The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, addressed the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican on Wednesday about the central role of contemplation in helping people rediscover the beauty of the Christian faith.
Drawing deeply on the writings of some of the great Catholic authors and theologians from the time of the Second Vatican Council, the archbishop said contemplation is the only real “answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and advertising culture…..encourage us to inhabit”. Those who “know little and care less about the institutions and hierarchies of the Church” today, he continued, are often attracted and challenged by lives that show justice and love reflected in the face of God. In particular he pointed to the crucial work and witness of communities like Taizé and Bose, or networks like St Egidio, the Focolare or Communion and Liberation, who bring fresh expressions of faith and transcend the historic divisions between Christians.
Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen talked to Dr Williams about his address to the Synod, about his advise to his successor (expected to be announced over the coming weeks) and his message to Pope Benedict XVI….