Stories of joint study from the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues
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.
Dr Paula Gooder and Professor Paul Murray, members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, led the bishops in reflection on its latest document Walking Together On The Way. Drawing on their rich experience of walking together as fellow pilgrims, the bishops considered the life of their global communions. They explored similarities and differences between the structures of their churches.
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 along 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. These meetings take place every two or three years, providing participants with the opportunity to create precious relations based on mutual esteem, friendship and cooperation. “Spirituality, theology and coexistence are the ingredients of the Leicester meeting”, said Rev Jeremy Worthen, Secretary for Ecumenical Relations at the Council for Christian Unity, a body of the Church of England in charge of fostering relations between Christian churches. “The Church of England is in charge of organizing this year’s two-day event that will take place behind closed doors. In addition to the bishops, the meeting will be attended also by press officers and administrative staff.”
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.
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.