Common faith/prayer from the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues
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.
In an unprecedented act in the country’s religious history, Ecuadorian Cardinal Bernardino Echeverria offered a sermon in the Anglican Church’s El Salvador Cathedral.
The high-ranking Catholic leader spoke at the inaugural service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held in the Anglican Cathedral. In his vibrant sermon, Cardinal Echeverria praised the ecumenical initiative and emphasized the importance of all Christians working for unity.
“It is the first time that I have participated in a worship service in a non-Catholic Church and I have realized how much we have in common,” said the prelate. He recalled the emphasis that the II Vatican Council placed on ecumenism and underlined the fact that Pope John Paul II exhorted Christians to persevere in prayer and to seek the aid of the Holy Spirit in the search for Church unity.