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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spiritual ecumenism

My last couple of posts were about the Anglicans and the Pope's offer - as I've mentioned, I think the move was unfortunate, not in the true spirit of ecumenism, but by coincidence I saw a post today at Thinking Faith about Anglicans and Catholics (Jesuits :) and spiritual ecumenism - a course on Ignatian spirituality being given by the Anglican Centre in Rome - Spiritual ecumenism at work?. The page has a link to an audio interview (and transcript) with Anglican priest David Richardson and Jesuit Gerry Whelan. Here's a quote from Fr. David Richardson ....

Rev David Richardson: The Anglican Centre has, in the past, run courses on different approaches to spirituality and prayer. There are of course Anglican Franciscans and so to run a programme on Franciscan spirituality was very obvious, and we’ve done that twice. We’ve also run courses on Benedictine spirituality twice. I arrived here last year and thought that, although there are no Anglican Jesuits, nevertheless there are many Anglicans who have been helped deeply in their spiritual journey by the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. So there was that principle, and secondly, over the years the most open and supportive group, in terms of ecumenism, that I’ve encountered in the Roman Catholic Church has been the Jesuits, and so I thought that to do a course on Ignatian spirituality that allowed Anglicans, and anybody else of course, to dip their toes in the water, might be an exciting thing to do .......

The notion of ecumenism that is done by hospitality and prayer and spirituality is a really key initiative, I think. The reality is that over the last forty-something years, since the Second Vatican Council, there have been lots of ticks given to things we can actually affirm together, but every time we affirm something we find something that is harder to affirm; or we find that when we can say one thing together, it just opens up a new set of things that we can’t quite say together! But the spiritual life is something that belongs to the whole tradition.


I believe spirituality trumps church politics.


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