Thursday, June 26, 2008

We WERE getting there . . .

One of the handful of blogs I keep an eye on is Father Hunwicke's Liturgical Notes. Father John Hunwicke is incredibly knowledgeable about most things, and he takes the mickey out of many of the PC movements of modern Anglicanism with just the right blend of ruthless skill, irony and fun. I nearly always agree with what he says!

Today Fr Hunwicke addressed the question of Christian Unity, reminding us of how excited we all were in the late 1960s and early 70s about the progress being made to heal the breach between Rome and Canterbury. Here is his masterly swipe at those who destroyed that godly movement, a movement that shaped the lives and vocations of those of us who responded to God at that time:

"At S. Thomas's this morning we had a Votive for Christian Unity. Whenever I say this wonderful old Votive the years fall away and I remember how it felt back in the 1960s, when Unity seemed to all of us both a divine imperative and a real possibility; when it seemed that the old divisions were crumbling; when we all believed it was inconceivable that anyone could be so wicked as to introduce new divisions; before the dark days came and foolish people were persuaded by the Evil One that not only are genderist deformations in Holy Order and in Liturgy right in themselves, but that they are so urgently right that their necessity transcends God's call to Unity."

Now THAT's telling it like it is! Take note, all you Aussie revisionists with your priestesses and now bishoppesses!

I wrote an article for New Directions Magazine on the same subject back in 2002: Shattered Dreams and Broken Promises.

There are still Anglicans from across the spectrum who believe that it is God's will for ALL Christians to be in full communion with the See of Peter, that the occupant thereof is the Primate of Christ's Church on earth (without, of course, losing sight of that day when the Lord's Church on earth will again breathe with BOTH lungs - East and West - together). Even at the GAFCON meeting this week in Jerusalem, though some of the evangelicals might have come from vigorously anti-papal backgrounds, there are enough bishops, clergy and lay people in attendance with a "Petrine" understanding of the Church's unity to leaven the lump at least as satisfactorily as in any other "cross-sectional" international Anglican gathering. I know that for a fact, and I'm not just referring to those attendees who might be considered stereotypically the "extreme" Anglo-Catholics!

Anyway, we should pause and pray for the unity of all Christians, maybe using these prayers by the Abbé Paul Couturier which are becoming quite well known in ecumenical circles:

Lord Jesus,
who prayed that we might all be one,

we pray to you for the unity of Christians,

according to your will,
according to your means.

May your Spirit enable us
to experience
the suffering caused by division,

to see our sin,

and to hope beyond all hope. Amen.

By your power Lord,
gather together your scattered flock

under the one authority of your Son:

that the design of your love may be accomplished

and that the world may know you, the one true God,

and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. Amen.


John said...

Thanks for this historical reminder for those of us who weren't around to experiance the '60s :).

weus said...


Church unity and world peace will come when we UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER. Jesus has been asking the Church for more than 2 decades to have one Easter date.

"Will I, brother, one more season go through the pain I have been going through year after year? or will you give Me rest this time? am I going to drink one more season the Cup of your division? or will you rest My Body and unify, for My sake, the Feast of Easter?

In unifying the date of Easter, you will alleviate My pain, brother, and you will rejoice in Me and I in you; and I will have the sight of many restored;" (Oct 14, 1991 TLIG)


Dialogues, rationalism and intellectualism will not bring about unity. Unity begins not with a signed treaty, but in the heart. All is possible with God and prayer is our contact with Him. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to truly repent, for the fruit of repentance is humility and love.

We need to and must allow the Holy Spirit to invade our minds and hearts so that He is able to direct us towards complete unity and peace. Until we UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER, we hinder the Holy Spirit's action to come upon us in full force to give us the next step to take. We must UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER first.

Let us bend our knees in prayer and ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to inflame our hearts with obedience and love to UNIFY THE DATES OF EASTER.

Lord, have mercy on us. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

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