UK church leaders stress unity as secularism spreads CNA
Catholic and Coptic Orthodox leaders in the U.K. are encouraging unity
between the two churches as society grows increasingly hostile to
“We're facing serious threats of increased secularism
and marginalization of religion in general and Christianity in
particular,” said Coptic Orthodox Bishop Angaelos.“As members of
first-century churches we really need to both live and introduce people
to the wealth, meaning and value of what it means to witness and live
our Christianity today,” he stressed.
On Jan. 23, Bishop Angaelos
and the Catholic Archbishop of Southwark Kevin McDonald met in London to
release the book, “Joint Statements between the Catholic and Oriental
Both leaders are co-chairmen of the
Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum, whose members compiled the
statements in an effort to increase awareness on Catholic and Oriental
Orthodox similarities, rather than differences. The book includes remarks by Pope Benedict XVI as well as leaders from the Syrian, Coptic and Armenian Orthodox Churches.
release comes during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs
from Jan. 18-25, and is being observed by over 300 churches and
Christian communities around the world.
“It's very easy to become
theoretical about theology and forget that we are talking about our
faith in the incarnate Word, in salvation, and in the presence of God,”
Bishop Angaelos remarked at the event.
“We forget to speak in communion of what we can have in common.”
Angaelos gave the example of the time he sent a letter of support to
the Catholic Church when it refused to facilitate adoptions for same-sex
couples in the U.K., as both churches hold the same views against it.