Thirty-six Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops from 19 countries are in Canterbury at the start of a historic week-long summit marking closer ties between the two traditions.
Events will include a service in Rome
on Oct. 5 jointly led by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope
Francis at which the bishops will be formally commissioned to work
together in pairs.
Services at Canterbury Cathedral over the weekend have illustrated
the deepening relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Roman
On Oct. 1, Diocese in Europe Suffragan Bishop David
Hamid delivered the homily at a Roman Catholic Vigil Mass in the
The Roman Catholic Archbishop-elect of Regina in
Canada, Don Bolen, preached the sermon at the Sung Eucharist on Sunday
morning, Oct. 2.
Hamid spoke of the growing sense of unity, common faith and common
calling, while acknowledging that issues remained to be resolved.
said only a little faith was enough for something new to be possible.
Bolen said it was a great privilege to be in Canterbury. He said the
bishops had realized they had so much in common – including a common
faith in God, a common baptism and the sharing of scriptures and creeds.
“We have come to realize we are bound by dear, dear affection,” he told the congregation.
The bishops have been chosen by their home churches to represent them
on the ecumenical body, IARCCUM – the International Anglican Roman
Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission. They include representatives
from Pakistan, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Canada, Ireland and Malawi.
They have spent the weekend sharing their experiences of faith and
mission. In the days ahead they will look at how they can work together
to address the challenges they face.
The summit also marks the 50th anniversary of the Anglican
Centre in Rome.
There will be a gala dinner hosted by the archbishop of
Canterbury to celebrate its work.
The center’s director, Archbishop
David Moxon, told BBC Radio 4 that strong, clear strides towards greater
unity had been taken over the past 50 years. He said he believed full
unity between the two traditions was possible. He said there was now as
much as 85 percent agreement across core doctrine but it would be a
demanding process and take time to address the remaining 15 percent.