June ~ 2006 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams has set out his thinking on the future of the Anglican Communion in the wake of the deliberations in the United States on the Windsor Report and the Anglican Communion at the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church (USA). ‘The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today, A Reflection for the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful of the Anglican Communion’, has been sent to Primates with a covering letter, published more widely and made available as audio on the internet. In it, Dr Williams says that the strength of the Anglican tradition has been in maintaining a balance between the absolute priority of the Bible, a catholic loyalty to the sacraments and a habit of cultural sensitivity and intellectual flexibility.
As I write, conversations are taking place in Rome on the future of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue. Whatever structures are set in place, it is certain that the dialogue will continue.
It is sometimes easy to forget how much has been achieved. The agreement of the first Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission on the Eucharist and on the Ministry is of such depth and quality that in the judgement of the Vatican no further study would seem to be required at this stage, while the 1988 Lambeth Conference confirmed that the agreement is consonant in substance with the faith of Anglicans. Such agreement should reassure Roman Catholics that the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, in the decree on ecumenism, that the Anglican Communion has a special place because of its retention of elements of Catholic faith and ecclesiastical structure, remains valid.