Celebrating the Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant

Reflections

“Christian unity is deeply rooted in the gospel and integrally related to God’s mission in the world,” says Archbishop Phillip Aspinall

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On the Seventh Sunday of Easter (2 June) the Gospel reading is from St John, Chapter 17, in which Jesus prays to the Father that those who believe in him:

“may be one, as we are one,  I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Christian unity is deeply rooted in the gospel and integrally related to God’s mission in the world: “so that the world may know that you have sent me.”

Wednesday 29 May sees a special service in St John’s Cathedral to celebrate and reaffirm the signing of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant, which is now in its tenth year.

The Covenant was signed on 29 May 2009 at St Stephen’s Cathedral by myself (on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane), Archbishop John Bathersby (Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane) and Bishop Bill Morris (Catholic Diocese Toowoomba). It is a strong sign of the friendship that has long existed between the two communities and encourages continued cooperation and dialogue.

Image 6 Bishop Ken Howell, Bishop Robert McGuckin, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Bishop Jeremy Greaves, Bishop Cameron Venables and Bishop John Roundhill giving the final blessing at the anniversary of our Tri-Diocesan Covenant with the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba and the Archdiocese of Brisbane on 29 May at St John’s Anglican Cathedral

The agreement reflects the warm relationships that have existed between all three Dioceses over many years. On 29 May 1984, a Common Declaration was signed by Archbishops John Grindrod and Francis Rush in St John’s Cathedral. This event also marked the second anniversary of the meeting between His Holiness Pope Saint John Paul II, the first pontiff to visit Canterbury Cathedral, and Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie.

The Covenant commits our respective Dioceses to:

Over these past ten years our respective Dioceses have observed the Covenant’s terms faithfully. It has been reviewed and updated several times.

Fr Odinaka Nwadike from Holy Cross Catholic Parish, Redcliffe and The Rev’d Canon Julia Van Den Bos from St John’s Anglican Cathedral giving the act of re-commitment at the anniversary of our Tri-Diocesan Covenant with the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba and the Archdiocese of Brisbane on 29 May 2019 at St John’s Anglican Cathedral

A new initiative will be to include in Pray Daily local Roman Catholic parishes and communities along with our own. This will strengthen our commitment to pray for each other.

The deepening of our spiritual ties together enhances our ability to proclaim the Gospel to a sceptical world, and to bring us closer together as members of Christ’s body, the Church.

Please pray for God’s blessing on those who gather together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Covenant.

The Collect for the Seventh Sunday of Easter picks up the hopes expressed in the Gospel reading:

Almighty God,

whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples

that they might be one, as you and he are one:

grant that your Church,

being bound together in love and obedience to you,

may be united in one body by the one Spirit,

that the world may believe in him whom you have sent,

your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall
Archbishop of Brisbane

Howard Greaver from St John the Baptist Anglican Church, Bulimba and Susan Treadgold from Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Logan at the anniversary of our Tri-Diocesan Covenant with the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba and the Archdiocese of Brisbane on 29 May at St John’s Anglican Cathedral

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