'COUR TES 17
ITSELF IS A PASSPORT'
SURPRISE in the Western religious world would seem to be the reaction to the fervour with which the Arch
bishop of Canterbury was received by all Communions during his visit to Jerusalem.
Catholic clergy and laity are reported to have expressed their welcome in a manner which would hardly he possible anywhere in Europe. Catholic clergy kissed the Archbishop's ring and were present at the Anglican cathedral service.
There can be no doubt that these reactions indicated an instinctive enthusiasm for the signs of unity and understanding among fellow Christians in the city of Jerusalem, uniquely holy in Christian revelation and tradition, yet for so many centuries the centre of bitter inter-Christian and inter-religious divisions.
It would, however, he completely wrong to take them as any precedent (on either side) for any similar breakdown of barriers in the West.
Nowhere better than in Rome arc the realities of the situation understood. It is due to the Holy Father's personal initiative that better understanding and closer friendship between Catholics and other Christians are being sought on both sides. From this understanding and friendship derives the possibility of intense and increasing study of the historic and doctrinal differences.
All are agreed that today's (Friday) visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy Father is a courtesy visit and nothing else —nothing else, except that courtesy itself is a passport to further friendship and understanding within the limits of the possible.
The Jesuit Roman review. Civilta Cattalica, has written : "We are very happy about the visit, but we feel that superficial enthusiasms as well as sterile scepticism are quite useless, particularly so when it is a question of the very serious problem of the union of Christians within the sole Church of Christ. The special interest of this visit to the Pope lies in the fact that-this is the first time that the highest ecclesiastic of the Anglican Church has been able to take the initiative of such a courteous gesture of friendly deference towards the Pope.
"Nevertheless this courtesy visit does not eliminate the basic differences which concern not only the primacy of the Pope, his infallibility, and the validity of Anglican orders, but also the concessions or. at any rate, the ambiguities, of the Anglican ecclesiastical view on birth control and the recent compromises concerning the meaning of episcopal and priestly ordination."
No one expects a Canossa", the review adds in reference to the submission of the Emperor Henry IV to Pope Gregory VII in 1077.
In this country TV viewers will be able on Sunday, December 4 at 7 p.m., to follow the journey of Dr. Fisher in Jerusalem and Rome.
On the same evening and at the same time Archbishop Heenan of Liverpool, and Dr. Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of York, will talk to one another on BBC TV. The latter programme will be repeated on BBC sound (Network Three) next Wednesday.
Last night's BBC televised programme about the Vatican was filmed by a film unit attached to the Italian radio and television corporation, and made exclusively for the BBC. It did not appear on Eurovision.
Cardinal Tardini was seen and heard talking about the forthcoming General Council, while Cardinal Agagianian commented on the problems of the Church in regard to its work in Africa and China.