13 October 2006

A Distant (And Receding?) Hope.

From an interview with Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, following his audience with Pope Benedict XVI; the context is the prospect for unity between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion:

Q. You have been in the whole ecumenical dialogue for many years now, in fact for most of your life as a bishop, so I wonder do you feel sad and disappointed that, apart from the fact that relations are probably better now than they have ever been, nevertheless there is now such a block to moving forward to unity?

A. I have to admit it has been a great sadness for me. As you say, I have spent quite a lot of my Episcopal life in work for ecumenism, especially with the Anglican Communion because I was co-chairman of ARCIC for 16 years and when you pray together, when you meet together, when you become friends together it is very moving and there was nothing I wanted more than full communion, corporate unity with the Anglican Church. But that does now seem to me to be very far distant, and I don't know what is going to happen.

But I do know, as I have often said, ecumenism is like a road with no exit. In the ecumenical document, the Vatican Council said we must all be engaged in the ecumenical movement to try and achieve the visible unity for which Christ prayed. Now that is my mandate and I will continue.



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