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May the Church go on learning from Taizé

by
18 September 2015

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From the Revd Catherine Duce and others

Sir, — You made mention (News and Comment, 14 August) of the celebrations taking place in Taizé this summer. Taizé continues to be a thriving ecumenical monastic community and to offer hospitality to pilgrims in their thousands.

We have recently returned from participating in the latest commemorative event, an international symposium for "young" ministers and theology students, convened to consider the question: "Did Brother Roger have a theology?"

We were privileged to hear presentations from theologians (including bishops) from a wide range of backgrounds, and to be able to share in discussion with other participants whose origins were similarly broad. What was most encouraging was to see the shared appetite and energy for deeper and more concrete unity between Protestants, Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Anglicans.

On the final day, we heard a presentation from Cardinal Walter Kasper, which offered encouraging insights into RC views on the possibilities for greater communion.

Throughout the symposium, we were reminded not only of the deep theological resonances in Brother Roger’s vision, but also of his insistence on the need for incarnate theology. For the past 75 years, Taizé has demonstrated the need for Christians to embody the hope to which they believe all creation is called, and particularly to be people of reconciliation and solidarity. The community has also shown how such embodiment must be rooted through sharing prayer, hospitality, and practicalities of everyday life.

Returning to our various Church of England contexts, we hope that we and the whole Church will continue to be inspired by what has been and is possible at Taizé, that through greater unity with one another we might be better witnesses to the reality of God’s love for all.

 

CATHERINE DUCE, GIJS KRUITBOSCH, ANGELA TARRY, SUSANNAH RUDGE, THOMAS RUSTON
c/o The Rectory, 4 Gridiron Place
Upminster RM14 2BE

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