Two messages in London have emphasized the importance of reconciliation to the leaders of the Church of England – the second message coming from Queen Elizabeth II herself, quoted in The Telegraph:
“St. Paul reminds us that all Christians, as ambassadors for Christ, are entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation.
“Spreading God’s word and the onerous but rewarding task of peace-making and conflict resolution are important parts of that ministry.
“So too is the Church of England’s particular vocation to work in partnership with those of other faiths and none, to serve the common good in this land.”
The Queen spoke to a newly elected five-year Synod, and was specifically addressing the C of E’s divisions over homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and she gave the recent decision to consecrate women bishops as evidence that the church can find a way through “deep disagreements.”
The Queen also singled out a make-or-break gathering of bishops and archbishops from around the world taking place in Canterbury in January to over overhaul the 80 million-strong global Anglican church to avert a permanent split between liberals and conservatives branches.
Archbishop Welby wants to recast the Anglican communion as a loose confederation, effectively formalising the rift particularly over sexuality in a move aides liken to “moving into separate bedrooms” rather than full-scale divorce.
Earlier in the day, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Pope Francis’s “personal preacher,” gave a sermon in Westminister Abbey with a similar theme, including the statement, “We should never allow a moral issue like that of sexuality divide us more than faith in Jesus united us.”
Photo of the Queen with Bishop Libby Lane from Express.co.uk.