English clergy visit to promote Anglican Centre
Church of England Bishop Mark Santer of Birmingham, the top Anglican representative in international ecumenical discussions with the Roman Catholic Church, was in Baltimore this week to promote the Anglican Centre in Rome and appeal for money to keep it going.
Established in 1966 as the result of the ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, the Anglican Centre has a library of 10,000 volumes, described as the only serious collection of Anglican theology, history, liturgy and literature on the mainland of Europe.
Housed in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj on the Via del Corso near the Piazza Venezia, the center attracts scholars from other institutes in Rome, sponsors lectures, conducts a summer school and assists not only an international group of students but American visitors, including Episcopalians from Maryland.
No Christian denomination apart from the Roman Catholic Church maintains a similar facility in Rome, Bishop Santer said. The center is seeking to raise $3 million -- $1 million of it from the United States -- for an endowment.
The English bishop, joined by his wife, Henriette, and the Rev. Douglas Brown, an Anglican priest from Australia who is director of the center, had breakfast Tuesday morning with Roman Catholic Archbishop William H. Keeler and his secretary, the Rev. Michael White, at the Basilica rectory in downtown Baltimore. Father White used the Anglican Centre's library while studying in Rome.
The visitors, also accompanied by the Rev. William N. McKeachie, rector of Baltimore's Old St. Paul's Episcopal Church, met Tuesday afternoon with Episcopal Bishops A. Theodore Eastman and Charles L. Longest at the Cathedral of the Incarnation on University Parkway.
Archbishop Keeler and Bishop Eastman have been leaders in the dialogue between their churches aimed at reaching theological common ground. From 1986 until recently, Bishop Eastman was the chief U.S. Episcopal Church representative in the Anglican-Catholic discussions.
Between 1973 and 1978, Father McKeachie was involved in the theological talks between the two churches in Canada.
Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has said that the center in Rome "has an important part to play . . . as a bridge between our churches so that our Christian vision of the reconciliation of humanity can be fulfilled as soon as possible."
English church historian Henry Chadwick said that "the loss of the center and its director would sacrifice what has been shown to be a deeply appreciated means of communication" between Anglicans and Catholics.
Day of Prayer:
Day of Prayer: Bel Air, Towson, Millersville and Annapolis are some of the more than 3,000 communities across the United States where congregations plan to participate today in a national outpouring of prayer with "a moral rebirth in America" as its goal.
Among the local churches taking part are Calvary Baptist in Harford County, Towson Bible in Baltimore County and Elvaton Baptist in Anne Arundel County.
The Rev. Barbara Sands, a United Methodist minister in Annapolis who is president of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council, is one of the coordinators of local activities of this National Day of Prayer, sponsored by the American Family Association, based in Tupelo, Miss.
The Rev. Donald E. Wildmon, president of the association, has urged participants to gather in city halls and other public buildings to do their praying as a means of "exercising their First Amendment rights."
He said such demonstrations drew the opposition of the American Civil Liberties Union in Oregon last year, but he did not expect ACLU intervention today.
Churches in Southern and Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore are also participating, but none in Baltimore was listed by the sponsors in Tupelo. Information: (601) 844-5036.
Zionist: W. James Schiller, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, will be the Brotherhood Breakfast speaker at 10 a.m. May 16 at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, 7401 Park Heights Ave. Information: 484-7988.
Vietnam visit: Pat Gross, who recently returned from a tour of relief projects in Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia and Vietnam, will offer her observations in a free public lecture at 12:15 p.m. May 19 at the Baltimore headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee, 4806 York Road.
As part of her study tour, Ms. Gross, a Quaker from Camden, N.J., also visited Thailand, where the Friends committee has a base of operations.
She said the Society of Friends relief efforts in Southeast Asia are as extensive as those of the Quakers in Europe immediately after World War II. Information: 323-7200.