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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Malines Conversations Group: another instrument working towards a common future for Anglicans and Roman Catholics

Dr Ben Gordon-Taylor of Mirfield presents items related to Bp Walter Frere CR a participant in the origial Malines Conversations.
Many people know of the two official instruments of the international dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church: ARCIC, (the theological dialogue) and IARCCUM (the episcopal commission on unity and mission, of which I am privileged to serve as the Anglican Co-chairman). 

There is another interesting and informal dimension to our international dialogue which takes its inspiration from a unique initiative in the 1920s, long before Vatican II, and not long after Pope Leo XIII declared in the 1896 Bull Apostolicae Curae that Anglican Orders were "absolutely null and utterly void" - the Malines Conversations, 1921 to 1926. 


Fr Thomas Pott presents a gift to Professor Gordon Lathrop. Fr David Richardson looks on.
In 2013 the Conversations began again with theologians from each Communion taking up the task began in the 1920s. The Malines Conversations Group continues to explore matters which the official theological dialogue is not mandated to do, including the difficult question of Anglican Orders. This year we met in York hosted by the Dean and Chapter of York Minster. 


The official communiqué is below:

___________________________________________________________________________

COMMUNIQUE – THE MALINES CONVERSATIONS GROUP

The seventh international meeting of the Malines Conversations Group took place in York, UK, between Sunday 24th March and Thursday 28th March 2017. Under the patronage of The Right Reverend and Right Honourable The Lord Williams of Oystermouth (former Archbishop of Canterbury), this informal group comprises Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians from seven different countries and meets with the blessing and support of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and Lambeth Palace. It includes members of both ARCIC and IARCCUM.

The Group was hosted by the Dean and Chapter of York, and welcomed by the Dean, The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost. Celebrating the historic relationship between the Archdiocese of Malines and the Diocese of York, Cardinal Josef de Kesel was represented throughout the meeting by the Bishop of Liège, The Right Revd Dr Jean-Pierre Delville, who gave a paper entitled The Eucharist in the context of a divided Church

The Group visited the Community and College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, for a seminar, and joined with the Community for a celebration of the Eucharist having viewed items belonging to Bishop Walter Frere CR, a participant in the original conversations. On the final evening, the group attended Evening Prayer at the Parish Church of Kirby Underdale, where a window commemorates Cardinal Mercier and Viscount Halifax. The Group joined the Earl and Countess of Halifax for dinner, at which Lord Halifax spoke movingly about his ecumenically-pioneering great-Grandfather.

During seminars and conversations, the Group was once again guided in its thinking about scripture by The Revd Professor Gordon Lathrop, in considering issues around gender by Professor Joseph Selling of KU Leuven, and in exploring canonical questions by The Revd Professor Georges-Henri Ruyssen SJ, of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome. The social entrepreneur and impact consultant Jurgen Mortier also led a working session on organisational strategy. This year’s gathering focussed in particular on issues of gender, orders and Eucharist, responding to the challenge laid down for our churches to find new yet faithful ways of considering old problems in the context of a communion ecclesiology.

The meeting took place within the context of daily prayer in York Minster, and concluded with a celebration of the Eucharist with the Mercier Chalice, in which is set the Episcopal Ring of Cardinal Mercier. In the week after his funeral, the Group prayed in particular for their former patron Cardinal Godfried Danneels who died on 14th March 2019. May the Lord grant him eternal rest.


The Malines Conversation Group is immensely grateful to all its sponsors and supporters, Anglican and Catholic alike. An eighth meeting is planned for next Spring, in Madeira, where Viscount Halifax first met the Abbé Portal. Preparations are also underway for the centenary of the Conversations in December 2021. 

MEMBERS



Anglican members:

The Right Revd David Hamid, Suffragan Bishop of the Church of England Diocese in Europe; Co-chairman of IARCCUM 

The Most Revd David Moxon, Former Co-Chairman of ARCIC III and former representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome

The Revd Canon Professor Emeritus Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity Emerita, University of Cambridge, UK

The Revd Dr Jennifer Cooper, Director of Initial Ministerial Eduction, Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle; Research Fellow, Campion Hall Oxford

The Revd Canon Dr James Hawkey, Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey and Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge; member of the International Anglican-Reformed Dialogue.

The Revd Canon Dr Jeremy Morris, Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge; Senior Associate of the Cambridge Theological Federation, Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

The Very Revd Canon David Richardson, former representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome 

The Revd Canon Professor Nicholas
Sagovsky, Former Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey; Former member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC)

Catholic members:

His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Tobin, C.Ss.R, Archbishop of Newark

The Revd Canon Anthony Currer, Secretary to the Anglican and Methodist dialogues at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome

The Revd Professor Marc R. Francis, President of The Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois       

Professor Joris Geldhof, Professor of liturgical studies and sacramental theology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; Chair of the Liturgical Institute Leuven; Editor-in-chief of the bilingual journal Questions Liturgiques/Studies in Liturgy; President of Societas Liturgica

Dr Maryana Hnyp, Coordinator of Inter-Religious Affairs, KU Leuven; Institutional Development Officer, Caritas Europa; Founding Chair KU Leuven Lifestance Network

Professor Dr Arnaud Join-Lambert, Université catholique de Louvain; Centre de théologie pratique

The Revd Professor Keith Pecklers, SJ, Professor of Liturgy at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), Professor of Liturgical History at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Sant’Anselmo (Rome); Founding president of the International Jungmann Society

The Revd Professor Thomas Pott OSB, Monastery of Chevetogne (Belgium); Professor of Oriental Liturgy and Sacramentology at the Pontifical Atheneum Sant’Anselmo and at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Rome); Consultor of the Sacred Congregation for the Eastern Churches and of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity


The Revd Cyrille Vael OSB, Monastery of Chevetogne (Belgium); Advisor of NNE (New Narrative for Europe) of the Department for Promotion and Protection of the Regional Cultural Heritage of Europe (European Commission).




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