Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Ring

I finally found a picture of the ring! Archbishop Michael Ramsey visited Pope Paul VI in Rome in 1966 and was received in the Sistine chapel, the first Archbishop of Canterbury in modern times formally to visit the Vatican. The evening before leaving for London, the Pope took off his own episcopal ring, presented to him by the people of Milan, and gave it to Ramsey, who wore it until the day he died. The ring is now kept at Lambeth Palace and is still worn when Archbishops visit the Vatican.

Above, Pope Paul shows Archbishop Ramsey around St Peter's Square. Below, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, reflects on his own 2006 visit with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.

From the Common Declaration of Arhbishop Runcie and Pope John Paul II in 1989:
"We also urge our clergy and faithful not to neglect or undervalue that certain yet imperfect communion we already share. This communion already shared is grounded in faith in God our Father, in our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, our common baptism into Christ, our sharing of the Holy Scriptures, of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds; the Chalcedonian definition and the teaching of the Fathers; our common Christian inheritance for many centuries. This communion should be cherished and guarded as we seek to grow into the fuller communion Christ wills. Even in the years of our separation we have been able to recognize gifts of the Spirit in each other. The ecumenical journey is not only about the removal of obstacles but also about the sharing of gifts."

From the Common Declaration of Archbishop Rowan Williams and Pope Benedict XVI:
"Mindful of our forty years of dialogue, and of the witness of the holy men and women common to our traditions, including Mary the Theotókos, Saints Peter and Paul, Benedict, Gregory the Great, and Augustine of Canterbury, we pledge ourselves to more fervent prayer and a more dedicated endeavour to welcome and live by that truth into which the Spirit of the Lord wishes to lead his disciples (cf. Jn 16:13). Confident of the apostolic hope “that he who has begun this good work in you will bring it to completion”(cf. Phil 1:6), we believe that if we can together be God’s instruments in calling all Christians to a deeper obedience to our Lord, we will also draw closer to each other, finding in his will the fullness of unity and common life to which he invites us."

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