Episcopal Ring – Sign of Fraternity for Canterbury and Rome

Episcopal ring “symbol of deep Anglican, Roman Catholic relationship”

Posted on: November 24, 2014 4:25 PM

(L to R) The Most Revd Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe
Photo Credit: Bp David Hamid
Related Categories: Ireland

By ACNS staff

The Most Revd Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has presented Canon Kenneth Kearon with an Episcopal Ring to mark his election as Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe in the Church of Ireland.

The presentation took place recently in Rome during a meeting of the Informal Talks, an annual meeting between senior officials in the Vatican and the Anglican Communion. Bishop Farrell and Canon Kearon were the joint chairs of the meeting.

“This is both a personal gift from someone who has become a good friend during our annual meetings and other conversations, and also symbolic of the deep relationships which now exist between our two Communions, which are now being expressed at every level of our churches”, said Canon Kearon.

This year, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Decree on Ecumenism by the Second Vatican Council in November 1964, a document which transformed Roman Catholic attitudes to other Churches and to ecumenical engagement.

This was followed by a meeting between the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey to Pope Paul VI in March 1966, at which the Pope gave an Episcopal Ring to the Archbishop.

That meeting led to the setting up of the Anglican Centre in Rome that same year, and to the inauguration of the series of dialogues between the two traditions known as ARCIC (Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission).


At a time when there might seem to be greater cause for separation between Canterbury and Rome – with the Church of England’s decision to ordain women bishops – here comes a sign of a deeper fraternity than might be discerned on the surface.

On the 50th anniversary of the issuing of the Decree on Ecumenism by the Second Vatican Council in 1964, this symbol of Anglican/Roman Catholic friendship reminds us all of the gift of an episcopal ring by Pope Paul VI to the then Archbishop of Canterbury, The Right Reverend Dr. Michael Ramsey, at their official meeting in 1964.

We in New Zealand have our own special relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, through the appointment of The Rt. Revd David Moxon – former Archbishop of ACANZP – to the role of the Anglican Communion’s Representative to the Holy See, stationed in the City of Rome.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealands

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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