Non-Catholic Scottish clergy attend retreat at Benedictine abbey
From a Special Correspondent
Leaders of the Catholic, Presbyterian and Episcopalian Churches in Scotland who attendled a three-day ecumenical retreat at Fort Augustus Abbey agreed to continue informal contacts between their three denominations.
A statement issued at the end of the retreat by the participants — who included Abbot Nicholas Holman, 0.S.B., of Fort Augustus Abbey; the Rev. Gilleasbuig Macmillan, minister pf St. Giles', the Edinburgh Presbyterian cathedral, and Bishop George Sessford of the Episcopalian diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness said more benefit could be gained from participating in the life and worship of fellow-Christians than from observing them from a distance.
During the three days the 30 participants from the three Churches shared in the life and worship of the abbey community. Church of Scotland and Episcopalian services were also held within the abbey. and there were many formal and informal discussion sessions.
The only jarring note was struck when a group from the "Twentieth Century Reform GrouP" led by Pastor. Jack Glass, and adherent of the Rev.
Church critic squelched
Copenhagen — Mrs. Dorte Bennedsen, Denmark's Minister of Religious Affairs, has criticised one of her Cabinet colleagues svho accused the Catholic Church of being reactionary and oppressive.
Danish Culture Minister Niels Matthiasen was quoted by a Protestant daily here as saying that Catholic criticism or a planned movie on "The Love Affairs of Jesus Christ" was reactionary.
Mr. Matthiasen told the newspaper, Kristeligt Dagblad (The Christian Daily), that for centuries the Catholic Church had acted as a suppressor and had made people stupid.
Mrs. Bennedsen said that her colleague's statement would be "His sole responsibility" and criticised him for making generalisations about the Catholic Church.
"I know the Catholic Church in South America is almost revolutionary," she .added. "You ought to be careful in simplifying things as Niels Matthiasen has done."
The Vatican has denounced the proposed film by Danish film maker Jens Joergen and the French government has banned him from shooting it in Southern France. Reuter
Ian Paisley. interrupted Vespers in the abbey chapel by shouting slogans and distributing leaflets.
They were protesting at the presence in a Benedictine abbey of Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) clergy. Police were called, but by the time they arrived the group had left.
In the statement issued at the end of the retreat, the ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland who were present stressed that they were "not dismayed" by the fact that a "small group outwith the Church of Scotland" had opposed their presence at the abbey.
They added: "We consider ourselves to be faithful to the historic tradition of our Church seeking the unity of Christ's Church in Scotland."
Representatives of the three Churches also agreed in the statement that points of divergence between them were less important than "the principal areas of practical and spiritual concern for Christian people today."
They added —"Our duty is to face the task of being Christian together."
Commenting later on the retreat. Bishop Sessford described it as "the most inspiring ecumenical event in my entire experience ."
The Rev. A. Gordon McGillivray, depute clerk of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: "The retreat's main value has been the first-hand insight we have all been afforded into each others' thinking and ways. We have seen each other as we really are. I hope the retreat proves to be the forerunner of other similar ventures."
Abbot Holman said "I think the whole thing has been a great success."
The full statement said: 'Attendance at the ecumenical retreat was at the invitation of the North of Scotland group of delegates to the Church Leaders' Conference (Birmingham, 1972). and not as of
Orange hand smites vicar
Because he was involved in speaking to Cardinal Conway about peace and the problems of Northern Ireland, a former Grand Chaplain of the English Orange Order was suspended for ten years by the Loyal Orange Order in I.iverpool.
The Rev. Robert Lally, vicar of Lowtown St. Mary, near Warrington Lancs., disclosed the news of his suspension during his sermon at a Royal British Legion service in Liverpool Cathedral last Sunday.
Mr. Lally, who is from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, was a member of the English Orange Order for 15 years before his suspension.
The text chosen by Mr. Lally for his sermon was the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 13, verse 13.
"Now remain these three virtues, Faith, Hope and Love but the greatest of them is Love." ficial representatives of our own Churches, "It is important to realise and accept that much of the progress in the unification of the Church comes from informal and unofficial collaboration among Christian people; and we would like to see more informal contact among members of our Churches.
"We have shared in The life of the abbey community, attending their acts of worship. sharing their board, and enjoying immensely their friendship and hospitality. It is our belief that more benefit is gained from participating in the life and worship of fellow-Christians than from observing them at a distance, and listening to the murmurs of ill-informed criticism based on rumour and past grievance.
"The ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland present at the retreat are not dismayed by opposition (to our being here) from a sniall group outwith the Church of Scotland We expect a certain amount of opposition to any movement in which there is life and change.
"We consider ourselves to be faithful to the historic tradition of our Church in seeking the unity of Christ's Church in Scotland.
Healing ancient breach
Vienna — Catholic Theologians have begun a dialogue with representatives of Five Eastern Orthodox churches which broke with Rome 1,522 years ago.
The seven-day meeting opened by Cardinal Koenig, Archbishop of Vienna, was described by the 25 participant, as a "non-official ecumenical consultation."
A similar exchange of views took place in Vienna two years ago.
The Eastern churches represented are the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and the Syrian Orthodox -Church of India.
Catholic representatives are present from Italy. Austria and West Germany, as well as an observer from the Vatican. Reuter.