January ~ 2016 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
Anglican Bishop Kenneth Kearon used the image of constructing a barn to reflect upon the ecumenical movement during this year’s De Margerie Series on Christian Reconciliation and Unity, held in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Saskatoon.
In addition to a public lecture “On Building an Ecumenical Barn,” held at St. Thomas More College Jan. 21, the 2016 De Margerie series also included two workshops – one for clergy and ministry leaders Jan. 22, and another on Jan. 23 for the general public, entitled “Being Church in the World Today.”
Dr. Terry Downey, president of St. Thomas More College opened the public lecture at STM with words of welcome. Held in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the De Margerie series is jointly sponsored by STM, the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon. This year’s lecture was available for the first time on live-streamed video (and is now posted on the diocese’s YouTube channel).
Nicholas Jesson, ecumenical officer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, noted that the De Margerie series is named for local ecumenical pioneer, Rev. Bernard de Margerie, one of the founders of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism in Saskatoon and its first director. De Margerie is also the author of In God’s Reconciling Grace, a book of prayers about Christian unity, reflecting his conviction that prayer and conversion must be at the heart of the ecumenical movement.
When the leaders of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion gather in Canterbury next week, they will have among them a visible sign of the long history of the English church.
The ivory head of a crozier associated with St. Gregory the Great, the pope who sent the first missionaries to England in the sixth century, has been loaned to Canterbury Cathedral by the Roman Catholic Church to coincide with the Primates’ Meeting, according to a report from the Primates’ Meeting website.
Canterbury Cathedral’s Dean, Robert Willis, said the cathedral was “very pleased to receive the crozier as a symbol of ecumenical encouragement at this time of the meeting of Anglican Primates.” He noted that it was “a link with St. Gregory, whose vision of the conversion of England caused Augustine to found the community at Canterbury.”
While the roots of Christianity in Britain go back to the time of the Roman Empire, subsequent invasions by Germanic tribes in the fifth century all but destroyed the church. In 597, Gregory sent Augustine, a Benedictine monk, to the court of the Anglo-Saxon King Æthelberht. Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Church of England dates its formal foundation from the date of his arrival.