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> At a community meeting a profound discussion began about the > nature of the church , and the relationship between “East” and > what was described as “West”.
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> The Elder listened and then stood up and spoke a “Word “,
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> “It has all to often become the scandal of the church that we have allowed > such divisions to continue, and even without realising it been drawn in to > being part of them.
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> For so long one part of the church has thrown stones of condemnation at > another, while often remaining totally blind to its own faults and failings . >
> And at the very same time inviting all to embrace the “Unity ” of faith and > practise .
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> We can in certainty on many occasions proclaim where the church is , but
> we must be very careful in proclaiming where the church is not , as on our judgement > day we may be surprised.
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> Many synods have begun by excluding other parts of the church even before they begun . > So the question must be were the synods really “Ecumenical ” in that sense? >
> A true “Ecumenical” Synod would not begin by defining what was deemed as “canonical” > or “non canonical”, but open its doors to all parts of the church. >
> When we come to the question of the validity of Holy Orders let us come to the > central part of the Ordination Prayer,
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> “The grace divine, which always healeth that which is infirm, and completeth that > which is wanting ….”
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> If we take that prayer in its fullness how can we say there is a limit to this ? For
> as we experience so intimately in our prayer , silence , and solitude, the grace > divine is at work in all things, and in all places .
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> In this context we could say, “We recognise all the orders as being of equal value and > importance, and pray for the day when they are exercised in common.” >
> The divisions will continue as long as we keep talking about them, but will cease > in us when we make peace with God and all men and woman, and live in such a
> way as we will no longer accept them and recognise God is in every man and woman.” >
> Father Richard
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