Thursday, November 13, 2014

What Sharing Communion Really Means

I just came across an interesting article discussing a joint theological statement on the nature of Christ put out by some Anglicans and Oriental Orthodox (Coptic, Armenian, and other non-Chalcedonian) Christians.

The whole article is interesting for a number of reasons, but the thing that made me write a blog post was the article's recognition that agreement in faith and practice needs to be the foundation of unity among the churches.  The author complains that the joint theological statement that is the subject of the article really doesn't mean much until the other causes of separation between the Anglicans and Oriental Orthodox have been faced and dealt with.

In particular, I really liked this quotation:

Put another way, the ecumenical goal will not be reached until the members of either church in those reuniting with each other can attend the other’s churches and find the same doctrinal, liturgical, moral, and ascetical realities and standards. For sharing communion means not inter-communion between different churches, but communion within the same church. That is why these other details are so important, for they constitute what it means to live as a part of a church. 

Yes, that's it exactly.  Sharing communion is not "friendly relations" between churches, but unity in one church.  That is what we should be striving for.

For more, see here.

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