discuss relations between Rome and Christians from Armenia, in which he vigorously defended Western Catholic beliefs and practices.

FitzRalph died in Avignon and his remains were transferred to his native Dundalk, where his tomb was visited and he was considered a saint.

This editorial is one in a series of occasional reflections on figures in Church history, following a chronological sequence as they appear.


Home News

  • Two launches of new volume of clergy records of Cashel and Emly and of Leighlin
  • Dracula author remembered at Dublin city centre church
  • Youth Update – Summer Madness 2012 – a ‘brilliant experience’

World News

  • Irish connection with first woman bishop elected in Anglican Church in Africa
  • Global South communiqué stresses Anglican strength and unity
  • Praise and criticism of Scottish Government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage
  • New vision for future of Church in Wales

Features and Columns

  • Seeing the light in Paris – The first of two articles by former Gazette columnist, Canon Maureen Ryan
  • Interview – ‘Building on what is here … creating something new’ – The Gazette’s assistant editor, the Revd Clifford Skillen, interviews
    David Stevens, Director of Music and Master of the Choristers at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, about his work and plans for choral music in the Cathedral.
  • Soap – Down at St David’s – Patrick Towers
  • Rethinking Church – Stephen Neill – An ecumenical matter
  • LifeLines – Ron Elsdon – Close encounters of a fourth kind

News Extra

  • Christian Aid Ireland appoints new CEO
  • Archbishop Jackson welcomes decision on new Greystones post-primary school
  • Deaths