May ~ 1998 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
It is a great pleasure to be here in this great Cathedral. It is also a pleasure to be surrounded by so many representatives of the Grand Duchy’s diverse life. I am grateful to Archbishop Fernand Franck for his invitation to make my first visit to Luxembourg. I want to greet all the different Churches that make up Luxembourg’s ecumenical community. Together, we pray Christ’s prayer that “all should be one”.
A visitor to Luxembourg is made aware by the nature of this city that he is in the very heart of Europe, although a Europe that is undergoing great change and development. Over the next few days, I look forward to learning how Luxembourg and the various institutions that are based here, are responding to the challenges of those changes. The vision of a vigorous Europe with its own sense of identity and values is one, of course, that I embrace in common with many here. I believe that the Christian community has an important, indeed pivotal, role in helping to forge a European identity. An identity which, though conscious of and grateful to its Christian inheritance, is at the same time welcoming of other faith communities.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd George Carey, has issued a highly personal plea for the lift of the Roman Catholic ban on intercommunion.
The Archbishop, who is the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, with 70 million members worldwide, used the opportunity of a sermon in Luxembourg’s Roman Catholic Cathedral on 26 April to highlight “the distressing situation of eucharistic separation”. He said that the Millennium provided an opportunity to deepen the bonds of faith and fellowship between the two Churches.
His appeal brought a rapid response from Cardinal Basil Hume, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, who spoke of the “need to explore with our ecumenical partners” the nature of the sacrament and the theology of the Church.