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, January 27, 2010

On the Gathering of Anglicans

“On the Gathering of the Anglicans”

The Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus

A Pastoral Letter to the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful of the Traditional Anglican Communion

20th January 2010

My Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,

Introduction: the dreams of Christian unity

Few things could be expected to excite more controversy than the reunion of churches that have long been living in animosity.

Europe, and the world that Europe colonised, has been shaped in its languages, its politics, its law, as well as its religion, in large part by those animosities. The identity and culture of people and nations have been significantly shaped by religious conflict and division.

The healing of religious division has been one of the most welcome features of 20th century Christianity. The great conflicts of the last century between Christianity and communism, and between Christianity and Fascism, that turned that century into one of the most persecuting since the great persecutions of the Roman Empire, diminished the sense of division and emphasised the wisdom of unity.

In the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church embraced the vision of unity. For Anglicans, dramatic meetings occurred between Archbishops of Canterbury and Bishops of Rome...

Read the rest of the pastoral letter from Archbishop Hepworth at The Anglo-Catholic blog.

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