Stories of joint study from the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Justin Welby led a retreat with Pope Francis in Casa Santa Marta this week (10-11 April) for the political leaders of South Sudan. The Reverend John Chalmers, former Moderator of the Church of Scotland was also in attendance. The ecumenical retreat was the fruit of an unprecedented collaborative effort by Lambeth Palace and the Secretariat of State.
The Catholic bishops of England and Wales and Church of England bishops met in Leicester from 16 to 17 January for their biennial conference. Together 27 Catholic and 27 Anglican bishops explored a diverse range of subjects including opportunities for closer collaboration at a regional and national level. Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu were present throughout. Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Welby addressed the gathering.
Fifty bishops – 25 Anglicans and 25 Catholics – will convene in the British city next January 16-17. Rev Worthen told SIR: “Spirituality, theology and coexistence will be the ingredients of the meeting” that with a tight agenda: liturgy and debates with the spotlight on the Declaration “Walking Together On The Way.” Next January 16 and 17 fifty bishops, half of them Catholic and half of them Anglican, will convene in Leicester, central England, a city with an important tradition of interreligious dialogue, for a two-day ecumenical meeting.
Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders in northern Alberta say they’re looking forward to repeating this fall a conference held last November involving clergy from both denominations. More than two dozen clergy from the Anglican diocese of Athabasca and the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan gathered in November 15, 2017 at Slave Lake, Alta., for a one-day conference, to get acquainted and share thoughts and experiences about doing ministry in Alberta’s north. “We thought it went very well, and I think the clergy found it quite valuable,” says Bishop Fraser Lawton, of the diocese of Athabasca. “I think they appreciated just getting to know one another.”
Earlier this week, seminarians at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Seminary in Scarborough, Ont., were invited to join the Wycliffe College community in Toronto for an evening of ecumenical fellowship and a lecture from Andrew Bennett, Canada’s ambassador to the Office of Religious Freedom.The evening was structured in three parts, beginning with a service of evening prayer featuring a sermon by the Rev. John-Mark Missio, lecturer in pastoral theology at St. Augustine. The service was followed by a shared meal and Bennett’s lecture.
Such events have been taking place on an annual basis for some 10 years, according to the Rev. Dr. Peter Robinson, who teaches worship and ministry at Wycliffe College, and grew out of a friendship between their respective presidents. Robinson noted that such events are held in the spirit of ecumenism, with the hope that they will give Catholics and Anglicans an opportunity to get to know each other.
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.
Roman Catholic and Anglican bishops, paired from thirteen regions around the world, have begun their meeting in Canada in which they are reviewing and evaluating the accomplishment of thirty years of ecumenical relationship between Anglicans and Catholics in their areas. The pairs of bishops come from New Zealand, Canada, England, United States, Ireland, India, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Southern Africa, Uganda, Australia, Brazil and the West Indies.
The bishops are gathered in private session at the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre near Toronto, Ontario, under the joint chairmanship of Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Their first day has begun with a morning of prayer and scriptural reflection. The following days will begin and end with common prayer.