Sunday, 26th May 2024

Vespers for Christian Unity

Posted on 24. Jan, 2018 in Carousel

The Most Reverend Bernard Ntahoturi, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, with some of the members of staff and seminarians of the Pontifical Irish College on the occasion of Vespers at the College marking the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Your right hand, O Lord,
glorious in power
(Ex 15:6)

Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, Director of The Anglican Centre in Rome since last year, visited the Pontifical Irish College on 24th January 2018. As part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Archbishop Ntahoturi was invited to preach at Vespers celebrated with the College Community.

The archbishop’s homily focused on St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 3, verses 16-21. He reminded us that St Paul wrote these words while he was in prison, and that the people of the Caribbean, the region that selected the theme and composed the resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018, are a diverse set of peoples marked by forms of enslavement and imprisonment similar to St Paul. That is why they identified with the Gospel of Christ, even though it arrived to the Caribbean with European colonialists. The Gospel was welcomed by the people of the Caribbean because in the Gospel they found freedom of heart and reason to pursue freedom from that which enslaves.

The contemporary Caribbean is deeply marked by the dehumanizing project of colonial exploitation. In the aggressive pursuit of mercantile gains, the colonisers codified brutal systems which traded human beings, and their forced labour. … Today Caribbean Christians of many different traditions see the hand of God active in the ending of enslavement. It is a uniting experience of the saving action of God which brings freedom. For this reason the choice of the song of Moses and Miriam (Ex 15:1-21), as the motif of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018 was considered a most appropriate one. It is a song of triumph over oppression.

(c.f. The Vatican Website, Resources for The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 2018)