June ~ 2016 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
Introduced by the Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante as an ecumenical contribution from the Methodist Church of Ghana, the Akan concept of sankofa served as a guiding framework for the Seventh Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue, which took place from May 25-29 in Accra, Ghana. The gathering brought together bishops from Canada, Ghana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Burundi, Zambia, England, and the United States. Sankofa — literally, ‘It is not a taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind’ — refers broadly to the unity of past and present, where the narrative of the past is a dynamic reality that cannot be separated from consideration of the present and future. The Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue emerged after the 2008 Lambeth Conference as a way for bishops from different backgrounds to continue an ongoing, respectful dialogue in the midst of significant disagreements, primarily over the issues of human sexuality and same-sex marriage.
Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders were joined by senior figures from other Christian denominations last night at a special choral evensong in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome. Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox Church leaders were present at the service, which was sung by the Westminster Abbey Choir. In his sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the work of the Centre, and its director, Archbishop David Moxon, joking that the centre was seen by some as the Anglican Communion’s spy station in Rome. “Those are the first time I heard those words this evening,” Archbishop David told ACNS afterwards, “but I think in terms of intelligent reporting, in terms of a careful look at each other, in terms of good communication and awareness of each other, it is a humorous and anecdotal description which I enjoy.” The service, he said, summed up “50 years of faith, hope and love”, and he added: “The Anglican Centre is a bit like a fiddler on the roof: it needs funding every year, it can’t guarantee its existence, but it tries to play a tune of faith, hope, love; to try to suggest that what unites us is greater than what divides us. That’s the point. “And we stand on that roof, playing that tune, saying to people ‘look up! The Holy Spirit is trying to build bridges all the time.’ We are part of that process, part of that energy,” he said, adding that God gives the courage and hope needed to build bridges between the denominations.
The Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant between the Regina archdiocese and the Diocese of Qu’Appelle signed in 2011 continues to grow, with activities between the two faith communities. They gathered May 15, Pentecost Sunday, at St. Paul’s Cathedral for a traditional Anglican evensong service with a homily delivered by archdiocesan administrator Rev. Lorne Crozon and the apostolic blessing performed by Winnipeg Archbishop Emeritus James Weisgerber. Canon Michael Jackson, Anglican co-chair of the Covenant Implementation Committee, opened the service, followed by St. Paul’s Cathedral dean Michael Sinclair, who welcomed everyone.
Susan Klein, Roman Catholic co-chair of the Covenant Implementation Committee reported on the numerous activities the covenant participants have shared since the last time they met. Among the highlights was Signs of Hope: A Conversation on First Nations Ministry, held in the fall of 2015. It attracted Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals who engaged in conversations following presentations by Rev. Dale Gillman and Sister Re-Anne Letourneau.