|Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis|
|Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Rowan Williams|
leaders shaking hands, displaying unity within a divided Church and world. In the early years of Christianity, schism was one of the greatest sins that could be committed, and yet it has become our daily reality, which makes me wonder if promoting Christian unity might be a better Lenten discipline than giving up chocolate or alcohol. Many of us within the Church take division as a given, as if schism was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. I remember in seminary wading through abstruse arguments defending the validity of Anglican ordination against Roman Catholic refutations, being called on by evangelicals to justify the Episcopal Church's progressive stance on social issues, and being quite rightly challenged by colleagues on my own ecclesiological prejudices. Not that theological differences of opinion aren't important. As one of my seminary professors, Fr. Ralph McMichael, said, "it is better in communion than to be right. But it has to be the right kind of communion." We have to be honest and name the convictions on which we are not of one mind.
|Archbishop George Carey and Pope John Paul II|
|Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey|