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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at Anglican - Old Catholic Bishops' Meeting

US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
Each year the Anglican and Old Catholic bishops on the continent of Europe meet together to share information about the lives of our Churches and to address matters of common concern. On 19 - 20 May, our meeting was held in Amersfoort, Netherlands. Also present were some members of the Anglican-Old Catholic International Coordinating Council (AOCICC) because the Council's draft paper on ecclesiology and mission entitled Belonging Together in Europe was to be discussed by the bishops. I am also a member of AOCICC, so was present with both hats. Mrs Marion Jagers from Holy Trinity Utrecht is also a member of AOCICC and was present. Anglican and Old Catholic Churches have been in communion since 1931 when the Bonn Agreement was signed.
Bishops John Okoro (Austria) and Fernando Soares (Portugal)
Mrs Marion Jagers, Fr Lars Simpson (interpreter), Bishop Joachim Vobbe
But there was another high profile guest at the meeting who was invited by the Archbishop of Utrecht Joris Vercammen and Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. It was US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Bishop Jefferts Schori addressed the meeting giving an account of the Episcopal Church around the world. The term Episcopal Church, USA, is no longer used, she said, because the Episcopal Church is a global Church operating in 15 countries outside the USA. These are Taiwan, Micronesia, Honduras, Ecuador, British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

When asked about Episcopal Church relations with other Churches of the Anglican Communion during this time of tension in our international Anglican family, Bishop Jefferts Schori said that "there are more missional partnerships across the world now than 10 or 15 years ago. We are learning from them". On Saturday 14 May, the Presiding Bishop delivered the what is interestingly called "The Quasimodo Lecture" in Utrecht.

The meeting closed with a Eucharist in the Old Catholic Cathedral of St Gertrudis in Utrecht.

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