Saturday, 9 December 2006

Rowan Williams' visit to Rome

This week The Tablet has a very interesting interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury, conducted by the editor, Catherine Pepinster. Read it at Ambivalent archbishop.

Previously, the Church Times had this report of the visit: ‘Definite progress’ as Williams visit exceeds expectations by Rupert Shortt.

Earlier reports of the visit are collected here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 9:07am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

If the Archbishop really finds the fact that the two denominations don't (officially) share holy communion painful, I wonder if he has a rather low pain threshold, in a world riven with pain, disunity, tragedy and trauma. Both individual and corporate, national and international.

There is a world beyond the aracane world of Church and inter-Church life and talk, which gets lost sight of in this miasma.

Posted by: laurence on Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 11:33am GMT

As the Archbishop said, "For me the heart of the Eucharist is that we are drawn into the eternal prayer of Christ and that's what unifies us: that we are standing where Christ stands and praying what Christ prays."

As Christians our ability to find strength and inspiration to approach "pain, disunity, tragedy and trauma" arises from our common eucharistic prayer when we stand and pray with and in Jesus Christ. When for some reason we cannot come together in Eucharist with other Christians, this is a sign that we have, for whatever reason, placed limits on our willingness to live out our Baptismal covenant to "proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ."

This must be painful for any Christian because it limits in a very real way the hope and healing we have to bring to the world. If we cannot heal ourselves, how can we heal others?

Posted by: Nick Finke on Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 4:56pm GMT

So it seems that nothing stays the same not even in the eternal city.
As the brave ecumenists of ARCIC were battling on making great headway over women and ministry, the Magisterium was planning another twist to the tale. For convenience I give an extract of something I wrote last year:

The Vatican has been the most outspoken critic of the social policy
that has seen homosexuals granted parity by the western
democracies. As changes have been implemented the Holy See’s
invective has increased and new postures struck. Significant
amongst their reactions was the publication of Ad Tuendam Fide on
the 30th June 1998.
Church doctrine was once either definitive and not open to dissent -
or non-definitive when the faithful might legitimately hold differing
opinions. There then emerged a new third intermediate area of
doctrine from which dissent is not deemed possible, this apostolic
letter gave the force of law to this novelty. The condemnation of
Homosexuality has been moved to this section of “truths”.
The author of these significant changes in Canon Law was Cardinal
Joseph Ratzinger.

Women's ordination to Holy Orders joins us in the select group of new "truths".
I liked the gentle and thoughtful way the Archbishop showed his frustration over this change in orthodoxy following the meeting with its chief architect.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 10:43pm GMT

Suddenly the Tablet article requires a log in.

So from memory, it seems to me Rowan Williams wants a communion in order for there to be an entity with which Rome can speak. Can't Rome speak to individual Churches? Was the Anglican Communion ever that much, just a series of missions that in the end led to autonomous Churches? Does the Anglican Communion do anything other than have conversations?

How does the Church of England, say, have relations with the Baptist Churches or the Congregationalist Churches (those outside the URC)? The local Church is an important concept.

Complaining about the Counter Reformation/ Renaissance as a reason for problems, especially when there was Vatican II, seems a bit thin as an objection to Roman Catholicism. There are all sorts of cultural objections to Churches, after all isn't there an attitude regarding hierarchy in the C of E? The pope and infallibility might be a problem, but this one like the Archbishop of Canterbury has private opinions as well as official ones - unless he has changed opinions on taking up "the job", and also this Pope would really like to solve a disunity problem with the Orthodox.

Just some thoughts.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 10:59pm GMT

What a breath of fresh air RW brings to the Roman scene, by such remarks as this: "I do find the ideas of translation puzzling, and what communicates itself as a level of anxiety about getting the words right. It isn’t characteristic of the early or medieval Church: there’s not a fear of getting it right nor even is there is a sense of one model against which everything else has to be tested." And Rome comes across as a much more human and hospitable and intelligent place than the ranting neocath websites would suggest.

Posted by: Fr Joseph O'Leary on Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 2:28am GMT

What does this visit say about the state of Apostolicae Curae? If the Pope greets the Archbishop of Canterbury as an Archbishop, doesn't that imply that the Archbishop's orders are valid? How could it be construed otherwise?

I thought Rome taught that the Anglican church was a purely human organization where people got together simply to eat dried bread and stale wine and read a book to God--but God wasn't really listening. When did they decide that our Archbishop was the shepherd of a genuine Church?

Posted by: James on Monday, 11 December 2006 at 2:04am GMT

James @ Monday, 11 December 2006 at 2:04am GMT --

It is part of the Romanitas doublething (or something -- I don't know what to call it) -- when Pope John Paul II knelt with his hammer to open the Holy Doors to proclaim the Holy Year, the person kneelign at his right hand was George Carey, theoretically a misguided layman but liturgically taking precedence over the Orthodox representative from Constantinople who had to kneel at his left (presumably because he was a representative -- I have no doubt that if Bartholomew had been present, the ABC would have been moved to the left)

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Monday, 11 December 2006 at 3:34pm GMT
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