I got the impression from observing both the body language and the questions posed to our guest speaker last Sunday that, for many of you, her description of the role and place of women within the structures of the Roman Catholic Church was an “eye opener.”
You have now entered “my world” (a phrase I know that annoys many but it is nonetheless true) of Ecumenical dialogue with other Christian churches. Although the largest branch of Christianity, Roman Catholicism is not the only or (if you listen to the Eastern Orthodox Churches) the oldest or closest to the early “undivided” Church.
Sadly, while we all share a belief in Jesus as the incarnate Son of the Father and while we profess “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” – we find ourselves divided over so many issues.
Some of those issues are related to gender and sexual morality. Some are structural. Some of us do not share the same Creeds. Ethical principles divide us. Where and how authority is derived and what that means is yet another divider. And on and on it goes.
This year marks 50 years since Vatican II ended. It also marks 105 years since the Ecumenical movement as such began with a Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910. But we Christians have so much more work to do. We are so different – and Jesus prayed, on the night before he died, that “we all may be one.” Learning about each other is a first step in a long slow process to become one again. Dear Lord, forgive us. We are so slow.