We have been made aware of an amendment to the website of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross indicating that it now includes a Japanese congregation in Tokyo under the leadership of “Father” Raphael Kajiwara.
It has long been mooted that members of the Traditional Anglican Church of Japan (TAC) – the Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai – around their former suffragan bishop, the Right Revd. Raphael Kajiwara, retired bishop of Yokohama, would be or have been received into the Catholic Church and that they would in fact join the Australian Ordinariate.
In July 2012, then-Bishop Kajiwara wrote:
“Some people proceeded on the path toward the Ordinariate; other people stayed in the TAC. As for now, I am one to think that it is appropriate to call the latter the “New TAC”. The Church in Japan (Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai) will not join this New TAC, but rather, if it be God’s will, desires to take the path to the Ordinariate.”
Well it would seem that this is in fact what has happened and that former Bishop Kajiwara has been ordained a Catholic priest and will be pastoring the Japanese congregation.
This is indeed a cause for great joy, and hopefully we will be receiving more specific information from the Ordinariate in the near future.
On the official website of the new Ordinariate Community of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Tokyo, ( http://www.ordinariatejapan.org/index.html ) the following beautiful sentence appears in English:
“The life of the Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai has been returned to the hands of the Lord our living God, and reborn as the Ordinariate Community of St. Augustine of Canterbury.”
and it is dated 18 February 2015 (!)
(P.S. By the way, this story reminds me of a coincidence from my student days. When I was studying at the North Western Polytechnic in Kentish Town, London, in the 1960’s, we called one of our student magazines “Yokohama”. This was because of a cartoon which we had found at the time with the punchline “Where is Yokohama? Just around the corner from Camden Town”. Our college was indeed just around the corner from Camden Town.
The real coincidence is that I should be posting this news only two days after the Vicar of Camden Town, Father Philip North, in whose church my mother was christened 93 years ago, was ordained CofE Bishop of Burnley!!