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Ordinary marks anniversary of Vatican ll Decree on Ecumenism
Monday 3rd November 2014

The Ordinary, Mgr Keith Newton, has marked the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism (on 21 November 2014) with a homily about the particular contribution the ordinariates make to the unity of the Church.

He was preaching during a visit (over the weekend of 25/26 October) to St John's Cathedral, Norwich, where he had been invited to speak about the Ordinariate by the Bishop of East Anglia, The Rt Revd Alan Hopes, and the dean of the Cathedral, Fr David Paul.

The Ordinary noted that the Council's Decree on Ecumenism, which set out the principles of ecumenical dialogue, remained the authoritative document of the Catholic Church. He said the fathers of the Council had made clear their belief that the one Church of Jesus Christ was visibly realised in the Catholic Church in communion with the successor of Peter, which it described as 'God's only flock' and from which other Christian communities had become separated - though elements of that one Church were to be found in other Christian communities.

Mgr Newton went on to recall how early hopes for unity - symbolised by the meeting in 1966 of the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey and Blessed Paul VI in Rome (when Pope Paul gave Ramsey his episcopal ring) had been dashed, partly, the Ordinary said, "because the Anglican Communion introduced new obstacles, such the ordination of women and divergent attitudes on moral questions".

"It was in pursuit of the unity of the Church that Pope Benedict published the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in 2009... Unity is about exploring the possibility of sharing a common faith in communion with the successor of Peter and yet having different liturgical, devotional and pastoral practices which enrich the wider Church"  the Ordinary said.  The ordinariates, in a small way, he added, were living out the idea of being 'united but not absorbed'.

"For those of us who have made this journey into the Catholic Church, a journey that for many, especially the priests has meant sacrifice and uncertainty, it has been the fulfilment of that desire for unity which we have prayed for over the last 45 years".

The visit to Norwich was arranged by the Friends of the Ordinariate, a charity which supports the Ordinariate's work.
To see its pictures of the weekend, CLICK HERE

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