Thinking Anglicans

Rowan Williams on Christian unity

This week’s Tablet has an article by the Archbishop of Canterbury which looks forward to next month’s centenary Week of Christian Unity.

His article is titled No common language yet. It starts this way:

A hundred years on from the establishing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, how much further forward are we? And what exactly are we praying for during this week of prayer? On the whole, it’s become a fixture for most “mainstream” denominations, a few days when the more enthusiastic or more biddable members of the congregation turn up to someone else’s church for a well-mannered but often rather lukewarm joint service or two, or perhaps for a talk by a prominent local leader.

The aspiration that we end up relating better with each other, or even that we end up more willing to engage in witness and work together is entirely worthy, and is probably widely fulfilled. But are we praying for anything more than this?

For some people, the answer is clearly “no”. To look beyond this fostering of local goodwill, they would say, is always in danger of slipping towards the yearning for some universal institution with clear central control – at worst, a Pullmanesque Magisterium, some people’s nightmare of Roman Catholicism…

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Fr Mark
Fr Mark
13 years ago

It is bizarre to see the Archbishop gently mocking the lukewarmness of ecumenical occasions. Lukewarmness seems to be his own preferred mode of operation in a situation of potential disagreement.

Pluralist
13 years ago

I’m arguing here: http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2007/12/pardon-archbishop-says-anglicans-are.html That this passage… Along with the rest of my Anglican ecclesial family, I don’t agree with the official Roman Catholic (and Orthodox) teaching which sees eucharistic communion as depending entirely on the attainment of a comprehensive agreement on doctrine. But I must also grant that this discipline at least shows that what is understood by the Eucharist (and thus, by extension, the recognised ministry of the eucharistic president) is to do with very basic aspects of faith as an activity of the Body, not of the individual. …is inconsistent with the narrowness of what he is… Read more »

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“in danger of slipping towards . . . some universal institution with clear central control – at worst, a Pullmanesque Magisterium, some people’s nightmare of Roman Catholicism”

Ironically, that’s my nightmare of the “Anglican Church” [sic!], as is taking shape under Rowan Cantuar. 🙁

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

I am right with RW in so many instances, until he then repeats some conservative drivel about how trustworthy received or traditional views are, compared with the fallibilities or limitations of any individual thinker. I read RW as wanting to believe what he is saying, but I cannot believe that a keen mind like his has failed to notice, failed to think things through. I see no empirical-historical evidence that tradition – whether cultural or religious revelational – has had any free ticket exemptions from terrible error, any more than individual views and discernments might have demonstrated. If individual discernment… Read more »

Malcolm+
13 years ago

“Along with the rest of my Anglican ecclesial family, I don’t agree with the official Roman Catholic (and Orthodox) teaching which sees eucharistic communion as depending entirely on the attainment of a comprehensive agreement on doctrine.”

It seems Dr. Akinola, in fact, agrees with it. He has refused to attend at least two eucharists because the successive Presiding Bishops of the Episcopal Church were attending. Not presiding, mind. Just attending.

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