View From Rome

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23 February 2017 | by Christopher Lamb

 

The 1,000-room Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is home to one of Italy’s greatest private art collections, which includes a couple of dazzling Caravaggios and a Titian. But perhaps its most surprising acquisition is the Anglican Centre in Rome, which has recently celebrated its fiftieth birthday.

Being situated amid Renaissance glory helps oil the wheels of the ecumenical and diplomatic work of the centre, which operates as the Anglican Communion’s presence in the Eternal City. Archbishop David Moxon is due to retire in June after serving four years as director and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s permanent representative to the Holy See.

Over the past couple of months the centre has hosted the Dean of Westminster, John Hall, who has been on a brief period of sabbatical leave from Westminster Abbey. The centre provides a hub for Anglicans visiting Rome and helps to explain the unique “reformed and Catholic” character of the Church of England; last weekend the dean gave a lecture exploring the relationship between church and state in the United Kingdom. He cited the coronation of a monarch as an example; a liturgy which takes place during a eucharist service while the anointing of a king or queen with holy oil giving the ceremony a sacramental character. “It is monarchy under God,” he explained.





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