Monday, August 29, 2005

The question arises: What if the British and the Americans prayed to Our Lady of Prompt Succour, would she have had to choose sides? [see comment box from previous blog]

Leaving behind the obvious puzzle so as to allow Cubs and Cardinals fans to mull it over, I turn to the Anglican's faith and how it treats the Virgin Mary.

The Anglican Church and Vatican drafted a joint statement on Mary recently. "The publication of Mary; Grace and Hope in Christ is not only significant therefore because it marks a further stage in the ecumenical journey of Anglicans and Roman Catholics; it is significant because it is the first major agreed statement on Mary amongst all the ecumenical dialogues. Indeed, it is an invitation to all of the Churches to go back to their own traditions to re-discover some of the common ground that we can all share and celebrate, and own our essential unity as the Church of God through the gift of the Spirit."

To read the statement go here Ecumenism.net

They have agreed to the following points in publishing the statement:
"Anglicans and Roman Catholics can agree in much of the truth that these two dogmas are designed to affirm. We agree that there can be but one mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ, and reject any interpretation of the role of Mary which obscures this affirmation. We agree in recognizing that Christian understanding of Mary is inseparably linked with the doctrines of Christ and the Church. We agree in recognizing the grace and unique vocation of Mary, Mother of God Incarnate (Theotokos), in observing her festivals, and in according her honor in the communion of saints. We agree that she was prepared by divine grace to be the mother of the Redeemer, by whom she herself was redeemed and received into glory. We further agree in recognizing in Mary a model of holiness, obedience and faith for all Christians. We accept that it is possible to regard her as a prophetic figure of the Church of God before as well as after the Incarnation."

One Anglican homily I read affirms the statement's value in particular because it goes a long way in speaking for all Protestant churches and their desire to further a united Body of Christ and the strength of that union in bringing Christ to the world. At one time, Catholics saw Luther and Calvin as very anti-Mary and thus a universe of discord grew. But the reformers, if one reads their writings and homilies, did not feel anti-Mary. They wrote broadly [no pun intended] about the maternal nature of Christ's church on earth to give birth to Christian belief, as Mary carried Jesus in her womb and gave birth. It was a favorite metaphor. The time of difference is passing and the time for understanding and peace has come.

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