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Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission

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Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission

The Anglican—Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is an organization created in 1969 which seeks to make ecumenical progress between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.[1] The sponsors are the Anglican Consultative Council and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (formerly the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity).

ARCIC seeks to identify common ground between the two communions. Ecumenical relations have become strained, owing to the ordination of women within the Anglican Communion and, in more recent years, the Anglican communion has internally become increasingly more divided over issues concerning human sexuality.

Joint Preparatory Commission: 1967-68

In 1967 there were three meetings, a preparatory meeting in Italy,[2] a meeting on the place of scripture in England[3] and culminating in a meeting in Malta[4] culminating in the Malta Report.[5]

First phase: 1970-1981

The first phase of ARCIC was held under the aegis of the Most Reverend Henry McAdoo (Anglican Archbishop of Dublin) and the Right Reverend Alan Clark (Roman Catholic Bishop of East Anglia). The co-secretaries were Anglicans Colin Davey[6] and Christopher Hill[7] and the Roman Catholic Monsignor William A. Purdy.

In 1970 and 1971 there were a number of meetings on eucharistic doctrine,[8][9][10] ending with an agreed statement.[11] An elucidation was issued in 1979.[12]

In 1972[13] there was a meeting on the subject of ordination paving the way for an agreed statement[14] from Canterbury.[15] An elucidation was issued in 1979.[16]

In the mid-1970s a number of meetings were held on the issue of authority[17][18] culminating in a statement[19] made at Venice.[20] Further discussions on the subject of authority were held in 1977,[21] 1979[22] and 1980[23] with elucidations[24] and a further statement[25] issued at Windsor in 1981 with the final statement.

A final statement for "ARCIC I" was issued in 1981 at Windsor.[26] There were responses from both the Lambeth Conference[27] and the Catholic Church.[28] Further clarifications on the Eucharist and Ministry were issued in 1993.[29]

Second phase: 1983 - 2011

In the second phase the Co-Chairs were the Anglican bishops Mark Santer,[30] Frank Griswold[31] and Peter Carnley[32] and the Roman Catholic bishops Cormac Murphy O'Connor[33] and Alexander Joseph Brunett.[34] A number of Anglican[35] and Roman Catholic[36] clerics served as co-secretaries.

The topics covered by ARCIC II included the doctrine of salvation,[37][38][39][40] communion,[41][42][43][44][45][46][47] teaching authority,[19][48][49][50][51][52] and the role of Mary the mother of God.[53][54][55][56][57][58]

In 2007 the commission issued Growing Together in Unity and Mission which stated that “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] as universal primate is in accordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth.[1]”. Not only that but the document goes on to say that “We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore together how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome might be offered and received in order to assist our Communions to grow towards full, ecclesial communion.”

Third phase: 2011 - present

The new phase of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue started from May 17–27, 2011 at the ecumenical Monastery of Bose in northern Italy.[59] The third phase of ARCIC will be to consider 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. The opening meeting was influenced by Catholic-Anglican tensions over the creation of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, a Vatican organ established earlier the same year in order to make easier the transition to the Catholic Church by Anglicans wishing to leave their church.[60]

The co-chairmen of this phase are Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon of the New Zealand dioceses.

Roman Catholic members: Bishop Arthur Kennedy of Boston •  Paul Murray, professor of theology and religion at Durham University  • Janet Smith, professor of moral theology  •  Redemptorist Father Vimal Tirimanna, professor at Rome's Alphonsianum University  •  Benedictine Father Henry Wansbrough from Ampleforth Abbey  •  Sister Teresa Okure of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Nigeria  •  Father Adelbert Denaux, former professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, (currently) dean of the School of Catholic Theology of Tilburg University.

Anglican members: Paula Gooder, canon theologian of Birmingham Cathedral  •  Christopher Hillm Bishop of Guildford  •  The Revd Mark McIntosh, canon professor at the University of Durham  •  Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe of Natal, Southern Africa  •  Bishop Linda Nicholls in the Diocese of Toronto  •  The Revd Michael Poon from Trinity Theological College in Singapore  •  The Revd Canon Nicholas Sagovsky, retiring canon at Westminster Abbey  •  The Revd Peter Sedgwick, principal of St. Michael's College.

The Revd Charles Sherlock, former registrar of the Melbourne College of Divinity in Australia, will serve as a consultant to the ARCIC.

Controversy

ARCIC has met with some hostile reaction from traditionalist Roman Catholics.[61][62] Although ARCIC had just completed the major document on Marian theology in 2003, Pope John Paul II suspended official talks between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, owing to the consecration of Gene Robinson, a homosexual man in a non-celibate relationship, as a bishop in the Episcopal Church in the United States.[63] Moreover, the ordination of women, especially to the episcopacy, has repeatedly been questioned by the Roman Catholic Church leadership as harmful to Christian unity. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, put it this way: The ordination of women to the episcopate "signified a breaking away from apostolic tradition and a further obstacle for reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Church of England." He also seemed more upset about the warring parties within Anglicanism: "He described the legislation for those opposed to women's ordained ministry in the Church of England as the 'unspoken institutionalism' of an 'existing schism.'"[64] At the opening of the May 2011 meeting, British journalist William Oddie claimed that ARCIC activities were useless, as only the Catholic side had a clear agenda and described all ecumenical activity as leading to a dead end.[60]

See also

Notes and references

Further reading

  • Greenacre, Roger, and Dennis Corbishley. Study Guide to the Final Report of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. London: Catholic Truth Society: S.P.C.K., 1982. N.B.: At head of title: "English Anglican/Roman Catholic Committee". ISBN 0-85183-511-2

External links

  • Anglican—Roman Catholic International Commission homepage
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