Tuesday, 3 April 2007

The Liberal path to Communion (in every sense)

[...] On a final, personal note, I would like to mention one of the most moving spiritual moments of the week for me. An old friend of mine who, like I, is a conservative, traditional bishop, had chosen to refrain from taking communion with the House since 2003. He did this quietly and without show; he simply felt he could not take communion with his fellow bishops because of the theological difficulties which have been with us in recent years. But during this meeting—at the very time one might suppose those theological difficulties would be most evident—my friend was at the communion rail every single day. Last week marked the first time that I have been privileged to receive communion with this old friend as a fellow bishop. It was a profound experience.

I asked my friend how his change of heart had come about, what it was that had brought him back to communion with the House of Bishops. He spoke to me of illness in his family and of turbulence in his vocational life. And he told me of how it was that as he stood in the need of prayer, it was the more liberal members of the House of Bishops who had called him and reached out to him. As my friend spoke, I heard a message of deeper and richer communion: communion formed not by agreement on all theological issues but by a common life of devotion to God and of care for one another. Read more

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