The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Michael Nazir-Ali: Anglicans must 'look to Pope for unity'

by Ruth Gledhill
May 9, 2009

As the Covenant process seemed to sustain something of a blow in Jamaica I was enjoying a the kindly light of Oxford's Newman Society at the Catholic Chaplaincy, where Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester who recently announced he is to retire to work with persecuted Christians, was speaking about the future of the Anglican Communion. The bishop was interviewed before he spoke by Michael Webb. Read on for some of my notes on his speech.
Bishop Michael spoke about the equal and opposite pulls in Anglicanism, towards the 'logic of Catholicism' or the 'logic of fragmentation'.
'The question now arises, which logic will prevail. It is quite possible that the logic of fragmentation will prevail and people will go their own way. Or it may be that the Anglicans will see their way to the Catholic Church, to God's will as expressed in Christ's highly prescient prayer for the unity of Christians across the ages and throughout the world.
'Anglicans to their credit have never claimed to be the one, true Church.' He noted that successive Lambeth Conferences had accepted that Anglicanism stands ready to disappear in the cause of Catholic unity, 'that is, it [Anglicanism] is not an end to itself but a means towards the greater Catholicism which is God's will.'

Read in full on Ruth Gledhill's blog Articles of Faith.

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