Porvoo Statement Key Influence of Unity Covenant

Nov 14, 2002 03:00 AM EST

After 10 years, a landmark declaration adopted by British and Irish Anglicans and Nordic and Baltic Lutheran churches continues to influence ecumenical development in other parts of the world.

Dean John Arnold of Durham Cathedral in England notes that the Porvoo Statement, named for the city in Finland where it was adopted and inaugurated, stimulated similar agreements in North America. Arnold claims that this statement, which provides for the full intercommunion among the churches, including the acceptance of bishops, priests, and deacons without re-ordination, has greatly influenced the unity covenant currently being considered in England by the Anglicans and the Methodists.

The signatories also pledged to "regard baptized members of all our churches as members of our own."

"Methodists in England observed Porvoo and were encouraged to try again to resume links with the Church of England," Arnold said. "Porvoo has influenced similar agreements in the United States and Canada, and at the international level helped to promote links between the Lutheran World Federation and the Anglican Communion." He predicted that the next breakthrough in relations between Anglicans and Lutherans would be in Africa.

By Pauline J.
[email protected]