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Anglican archbishop to address Catholic Conference on the Eucharist: The Church of England Newspaper, May 6, 2012 p 7. May 14, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, Roman Catholic Church.
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Dr. Michael Jackson

Communion need not only be expressed in the sacraments, the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin told Vatican Radio last week, but can be found in a communion of charity, action and relationship.

Dr. Michael Jackson’s remarks on the future of ecumenical relations come as the Roman Catholic Church prepares to hold its 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next month.  The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr. Diarmuid Martin has asked Dr. Jackson to lead worship on 11 June 2012 on the first day of the conference which will explore the theme, Communion in One Baptism.

Dr. Jackson told Vatican Radio there was a “genuine sense of excitement and expectation right across the Christian traditions in Ireland” over the inclusion of non-Catholics in the 50th global gathering of the Catholic Church on the Eucharist.   “This I think is a tremendous invitation to all of us who carry the Cross of Christ to make a contribution together to try to formulate and shape a fresh direction for our society”.

The Anglican archbishop said that he believed that “communion as understood more widely is at the very heart of this Congress. So Baptism as something which is recognised, respected and practised across the traditions in a very specific way is a wonderful way into the exploration of communion as shared life”

A new look at the sacraments will bring Ireland’s churches closer together, he said.  “I think two things in particular will probably happen: there is an element of what I call internal instruction which is actually facilitating people who are faithful in the Catholic tradition to see communion as something beyond Eucharist, something within it and something beyond it, and to enable the rest of us to see it in the same light”.

He added that it was “important for us all to see beyond what to many people is an ecumenical logjam which is the fact that we do not together celebrate and share the Eucharist. I think what the Eucharistic Congress is encouraging us to do its to take the fullness of the Eucharist in the tradition of each of us, and actually to take that sense of belonging to Christ and share in that spirit more widely”.

Dr. Jackson noted that “many people are saddened and frustrated at the fact that it is not possible to officially share the Eucharist together. I can understand that pain… but I think that we need to work with a mixture of holy patience and holy impatience, and if this is the situation where institutionally the Churches are then we need to dig deeper and look for ways in which we can express that communion. There is of course a communion of the sacraments. But there is also a communion of charity, a communion of belonging to one another, there is a communion of faith and a communion of action”.

A “divided Christian witness convinces nobody,” Dr. Jackson concluded.  “It doesn’t convince anyone in the Churches and it certainly doesn’t convince those who look quizzically at the Churches. We need to build in simplicity. Our smaller scale in Ireland means that we need to know one another.”

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