Walking towards Unity

I’d be a very wealthy person if I got a cent every time some one asks me, “Why do you walk the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela when you aren’t a Catholic?”

My usual answer is, “Because Santiago wasn’t a Catholic either, or a protestant, or an orthodox, or a Baptist, or a {insert favourite Christian label here}.”

A symbol of Ecumenism, we are all in the same boat …

Santiago, Saint James the Greater in the bible, was one of the very first followers of Jesus. He heard the Good News and it turned his life around. He left behind everything he once held dear and started to spread the Word. The simple truth that “you are a beloved child of God”. Or, as I often put it, at the very heart of my faith is this: God loves us, everything else is secondary.

Ok, I managed to start off on a tangent at the very beginning of this blog post! The reason I started to write it, is that the whole theme of ecumenism ties in with the publication of archbishop Julián’s pastoral letter for the next Holy Year 2021 (source: https://anosantocompostelano.org/carta-pastoral-en-el-ano-santo-compostelano-2021-de-mons-julian-barrio-barrio/)

It is a lengthy document, but I would like to draw your attention to this paragraph which made my heart sing with gratitude:

“The Catholic Church also becomes a pilgrim with other Churches and ecclesial communities so that the unity of all Christians becomes effective. The body of Christ cannot be divided. Therefore, ecumenism is a sacred duty for us. This takes us beyond manifestations of good intentions, also requiring concrete initiatives. Thus, in our city of Santiago, they share the same sacred space, a small church, Anglicans, Orthodox and Protestants, so that the same Spirit that makes us Christians, helps us to live communion among us by pilgrimage towards unity.”

The significance of this statement can’t be overstated. It is of historic importance.

The acknowledgment that we all form the body of Christ, no matter from which church background we come from and the firm commitment to a common pilgrimage towards unity put such a joyful smile onto my face!

So, thank you Don Julián for all the support you have given the Anglican Camino Chaplaincy https://egeria.house/anglican-camino-chaplaincy-2020/ in the past and let’s continue a pilgrimage towards Christian unity. We have already come a long Camino, but there is still a long way to go until the sad division of churches is a thing of the past.

Next step ???

One thought on “Walking towards Unity”

  1. What Blessed News! Congratulations on this important recognition of the thoughtful and needed ministry you bring to the Camino Community. Long may it be so🙏

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