LONDON, JAN. 21, 2004 (Zenit.org).- For the first time in 34 years, a Catholic cardinal was received in St. Peter’s Royal Chapel in the Tower of London.
The occasion was a liturgy on Monday to open the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, archbishop of Westminster, represented the Church.
Bishops Richard Chartres of London and Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester represented the Anglican church.
During the liturgy, a special remembrance was made of St. John Fisher, Catholic bishop of Rochester, and St. Thomas More, chancellor of England, both prisoners in the Tower of London, who were killed in 1535 for opposing Henry VIII’s break with Rome.
The bodies of the two beheaded martyrs are kept in the chapel. At the end of the ecumenical ceremony, a plaque was unveiled in memory of the martyred bishop of Rochester.
Seems to me to be a rather ironic place for a ecumenical service. But maybe this is more in line with true ecumenism. Where both sides don’t ignore what divides them and yet at the same time celebrate what unites them.