World News and Trends- Church unity: a step forward?

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World News and Trends- Church unity

a step forward?

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From time to time, particularly in the 20th century, reconciliation has been attempted. None of the attempts has succeeded.

In the 1980s former archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie tried his best to forge meaningful links between his own Anglican congregation and the Roman Catholic Church. His efforts foundered, principally on the issue of ordaining women priests.

In the closing months of 1996 the Anglican Church in Britain endorsed the Porvoo Agreement: "a mutual compact between the Anglican and Lutheran Churches of the British Isles and virtually all Nordic and Baltic nations. This will mark the most significant step towards reunification since the Reformation." Besides its obvious symbolic value, in practice this agreement involves mutual acceptance of baptisms and the receiving of each other's sacramental ministrations.

This covenant between churches also marks a remarkable change of strategy for the Church of England. It is seen as a step-by-step approach towards the Roman Catholic Church. "Church leaders have wisely recognised the need to build ecumenicalism block by block. A road to Rome cannot be built in a day" (emphasis ours). (Source: The Times.)