Magazine article The Christian Century

Anglican-Catholic Future: `A Note of Mystery'

Magazine article The Christian Century

Anglican-Catholic Future: `A Note of Mystery'

Article excerpt

An historic meeting between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches closed May 19 in Toronto amid a mixture of hope and ambiguity about whether the two denominations could ever achieve unity. Although Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey said the gathering confirmed that the two "similar" churches would work toward greater harmony, he acknowledged that the unique conference ended on "a note of mystery."

The 26 Anglican and Catholic bishops from 13 countries agreed to create a commission to study how to unite the two churches after a 466-year rift, which has at times had members of each church burning one another at the stake. But asked how long it might take before the world's 60 million Anglicans and 1 billion Catholics would worship in a single church, Carey said cryptically, "How long is a piece of string?"

The highest Catholic official at the first-of-its-kind event, Cardinal Edward Cassidy of Australia, president of the Vatican's Council for Promoting Christian Unity, also would not speculate on when Anglicans and Catholics might become one, saying, "It's something in God's hands. …

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