Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come!

Archbishop on the Ordinariate
November 18, 2010, 7:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

The Archbishop of Canterbury, in Rome to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, has given an interview to Vatican Radio.

Drawing inspiration from New Testament texts, Dr Williams spoke of the three dimensions of unity – with Christ, with each other and with the apostolic tradition – which can underpin a new phase of ecumenical dialogue. Urging his listeners not to lose sight of the ‘Ut Unum Sint agenda’, he called for shared reflection on the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed and, above all, on Eucharistic theology which he said has ‘worn thin’ in many Christian communities.

Talking to Philippa Hitchen after the event, Dr Williams also spoke of the five Anglican bishops who announced this week they’d be joining the new Ordinariate to be established for those seeking unity with Rome:

“Obviously my reactions to the resignations is one of regret but respect – I know the considerations they’ve been through, particular the two who were my suffragans, we’ve talked about it, we’ve worked through it and parted with prayers and blessings so there’s no ill feeling there. I think the challenge will come in working out shared use of churches, of how we as Anglicans ‘recommend’ people and also of course there will be some parishes without priests so we have a practical challenge here and there.”

Asked to comment on Pope Benedict’s description of the Ordinariate as a ‘prophetic gesture’, he replied,

“Well I think if the Ordinariate helps people evaluate Anglican legacy or patrimony, well and good, I’m happy to praise God for it. I don’t see it as an aggressive act, meant to destabilise the relations of the Churches and it remains to be seen just how large a movement we’re talking about… But prophetic? Maybe yes, in the sense that here is the Roman Catholic Church saying there are ways of being Christian in the Western church which are not restricted by historic Roman Catholic identity – that’s something we can talk about.”

Despite some grumpy comments on other blogs, I think we should take the Archbishop’s words at face value, as a positive evaluation of the Ordinariate and those who will join it.

Link to interview:

  • (You may have to copy and paste- I haven’t got the hang of inserting links yet)


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