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Caritatis Communionem: Reconciliation through an Ecumenism of Friendship

At the heart of Christianity, there is a tragic irony: despite being a global faith, commissioned to be a light to the nations and gathering all people into one body, it is also riven with division and discord. Within and between Christian communities there are fierce disagreements on almost every issue and there is no stage in human life, from conception to the grave, which is not touched by this reality. Christians argue about sex and procreation, baptism and raising children, church and the eucharist, relationships and marriage, caring for the elderly and euthanasia, and even how to dispose of the deceased, not to mention their afterlives. We also consistently fail to reach a common mind on matters of authority, war, justice, salvation, and even the very nature and significance of the Paschal Mystery of Christ which brought the faith into being in the first place. Whilst many of these disagreements have arisen in modern times, often in response to the development of new technologies, others have plagued Christianity since its earliest centuries, when Paul (d. c. 64) was reaching out to the Gentiles...


This essay was published in A. Goodliff, A. Clarke and B. Allison-Glenny, eds, Reconciling Rites: Essays in Honour of Myra N. Blyth (Oxford: Regent's Park College, 2020), pp. 224-240. To buy the book, visit: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reconciling-Rites-Essays-Honour-Blyth/dp/B0892658FV.

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