Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

An Anglican in Rome Priest Seeks Support Here for Ecumenical Work with Vatican

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

An Anglican in Rome Priest Seeks Support Here for Ecumenical Work with Vatican

Article excerpt

Many Anglicans feel a "painful separation" that they cannot openly take communion with Roman Catholics, says the Rev. Bruce Ruddock, an Irish-born Anglican priest.

Mending that hurt is his full-time job. He directs the Anglican Centre in Rome, a few subway stops from Vatican City. The center tries to help Anglicans and Roman Catholics reach full communion.

He is in St. Louis this weekend to preach and to raise money. The international Anglican group, which formerly gave the center $65,000 a year, is bankrupt.

The center was founded in 1966, three years after Vatican Council II's call for Christian unity.

At the council, Catholic bishops said that Catholics held Anglicans in "a special place" among Christians. The largest Anglican body in this county is the Episcopal Church.

The center in Rome serves mainly Roman Catholic scholars interested in Christian unity. Anglican and Catholic lecturers lead seminars on Christian unity, the Anglican view of papal authority and the Protestant Reformation. Its library has 10,000 books. Ruddock's wife, Vivien Ruddock, is the center's administrator and host for its two guest rooms.

Ruddock also represents the archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, the leader of the 70 million-member Anglican Communion, in scores of ecumenical services each year. He spends a lot of time on his knees at St. Peter's and other Catholic churches in Rome. When Catholics rise to receive communion he continues kneeling as if glued to his kneeler.

He sees the glue loosening a bit. If the Italian laymen he knows had much to say about it, he and other members of the Anglican Communion would probably be welcomed at the altar, he said.

"There seems to be a groundswell for unity, an impatience," he said. Over a glass of wine many Roman lay people "have told us that they feel pain, too, that we are not in full communion," he said.

From inside the Vatican he gets mixed signals. The revised sections in the Catholic Catechism on unity with Anglicans is not much different from the way it was in the 19th century, he said. …

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