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At ecumenical service, Pope recalls history of united Church

CWN - September 18, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI joined with Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury and Catholic Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster in an ecumenical Vespers service at Westminster Abbey on Friday evening, September 17.

“I come here today as a pilgrim from Rome, to pray before the tomb of St. Edward the Confessor and to join you in imploring the gift of Christian unity,” the Pope said before the service began. His reference was to the time when Westminster Abbey was a Catholic cathedral; since the Reformation it has been under the direct control of the British crown.

After the service, the Pope spoke again, speaking once more about the history of “this magnificent abbey church dedicated to St. Peter, whose architecture and history speak so eloquently of our common heritage of faith.” The history of the building, he said, points toward the Christian faith that “shaped the unity and culture of Europe and the heart and spirit of the English people. Here too, we are forcibly reminded that what we share, in Christ, is greater than what continues to divide us.”

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  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Sep. 18, 2010 11:31 AM ET USA

    Cranmer and his kin set the English Church, coopted by Henry VIII, on a short path to a Protestant understanding of church, which is, frankly, no church in the Catholic sense at all. They don't have valid orders, valid Eucharist, valid hierarchy. There's a lot of repentance between today and full communion, and, barring a miracle of the Holy Spirit, I don't expect it in my lifetime. Better chance of reunion with some of the Eastern Orthodox, who at least recognize the validity of our orders,

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