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Methodists see hope for unity with Rome in Pope’s Anglican offer

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Pope Benedict’s effort to reconcile traditionalist Anglicans to Rome has drawn praise from an unexpected quarter: the Methodist Church.

The Methodist Recorder quotes a senior official as saying that Personal Ordinariates could offer a way of clarifying Methodism’s relationship to the Universal Church:

Assistant Secretary of the [Methodist] Conference, the Rev Kenneth Howcroft, said: ‘We are interested in the suggestion of what are termed “ordinariates”. These seem to create the possibility of oversight in the Church being exercised over a group of churches and ministers that have a particular common history, tradition and purpose but which transcend geographical jurisdictions and boundaries.

‘There are similarities there to some of the proposals for enabling people of different outlooks within the Anglican communion to co-exist and cohere. These suggestions may open up ways in which Methodism, whose origins were as a movement in the Church rather than a separate denomination, may find its place in future, as a Church, alongside others within the universal Church.’

The establishment of full communion between Catholics and the approximately 70 million Methodists worldwide would be a quite remarkable achievement.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 4, 2009 at 12:12 pm

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