Bishops begin historic Canterbury-Rome ‘pilgrimage’

By ACNS staff
Posted Oct 3, 2016
Photo: Anglican Communion News Service

Photo: Anglican Communion News Service

[Anglican Communion News Service] Thirty-six Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops from 19 countries are in Canterbury at the start of a historic week-long summit marking closer ties between the two traditions. Events will include a service in Rome on Oct. 5 jointly led by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis at which the bishops will be formally commissioned to work together in pairs.

Services at Canterbury Cathedral over the weekend have illustrated the deepening relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. On Oct. 1, Diocese in Europe Suffragan Bishop David Hamid delivered the homily at a Roman Catholic Vigil Mass in the cathedral’s undercroft. The Roman Catholic Archbishop-elect of Regina in Canada, Don Bolen, preached the sermon at the Sung Eucharist on Sunday morning, Oct. 2.

Hamid spoke of the growing sense of unity, common faith and common calling, while acknowledging that issues remained to be resolved. But he said only a little faith was enough for something new to be possible.

Bolen said it was a great privilege to be in Canterbury. He said the bishops had realized they had so much in common – including a common faith in God, a common baptism and the sharing of scriptures and creeds.

“We have come to realize we are bound by dear, dear affection,” he told the congregation.

The bishops have been chosen by their home churches to represent them on the ecumenical body, IARCCUM – the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission. They include representatives from Pakistan, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Ireland and Malawi. They have spent the weekend sharing their experiences of faith and mission. In the days ahead they will look at how they can work together to address the challenges they face.

The summit also marks the 50th anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome. There will be a gala dinner hosted by the archbishop of Canterbury to celebrate its work. The center’s director, Archbishop David Moxon, told BBC Radio 4 that strong, clear strides towards greater unity had been taken over the past 50 years. He said he believed full unity between the two traditions was possible. He said there was now as much as 85 percent agreement across core doctrine but it would be a demanding process and take time to address the remaining 15 percent.

Editors Note: Photographs can be found here


Comments (16)

  1. Roger D White says:

    This is very encouraging. Not in the lifetime of most of us, to be sure, but a day of sacramental unity between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion we must hope, will come. Archbishop Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul X! would have been pleased to have been at this ceremony.

    1. Sonja White David says:

      But not one of the Anglican bishops is a woman. Forget it.

  2. Dn. Royal says:

    I am looking forward when we can be united.

  3. So painful to know that are not represented.

    1. Christopher Wells says:

      Bishop Epting, Bishop Bauerschmidt is there. You can see him in the picture.

  4. F William Thewalt says:

    I have a dear friend who is a lifetime very devout Roman Catholic and resides within easy walking distance to both a Roman and Episcopal Church. At about age 80 he began to attend the Episcopal Church. He is now most comfortable in either place and knows he is worshipping the same God and the same Jesus. He will be excited to learn of these meetings.

    1. Robert Rainis says:

      GOD is Jesus and Jesus is GOD…

  5. Beverly Dame says:

    Where are the women?

    1. Sylvia Margherita says:

      I believe the Catholic Church needs to URGENTLY revisit its tradition precluding women from ordination. Why? The Holy Scriptures establish clearly that God created us equal. “When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.” Genesis 5: 1-2

  6. PK Miller says:

    “Father, we pray for your Holy Catholic Church” “That we all may be one!” Prayers of the People Form III. Perhaps not in my lifetime but perhaps by the time our Canon Missioner & his wife’s almost 5 month old daughter is ready for Confirmation.
    I was a church musician for years, played in more churches of more denominations than one ever imagined existed (THREE different type of Baptist churches in Philadelphia ca mid 60s! Doctrinal differences, I suppose a la Southern & American Baptists today. But, to me, so silly….
    Lord, “bid Thou our sad divisions cease…” Veni Emmanuel.

  7. Jerry Emerson says:

    You guys should have also invited Rabbi Lord Sacks!

  8. José Vieira Arruda says:

    Sadly, not one woman bishop…

  9. Noreen Lundeen says:

    Since there are few differences in the first place, and since good old Henry the Eight changed
    churches with record speed, depending upon who he wished to marry, I am not surprised
    that this is happening. Sadly, the Anglican church has taken the “easy route” but this will
    not keep people from leaving. WOMEN are for real and will no longer sit back and refuse
    to follow Christ in the manner in which Christ allowed them to do, as one of his disciples.

  10. the Rev. Judith Jones says:

    I hear your pain and am also disappointed that none of our women bishops were chosen to represent us female priests, as well as all the amazing work women deacons and laity contribute in our churches. This disparity most probably takes up a good portion of the 15% still to be worked on for complete agreement. Does the Roman Church recognize, or simply discount the women in the scriptures who not only supported but also led house churches during the early years of the church? It continues to baffle me that simply because our reproductive organs are different from males, that our true calling from God to ministry is denied and ridiculed. I thank God daily for the Episcopal Church and the awesome blessing that I am able to do the work God called me to do!

  11. Sylvia Margherita says:

    Have you heard about A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ? This is a HISTORIC Christian peace movement drawing followers of Jesus to unite in prayer DAILY at the time He died for us, 3pm, each of us in our local time zones. At this time we remember the Passion of Christ and pray for the Holy Spirit to bring all souls to repentance. So many people are suffering and need God’s grace. Remember the promise of God is this: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 More info here

  12. Gary K Sturni says:

    I propose that churches be encouraged to pray, in the eucharistic prayers of the people, along these lines: “For Justin, ABC, Francis, the Bishop of Rome, Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, for Michael, our Presiding Bishop, and N and N, our bishops (and all….).” The octave /week of Prayer for Chistian Unity has all but disappeared re the Roman Catholics, perhaps outdated because we seem to be further from each other than ever before. But we should at least still be praying for each other.

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