1999 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
“The dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics is only one stream in the wider river of ecumenical dialogue. The issue of authority comes up sooner or later, in one form or another, in every dialogue which addresses itself seriously to the questions of communion and unity,” the Rt Rev Mark Santer, Bishop of Birmingham and previous Co-Chairman of ARCIC (the Anglican and Roman Catholic International Commission, said. He was taking part in a presentation of the ARCIC document The Gift of Authority: Authority in the Church III, to members of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Dundee, Scotland.
The Scottish Episcopal Church will host the 11th Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) 14-25 September 1999. The gathering of the international groups of bishops, clergy and laity will meet in the Diocese of Brechin, Dundee, at the West Park Centre.
A full and timely agenda awaits the ACC members coming from the 38 Provinces of the Anglican Communion. Much of the business will stem from resolutions of the Lambeth Conference 1998 that have been referred to the ACC for possible action.
At a press briefing in Westminster Abbey, London, today, the co-chairmen of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), the Rt Revd Mark Santer (Anglican) and the Rt Revd Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (Roman Catholic), launched the document “The Gift of Authority”, the latest in study documents issued by 18 members of the Commission.
This new document is the third agreed statement from ARCIC to address the question of authority in the church – its nature, exercise and implications. The statement takes into account the recent work in both Churches concerned with the matter of authority – the Lambeth Conference 1998 resolutions of the topic, “The Virginia Report” (Anglican document sent to the Provinces), and the 1995 Encyclical Letter on Ecumenism, “Ut Unum Sint”.
I welcome the publication of the ARCIC‘s latest document, “The Gift of Authority”. I would like to express my thanks to the Co-Chairmen of the Commission, Bishop Cormac Murphy O’Connor and Bishop Mark Santer, together with their colleagues, for all their hard work and dedication.
“The Gift of Authority” tackles the most controversial of theological issues separating Roman Catholics and Anglicans. It is noteworthy that in earlier stages in the life of ARCIC it was recognised that more work would be needed before the same level of agreement could be recorded on Authority as was achieved on the topics of the Eucharist and Ministry and Ordination.
It has just been announced by the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome that the Rt. Revd John Baycroft, currently the Anglican Bishop of Ottawa, Canada has been appointed as the next Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.
While the Roman Catholic Church and Rome itself have been busy with massive campaigns of refurbishment of their great shrines, including St Peter’s, so too has the Anglican Centre in Rome been totally transformed.
Fund-raising and awareness building programmes have been a huge success and the Centre now finds itself in the midst of the splendour of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in the heart of the Eternal City. Rome is expecting millions of visitors in 2000, marking the Jubilee and the Holy Year and now Anglicans can be even more proud of their presence in Rome.