In the wake of the General Synod’s vote to allow the appointment of women to the episcopate in the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the Pope to ask that this not impede the vital work of Christian unity between the two communions.
The impact of ordaining women to the episcopate has long raised questions about the impact on ecumenical relationships. At several points in the history of the debate, our ecumenical partners have even weighed in with their perspective. Therefore, ++Welby’s letter is heartening.
In his letter sent to the Pope and other churches, Archbishop Welby wrote: “We are aware that our other ecumenical partners may find this a further difficulty on the journey towards full communion. “There is, however, much that unites us, and I pray that the bonds of friendship will continue to be strengthened and that our understanding of each other’s traditions will grow.”
He added: “It is clear to me that whilst our theological dialogue will face new challenges, there is nonetheless so much troubling our world today that our common witness to the Gospel is of more importance than ever.
“There is conflict in many regions of our world, acute poverty, unemployment and an influx of oppressed people driven away from their own countries and seeking refuge elsewhere.
“We need each other, as we, as churches empowered by the Holy Spirit, rise to the challenge and proclaim the good news of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and strive for closer fellowship and greater unity.”
Read the whole article here.