From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopalians: Archbishop of Canterbury encouraged by visit with Pope John Paul II
Wed, 26 Jun 2002 13:38:23 -0400
June 26, 2002
Episcopalians: Archbishop of Canterbury encouraged by visit
with Pope John Paul II
by James Solheim
(ENS) Archbishop of Canterbury George L. Carey made his sixth
and final trip to the Vatican to meet with Pope John Paul II and
said that he felt "great hope for the continuing journey in
ecumenism to which we are both so committed."
In his formal greeting on June 21, Carey said that he was
grateful for the opportunity to meet with the pope "before I lay
down my office" this fall. "During the last 11 years I have been
aware of the growing closeness, mutual affection and respect
between our churches and this has found expression in a number
of deep friendships," Carey said.
Carey told the pope, "Your great courage, wisdom and holiness
of life have touched and inspired Christians throughout the
world. Your invitation to church leaders and theologians to
engage with you in a patient and fraternal dialogue about the
Petrine ministry has made it possible for us to reflect on ways
in which a Primacy of love and service could be a gift to share.
While we are not yet in the full communion to which the Lord
calls us, I rejoice in our shared baptismal faith and the growth
in fellowship between our two churches."
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission produced
a 48-page document, "The Gift of Authority," discussing how
authority is exercised in the church and by whom, and asking
both churches to examine their structures. It also opened for
discussion the role of the papacy as "a gift to be received by
all churches" and challenged the churches to "think in new ways
about the manner in which authority is to be ordered to the
reconciliation of all things in Christ," according to Presiding
Bishop Frank T. Griswold, co-chair of the commission.
Carey reported to the pope that he had met with church
leaders in England, including Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor,
and signed a covenant that committed them "to work towards the
visible unity of the Church of Jesus Christ in the one faith,
expressed in common discipleship, worship, witness and service."
Carey said that he was also encouraged by the continuing work of
the joint commission and "the degree of fundamental agreement
between our churches on so many aspects of our faith that the
commission has identified and articulated."
Carey gave the pope a study of the life and work of St.
Anselm, 36th archbishop of Canterbury, saying that "as monk,
abbot and archbishop, statesman, theologian and philosopher he
made a profound and enduring contribution to the life of the
Telling the Anglican story
The visit coincided with a major exhibit on Anglicanism in
the Vatican museums and the Sistine Hall, built in the same
century as the break between Rome and the church in England. "I
could not see this happening 20 years ago," Carey said in a
press interview after viewing the exhibition which he views as
"a visible sign of the Vatican's hospitality."
The exhibition was organized by the British ambassador to the
Vatican and the dean and chapter of the Diocese of Norwich.
"This illustrates the tradition we share and some of the
historical events which have colored our past relationships,"
Carey said to the pope. He also cited the creation of the
Anglican Center in Rome, following the "historic visit of my
predecessor Archbishop Michael Ramsey in 1966."
"This is not just another collection of art grouped around a
theme," said Cardinal Edmund Szoka, governor of Vatican City.
"It is something much more important than that because it tells
a story about an important part of our Western Christian
tradition. This is the first time that the Vatican mounted an
exhibition about another Christian church which is not formally
in union with the church of Rome."
The exhibition coincides with the Golden Jubilee of Queen
Elizabeth II and the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's
historic visit to Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church of
--James Solheim is director of Episcopal News Service.
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .