Catholic Cardinal Ivan Dias has told Anglican bishops meeting in the worldwide Lambeth Conference that division and acrimony hinders the reception of the Gospel message in a sceptical world.
He also called for greater ecumenical cooperation in Christian action and said that the role of the Church was partly to challenge the forgetfulness of contemporary culture and its dismissal of ancient trdaitions of wisdom, including the Christian one.
US progressive evangelical author Brian McLaren also challenged Anglicans to understand and respond to emerging cultures in the midst of what many are characterising as their own "culture wars".
Cardinal Dias warned that evangelisation (the proclamation and living out of the Gospel message) would be hampered without unity and cohesion between churches and their leaders, as well as between denominational leaders.
“When they are of one mind and heart notwithstanding their diversity, their missionary thrust is indeed enhanced and strengthened. But, when the diversity degenerates into division, it becomes a counter-witness which seriously compromises their image and endeavours to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ,” he told the bishops, who are gathered at the University of Kent in Canterbury for the once-in-a-decade conference.
The new book Fear or Freedom? Why a warring church must change, edited by Simon Barrow, is published by Shoving Leopard / Ekklesia.