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Thursday, 26 November 2009

Anglican-Roman Catholic Ecumenical Relations Move Forward

The annual “Informal Talks” between the Vatican and the Anglican Communion were held on 25 November at the Anglican Centre in Rome. The delegations were headed by Cardinal Walter Kasper (left) and Canon Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. I participate in the informal talks as spokesperson for the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Mission and Unity, IARCCUM, along with my Roman Catholic colleague, the Most Revd John Bathersby, the Archbishop of Brisbane. The meetings are in camera but we decided to make public, in the form of a press release, one very important announcement, which I attach below.

The press release is important, not only for its content; it also signals how the dialogue at the highest level between our Churches is continuing, with an agreed mandate and agenda. So official Anglican-Roman Catholic relations are on very solid ground, despite any awkward feelings resulting from the Vatican's announcement of the Apostolic Constitition Anglicanorum ceotibus.

Anglicans in the Diocese in Europe have very cordial relations with the Roman Catholic Church. In many places these warm relations are vital to our church's life where we receive the hospitality of Roman Catholic bishops and the use of their buildings. We therefore welcome this strong affirmation of our continuing pilgrimage towards the unity which is Christ’s will. The press release is as follows:

Following the meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at the Vatican on 21 November 2009, at which they reaffirmed their desire to strengthen ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, a preparatory committee met on 23 November 2009 to prepare the third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). It has been decided that the phase will begin within the coming year.
This third phase will deal with fundamental questions regarding the Church as Communion – Local and Universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church comes to discern right ethical teaching.
Over the coming months members will be nominated to the Commission, and a date for its first meeting will be announced.

1 comment:

  1. It is nice to see these talks pursued, despite the recent PR Disaster of the new Initiative to look after displaced Anglicans in the Ordinatitures.

    I fully support the Arch Bishop of Canterburys way of moving forward with some hope of an outcome of a communion of differences, rather than uniting under the RC Papacy - which I would not feel able to support.