Video: Rome and a vision of unity

[Episcopal News Service] The relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church has been strained in recent years due to differences over women’s ordination and the Vatican’s efforts to offer a spiritual home to disaffected Anglicans. Yet for many, including the Episcopal Church, good ecumenical relations and the goal of a full, visible unity remain a priority.

Comments

  1. Peter E. Van Horne says:

    A charming video. However, we should remember that the Roman Church already has insisted that only it has the “marks” of a true church, and the rest of us “communities of faith” missed out on those marks. The ARCIC in its various forms continues to be little more than an intellectual exercise that, in my opinion, has not produced either encouraging or memorable results. While some Anglicans continue to pray for the Roman Church, the Roman Church continues to prey upon the Anglican Church. While some ecumenically-minded Anglicans continue their conversations with the Romans, many of the rest of us gave up on the process long ago and have gotten on with life and ministry and the work of servanthood.

  2. Thomas Andrew says:

    While I agree with the preceeding to a very great extent, I would point out that Anglicans are no less smug in their assumption that unity will be achived when Rome comes to its senses and sees things their way.

  3. John Kirk says:

    Mr. Van Horne is quite correct on some of the points that he makes. First, it is quite true that Holy Mother Church calls the Anglican Communion in all its parts and provinces an “ecclesial community” and not really a church in the sense that She has received the understanding of Church. She doesn’t do this in mockery of Anglicans nor in a spirit of arrogance, however. Indeed, Pope Leo XIII’s bull “Apostolicae Curae ” contains a heartfelt and urgent call to Anglicans to return to the unity of the Church for the good of souls. The “Declaration Dominus Jesus: On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church,” written by Pope Benedict while he was Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and promulgated by the authority of Blessed Pope John Paul II, admits that members of such communities, baptized by water and the proper and correct Trinitarian form, are “incorporated in Christ and are thus in a certain communion, albeit imperfect, with the Church.” As to the ongoing conversation of the ARCIC, I also agree with Mr. Van Horne, though I would have called it a complete waste of time, given the Anglican Communion’s continued drift toward affirming the moral neutrality/positive good of homosexual activity, the “ordination” of women to the “priesthood” and “episcopate,” etc., etc. In fact, I can’t imagine what the constituent members find to talk about at all, other than whether they should have pizza or cheeseburgers for lunch. Such is, however, the ministry of Peter and his successors. They have to ever and always cast out their nets.

    Then, “the work of servanthood?” Hmmm…let me assure you, Mr. Van Horne, the Faith that produced Saint Damian of Molokai and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta HAS fully grasped the concept…we just haven’t confused the UN’s MDG’s with the Great Commision.

  4. Doug Kerr says:

    John Kirk says:

    “. . . it is quite true that Holy Mother Church calls the Anglican Communion in all its parts and provinces an “ecclesial community” and not really a church in the sense that She has received the understanding of Church. She doesn’t do this in mockery of Anglicans nor in a spirit of arrogance, however. Indeed, Pope Leo XIII’s bull ‘Apostolicae Curae’ contains a heartfelt and urgent call to Anglicans to return to the unity of the Church for the good of souls. ”

    It is hard for me to accept Mr. Kirk’s suggestion that the Pope’s call (in 1896, as he declared Anglican orders to be null and void) for Anglicans to return to the Roman Catholic fold is evidence that arrogance is not at play here. It merely restates the concept – certainly unacceptable to me – that only the Roman Catholic Church is “the church”.

  5. Brian King says:

    Unity, absolutely yes. But on what basis? If I have understood my bible correctly, Christian unity has a basis: the faith once handed down to men and for which true believers must “contend”. Those who bring “another gospel” are to be roundly rejected.

    As a very disaffected Anglican, it is painfully clear to see that placing “unity” (unity at any cost, as Rowan Williams has done) above scriptural truth (rather than centred on it) has split the Anglican communion. The irony is staggering.

    Other commentators here have taken exception to the RC claim to be “the one true church”. I do not, in principle. Absolute and exclusive claims are inherent to Christianity. For example, Orthodox Christians preach Christ to be “the truth”; not one of many truths. Arrogance doesn’t come into it. The real test is: does the so-called “true church” hold to inspired scriptural truth?

    I can’t, in all honesty, think that the RC church would escape censure by God (as in the Book of Revelation) if He did an assessment like that of the churches in Asia. However, where I think the RC church would definitely be commended (in stark contrast to the Anglican communion) is that it has not compromised its beliefs to the demands of contemporary secular dogma. Dear Catholics, at least people know what you stand for!

    It is only unity “as we are One” – the Spirit of Truth, the Word of Truth and the God of Truth – that is the scriptural model. Unity at the cost of compromising what is explicit in scripture, established by two or more “witnesses” in scripture, will end in tears, recrimination and even greater disunity. The happenings right now in the Anglican “church” bear this out.

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