Bridge Over Troubled Tiber: Holy See Welcomes Anglican Christians into Catholic Church
the dialogues of the past forty years, this recognition would not have been possible, nor would hopes for full visible unity have been nurtured. In this sense, this Apostolic Constitution is one consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
“The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing cooperation. The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.
“With God’s grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England’s House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission. Joint days of reflection and prayer were begun in Leeds in 2006 and continued in Lambeth in 2008, and further meetings are in preparation. This close cooperation will continue as we grow together in unity and mission, in witness to the Gospel in our country, and in the Church at large.”
There is only one word for this historic announcement - extraordinary. The Apostolic Constitution signed by Pope Benedict XVI will dramatically affect the ecclesial landscape of the entire Christian world. It will also change Christian history going forward. To this observer, who has been writing about these events for a long time and holding firm to the hope of just such an opening while others dismissed it, this is only the beginning of an historic period of Church history, a new missionary age.
In the midst of the darkness of the hour the Catholic Church has done what she has done for over two millennia, shine the light of the Truth to offer the way to salvation for all the Nations. The Church is not some optional organizational “extra” we fashioned, she is the Body of Christ, the new world, the seed of the Kingdom to come, the place where all men and women can find their fulfillment and the only path to authentic peace. The prayer of the Son of God “May They Be One” (John 17) still echoes and heaven itself is responding. Today’s historic news is the sign of the coming plan of that loving God who “…so loved the world that He sent His Only Son”. (John 3:16)
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
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