The Archbishop of Canterbury recently addressed a meeting of Anglican primates from the Global South, or Southern Cone. This meeting was previously billed as a possible “break point” of conservative African , South Asian, and South American provinces away from the Anglican Communion, or to form their own body.
In other words, a catholic church is not a church that seeks a uniform global culture. The unity f the church is not cultural; it is in Christ “one Lord one faith, one baptism,” and any number of languages and costumes. It’s been said recently by a theologian that the catholicity of the church is really a kind of great protest against globalisation; the really catholic is the opposite of the globalised, because the catholic is about wholeness, about the wholeness of the person, the wholeness of local culture and language, therefore it’s not simply opening the same fast-food shop in every village on the globe, and it’s not like the global economy, in which people are drawn into somebody’s story and somebody’s interests which in fact makes others poor and excluded. The catholic is the opposite of the globalised because the catholic is about everyone’s welfare, everyone’s growth and justice. And particularly in our globalised world this witness to what I would call the truly catholic is perhaps more important than ever. The affirmation the rights and liberties of local persons but “rights and liberties” is a weak and perhaps misleading phrase; the language of rights has not stood us in good stead in the church. Let’s say rather the Christ-touched dignity of every person and every culture. That is what the catholic church honours in its fullness and that is why the catholic church protests about a globalised system that works in the interests of a minority, whether in the church or in the world.
In other words, “all are welcome at this, God’s table.” This is how those who would exclude and divide are answered.