Vatican City, Feb 27, 2017 / 11:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis recognized on Monday the heroic virtue of eight persons on the path to canonization, including an Italian surgeon and father of eight who suffered from several painful diseases throug… […]
Los Angeles, Calif., Feb 27, 2017 / 09:55 am (CNA).- They came from across the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to stand together, worship side-by-side and honor their shared history: African American Catholics, a small yet faith-filled community, sang God&r… […]
Armagh, Northern Ireland, Feb 27, 2017 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ahead of Northern Ireland’s assembly elections, the region’s Catholic bishops have reflected on situation facing voters and the importance of voting with well-formed consciences.
“Far from separating us from concern about society and its development, the Gospel commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself commits us ‘to work for the good of all people and of each person, because we are all really responsible for all’,” said the bishops, citing the Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church.
The Feb. 22 message was signed by Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and other leading Catholic bishops.
Northern Ireland’s Assembly elections will take place March 2. The vote for the region’s legislative body follows political controversies regarding overspending on a renewable energy heating program, which called into question the power sharing agreement between the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein.
Deputy First Minister, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, resigned in protest Jan. 10 over allegations that First Minister Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party mishandled the project. The resignation triggered the elections.
In this climate, the bishops said, “the premature collapse of our political institutions is a serious matter for all of us.” Despite progress towards peace and prosperity in the 20 years since the pivotal Good Friday Agreement, they saw a return of “bitter language and tone of conflict” to political discourse.
They noted the sacrifices political leaders make, but also reflected on politicians’ duties “to help shape a healthy, positive and peaceful society in which there are ample, quality jobs, decent housing, comprehensive healthcare, and first-class education for all.”
Northern Ireland’s bishops encouraged voters to reflect on Catholic social teaching in their decisions.
They stressed the need to build a culture that loves and cares for others, especially the most vulnerable. They cited Pope Francis’ call for a “revolution of tenderness” that replaces hardened hearts with “a sensitivity and active concern to protect all and care for all.”
Noting pressures to introduce legal abortion in Northern Ireland, the bishops rejected a “throwaway culture” that treats human beings as disposable. They said the region’s laws should equally value the life of both mother and unborn child, and not “diminish our humanity by destroying another human life.” They warned against efforts to portray legal abortion as “limited,” as the procedure always intentionally takes the life of an innocent.
“Central to the good news that the Church proclaims is that the life of every person is sacred and inviolable, irrespective of the stage or state of that life,” they said. This is a fundamental principle that every other human right presumes.
The bishops lamented “disturbing levels” of child poverty, with almost 110,000 children in Northern Ireland living below the poverty line. The region has some of the highest levels of the numbers of working poor and the disabled, in addition to other features of income inequality.
The bishops said voters should prioritize “the systemic and comprehensive eradication” of childhood poverty and the provision of other social needs.
They advocated for a constructive political culture based on “a shared commitment to the common good” instead of the constitutional issues that have traditionally played a key role in Northern Irish politics.
Many Catholics have found it increasingly difficult to find a political party for which they can vote in good conscience. The bishops said that in the absence of clear alternatives, Catholics should “maximize the good” and limit any potential harm through their election choices.
Northern Ireland’s bishops stressed the importance of recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman. To recognize other relationships equally undercuts the importance of the biological bond and natural ties between parents and children.
They cited Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia, which said same-sex unions are in no way similar to marriage and are not analogous to God’s plan for marriage and the family.
The bishops encouraged a welcoming attitude towards refugees who flee dangers including persecution, war, and natural disaster. They advocated an increase in the number of refugees resettled from Syria to Northern Ireland.
Similarly, the bishops voiced concern for the persecution of Christians abroad, as well as “subtle forms of exclusion and discrimination” against Christians in western democracies. They reported that local Christians have described a chilling effect in the region’s law and public policy that excludes church and faith groups from public funding or caricatures them in public debate because of their beliefs regarding marriage or their pro-life stand.
They noted the failure of the Northern Ireland Assembly to protect the right of a Catholic adoption agency to act in accord with its religion and voiced hope that this could change in the future.
They also rejected some views of “integrated” education that suggest Catholic schools do not contribute to reconciliation, tolerance, and understanding. In fact, the bishops contended, these schools have a Christian ethos that is “inclusive, welcoming and tolerant.” Some approaches to education reject parents’ rights to ensure a faith-based education for their children, and even cloak “a deep-seated hostility to the Catholic faith itself.”
Recommendations for voters also drew on Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for creation, Laudato si’, points out the challenges of environmental degradation and climate change. Northern Ireland’s bishops said caring for creation is good in itself and something owed to future generations.
They praised Northern Ireland’s leading role in the development of renewable energy technologies, and suggested the next Assembly should focus on further improving this aspect of the economy, while also encouraging protection for natural landscapes, fisheries, and other resources.
Further, the bishops noted the dangers of human trafficking and the “disturbing levels” of homelessness.
They noted the publication of an important report on historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland and acknowledged that both Church and society failed to protect the vulnerable.
“We apologize unreservedly to all those who suffered from their experience in Church-run institutions, and to their loved ones,” the bishops said, acknowledging the inadequacy of apology while urging the report’s recommendations against abuse be rapidly established.
The bishops concluded their statement with ten questions drawn from Catholic social teaching that voters should ask candidates.
Denver, Colo., Feb 26, 2017 / 03:46 pm (CNA).- When Josh and Laura Martin, both converts to the faith, moved their growing family of six from the city of Dallas, Texas to the hills of Oklahoma, they didn’t necessarily know that they were particip… […]
I. In all institutions we find a difference between what the constitutions or authorized descriptions define them to be and what they turn out to be in practice. We hear of two constitutions—one “written” and […]
Vatican City, Feb 26, 2017 / 11:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his Sunday visit to Rome’s Anglican parish of All Saints, Pope Francis voiced gratitude for the good relations Catholics and Anglicans now enjoy, and said that on the path toward full communion, humility has to be the point of departure.
“(Humility) is not only a beautiful virtue, but a question of identity,” the Pope said in his Feb. 26 visit to the Anglican parish of All Saints.
He noted that in evangelizing the Christians in Corinth, St. Paul had to “grapple” with the fact that relations with the community weren’t always good. But when faced the question of how to carry out the task despite ongoing tensions, “where does he begin? With humility.”
“Paul sees himself as a servant, proclaiming not himself but Christ Jesus the Lord. And he carries out this service, this ministry according to the mercy shown him,” he said, adding that this ministry is done “not on the basis of his ability, nor by relying on his own strength, but by trusting that God is watching over him and sustaining his weakness with mercy.”
To become humble, he said, “means drawing attention away from oneself, recognizing one’s dependence on God as a beggar of mercy: this is the starting point so that God may work in us.”
Francis then quoted a former president of the World Council of Churches, who described Christian evangelization as “a beggar telling another beggar where he can find bread.”
“I believe Saint Paul would approve,” he said, because “he grasped the fact that he was fed by mercy and that his priority was to share his bread with others: the joy of being loved by the Lord, and of loving him.”
Pope Francis spoke to a crowd of both Catholic and Anglican faithful during his Feb. 26 visit to the Anglican church of All Saints, which marked the first time a Roman Pontiff has set foot in an Anglican parish inside his own diocese of Rome.
This visit coincided with the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Anglican parish community in the heart of the Eternal City, and consisted of a short choral Evensong service, during which the Pope blessed and dedicated an icon of “St. Savior” commissioned for the occasion.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Jesus, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/PopeFrancis?src=hash”>#PopeFrancis</a> said, seems to ask "Are you ready to leave evrythng frm your past for me? Do you want to make my love known, my mercy?" <a href=”https://t.co/lNAG2NmIZB”>pic.twitter.com/lNAG2NmIZB</a></p>— Catholic News Agency (@cnalive) <a href=”https://twitter.com/cnalive/status/835873589844914176″>February 26, 2017</a></blockquote>
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During the ceremony, the symbolic “twinning” of All Saints Anglican Church with the Catholic parish of “Ognissanti” – the only Catholic parish in Rome dedicated to All Saints – also took place, forming strong ecumenical ties between the two.
Ognissanti is the parish where Bl. Paul VI, on March 7, 1965, celebrated the first Mass in Italian following the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
After his arrival, Pope Francis was greeted by the church’s pastor, Rev. Johnathan Boardman, and Rev. Robert Innes, Bishop of the Church of England Diocese in Europe.
In his greeting, Innes thanked Pope Francis for his “global leadership, and for the particular inspiration you have been to those of us in the Anglican Communion,” particularly when it comes to the issues of the poor, migrants, refugees, and human trafficking.
“Within Europe and our diocese, you have challenged members of the European Union to rediscover their Christian heritage and values. Your published work speaks far beyond Rome in addressing difficult ethical issues that face us all,” he said.
Innes voiced his hope and prayer that the Pope’s visit would be “one more small step in further strengthening the unity between our churches and in celebrating the deep bonds of Anglican Roman Catholic friendship that we already enjoy.”
After singing Evensong, Pope Francis gave a homily, during which he noted that “a great deal has changed” both in Rome and in the world since the parish’s founding 200 years ago.
“In the course of these two centuries, much has also changed between Anglicans and Catholics,” he said, noting that while in the past the Churches viewed each other “with suspicion and hostility,” today we recognize one another as we truly are: brothers and sisters in Christ, through our common baptism.”
Francis pointed to the icon he blessed, noting that when looking at it, Jesus “to call out to us, to make an appeal to us: ‘Are you ready to leave everything from your past for me? Do you want to make my love known, my mercy?’”
“His gaze of divine mercy is the source of the whole Christian ministry,” the Pope said, and turned to the ministry of St. Paul, particularly in the community of Corinth.
As the Apostle’s letters show, he “did not always have an easy relationship” with the community in Corinth, the Pope said, noting that at one point there was even “a painful visit” during which “heated words” were exchanged in writing.
But by living his ministry in light of the mercy that he’s received, St. Paul “does not give up in the face of divisions, but devotes himself to reconciliation,” Francis observed, explaining that Christians of different confessions must have the same attitude.
“When we, the community of baptized Christians, find ourselves confronted with disagreements and turn towards the merciful face of Christ to overcome it, it is reassuring to know that we are doing as Saint Paul did in one of the very first Christian communities,” he said.
The Pope then noted how at perhaps the most difficult moment St. Paul had with the community in Corinth, the Apostle cancelled a trip he was planning to make, and renounced the gifts he would have received.
However, while there were certainly tensions in their relationship, “these did not have the final word,” Francis said, explaining that the two communities eventually reconciled and the Christians in Corinth eventually helped St. Paul in his ministry to the poor and needy.
“Solid communion grows and is built up when people work together for those in need,” he said, adding that “through a united witness to charity, the merciful face of Jesus is made visible in our city.”
Pope Francis then voiced his gratitude that after “centuries of mutual mistrust,” Catholics and Anglicans can now “recognize that the fruitful grace of Christ is at work also in others.”
“We thank the Lord that among Christians the desire has grown for greater closeness, which is manifested in our praying together and in our common witness to the Gospel, above all in our various forms of service,” he said.
Although the path to full communion can at times seem “slow and uncertain,” the Pope said the two communities ought to be encouraged by his visit to the Anglican parish and the joint prayer.
The visit, he said, “is a grace and also a responsibility: the responsibility of strengthening our ties, to the praise of Christ, in service of the Gospel and of this city.”
Francis closed his homily encouraging both Catholics and Anglicans to work together “to become ever more faithful disciples of Jesus, always more liberated from our respective prejudices from the past and ever more desirous to pray for and with others.”
After his homily, Pope Francis took three questions from the congregation on the state of Catholic-Anglican relations today, his approach to relations versus that of his direct predecessor Benedict XVI and what Catholics and Anglicans can learn from the “creativity” of Churches in the global south, specifically Africa and Asia.
In his answer to the first question, the Pope noted that despite a turbulent past, relations between Catholics and Anglicans today “are good. We see each other as brothers.” He added that monasteries and the communion of Saints are two particular “strengths” the Churches have in common.
He also stressed the importance of not taking certain moments of history out of context and using them as ammo to damage current relations, saying “a historic fact must be read in the hermeneutic of that moment, not in another hermeneutic.”
In the second question it was asked if Pope Francis, by emphasizing a strategy of “walking and working” together toward unity was perhaps the opposite of Benedict XVI, who at one point warned that collaboration in social action shouldn’t take priority over theological matters.
Francis responded to the question with a joke told to him by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, that while the different Churches work together on other things, the theologians “can go to an island” and have their discussions there.
Theological questions are important, he said, noting that there are “many things in which we still don’t agree.”
But having this discussion “can’t be done in a laboratory, it has to be done walking,” he said, explaining that “we are on a journey.”
It’s important to have these theological discussions, “but in the meantime we help each other” though acts of charity such as serving the poor, migrants and refugees, he said, adding that “you can’t have ecumenical dialogue that is stopped…you have to do it walking.”
When responding to the third question, Pope Francis noted that “young Churches” in Africa and Asia do have “a different vitality because they are different and they look for ways to express themselves differently.”
However, the “older Churches” in European countries, also have their own benefits, he said, noting that they have had time to “mature” and deepen in many things, including theological and ecumenical questions.
The Pope acknowledged that young Churches “have more creativity,” just as the European Church did when it began, and said there is “a strong need” for the two – old and young – to collaborate together.
As an example, he revealed that he is considering a trip to South Sudan sometime this year, and explained that the idea came from a recent visit the heads of three major Christian churches in the country to Rome.
In October Archbishop Paulino Luduku Loro of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba traveled to Rome alongside ev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Archbishop of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, and Rev. Peter Gai Lual Marrow, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, to explain the dire situation of their country, and their joint collaboration in working to quell the effects of the crisis.
Pope Francis noted that during his Oct. 27, 2016, meeting with the three, they invited him to come, but told him “don’t do it alone,” and requested that he make the trip alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Primate of the Anglican Communion.
He said the trip hasn’t been confirmed since situation on the ground is so risky, but assured that it’s “being studied,” because each of the Churches there “have the will to work for peace” together.
The Pope ended his answer to the question with the suggestion that, given the benefits of both the “old” and “young” Churches throughout the world, there be an exchange set up where priests from Europe travel to the “younger Churches” for a pastoral experience, rather than it always being the other way around.
“It would do us well,” he said, “You learn a lot.”
Vatican City, Feb 26, 2017 / 05:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- While earthly pleasures such as power and money bring temporary satisfaction, they are ultimately fleeting and deceptive, Pope Francis said Sunday, explaining that God alone is faithful and in tru… […]
Boulder, Colo., Feb 26, 2017 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For Erika Bachiochi, the Catholic Church has been able to offer a genuine pro-woman theology which not only safeguards and protects her stance as a feminist, but also enhances her ability to be strong in all aspects of her life.
Dr. Mary Anne Case would like to differ. She believes that while Catholic feminism exists, the institutional Catholic Church – namely the Vatican and Magisterium – is overtly anti-woman.
These two legal scholars from varied backgrounds met on the common stage of feminism at the Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought’s 10th annual Great Debate in Boulder, Colo. on Feb. 23. The two women presented dissenting arguments for both sides of the spectrum on Catholic feminism and tackled the question: is the Church anti-woman?
Dr. Case, a law professor at the University of Chicago, answered in the affirmative, while Erika Bachiochi, a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, answered in the negative.
“In my lifetime, the Church that had made me a feminist betrayed me,” Dr. Case said in her opening statements.
“I think the Church has let us down, and I think the Church has let us down relatively recently. The early church was very much not anti-woman. The gospels are not anti-woman,” she continued, saying the Catholic Church of the past was not anti-feminist.
However, Dr. Case argued that when the Church definitively said “no” to priestly ordination for women in the 1970s, they closed the door to half of the population of the Church.
“The problem with the Catholic Church is that all authority flows from ordination. The Magisterium – as it need not be – is composed of men and cardinals,” Dr. Case said, suggesting that women should at least be allowed in the decision-making that flows from the hierarchy of the Magisterium.
The law professor spoke at the debate wearing a button from the 1970s on her shirt that said “If you aren’t going to ordain women, stop baptizing them.”
This, she said, is a representation of the economy of salvation: if women cannot be priests because they do not image Christ, how can women become saved in the eyes of the Church, since salvation can only arrive through the extent that Christ images us?
Dr. Case also pointed to some of the Catholic Church’s greatest thinkers, such as St. Thomas Aquinas, who believed that “women are necessarily in a state of subjection,” and that females are “misbegotten males.” She also highlighted that the Sistine Chapel’s Creation of Man, is indeed that of a man – and does not include Eve.
Within the last 50 years, Dr. Case believes that the Church shifted away from the idea that men and women are equal when it introduced the idea of complementarity, particularly seen in Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, saying that placing characteristics or roles on each gender negates their equality.
“There should be no fixed notions concerning the role of males and females,” Dr. Case suggested, and pointed to St. Augustine’s notion that the soul does not have a sex.
In response, Bachiochi said that “papal teaching has rejected the essentialist view that woman and men possess mutually exclusive fixed character traits.” Sexuality does not take away from the equality of men and women, she said, but simply makes them “distinctive.”
While Bachiochi was once a pro-choice, socialist feminist, she has since shifted her beliefs towards the teachings and beliefs of Catholicism. She agreed with Dr. Case on a number of different levels, saying that “there should be more women’s voices in the Church.”
However, the most notable differences between the two scholars was on the point of clerics and sexual teachings. While Dr. Case argued that women can and should be ordained Catholic priests, Bachiochi said the notion reeked of clericalism.
“I have no less authority than a priest as a baptized Christian,” Bachiochi said.
“A priest has authority to represent Christ in a sacramental way, and I have the authority to represent Christ in every other area of my life,” she said, adding that the focus on female priests can also take away from the good work that professional and religious women are already doing within the Church.
However, Dr. Case pointed out that men in the Catholic Church “have all of the opportunities, and then some. How can the church not be anti-women…if women are not part of the decision making?”
To this, Bachiochi agreed that more female voices are needed within the Church, but did point to the Pontifical Council of the Laity, which seeks female voices, and other prominent church leaders such as Mary Glendon, who serves on various Vatican boards, and Sr. Prudence Allen, R.S.M., who is a philosopher appointed to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission.
Bachiochi went on to find fundamental differences with the modern idea of feminism, which claims that abortion and contraception rights are the capstone to the whole movement. She has found in her own experience that these same notions can also be the downfall to women.
Instead, Bachiochi suggested that Catholic feminism indeed exists, and is protected by the Church, precisely because of its teachings about sexual and reproductive rights, particularly Natural Family Planning.
“I believe that Catholic Christianity, and in particular the controversial sexual teachings of the Catholic Church, are deeply pro-woman. It was precisely these teachings on monogamy, divorce, birth control, abortion and infanticide that attracted women in the first century into the Christian fold,” Bachiochi stated.
“As a feminist, NFP does something that contraception neglects… it gets men to think about the reality,” she noted, saying that through NFP, less pressure is put on the woman to take the pill or get an IUD, and more emphasis is placed on men and their responsibility in the sexual act.
She also mentioned that the Catholic Church in particular has always been pro-woman, as seen through its recognition of female saints, political leaders, and scholars, and its production of educational systems and healthcare centered around the good of women.
Bachiochi additionally noted that “Mary, the Mother of God, is heralded by the Catholic Church as the single greatest human that has ever lived.”
“The greatest among us are not the clerics, but the saints.”
Rome, Italy, Feb 25, 2017 / 03:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will tomorrow become the first Roman Pontiff to set foot in an Anglican parish in Rome, marking a symbolic act the church’s pastor said is hugely significant, yet surprisingly normal for two communities that are close to one another.
“Personally, as a parish priest of 17 years in this place, I can’t imagine a more fulfilling moment in my ministry,” Jonathan Boardman, pastor of All Saints Anglican Church in Rome, told CNA.
“It’s the most exciting thing that’s ever happened, except it isn’t,” he said, explaining that it’s a very “natural and normal thing” for a group of Christians to welcome the leader of their brethren to their house.
For Pope Francis to become the first Roman Pontiff to step inside an Anglican parish in Rome, then, is “the most exciting thing, and it’s the most normal thing,” he said, saying it’s a gesture “that explains a truth about our Christian living.”
Both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, he said, have to find “the excitement of the Gospel and the fulfillment of it” in everything they do, “from the most rare thing to the most ordinary thing,” such as giving to the poor and offering prayers together.
Pope Francis’ visit coincides with the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Anglican parish community in the heart of the Eternal City, and will consist of a short choral Evensong service, during which the Pope will bless and dedicate an icon of “St. Saviour” commissioned for the occasion.
The symbolic “twinning” of All Saints Anglican Church with the Catholic parish of “Ognissanti” – the only Catholic parish in Rome dedicated to All Saints – will also take place during the liturgy, forming strong ecumenical ties between the two.
Ognissanti is the parish where Bl. Paul VI, on March 7, 1965, celebrated the first Mass in Italian following the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
After the singing of Evensong during his visit to All Saints, Pope Francis is expected to deliver a brief homily before taking questions from the congregation.
Established in 1816, All Saints contains the largest Anglican congregation in Italy, and is headed by Boardman and his assistant chaplain, Dana English. Both pastors will be present to welcome the Pope for his visit Sunday, as well as Robert Innes, the Anglican Bishop in Europe, and his suffragan, David Hamid.
In his comments to CNA, Boardman said that in his opinion, the reason a papal visit to an Anglican parish is possible now rather than in the past is likely due to “the fact that we’ve got Pope Francis.”
Francis “really determinately seeks to exhibit, to show the way in which he’s the Bishop of Rome and how that can be celebrated by other Christians who are present in Rome,” he said, noting that the visit builds on 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Anglicans.
This positive dialogue the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion have enjoyed shows that Anglicans “are serious in giving honor to the Pope, in recognizing him as the leader of Christendom in some way, although obviously not in the juridical way,” Boardman said, explaining that this point “still keeps us separated.”
But from both the Catholic and Anglican sides, “I think both the Pope’s ability to recognize and accept and celebrate that (dialogue) with us, and our willingness to receive him and celebrate that (dialogue), are the two factors that have led us to where we are today.”
Pointing to Benedict XVI’s establishment of the Anglican Ordinariate in 2009 as a means of helping Anglicans who wish to become Catholic while maintaining certain elements of their liturgy and customs, Boardman called the move “a real generosity and attempt to meet some of the deficiencies, as they were conceived, of what kept us apart.”
While some on the Anglican side initially viewed the act as “hostile and invasive,” the pastor said for him that wasn’t the case, and that in his own personal view, the time has come “to settle down” and appreciate the gesture as “an act of generosity”.
“The degree to which Anglican patrimony truly has been inserted into the Roman Catholic world is something that’s ongoing,” he said, and noted that after the Pope’s visit to his parish this weekend, a Choral Evensong of the Anglican rite will be sung inside St. Peter’s Basilica March 13.
When it comes to progress Catholics and Anglicans have made toward unity, Boardman said he thinks the communities have grown closer, and that in his view “we’re closer to unity than we ever were before simply because time has passed and we’re nearer to God’s gathering us all in.”
“In that sense we’re nearer,” he said, but added that if they want to continue growing closer to one another, it can’t happen without taking on a more prayerful attitude.
There has to be greater openness “to God’s surprising demands on us, and our alignment with his will where all of us, all Christians” make the sacrifices and take the steps needed in order “to truly align ourselves with God’s will.”
Dialogue “has flourished” in the past 100 years, particularly after the Second Vatican Council, he said, acknowledging that unity is closer, but there is still a long way to go.
“We’re only just beginning truly to be real friends and being able to talk about our differences and our problems as friends,” he said, adding that “we’ve got a ways to go to resolve them.”
Some of the biggest hurdles that still need to be overcome exist on both a spiritual and practical level, he said, noting that the first challenge is always “to be faithful to God and to grow in spiritual depth.”
Apart from this, major issues from the Catholic standpoint include the ordination of women and homosexual individuals, whereas for Anglicans, how to accept papal primacy without “changing the nature” of Anglicanism is still a looming concern.
But putting the hurdles aside, Boardman said he hopes the twinning of his parish with the Catholic parish of Ognissanti will help to foster “greater friendship between our two communities.”
The gesture will offer both communities a way to experience the spiritual life of the other while staying “true to our … disciplines” and growing together through various activities, such as service to the poor.
“We’ve already started in sharing some of the feeding programs to the homeless in Rome,” he said, explaining that Ognissanti has already launched various projects, “but now we are participating in them.”