Rome and Canterbury: The Elusive Search for Unity

Overview

Rome and Canterbury tells the story of the determined but little known work being done to end the nearly five hundred year old divisions between the Roman Catholic and the Anglican/Episcopal Churches. The break was never intended, has never been fully accepted and is experienced, by many, as a painful and open wound. It is a personal account that begins the story by reviewing the relevant history and theology, looks at where we are today, and concludes with some reflections on ...
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Rome and Canterbury: The Elusive Search for Unity

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Overview

Rome and Canterbury tells the story of the determined but little known work being done to end the nearly five hundred year old divisions between the Roman Catholic and the Anglican/Episcopal Churches. The break was never intended, has never been fully accepted and is experienced, by many, as a painful and open wound. It is a personal account that begins the story by reviewing the relevant history and theology, looks at where we are today, and concludes with some reflections on faith and belief in the US.
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Editorial Reviews

The American Spectator
A compelling witness to the continuing importance of ecumenism.
Journal of Ecumenical Studies
In Rome and Canterbury, Reath . . . brings a deep appreciation of both Catholicism and Anglicanism.
The late Rev. Dr. John Macquarrie
[Reath] is showing us the way toward a great Christian future.
Keith F. Pecklers
In this well-researched and very readable volume, Mary Reath tells a fascinating story of how far we have come in Anglican-Roman Catholic Relations, especially in these past forty years. Rome and Canterbury reminds us that there is more that unites us than divides us, and that committing ourselves to the ecumenical pilgrimage is not one option among many. Rather, it offers the only hope of finding our common voice as members of the one body of Christ within the world. In these challenging times for all our churches, Reath invites us to move forward together with courage and trust as we consider our ecumenical future. This book should be required reading for all Christian pastors and teachers and those who long for the reunification of Christendom both in East and West, 'that all may be one.'
Gerald O'Collins
Mary Reath has done a huge amount of work in studying and presenting some of the major issues that are relevant to the historic and continuing break between Rome and Canterbury, as well as in providing much relevant documentation. I wish that many others would imitate her diligent and honest example in reflecting on the challenges to Christian unity.
Robert Jenson
In 1998 Mary Reath made a discovery that changed her life: for decades, 'dialogues' and other contacts had been going on, that were aimed at actually restoring full communion between the separated Christian churches. Why had she not heard of this? After investigating, she decided that one reason was a sheer lack of information of the sort that would have come her way. So—besides embarking on other ecumenical adventures—she set out to tell the story in accessible fashion. She has succeeded most admirably. Reath's book concentrates on approaches and dialogue between the two churches that are separated in her own life: the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. It is clear, engagingly written and well-researched—a good read on a good matter.
Mary Tanner
Mary Reath grew up, as she explains, 'intolerably located' between the Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions. She tells of her discovery of the ecumenical movement in general and Anglican-Roman Catholic relations in particular with the sort of excitement that characterised the early ecumenical pioneers. She writes particularly to help other lay people follow the same voyage of discovery that she has been on but the book will also serve well those in training for the ministry. The early chapters include a wonderfully clear description of the causes of the Reformation divide as well as the main developments in church history since. Her account of the theological discussions between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, especially her treatment of authority and papal primacy, will make the readers want to go back to the original documents. Reath does not shrink from facing up to the difficulties for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations today posed by some recent developments in the Anglican Communion. But she is not prepared to give up in the face of these new problems and is sure that there can be no turning back from the pathway towards reconciliation, convinced that the churches message of love and hope for all is compromised when it is divided. She wants to convince her readers that ecumenical work holds the key to a revitalised Christianity.
The Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold III
Mary Reath has provided an invaluable service in describing, placing in historical context, and assessing the efforts of Anglicans and Roman Catholics to heal the breach which occurred at the time of the Reformation. Her lively and highly accessible account underscores the determination of the two ecclesial communities to give witness to the unity Christ desires for the Church. At the same time, Reath does not overlook the theological stumbling blocks that have occurred along the way. Rome and Canterbury is an important and timely contribution to ecumenical dialogue.
St. Anthony Messenger - Tyler Blue
Mary Reath documents the little-known efforts of a small group of individuals working to diagnose and reconcile the murky doctrinal disagreements—not to mention unfortuante historical misperceptions and vile animosity—between the Roman Catholic church and the Anglican/Episcopalian Church. A practicing Anglican who grew up Catholic, Reath gives a fair and balanced look at both Churches.
America: The National Catholic Review
Rome and Canterbury is a book that could—and should—be read and discussed in appropriate theology classes and parish book clubs. It is an ideal dialogue tool for Roman Catholic and Episcopalian laity.
The Living Church
This book . . . is worth recommending to Angelican readers.
The Tablet
A compelling witness to the continuing importance of ecumenism.
Theological Issues
An ambitious agenda. . . . Reath has focused on important key issues, both historical and theological, in a balanced manner.
The Catholic Historical Review
This is an excellent contemporary overview of Angelican-Roman relations. . . . Reath exhibits a generous understanding of the complex issues, providing an informative and thought-provoking text.
Reader Views
It is comprehensible, informative, and insightful with regard to the dialogue between Canterbury and Rome. If someone is looking for solid background information to that dialogue and the major hurdles that are restricting a reunion, Rome and Canterbury is a good starting point.
America: The National Catholic Weekly
Rome and Canterbury is a book that could—and should—be read and discussed in appropriate theology classes and parish book clubs. It is an ideal dialogue tool for Roman Catholic and Episcopalian laity.
Ecumenical Trends
Mary Reath provides ongoing education and information on the ecumenical movement. . . . Her book is readable and her thesis demonstrable. . . . Her bibliography is impressive. We must be grateful to Mary Reath for this readable and reliable book.
Anglican Theological Review
Organic unity between Rome and Canterbury is . . . disappointingly elusive. Those who are not close to the process—which has been going on in earnest, in spite of many setbacks, for nearly 40 years—will learn why this is so by reading this wonderful brief book.
Catholic Historical Review
This is an excellent contemporary overview of Angelican-Roman relations. . . . Reath exhibits a generous understanding of the complex issues, providing an informative and thought-provoking text.
Catholic Library World
All of the information in this book is available elsewhere, but nowhere is it gathered so succinctly and readably....This book is recommended for all seminary libraries, academic libraries supporting courses in ecumenical dialogue, and all parish libraries where local ecumenical dialogue is engaged in actively.
St. Anthony Messenger
Mary Reath documents the little-known efforts of a small group of individuals working to diagnose and reconcile the murky doctrinal disagreements—not to mention unfortuante historical misperceptions and vile animosity—between the Roman Catholic church and the Anglican/Episcopalian Church. A practicing Anglican who grew up Catholic, Reath gives a fair and balanced look at both Churches.
— Tyler Blue
Journal Of Ecumenical Studies
In Rome and Canterbury, Reath . . . brings a deep appreciation of both Catholicism and Anglicanism.
Library Journal

The divisions between Rome and Canterbury have existed for 500 years, since the Reformation begun by Martin Luther. According to author Reath, the U.S. representative on the governing board of the Anglican Center in Rome, the reality of this division was unintended, was never completely accepted, and still remains as a blemish or unhealed wound of Christianity. Here, she traces the history of the breach between Catholicism and the Anglican/Episcopal churches. Reath, who has been personally involved in ecumenical dialogs for many years, clearly articulates the obstacles preventing unity in the two religious bodies. But even more important, she promotes a vision of possible reconciliation in the near future, offering a positive and hopeful consideration of shared history, theology, and belief. This sensitively and respectfully written book is complete with seven appendixes. Recommended for all collections.
—John-Leonard Berg

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742552784
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/25/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Reath has been active in the Episcopal Church, serving on the vestries of Trinity Church, Wall Street (NYC) and St. Luke in the Fields, Greenwich Village (NYC). While working on this book, she was a visiting scholar at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. She is currently a governor of the Anglican Centre in Rome. She is s the editor of Public Lives, Private Prayers (Sorin Books, 2001). She lives in Princeton, NJ.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreward Part 2 Author's Note Part 3 Preface Part 4 The History Chapter 5 Chapter I: The Breach in the West Chapter 6 Chapter II: A New Christian Landscape Chapter 7 Chapter III: Rome and Canterbury Face Modernity Chapter 8 Chapter IV: The Ecumenical Movement Gets Up and Running Chapter 9 Chapter V: Anglicans/Episcopalians and Roman Catholics Initiate Talks and the Anglican Centre in Rome Opens Chapter 10 Chaper VI: The Anglican Roman Catholic International Comission Begins Its Work Part 11 Authority Chapter 12 Chapter VII: Introduction to Authority: early Leadership, Primacy Infallibility and the Situation Today Chapter 13 Chapter VIII: Church Governance Today and ARCIC's Agreed Statements on Authority Part 14 The Future Chapter 15 Chapter IX: What's Next? Chapter 16 Chapter X: My World and Christian Unity Part 17 Epilogue Part 18 Acknowledgments Part 19 Appendix I: A Common History: Christianity's Earliest Days Part 20 Appendix II: Agreed ARCIC Documents: Eucharist (1971), Ordination (1973), Salvations and the Church (1986) Part 21 Appendix III: Morals: Agreed Statement on Teaching and Practice (1994) Part 22 Appendix IV: Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ (2005) Part 23 Appendix V: Timeline Part 24 Appendix VI: A History of the Gregorian Calendar Part 25 Appendix VII: Population by Continent (400 BC to 1600 AD) Part 26 Appendix VIII: Resources
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