A new Master of Divinity program at Trinity College is helping to prepare students for ordained or lay ministry in the Orthodox Church.
The post-graduate degree – the only one of its kind in Canada – is often a requirement for those seeking ordination in the Orthodox Church. Previously, students who wanted the degree had to travel to seminaries in the United States, usually a prohibitively expensive undertaking.
“It was really quite a barrier, so the opportunity we’ve been given here at Trinity College is amazing,” says the Rev. Fr. Geoffrey Ready, an Orthodox priest and director of the program. “It’s a great benefit to the Orthodox Church across Canada.”
Trinity College’s faculty of divinity has been offering courses in Orthodox Christianity for the past 10 years and the new degree, established last year, is an extension of that, says Fr. Ready. “We decided to take it to the next level,” he says.
Three students were enrolled in the program in its first year and Fr. Ready is hoping for up to 12 when the next school year begins in September. The degree includes courses in Biblical studies from an Orthodox perspective, liturgics and pastoral ministry.
The Rev. Canon David Neelands, dean of divinity, says the enhanced Orthodox curriculum and the new students it will attract will benefit the college. “I think it’s a great development,” he says. “It will benefit us and a new population.” … Read more »… lire la suite »
The crozier of the sixth century Pope who sent Augustine to England to begin the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons will be in Canterbury as the Primates of the Anglican Communion gather for their meeting in the city next week. The ancient carved ivory headed crozier will be on public display at Canterbury Cathedral during the weekends before and after the Primates Meeting after being loaned to the Cathedral by the Roman Catholic monks of San Gregorio al Celio in Rome. Saint Augustine had been prior of the monastery, which had been built by Pope Gregory I before his elevation to the Papacy. Augustine lead a seven-year mission to England and is recognised as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. … Read more »… lire la suite »
When the leaders of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion gather in Canterbury next week, they will have among them a visible sign of the long history of the English church.
The ivory head of a crozier associated with St. Gregory the Great, the pope who sent the first missionaries to England in the sixth century, has been loaned to Canterbury Cathedral by the Roman Catholic Church to coincide with the Primates’ Meeting, according to a report from the Primates’ Meeting website.
Canterbury Cathedral’s Dean, Robert Willis, said the cathedral was “very pleased to receive the crozier as a symbol of ecumenical encouragement at this time of the meeting of Anglican Primates.” He noted that it was “a link with St. Gregory, whose vision of the conversion of England caused Augustine to found the community at Canterbury.”
While the roots of Christianity in Britain go back to the time of the Roman Empire, subsequent invasions by Germanic tribes in the fifth century all but destroyed the church. In 597, Gregory sent Augustine, a Benedictine monk, to the court of the Anglo-Saxon King Æthelberht. Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Church of England dates its formal foundation from the date of his arrival. … Read more »… lire la suite »
Fresh out of a meeting in Toronto this week with Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada —their first official meeting since her election last summer—the Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell was brimming with enthusiasm.
“We could’ve talked for three times as long,” she said in an interview. “We had about an hour and a half to talk, and we were just getting going, and Bruce says, ‘Well, we have five more minutes,’ ” Cantwell said, referring to Archdeacon Bruce Myers, the Anglican church’s co-ordinator for ecumenical and interfaith relations.
The first thought that went through her head on hearing that was, “What? We’ve only talked about one thing—we’ve got so much more!” Cantwell said. “So yeah, it was wonderful.” … Read more »… lire la suite »
A majority of Anglican primates January 14 asked that the Episcopal Church, for a period of three years, “no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”
Expressing their unanimous desire to walk together, the primates said that their call comes in response to the decision by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention last June to change canonical language that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman (Resolution A036) and authorize two new marriage rites with language allowing them to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples (Resolution A054). … Read more »… lire la suite »
Before I say a word about our gathering here at the Primates Meeting, I just want to say a word of thank you to you for all of your prayers: your prayers for this meeting, your prayers for me personally, both here and in my earlier sickness. We are well, and God is God, and I thank you. Let me say a word about the meeting. This is not the outcome we expected, and while we are disappointed, it’s important to remember that the Anglican Communion is really not a matter of structure and organization. The Anglican Communion is a network of relationships that have been built on mission partnerships; relationships that are grounded in a common faith; relationships in companion diocese relationships; relationships with parish to parish across the world; relationships that are profoundly committed to serving and following the way of Jesus of Nazareth by helping the poorest of the poor, and helping this world to be a place where no child goes to bed hungry ever. That’s what the Anglican Communion is, and that Communion continues and moves forward. … Read more »… lire la suite »
Having met this week in Canterbury, England, the Primates of the Anglican Communion committed–even in the face of deep differences of theological conviction concerning same sex marriage–to walk together and not apart. Our conversations reflected the truth that, while the Anglican Communion is a family of autonomous Churches in communion with the see of Canterbury, we live by the long-held principle of ‘mutual responsibility and inter dependence in the Body of Christ’. While our relationships are most often characterized by mutual support and encouragement, there are times when we experience stress and strain and we know our need for the grace of God to be patient with each other. Such was the experience of the primates this week. We struggled with the fragility of our relations in response to the actions taken by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church in changing its canon on marriage, making provision for the blessing of same sex marriages. We talked, prayed and wrestled with the consequences considered by the meeting. Some of us wept. … Read more »… lire la suite »
Because of the U.S. Episcopal Church’s moves to unilaterally change canon law to allow same-sex marriage, Anglican leaders voted to suspend Episcopalians from positions representing the Anglican Communion and from participating in some Anglican bodies. Primates meeting in Canterbury, England, said that for three years, members of the Episcopal Church will be barred sitting on Anglican bodies making decisions on doctrine and polity and from representing the Communion on ecumenical and interfaith bodies. The move comes in response to a policy allowing gay marriages, adopted last year by the General Convention, or governing body, of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in the United States. The change in canon law in the U.S. has been strongly opposed by many of the theologically conservative African churches, some of whose leaders had threatened to walk out of the five-day primate meeting if the Episcopal Church was not penalized for its actions. The suspension was announced in a statement issued by the primates Jan. 14, a day earlier than planned because of leaks to the media. … Read more »… lire la suite »
The Ecumenical Patriarchate announces that, following an invitation by His All-Holiness to Their Beatitudes the Primates of the local most holy Orthodox Churches, he will chair a Synaxis at the Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Geneva, from January 21st to 28th, 2016.
All of the Primates have declared that they will attend the Synaxis in person, with the exception of Their Beatitudes Patriarch John X of Antioch and Metropolitan Sawa of Poland, who are prevented for health reasons, and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, for personal reasons, while all three will be represented by officially authorized representatives. … Read more »… lire la suite »
The images we see from Syria each week underline the reality: we live in a world racked by violence, hatred and extremism. We live too in a world of instant communication, where a decision or action taken in one place has a direct impact tens of thousands of kilometres away. When the archbishops of the 38 regions or provinces that make up the worldwide Anglican Communion met in England last week, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, that was the reality that framed our gathering. The presenting issue was a crisis in the Communion over widely-differing views on human sexuality and same-gender relationships – and on marriage. The Anglican Church in the United States had recently changed its definition of Christian marriage to be gender neutral; describing Christian marriage only in terms of faithfulness, fidelity, mutual commitment and love – with no mention of a man and a woman. In other parts of the world, Anglican Church members strongly believe that gay and lesbian orientation and behaviour is fundamentally wrong – and in a few cases have even been complicit in harsh and violent persecution of gay and lesbian people. In reality, therefore, there is much that divides us. … Read more »… lire la suite »
When the senior archbishops of the Anglican Communion gathered in Canterbury Cathedral last week they did so against a backdrop of complex disagreements. But despite what the Archbishop of Canterbury described as “quite difficult” discussions; the leaders agreed to “walk together” and the Archbishop of Hong Kong said that the atmosphere during the week-long meeting “couldn’t be better”
“This is my fourth Primates [Meeting]. I must tell you, I must admit, that the atmosphere was much, much better than the previous ones I attended,” Archbishop Paul Kwong from Hong Kong said. Through the process of working through “lots of things to share, a lot of things to talk about, a lot of things to study,” Archbishop Kwong said he had become “very good friends” with the new Primates that he had met for the first time. … Read more »… lire la suite »
Anglican Bishop Kenneth Kearon used the image of constructing a barn to reflect upon the ecumenical movement during this year’s De Margerie Series on Christian Reconciliation and Unity, held in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Saskatoon.
In addition to a public lecture “On Building an Ecumenical Barn,” held at St. Thomas More College Jan. 21, the 2016 De Margerie series also included two workshops – one for clergy and ministry leaders Jan. 22, and another on Jan. 23 for the general public, entitled “Being Church in the World Today.”
Nicholas Jesson, ecumenical officer for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, noted that the De Margerie series is named for local ecumenical pioneer, Rev. Bernard de Margerie, one of the founders of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism in Saskatoon and its first director. De Margerie is also the author of In God’s Reconciling Grace, a book of prayers about Christian unity, reflecting his conviction that prayer and conversion must be at the heart of the ecumenical movement. … Read more »… lire la suite »
Pope Francis has apologised for behaviour towards Christians from non-Roman Catholic churches that “has not reflected Gospel values.” The Pope made his comments during a Vespers service in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome last night attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See, Archbishop Sir David Moxon.
Archbishop David Moxon, director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, was invited to share the blessing with Pope Francis and Archbishop Gennadios of the Ecumenical Patriarchate during a service to mark the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Here, Archbishop David reflects on the unprecedented moment.
Last night Archbishop Gennadios and I were invited by Pope Francis to share in the giving of the Pontifical Blessing.
This took place in front of the 3000-strong congregation at the Papal Basilica of St Paul’s outside the Walls, the venue for the final day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Rome. We were called to the side of the Papal Throne and he said “let’s share this together”. He received his papal pastoral staff, began the prayer and raised his hand. Archbishop Gennadios (the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch) and I raised our hands also. It was incredibly moving to be part of what (I think) was an unprecedented invitation, which said far more even than the words which were actually recited. … Read more »… lire la suite »
“I am the least of the Apostles … because I persecuted the Church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace in me was not without effect.” That’s how the Apostle Paul sums up the significance of his conversion. Coming after his dramatic encounter with the Risen Christ on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, it is not primarily a moral conversion but rather an transforming experience of the grace of Christ, and at the same time, a call to the new mission of announcing to everyone the Jesus that he previously persecuted by persecuting the disciples of Christ. At that moment, in fact, Paul understands that there is a real and transcendent union between the eternally living Christ and his followers: Jesus lives and is present in them and they live in him. The vocation to be an Apostle is founded not on Paul’s human merits, which he considers to be ‘the least’ and ‘unworthy’, but rather on the infinite goodness of God who chose him and entrusted him with his ministry. … Read more »… lire la suite »
The Primates of the Orthodox Churches convened to finalize the texts for the Holy and Great Council. In the framework of the Synaxis, on Sunday, 24th January, a Divine Liturgy was held at the Holy Stavropegic Church of St. Paul. Along with the Ecumenical Patriarch, who presided, Their Beatitudes and Heads of the delegations of the Orthodox Churches concelebrated the Liturgy, with the exception of the Head of the delegation of the Patriarchate of Antioch.
During the Synaxis, whose sessions were held in the apostolic spirit of “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4.15), in concord and understanding, the Primates affirmed their decision to convene the Holy and Great Council. The Council will be held at the Orthodox Academy of Crete from June 16th to 27th, 2016. To this end, the Primates humbly invoke the grace and blessing of the Holy Trinity and fervently invite the prayers of the fullness of the Church, clergy and laity, for the period leading to and the sessions of the Holy and Great Council. … Read more »… lire la suite »
A public lecture with Dr Robert Stackpole, director of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. This lecture is presented by the Evangelical-Catholic Dialogue of Saskatoon, and complements the April 2015 lecture “What can Evangelicals Learn from Catholics?” by Dr Gordon Smith (Ambrose University, Calgary). For further information, contact Nick Jesson (306-659-5814) or Pastor Harry Strauss (306-933-2266).
Robert has a special academic interest in ecumenical dialogue with Evangelical Christians, an interest that grew during his 10-years of teaching theology to undergraduates at Redeemer Pacific College at Trinity Western University in Langley, BC. Robert also enjoys reading and writing about the works of C.S. Lewis, and describes himself as an incurable “Narniac.” From 2012 to 2015, Robert taught at St. Therese Institute in Bruno, SK where he was the Assistant Director of Formation. During this period, he also served on the Evangelical-Roman Catholic dialogue in Saskatoon.
Since 1997, Robert has been the Research Director, and later Director, of the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy based in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. In that capacity, he has been a speaker at many conferences, and the author and editor of numerous journal articles and books, including Divine Mercy: A Guide From Genesis To Benedict XVI (Marian Press, 2009). … Read more »… lire la suite »
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13).
1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit Consolator, we, Pope Francis and Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, have met today in Havana. We give thanks to God, glorified in the Trinity, for this meeting, the first in history.
It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another “to speak face to face” (2 Jn 12), from heart to heart, to discuss the mutual relations between the Churches, the crucial problems of our faithful, and the outlook for the progress of human civilization.
2. Our fraternal meeting has taken place in Cuba, at the crossroads of North and South, East and West. It is from this island, the symbol of the hopes of the “New World” and the dramatic events of the history of the twentieth century, that we address our words to all the peoples of Latin America and of the other continents.
It is a source of joy that the Christian faith is growing here in a dynamic way. The powerful religious potential of Latin America, its centuries–old Christian tradition, grounded in the personal experience of millions of people, are the pledge of a great future for this region.
3. By meeting far from the longstanding disputes of the “Old World”, we experience with a particular sense of urgency the need for the shared labour of Catholics and Orthodox, who are called, with gentleness and respect, to give an explanation to the world of the hope in us (cf. 1 Pet 3:15). … Read more »… lire la suite »
Participants in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), and Lutheran Church-Canada’s (LCC) ongoing ecumenical dialogue have released an interim report on their work so far. Entitled “On Closer Acquaintance,” the document is the culmination of six years of regular discussions between the three church bodies, and highlights the discovery of significant doctrinal agreement between the Anglican and Lutheran participants.
The authors are clear that there is still much work to be done before altar and pulpit fellowship between the two sides would be possible. Nevertheless, they have found the discussions promising enough to publicly declare their prayer “that, in the time and manner of His choosing, our Lord would grant each side in our conversations to acknowledge our ‘first cousin’ to be in fact a true sister church, with the result that we would welcome each other wholeheartedly to our respective altars and enjoy the blessed situation in which our clergy and people would be interchangeable with each other as we stand under the grace of God and work for His kingdom.”
In the meantime, they encourage all three church bodies to “consider the ways in which we can cooperate and come together in ways that fall short of full communion but do allow the greatest measure of cooperation while maintaining full theological integrity.” … Read more »… lire la suite »
Anglican, Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand are forming an ecumenical entity to pursue closer ties and share understandings. They held an inaugural meeting for the National Dialogue for Christian Unity (NDCU) on 25 February in Wellington.
Participants said they hope that the NDCU will lead to formal ecumenical collaboration among churches and other groups in society that want to work together on issues concerning all New Zealanders.
In addition to meeting during the day, participants attended a Service of Celebration at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Wellington.
The formal establishment of the NDCU represents a significant and very hopeful development in ecumenical relationships in Aotearoa New Zealand, said Archbishop Philip Richardson, bishop of Taranaki and archbishop of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. “Friendships between churches have been strong, so to give structure and form to these is cause for rejoicing.” … Read more »… lire la suite »