Holy See, Anglican Communion, Edinburgh

Holy See: “joy” for the meeting between the Patriarchs Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I’s visit to Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and to the Russian Orthodox Church is “an expression of the communion between the two Orthodox Churches” and therefore also for the Catholic Church “it is a reason for utmost joy”. Msgr. Eleuterio Fortino, member of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity thus commented on the ten-day visit to Russia of Patriarch Bartholomew that concluded May 31st. “The exchange of visits of the Primates and their delegations with relative meetings and Eucharistic co-celebrations is one of the ways in which the Orthodox Churches express and live their communion in faith and ecclesial solidarity”, Fortino remarked. This contributes “to step up mutual relations and inter-Orthodox co-operation. It is a vital aspect, especially for those Churches with a history of freedoms limitation by oppressive regimes, which are now recovering their material, spiritual, cultural and pastoral life”. “The experience of Communion – continues the representative of the Vatican dycastery – sustains and strengthens. It is therefore with sincere joy and satisfaction that we welcome the positive feedback on the encounter between the Patriarchs of Moscow and of Constantinople with the involvement of the ecclesial community”, Fortino said. “This also implies – continues Msgr. Fortino – that the contingent but serious reasons that in the recent past had sparked off tensions between the two Churches to the point of removing the name of the Ecumenical Patriarch from the diptychs”. Moreover, adds the prelate, “there is also another element of special interest. It was said that the problem of the preparation and the convocation of the Holy Council of all Orthodox Churches was equally addressed. As known, this question is dear to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to Patriarch Bartholomew in particular. The event, planned over a long period of time, is believed to convey a decisive contribution to the communion and cooperation of Orthodox Churches at our present time. The question of the attitude of the Orthodox Churches towards the Christian world is also debated in the preparatory meetings for the Council”. “As a Catholic – concludes Msgr. Fortino – I view this theme with sympathy and interest towards all that happens in inter-Church relations. The vitality of the Orthodox Churches is important for the Church of Christ in the world. But it is also positive for the normalization between Orthodox and Catholics, also in order to overcome critical or reticent positions within certain Churches vis à vis ecumenical relations”.Anglican Communion: an appeal to the EpiscopaliansIn his message for Pentecost the Archbishop of Cantebury Dr. Rowan Williams called for harmony and dialogue in order to defend the spirit of the Anglican Communion. In particular, the Anglican Primate referred to the Episcopal Church in the United States that recently consecrated bishop of the diocese of Los Angeles Reverend Canon Mary Grasspool, a self-declared homosexual. “The consecration – the Primate said in the latest meeting of the, Anglican Global South to South Encounter in Singapore – raises serious questions not only for the Episcopal Church and its role in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole”. The Archbishop called upon 77 million faithful across the world to engage in substantial – and not only formal – unity. “To maintain outward unity at a formal level while we are convinced that the divisions are not only deep but damaging to our local mission is not a good thing. Neither is it a good thing to break away from each other so dramatically that we no longer see Christ in each other”. To this regard the bishop mentioned the three moratoria adopted by the Anglican Communion in 2004: No authorisation of blessings services for same-sex unions; No consecrations of bishops living in same-sex relationships; No cross-border interventions (no bishop authorising any ministry within the diocese of another bishop without explicit permission). The General Synod due to be held in York in the month of July will address another significant issue: the document developed by “the revision committee of the Church of England” regarding the British Anglicans’ project to consecrate woman bishops. Edinburgh: 100th anniversary of the ecumenical movement”Edinburgh. Witnessing Christ today” is the theme of the World Missionary Conference that opened on June 2 in the capital of Scotland to celebrate the centenary of the meeting that marked the beginning of the contemporary ecumenical movement (www.edinburgh2010.org). In fact in 1910, some one thousand delegates of Protestant Missions of various denominations convened in Edinburgh with the purpose of helping the missionaries develop a common spirit. Over 1200 participants, including not only Protestants but also Catholics, Pentecostals and Orthodox from the Anglo-Saxon and South world countries – are expected to attend the celebrations ongoing until June 6.

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