This presentation would be incomplete if we did not touch on the ecumenical dimension in the thrust for evangelisation which animates both the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. Someone has rightly said in a humorous vein: “If Christians do not hang together, they will hang separately”. It is obvious that a united effort would certainly strengthen the implementation of Christ’s mandate to preach the Gospel to every creature. We must gladly recall here the Agreed Statement on Growing Together in Unity and Mission published in 2007 by the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM). The document thoroughly examines various aspects and prospects (worship, study, ministry and witness) for a common mission thrust. The more Anglicans and Catholics are able to study issues together and to discern an appropriate Gospel response, the stronger will be the impact of their mission endeavours. They could start with the points which unite the two Churches, and slowly strive to clarify their approaches and to perfect their attempts to harmonise their mission efforts.
Evangelisation is the unique prerogative of the Holy Spirit, who needs channels through which He may flow unhampered. This will be possible in the measure in which there is unity and cohesion between the members of the Church, between them and their shepherds, and, above all, between the shepherds themselves, both within the community as well as with the other Christian confessions. For, in the present ecumenical framework in which Providence has willed to engage the Churches, a unity which binds them together in the apostolic faith is intrinsic to the Church’s mission of speaking and spreading the Gospel. Hence, when they are of one mind and heart notwithstanding their diversity, their missionary thrust is indeed enhanced and strengthened. But, when the diversity degenerates into division, it becomes a counter-witness which seriously compromises their image and endeavours to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Much is spoken today of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. By analogy, their symptoms can, at times, be found even in our own Christian communities. For example, when we live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions, we could well be suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s. And when we behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community, it could be ecclesial Parkinson’s.
Read it carefully and read it all.