Common witness from the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues
Anglicans from the diocese of Qu’Appelle and Roman Catholics from the archdiocese of Regina celebrated Pentecost Sunday together at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina. The joint service was the result of the covenant between the two dioceses, signed in January 2011. The two dioceses occupy roughly the same geographic area in southern Saskatchewan.
The covenant was signed by Anglican Bishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson and Roman Catholic Archbishop Daniel Bohan. The agreement commits the dioceses to specific initiatives. These include annual shared services with the two bishops, keeping and upholding each church and its leaders in prayer, working together on various issues, and jointly working with First Nations elders to promote reconciliation and healing. The bishops commit to maintaining communications, especially when new developments in one church may present challenges for the other. Anglican and Roman Catholic parishes are encouraged to undertake joint activities in worship, mission, education and social justice.
Pope Benedict XVI and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury knelt together before the tomb of an 11th-century Christian king after affirming the need for Catholics and Anglicans to give a united witness to society. St. Edward the Confessor, who is buried in the Anglicans’ Westminster Abbey, reigned five centuries before English Christians became divided. The pope and the primate of the Church of England paid homage together to the Christian king Sept. 17 at the end of an afternoon that included public speeches, a 30-minute private meeting and a joint ecumenical prayer service in Westminster Abbey. Archbishop Williams welcomed Pope Benedict as the first pope ever to visit Westminster Abbey, which was home to a community of Catholic Benedictine monks until 1540 when King Henry VIII dissolved the monastic community. Beginning in the afternoon with a visit to Lambeth Palace, the archbishop’s residence, the pope told Anglican and Catholic bishops that he did not intend to discuss the difficulties the two communities have encountered on the path toward full unity, but rather to recognize the progress made in ecumenical relations and to encourage closer cooperation for the good of British society.