MEDIA RELEASE FROM THE DIOCESE OF TORONTO
The Anglican Archbishop of Toronto, The Most Reverend Terence Finlay, welcomes the youth of the world gathering in Toronto to celebrate and renew their faith. While the focus of World Youth Day is primarily directed to Roman Catholics, the Archbishop notes that the three themes, You are the Salt of the Earth, You are the Light of the World, and Be Reconciled to God, are the call of Christ to all Christians.
Archbishop Finlay said, “Jesus Christ challenges and invites us to love God and to love our neighbour. This World Youth Day pilgrimage offers the chance to deepen our relationship with God and to come to a new understanding of who are our neighbours. Toronto is such a richly diverse city – multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious. Today, if we are open to God’s Spirit, we can experience new friendships and activities that will build bridges of peace, justice and reconciliation, and share in God’s work of transforming the world.”
The Archbishop stated that both he and the Anglican Diocese of Toronto have been very supportive of the program for World Youth Day and his office is working with representatives of the WYD planning team. He has sent letters to all of the clergy and parishes in his diocese encouraging participation both in offering billets to visiting youth and advertising the events. Archbishop Finlay will be greeting His Holiness, Pope John Paul II when he officially arrives in Toronto on Thursday.
He acknowledged that some Anglicans were offering support during WYD to groups espousing alternative and dissenting viewpoints. He does not see this as undermining ecumenical relationships between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Saying that while he does not personally agree with every cause these groups take up, “I do support their right to do this, even when they question and challenge us.” He noted that members of the Anglican Church embrace a diverse range of opinions. “We value the right to ask uncomfortable questions in the spirit of charitable listening. I believe that God’s truth may be discerned and clarified in such careful searching and dialogue.”
“I am deeply committed to the ecumenical partnership we are seeking to develop with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and with other faith groups in Toronto.”
The Anglican Diocese of Toronto, founded in 1839, covers an area of 26,000 square kilometres stretching along Lake Ontario from Mississauga to Brighton, and north to Collingwood and Orillia, and to Peterborough and Haliburton. There are about 90,000 Anglicans (of the 450,000 identified by census) worshipping in 285 congregations in the diocese. They are served by the archbishop and four area (assistant) bishops and over 300 active priests and deacons (about 1/4 are women). Further information is available atwww.toronto.anglican.ca
For further information, contact:
Archdeacon Colin R. Johnson
Executive Assistant to the Archbishop of Toronto,
135 Adelaide Street, East,
Toronto, ON M5C 1L8
(416) 363-6021 ext. 214
(416) 363-3683 fax
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