Episcopal leaders attend papal vespers service in Rome for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

From left, the Rev. Stephanie Spellers and the Rev. Austin Rios at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Photo/Stephanie Spellers via Facebook

By Egan Millard

Episcopal News Service

Episcopal leaders joined those from other Christian denominations at a service led by Pope Francis in Rome on Jan. 25 as part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Bishop Mark Edington and others from the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, as well as staff from the presiding bishop’s office, represented the Episcopal Church at the vespers service.

The papal service, held at the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, marked the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is a chance for Christians from different traditions to unite in common worship, said the Rev. Austin Rios. Rios is rector of St. Paul’s Within the Walls, a convocation church named for its status as the first Protestant church built within the walls of Rome. 

“All of the different churches are connecting in this place, kind of like the roads that lead to Rome,” Rios told Episcopal News Service.

The Rev. Stephanie Spellers, canon to the presiding bishop for evangelism, reconciliation and creation care, posted on Facebook that she was “still gobsmacked (or Godsmacked?) by today. To join Papal Vespers – as in, led by Pope Francis – at St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome on the Feast of St. Paul’s Conversion. To stand with leaders from the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe at this special service, during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It’s simply more than I can take in, Lord.”

To read the full story, click here. Follow us on social media

Sign up for the newsletter

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café