BY A STAFF REPORTER
THE influential Church Union, the High Anglican body which recently helped defeat the AnglicanMethodist unity scheme, this week announced it was working to revive Catholic features in Anglicanism. The Rev. Douglas Carter, general secretary of the Union, said members were encouraging Catholic features in liturgy, catechists and other fields. One of the main reasons for union resistance to the unity scheme with Methodists was that it might have endangered chances of eventual unity with Catholicism.
Mr. Carter said: "The Ceremony of Reconciliation, which Methodist ministers would have gone through, was left deliberately ambiguous. Neither Church would recognise it as involving Episcopal ordination. Bishop Ripon and others opposed it because of the problem this would have created for Catholic unity." The union, 3,000 of whose 11,000 members are Anglican priests, called upon "bishops, clergy, laity, parishes and societies who identif y themselves with the Catholic revival in the Anglican Church . . . to work for the unity of Christ's Church, in conformity with Catholic and Apostolic faith."
Mr. Carter agreed the union's opposition to joining the Methodists could be seen as negative. Many Catholic theologians, as well as Bishop Alan Clark, auxiliary of Northampton, a member of the Anglican Catholic Joint Ecumenical Commission denied it would cause difficulties.
The union had taken special note of the Vatican Council's document on ecumenism, which stated that the Church of England occupied a special position among the other postReformation Churches, said Mr. Carter.
"It is no time now to surrender This special position." The union had been "especially pleased" at the AnglicanCatholic agreement on the Eucharist and was awaiting the outcome of the Ecumenical Commission's talks on the Ministry in Italy this autumn with "great interest," he said.
Papal medals presented
TWO parishioners of St.
Joseph's, Retford, Nottinghamshire have been awarded the papal Rene Merenti Medal in recognition of their services to the Church. They are Mr. John Baptist A. Gander, who has been organist for 25 years, and Mr. William H. Hewgill, parish secretary and organiser of fund-raising efforts. The medals were presented by Bishop Ellis of Nottingham.