April ~ 2016 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
One of the most important and troubled projects from the Second Vatican Council arrives in Toronto May 11 for some serious, scholarly, and saintly talk.
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, better known as ARCIC, rolls into town to puzzle over how Catholics and Anglicans make decisions over ethical questions and to find new ways to sum up its work over the last five decades.
ARCIC is the official ecumenical dialogue between the world’s 85 million Anglicans and 1.3 billion Catholics set up by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1969.
This is the first time ARCIC has met in Canada, and it gives Canada’s own Anglican-Catholic dialogue partners a chance to rub shoulders with their international counterparts.
Affirmation of the Lutheran-Catholic agreement on justification and a call for Anglicans to commemorate the 2017 Reformation anniversary were among ecumenical resolutions adopted by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) at its recent meeting in Lusaka, Zambia. Bishop Dr Matti Repo of Tampere, Finland, who participated in the Anglican Communion’s governing body meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, mid-April says he was encouraged by the enthusiastic discussions on these issues “which both point to the grace of God and the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.” Repo was at the ACC as an ecumenical guest representing The Lutheran World Federation (LWF). He presented the call to affirm the substance of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ), which was signed by the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church in 1999. The LWF was also asking Anglicans to recognize the significance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation which will be observed next year.
Catholic and Anglican theologians have been meeting together near Rome to discuss ordination rites within the two communions, as well as the significant ecumenical implications of Pope Francis‘ recent document ‘Amoris Laetitia’. A meeting of the Malines Conversation group took place from April 17th to 22nd at Rocca di Papa, south of Rome, culminating in an ecumenical evensong celebrated by Archbishop Arthur Roche of the Congregation for Divine Worship. A communique issued after the encounter said the theologians from seven different countries discussed “contemporary and historic ordination rites” and the developments that have taken place in both communions since Pope Leo XIII declared Anglican orders to be “null and void”.
A call for Anglicans to commemorate next year’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the commendation of a number of new inter-denominational agreements and reports were amongst a raft of ecumenical resolutions adopted by the Anglican Consultative Council when they met in Lusaka, Zambia, earlier this month. In Resolution 16.16, the ACC spoke of the “significance” of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and recommended that Anglicans should mark the anniversary by taking part in shared services, study, and mission activities with Lutherans and other ecumenical partners. The ACC also encouraged Anglicans to “engage with the Lutheran World Federation’s focus: Liberated by God’s Grace”. In a separate resolution – 16.17 – the ACC said that it “welcomes and affirms the substance” of the joint Lutheran and Roman Catholic Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, which the two churches signed in 1999.
The archbishop and primate of Hong Kong, Rev. Dr Paul Kwong, has been elected as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).
He is the first serving primate to be elected to the role.
Kwong received 40 votes. The runner-up, Prof. Joanildo Burity from Brazil, received 25 votes. Kwong will succeed Bishop James Tengatenga.
The ACC facilitates the cooperative work of the churches of the Anglican Communion, fostering the exchange of information between the provinces and churches. It also helps coordinate common action, advises on the organization and structures of the communion, and seeks to develop common policies with respect to the world mission of the church, including ecumenical matters.
The ACC meets every two or three years in different parts of the world. ACC-16 is taking place in Lusaka, Zambia on 8-19 April.
The Anglican Communion needs to be “aware of the great crises of our times,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said in a presidential address to members of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Lusaka, Zambia.
“Because we are all over the world and because we are stretched and pulled by our differences, as we have looked at this week, the temptation is either to think only of internal questions, or of traditional issues, and not to realize that around us the world is shifting on its axis,” he said.
Sometimes the issues we face, even if they are not new, become acute in a new way and compel us to rethink how we work and how we apply the gifts given by God, Welby said in his 15 April address.
“Two actors dominate our world stage at present, I would argue,” said the archbishop.
“One is religiously motivated violence, and the other is climate change,” he said. “The world tends to forget, noted Welby, that “both characters can only be confronted with a theological and ideological approach and with a story, with a narrative, that is sufficiently powerful to overcome the natural selfishness of one generation, or the selfishness of countries which are more secure.”
Father Tony Currer, officer responsible for Anglican Relations at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), brought a message of greeting to all the participants of the 16th Anglican Consultative Council Meeting, in Lusaka (8 to 19 April) from His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the PCPCU.