That they may all be one

‘I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,* so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

I want to be Catholic.

There I said it. I admitted it.

I want to be part of One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

I want to be part of the worldwide Communion of believers.

Jesus of Nazareth calls us to follow him. He wants us to remain one body.

We believe in One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

But it seems that from the moment Christ ascended into heaven, the Church has been doing everything it can to avoid that mission of universality and ecumenicism.

In the book of Acts, in the very beginning of the Jesus Movement, a debate arose over circumcision. Soon debates arose over whether eating food sacrificed to idols was acceptable.

10 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,* by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and the same purpose. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters.*12 What I mean is that each of you says, ‘I belong to Paul’, or ‘I belong to Apollos’, or ‘I belong to Cephas’, or ‘I belong to Christ.’ 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14I thank God* that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16(I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. 1 Cor 1:10-17 NRSV

Today, the Church is so fragmented that there are 40,000 denominations in the United States alone. We clearly do not know the *perfect* dogma, and perhaps we never will. In Canterbury today, the Primates of the Anglican Communion have gathered. It’s widely seen as the final meeting of the Communion. And now, instead of food sacrificed to idols, we are divided over our treatment of our homosexual brothers and sisters.

Love should guide our path, not dogma.

The Anglican Communion has always been more defined by what we do than what we believe. Lex orandi, lex credendi. We pray what we believe. What holds us together as Anglicans is our Common Prayer. The English Church brought us the Holy Scriptures and the Mass in our own tongues.

We can disagree. We can bicker. But we must remember that we are all members of the same family. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.

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