"The cause of unity is not an optional undertaking and the differences which divide us must not be seen as inevitable
Here is the statement given by the Pope to the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
1. It is a pleasure to be with you, the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. In these days you are gathered for a new session of your dialogue, which is now studying the relationship between the universal Church and the local Church, with particular reference to processes for discussions and decision making regarding moral and ethical questions. I cordially welcome you and wish you a successful meeting.
Your dialogue is the result of the historic meeting in 1966 between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey, which gave rise to the first Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. On that occasion, they both prayed with hope for "a serious dialogue which, founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions, [would] lead to that unity in truth for which Christ prayed" (The Common Declaration by Pope Paul VI and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey, Rome, 24 March 1966).
We have not yet reached that goal, but we are convinced that the Holy Spirit continues to move us in that direction, notwithstanding new difficulties and challenges. Your presence here today is an indication of how the shared tradition of faith and history between Anglicans and Catholics can inspire and sustain our efforts to overcome the obstacles to full communion. Though we are fully aware of the seriousness of the challenges ahead, we can still realistically trust that together great progress will be made.
2. Shortly you will publish five jointly agreed statements of the second phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue, with commentaries and responses. I offer my congratulations for this work. This reminds us that ecumenical relations and dialogue are not secondary elements of the life of the Churches. The cause of unity is not an optional undertaking and the differences which divide us must not be seen as inevitable. Some wish that, after fifty years, greater progress towards unity would have been achieved. Despite difficulties, we must not lose heart, but we must trust even more in the power of the Holy Spirit, who can heal and reconcile us, and accomplish what humanly does not seem possible.
3. There is a strong bond that already unites us which goes beyond all divisions: it is the testimony of Christians from different Churches and traditions, victims of persecution and violence simply because of the faith they profess. And not only now, that there are many of them: I think also of the martyrs of Uganda, half Catholics and half Anglicans. The blood of these martyrs will nourish a new era of ecumenical commitment, a fervent desire to fulfill the last will and testament of the Lord: that all may be one (cf. Jn 17:21). The witness by these our brothers and sisters demands that we live in harmony with the Gospel and that we strive with determination to fulfill the Lord's will for his Church.Today the world urgently needs the common, joyful witness of Christians, from the defence of life and human dignity to the promotion of justice and peace.
Together let us invoke the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to respond courageously to "the signs of the times" which are calling all Christians to unity and common witness. May the Holy Spirit abundantly inspire your work. Many thanks for your service.
[Original text English]
POPE FRANCIS ADDRESSES PENTECOSTAL PASTORS
Anyone interested in Catholic – Evangelical dialogue and relations will want to watch this remarkable video. In it Pope Francis addresses a group of Pentecostal pastors and other leaders at a conference through a video made on an iPhone in his office with his friend Tony Palmer, a charismatic Anglican Bishop. (That’s right, the Pope makes spontaneous iPhone videos in his office!)
Bishop Palmer addresses the group describing his friendship with Pope Francis and how the video came about, but also making several challenging remarks about the value of the sacraments, Catholic-Protestant agreement on justification, and ecumenical engagement. While a Catholic might be a little nervous when Bishop Palmer suggests that Rome used to teach salvation by works (it would be more accurate to say that, until recently, it was difficult for many Protestants to understand Catholic teaching as anything but salvation by works), most of what Bishop Palmer says is very acceptable and encouraging to Catholics. And, on top of that, Pope Francis offers a brilliant off-the-cuff (what else?) reflection on the true meaning of ecumenism.
If you only have a few minutes, you can skip ahead to about 31:30 to watch the Pope’s brief remarks (about 7 minutes long), but those with a bit more time may want to start as early as 4:30 when Bishop Palmer begins speaking. He really starts getting into the Pope Francis story around 17:00.
I have recently come across questions about dialogue in the Catholic tradition in at least three different contexts. First of all, Pope Francis’s prayer intention for January 2016 was interreligious dialogue. This got a lot more play than is normal for a Pope’s monthly intention because it was also the first time the Vatican accompanied the announcement of the Pope’s prayer intention with a video. Many Catholics expressed concern about this choice of intention. “Why dialogue with false religions?” they asked. “Shouldn’t we be evangelizing people instead? Isn’t dialogue an admission of relativism? Aren’t we saying, or at least implying, that all religions are equally true?”
Second, at our most recent diaconate formation weekend, we were studying apologetics. When the instructor gave an argument in favour of the idea that the Church Jesus founded could be identified with the Catholic Church (and therefore that Protestants are mistaken about the role of Peter and the papacy),... Read More
Ecumenical committee members Lana Hebert, Vic Lavallee, Doug Shepherd, Heather Shepherd, Vicki Mayer and Father Jake Ibay organized an interdenominational service during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Held at Church of Our Lady in Moose Jaw, it began in November, with personal invitations and yellow roses, symbolizing friendship, sent to thirty-six churches in Moose Jaw.
Father Jake served as the leader during the event, held on January 25, and Bishop Larry Hasmatali gave a homily outlining the importance of unity. He began by stating that unity is essential to get things done. He pointed out that it does not impose conformity. It is possible to have unity among diversity, just as a foot is very different from an eye, but both are necessary and united in the body. He went on to say that there is strength in numbers, and that together, Christians from all over the world can unite and produce great results, regardless of denomination. He stated that unity must...
This past October 29, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) launched a joint Declarationon Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. The sponsoring signatories to the Declaration intend now to engage in a concerted effort in view of obtaining signatures from a wide spectrum of people in Canada who agree with the principles outlined in the Declaration. The number of signatures has grown to 2,264 as of January 12, 2016.
At the launching of the Declaration at the National Press Gallery in Ottawa on Parliament Hill, the CCCB and EFC were assisted likewise by Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka, C.M., from the Congregation Machzikei Hadas in Ottawa, and Imam Samy Metwally from the Ottawa Main Mosque/Ottawa Muslim Association. At the time of its release, the Declaration had 56 signatories from Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders across Canada.
The invitation to sign the Declaration is now open to all...
Minus 22c and a much higher wind chill did not deter more than 100 people showing up for the annual World Religion Day prayers presented by thirteen religious communities.
The annual event is organized by the Regina Multi Faith forum to “promote understanding and inclusiveness for all people,” said Gagan Deep Singh, Multi Forum President in his welcome and introduction. The event continues to be held at Beth Jacob Synagogue for which the Jewish community donates the space.
Following Singh’s welcome, Aarti Goyal blew the traditional Sankh to begin the prayers. Blowing the Sankh distributes positive energy and makes the atmosphere holy and pure driving away distressing energy (internet). It also calls people to the place of worship.
Elder Lorna Standingready began the presentations after she was given a pouch of tobacco from Jean Parker, Multi Faith Forum Acting Vice Chairperson. Tobacco is used in many First Nations ceremonies and grants permission for an...
”I think Muslims are becoming more adept at outreach, in civic engagement and being part of the wider community.” said Zarqa Nawaz TV producer and author. She, along with Dr. Sami Helewa, S.J. in two separate interviews with the Prairie Messenger, discussed Islam and talked about how local Muslims are dealing with the negative and sometimes horrific images coming out of the strife in the Middle East. Nawaz is the creator and producer of the TV series Little Mosque on the Prairie, author of Laughing all the way to the Mosque and is working on a novel. Helewa teaches religion including Islam at Campion College University of Regina and grew up among Muslims while living in the Middle East. Both suggested people should look at and perhaps study some history to better understand the positive role Islam has played in the world.
Both said what is being perpetrated in the name of Islam is not mainstream and most Muslims are simply working, looking after their families, the same as...
The third Sunday in January is annually celebrated as World Religion Day. It was established in 1950 as a way to encourage interfaith understanding.
Many organizations celebrate the day by holding interfaith events where faith leaders get together to give talks and lectures. People are encouraged to talk to and listen to people from faiths different than their own and to understand the basic tenets of other religions. The day calls for members of all religions in the world to recognize that all religions have common spiritual goals.
In Regina, World Religion Day will be celebrated by the Multi-Faith Forum at the Beth Jaacob Synagogue, 4715 McTavish Street on Jauary 17th.
The Ecumenical Commission is seeking stories of ecumenical events happening throughout our Archdiocese. If your parish has been part of an ecumenical event recently, let us know, like Louise Holloway, who shared this story about the Carol Festival in Lumsden.
The Lumsden Carol Festival was held Sunday evening December 6, 2015 at St. Andrew's United church. This is an annual ecumenical event.
The Lumsden Ecumenical choir is made up of members from the United, Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican churches. It is lead by Tammie Wickenheiser with accompanist Judy Gilmore. This year they had an accompanying drum for Fairest lord Jesus (a really different arrangement.)
Other choirs providing the Christmas music were from St. Andrew's United Church, Valley Voices (a community choir), Do Re Mi Fossils from the Lumsden Seniors centre, Regina Beach United Church and the Lumsden High School Choir. The Lumsden Adult Band also accompanied some of the audience carol singing as well as... Read More
The Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle and Regina Roman Catholic Archdiocese, January 23, 2011, signed a historic covenant that committed both and their parishes to work and worship more closely. In the almost six years since much has been accomplished in that goal but as a 2015 Advent Newsletter, put out by the Covenant Implementation Committee, points out not all parishes are on board.
In a joint letter preceding the newsletter, committee co-chairs Anglican Canon Michael Jackson and Susan Klein of the Regina Archdiocese, note accomplishments the Covenant has achieved but also suggest there are some parishes “that don’t show the same enthusiasm” as the two dioceses have shown in their joint activities. “We are seeking ways to address these issues,” the co-chairs said.
The accomplishments the newsletter highlights includes annual joint services alternating between St. Paul’s Cathedral and Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina and in 2015 for the first time the two hosted a...