"Ecumenism is one of the ways in which the institutions of the church must be shaped and re-shaped to express the truth of the church itself more adequately than they do. But, of course, not any form of institutional unity will be appropriate. It must be a kind of unity which corresponds to the unity which the Holy Spirit gives, a unity which can comfortably embrace the diversities of gifts, operations and services within the united confession that 'Jesus is Lord'. Unity of the wrong kind will fail, just as disunity fails, to make the church institutions an effective sign of the gospel." - Oliver O'Donovan, On The Thirty Nine Articles - A Conversation With Tudor Christianity, 1986.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Swimming Up The Tiber
The Roman Catholic church this week has announcemed that it has created a structure to welcome home 'traditional' Anglicans unhappy with the 'rampant liberalism' (ACL) in the Anglican church. Whether this will have the apocalyptic consequences for the Church of England that The Times says it does remains to be seen (Ruth Glendhill talks about this leading to the disestablisment of the CofE, and reclaiming of churches and cathedrals by Roma Catholics “'stolen' from them at the Reformation'). Oliver O'Donovan, commenting on the nineteenth article in the 39 Articles of Religon ("so also the Church of Rome hath erred..."), had this to say on ecumenism and institutional unity: