A grateful moment for ecumenical leadership

 — June 21, 201921 juin 2019

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, National Bishop Susan Johnson, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Photo: ELCIC
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, National Bishop Susan Johnson, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Photo: ELCIC
By Wayne Holst, Anglican Journal

National Lutheran Bishop Susan Johnson and Anglican Primate Fred Hiltz will complete their ministry together as leaders in partnership of their respective churches this year. Hiltz announced last year that he would be stepping down at the end of General Synod this July and that a new primate would be elected to succeed him.

Hiltz and Johnson shared a common outlook during the 12 years they have worked together. In the same week in 2007, they were both elected head of their church at parallel assemblies held in Winnipeg. Since this coincidental beginning, they have both passionately modelled what each espouses: strong and growing Anglican-Lutheran relations.

During these years, a window of significant opportunity for their respective communities has opened. They have done much to implement and expand upon the Full Communion Agreement of 2001 between Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans. It is important that we not let their significant witness pass without acknowledgement and celebration.

A brief bit of full communion history needs unpacking at this point. It must be seen as part of the ecumenical movement that has strongly influenced the churches both globally and nationally since the 1960s. In Canada, a growing relationship between the two bodies began in the 1970s with early bilateral conversations. This expanded into fuller theological and practical discussions affecting all aspects of church life. It reached an important milestone when both churches signed the Waterloo Declaration in 2001. Michael Peers and Telmor Sartison were their churches’ leaders at the time.

Johnson and Hiltz began working together with considerable experience in the workings of each others’ communities. The Full Communion Agreement gave them much to work with.

The agreement was unique—it called for a partnership, not a union of the two churches. In it, each church maintained its own autonomy while recognizing the basic Christian integrity of the other.

Open communion was practiced and the full interchangeability of ordained leaders was accepted. Both groups were challenged to grow in their understandings of the other’s structures.

Both considered themselves to be catholic churches of the Reformation, with each needing to be continuously reformed. Each church would retain its autonomy of decision and governance while respecting the other’s catholicity and apostolicity. This meant living together in trust, confidence and respect.

Over the years, Hiltz and Johnson modeled the commitment to live out actively the implications of full communion through shared ministry and joint statements.

At upcoming assemblies of both churches, decisions will be made to consider expanding the full communion agreement to the Episcopal Church USA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The two Canadian leaders have been meeting regularly with their American counterparts for some time, and their hope is that the new transition will be seamless.

As these new steps in Anglican-Lutheran integration are taking place, we need to stop for a grateful moment and thank Primate Hiltz and National Bishop Johnson for setting such a good example.

Posted: June 21, 2019 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=10556
Categories: Anglican JournalIn this article: Anglican Church of Canada, bishops, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, full communion
Transmis : 21 juin 2019 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=10556
Catégorie : Anglican JournalDans cet article : Anglican Church of Canada, bishops, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, full communion

Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, the new President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

Pope names new head of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

 — May 25, 201925 mai 2019

Pope Francis appoints 66-year-old Spanish Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot as the new President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot succeeds the late Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who died in July 2018, as the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He has been serving as Secretary of the Vatican dicastery. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot was born in Seville on 17 June 1952. A Combonian Missionary of the Heart of Jesus, he was ordained priest on 20 September 1980. He was a missionary in Egypt and Sudan until 2002. He obtained a degree in Arabic and Islamic studies at the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome in 1982, and a doctorate in dogmatic theology at the University of Granada in 2000. From 1989 he was professor of Islamology, first in Khartoum, then in Cairo. Later he taught at PISAI, where he held the office of Dean until 2012. He has presided over various meetings of inter-religious dialogue.
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New Greek Archbishop of America: Elpidophoros of Bursa

 — May 15, 201915 mai 2019

Axios, Church! Receive this news from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. On Saturday May 11 2019, “the Holy and Sacred Synod, continuing its work, proceeded to fill the vacated seat of the Archdiocese of America following the voluntary resignation of its shepherd, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America.

Therefore, following the suggestion, permission and exhortation of His-All Holiness, the holy synodical members upon invocation of the Holy Spirit, duly casted their votes and unanimously elected as Archbishop of America His Eminence Metropolitan Elpidophoros of Bursa, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Halki and Professor of the Theological School of the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki.”
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The representatives of five Christian World Communions - Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists and the Reformed - at the Notre Dame Consultation. Photo: Steve Toepp/University of Notre Dame

Statement from Notre Dame Consultation: Visible Unity and Common Witness

 — April 3, 20193 avril 2019

Participants at a historic gathering of church leaders from five Christian World Communions have issued a statement recommitting themselves to communicating the biblical message of salvation in new ways to contemporary society. We “wish to make more visible our common witness, in worship and service, on our journey together towards visible unity, walking together, praying together and working together.”
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The Presidents of the Lutheran World Federation, Christian Krause, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, sign the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification at St Anna’s Lutheran Church in Augsburg, Germany, on 31 October 31 1999. The document has since been adopted or affirmed by the World Methodist Council, the World Council of Reformed Churches, and the Anglican Consultative Council. Photo: K Wieckhorst / LWF

Senior ecumenical panel to discuss Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

 — March 27, 201927 mars 2019

The five Christian denominations closely associated with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) are taking part in a private consultation and public events this week to discuss how to take the document further. The JDDJ was originally agreed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation in 1999. The significant ecumenical text has been described as resolving the doctrinal dispute at the heart of the Reformation; and has since been adopted or affirmed by the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Methodist Council and the Anglican Consultative Council.
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The Village of Meath Park, Sask., 170 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, demolished this church in 2018 over safety concerns related to its crumbling foundation. Residents who tried to stop the demolition had to be removed by RCMP

From sacred to secular: Canada set to lose 9,000 churches, warns national heritage group

 — March 10, 201910 mars 2019

Shrinking congregations and rising maintenance costs force old churches to be closed, sold or repurposed. A national charity that works to save old buildings estimates that 9,000 religious spaces in Canada will be lost in the next decade, roughly a third of all faith-owned buildings in the country. National Trust for Canada regeneration project leader Robert Pajot says every community in the country is going to see old church buildings shuttered, sold off or demolished. “Neighbourhoods are going to have multiple churches closing,” Pajot said. “Some people qualify this as a crisis, and I kind of agree. It is going to hit everybody.”
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Pope Francis meets participants commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of Cardinal Augustin Bea.  Photo: Vatican Media

Pope: Cardinal Bea a model and inspiration for dialogue

 — February 28, 201928 février 2019

Cardinal Augustin Bea was the first President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and worked tirelessly in the field of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Cardinal’s death, the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Center for the Study of Christianity in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have been holding a series of scholarly lectures.
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Pope Francis and Ahmed el-Tayeb sign the Document on Human Fraternity (Vatican Media)

Document on Human Fraternity for world peace and living together: Full text

 — February 4, 20194 février 2019

Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved. Through faith in God, who has created the universe, creatures and all human beings (equal on account of his mercy), believers are called to express this human fraternity by safeguarding creation and the entire universe and supporting all persons, especially the poorest and those most in need.

This transcendental value served as the starting point for several meetings characterized by a friendly and fraternal atmosphere where we shared the joys, sorrows and problems of our contemporary world. We did this by considering scientific and technical progress, therapeutic achievements, the digital era, the mass media and communications. We reflected also on the level of poverty, conflict and suffering of so many brothers and sisters in different parts of the world as a consequence of the arms race, social injustice, corruption, inequality, moral decline, terrorism, discrimination, extremism and many other causes.
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Pope Francis shakes hands with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb (Vatican Media)

Pope and the Grand Imam: Historic declaration of peace, freedom, women’s rights

 — February 4, 20194 février 2019

The “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” signed on Monday afternoon in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad el-Tayeb, is not only a milestone in relations between Christianity and Islam but also represents a message with a strong impact on the international scene. In the preface, after affirming that “Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved”, this text is spoken of as a text “that has been given honest and serious thought”, which invites “all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together”.
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Pope Francis greets Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby during a private audience at the Vatican Oct. 27, 2017. Photo: CNS/L'Osservatore Romano

Are we on the brink of a new ecumenical spring?

 — January 24, 201924 janvier 2019

It is not uncommon to read optimistic appraisals of how the cause of Christian unity is progressing. There are in fact undeniable signs of continuing progress in relations between the divided churches as set out, for example, in the study document From Conflict to Communion, describing the substantial advance of relations between Catholics and Lutherans in fifty years of dialogue.

But not all is plain sailing. To the careful observer there are also signs of frustration and even retrenchment. To not a few, the traditional ways of doing ecumenism seem no longer capable of meeting new challenges coming from developments both within the Catholic Church and within the other Churches, our ecumenical partners.
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