Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has addressed the Church of England’s General Synod on the subject of “Church as Communion”.
This was the first time the Cardinal has been invited to address Synod. The basis of his address is the agreed ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission) statement on Church as Communion.
The Cardinal insisted that, whatever the current issues, the ecumenical journey must continue. “We want to see a deepening not a lessening of communion in each other’s ecclesial life. In the end our ecumenical journey has to be a journey towards fuller communion,” he said.
The Cardinal also insisted that full communion is still the ultimate goal, even if it currently seems so distant. The current difficulties in the Anglican Communion are a source of concern for all, he said.
“Divisions within any Church or Ecclesial Community impoverish the communion of the whole Church. We Roman Catholics cannot be indifferent to what is happening to our friends in the Anglican Communion and, in particular, in the Church of England.”
In this current phase, the Cardinal describes the relationship as a kind of “receptive ecumenism”: as demonstrated by recent meetings between Roman Catholic bishops and Church of England bishops where each other’s gifts have been acknowledged and shared, friendship expressed and there is a desire to work together to face the challenges of today’s secular society.
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