On Thursday evening, 24 January, the Seminary invited the Anglican Community for an ecumenical meeting, part of the Week of Prayer for unity among Christian Churches. The Anglican Community meets every Wednesday at the Seminary Chapel. Rev. Can. Simon Godfrey, Chancellor of the Anglican Cathedral of St Paul, in Valletta, was also invited for the meeting.
The Chancellor addressed the community of the Seminary in a conference about the Anglican Church and about what led to the schism between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church. He said that although the Anglicans broke relations with the Church of Rome in the sixteenth century, they still continued to share its faith and its spirituality. Rev. Godfrey said that the Anglican Church is Catholic in spirit. There was a time when this spirit was blurred because of Protestantism that eventually prevailed in England. To counteract, many movements throughout the history of Anglicanism kept alive the Catholic origins of the Anglican Church and encouraged reunification. The most famous movement was the Oxford Movement. Cardinal John Henry Newman formed part of this movement.
Rev. Simon Godfrey encouraged the seminarians to keep steadfast in their vocation. He said that he himself and the Anglican Community remember the Seminary and the seminarians in their prayers. According to Rev. Godfrey, the greatest challenge facing both the Catholic and the Anglican Churches of the future will be the indifference and hostility of ‘Christians’ towards the Church. This is a great challenge that needs priests who are convinced of their faith and mission, and who through their holy zest want to rekindle the fire of faith in indifferent hearts.
At the end of the conference, the congregation met in the chapel for the ecumenical service led by the Reverend Rector of the Seminary, Fr Daniel Xerri, and the Reverend Chancellor, Can. Simon Godfrey. Members of the Anglican community joined us for the service. Later on, we all met in the hall for refreshments.