The Anglican and Old-Catholic churches in Switzerland celebrated recently the 75th anniversary of an agreement on full communion that is seen as foreshadowing later accords between other churches.
“You have achieved so much together,” Archdeacon Colin Williams, an Anglican priest who is general secretary of the Conference of European Churches, told the congregation at a Sept. 2 service in the Anglican church of St. Ursula in Berne.
The Old-Catholic Church in Switzerland traces its history to a movement of some Swiss Roman Catholics against the declaration of papal infallibility in 1870. They joined with similar movements in other countries to form the Union of Utrecht in 1889 as a grouping of Old-Catholic churches. Contacts with other denominations led to the 1931 Bonn Agreement, which established intercommunion between Anglican and Old-Catholic churches.
The anniversary celebrations started with a common Eucharist in the Old-Catholic church of St. Peter and Paul’s Old-Catholic church in Berne.
An international celebration of the Bonn Agreement took place in Freiburg, Germany on Aug. 9 with the participation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Old-Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht, Joris Verkammen.