I feel that there will be many among my fellow-Catholics who, like myself, heard w ith mixed feelings of the sermon on intercommunion preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury during his recent visit to Rome.
I join heartily with Dr Coggan in his contention that Anglicans and Catholics should receive Holy .Communion at each others altars — especially in the case of mixed marriages both parties of whom are dedicated and committed Christians, albeit of different traditions.
Having said this, I am saddened in the knowledge that while deeprooted and historical prejudices, sincerely held by members of both Churches continue to prevail, the time for shared Eucharistic services has not yet arrived.
Already, Agreed Statements have been made on the Eucharist and the Sacred Ministry, and so 1 have reluctantly to feel that the official Catholic reaction following the Archbishop's sermon stems from reasons of continued suspicions rather than from those purely doctrinal. Let us be realistic and concede that there are differences in emphasis among Catholics as well as Anglicans in attitudes and devotions to the Blessed Sacrament.
Having expressed a personal view, I would not like it to be felt that I am in any way despondent in regard to continuing our dialogues with our Anglican friends. So much has been achieved since Vatican II in the road to Christian unity that it is abundantly clear that the prayers of thousands of Christians both in this country and throughout the world that we may all be eventually "One" are being answered. I end with the happy thought that the Holy Father and the Anglican Primate can now meet as brothers in Christ, and not with any ideas of one exercising authority over the other.
Waltham Cross, John Flanagan Hertfordhire. Perhaps the only really serious point to emerge from Don Cupitt's recent two-part Who Was Jesus? (BBC TV), a humanist rather than a Christian proposition based on the assumption that the Rev Cupitt is a man of greater intellectual integrity than the Gospel writers, is one which many people may have suspected for some time — namely that Catholics have more in common with Free Churchmen and Evangelicals than with Anglicans.
Traditionally, of course, the centuries of antipathy and folklore which, ecumenically, we are now trying to disentangle, have led us to believe that the gap between the Catholic and the Anglican Churches is. relatively small cornpared with the more forbidding chasm which separates us from our Methodist or Baptist brothers.
However, it was a most significant part of the Rev Cupitt's "investigation" that the almost condescending dismissal of such basic Christian doctrine as the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, the miracles and even the Resurrection came exclusively from Anglicans whereas, in the discussion part of the programme, Bishop Butler found himself lining up firmly with square behind the tenets of their Free Churchmen who stood four One also warmed towards the rabbi who, after a particularly obscure piece of intellectual gymnastics by the Anglicans present, said he simply did not understand what they were talking about!
As a Catholic with respectably ecumenical aspirations, I find it increasingly difficult to envisage any kind of real union with the Anglican Church, where, apparently, any kind of heresy is acceptable, even down to the denial of Christ's divinity. Ian Caws
iLittlehampton, West Sussex.