Malines Conversations begin in Helsinki

22 April 2024 • Persistent link:

The Malines Conversation Group gathered on Saturday at the Sofia Centre just outside Helsinki for our annual sessions. The Malines Group brings together Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians working for the visible unity of our two Communions.

On Sunday on a visit to Porvoo we received generous hospitality and warm words from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland Bishop Bo-Göran Åstrand of Borgå (Porvoo) encouraging the members of the Conversations in our work for unity. Thanks to the Porvoo Agreement between the Anglican Churches in Britain and Ireland and most of the Nordic/Baltic Lutheran Churches, I was able to concelebrate the Sunday Mass in Porvoo Cathedral with a Lutheran priest. This was not only a sign of our unity in Porvoo but holds out a vision of visible unity with those with whom we are not yet in communion, especiallly the Roman Catholic Church.

Our first session of the Conversations began in the presence of some invited ecumenical leaders of the Finnish Churches. Wonderful to be with some old friends, such as Metropolitan Ambrosius and Bishop Eero Huovinen, and to meet the relatively new RC bishop of Helskinki, Raimo Goyarrola.