News & Opinion


• St Chad ‘returns’ to Lichfield Cathedral (7 Nov 2022)

• Pope Francis prays for unity of church as he celebrates anniversary of Vatican II (11 Oct 2022)

• Irish Benedictine to lead Vatican’s relations with Anglicans and Methodists (7 Oct 2022)

• ‘Ecumenical winter’ must end, declares Archbishop Welby (8 Sep 2022)

• Archbishop of Canterbury: “In this time of world crisis, Christians are to be a community of peace” (7 Sep 2022)

2016 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion

Anglicans host Catholics for third Vatican-Church of England cricket match
12 September 2016 • Persistent link:
The Revd Matt Beeby, Curate of Christ Church, Mayfair, opens the batting for the Diocese of London in the Church Times Cup final; on his way to 69 not out. London beat the Diocese of Leeds by nine wickets to win the match – their fourth in a row.

It will be a case of “best of three” tomorrow when the Pope’s Cricket Team arrive in Canterbury to take on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI. The first match between the Vatican’s St Peter’s Cricket Team and a group of Anglican ordinands was played at the Spitfire Ground, home of Kent County Cricket Club, in 2014. The Vatican side were narrowly defeated on that occasion; but were convincing winners when the two sides met again last year in Rome.

Now, in what has become an annual event, the two teams will once more do battle when they meet at the Spitfire Ground tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon. And on Thursday the two sides will be joined by a Muslim side from West Yorkshire – the Mount Cricket Club – for a one-day triangular T20 series at Edgbaston, the home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

“The Anglican players share with their patron, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a belief that faith in God unites people rather than divides them,” the Revd Steve Gray, who captained the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI in the past two years, said. “This is why it is such a privilege to host teams from the Vatican and Mount Cricket Club at Edgbaston. We’re thrilled that they have accepted the invitation – and the challenge.”

Anglicans look to Pope as role model of Christian leadership
12 September 2016 • Persistent link:
Pope Francis greets New Zealand Archbishop David Moxon, director of Rome's Anglican Centre, and Zambian Bishop William Mchombo of the Central African province at the end of his Wednesday general audience in St Peter's Square

Among the thousands of pilgrims and visitors present in St Peter’s Square for the Pope’s general audience on Wednesday was a group of Anglicans from all over the world who are taking part in a week long study course on Christian leadership. Organised by the Anglican Centre in Rome, the course is based on Biblical scholarship, case studies of exemplary leaders, past and present, and field work in Rome and Assisi. Participants from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Nigeria and Myanmar were among those attending the audience, while the director of the Anglican Centre, Archbishop David Moxon and Zambian Bishop William Mchombo of the Central African province were also able to exchange a few words with Pope Francis.

ARCIC & IARCCUM: 50 years of walking together in faith
24 August 2016 • Persistent link:

ARCIC & IARCCUM: 50 years of walking together in faith’ is a symposium to be held Wednesday, 5 October 2016 at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Planned in conjunction with the IARCCUM pilgrimage, this symposium will be an opportunity to explore in detail some of the achievements of 50 years of dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

New Steps on an Ancient Pilgrimage: Walking Together from Canterbury to Rome
1 August 2016 • Persistent link:
New Steps on an Ancient Pilgrimage: Walking Together from Canterbury to Rome

Thirty-six IARCCUM Anglican and Catholic bishops, representing 19 different regions where Anglicans and Catholics live side by side in significant numbers, will meet in Canterbury and Rome for a summit meeting in October of this year. The bishops will arrive in Canterbury for the first leg of their meeting on 30th September. They will be staying at the Lodge in Canterbury Cathedral, will take part in the liturgical life of the Cathedral, and will make a pilgrim visit to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket, where Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Robert Runcie prayed together. The purpose of the meeting will be to discover new ways where, on the basis of the agreed statements of ARCIC, Catholics and Anglicans can give greater witness to their common faith, and particularly how they can collaborate in mission to the world. The meeting will begin by listening to the bishops’ own pastoral challenges. The bishops will also reflect on the previous documents of IARCCUM, and particularly, Growing Together in Unity and Mission. They will be accompanied by Dr Anna Rowlands of Durham University, who will be present at all the bishops’ discussions and will resource the meeting from her expertise in Catholic and Anglican Social Theology.

Church of England concludes “shared conversations” on human sexuality
13 July 2016 • Persistent link:
The Church of England's General Synod

Members of the Church of England’s General Synod have concluded two days of informal talks on human sexuality. The private sessions, which followed the weekend’s formal meeting of the Synod in York, conclude a two-year programme of “shared conversations” throughout the Church of England.

On Friday, the Church Commissioners for England confirmed that they have provided £300,000 GBP to fund the cost of the conversations; and that the remaining – undisclosed – cost will be funded by the dioceses.

The C of E said that the conversations were designed to allow people to “reflect together on scripture and a changing culture in relation to their understanding of human sexuality” and that no change in policy or doctrine would be forthcoming as part of the process.

While the shared conversations took place, the Synod’s business committee declined to bring forward for debate two Private Members Motions on the issue. Those motions lapsed in July last year when the quinquennium came to an end.

Anglican bishops’ consultation helps keep Communion together, says Canadian Primate
4 July 2016 • Persistent link:
Some of the 24 bishops and support staff pose for a group photo in Accra, Ghana, at the 7th Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue

Seven years after the first Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue was held at the Anglican Communion offices in London, England, in 2010, a record 24 bishops – including four primates – came together in Accra, Ghana, from 25 – 29 May to learn about the unique contexts and challenges different parts of the African, North American and English churches are facing. In a testimony released following the consultation, titled “Unity in Diversity,” the bishops looked back on what has been accomplished since 2010, and said that in order to build a stronger sense of unity, the Communion needs to turn to the past.

Seventh Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue finds unity in diversity
23 June 2016 • Persistent link:
Some of the 24 bishops and support staff pose for a group photo in Accra, Ghana, at the 7th Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue

Introduced by the Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante as an ecumenical contribution from the Methodist Church of Ghana, the Akan concept of sankofa served as a guiding framework for the Seventh Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue, which took place from May 25-29 in Accra, Ghana. The gathering brought together bishops from Canada, Ghana, Swaziland, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Burundi, Zambia, England, and the United States. Sankofa — literally, ‘It is not a taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind’ — refers broadly to the unity of past and present, where the narrative of the past is a dynamic reality that cannot be separated from consideration of the present and future. The Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue emerged after the 2008 Lambeth Conference as a way for bishops from different backgrounds to continue an ongoing, respectful dialogue in the midst of significant disagreements, primarily over the issues of human sexuality and same-sex marriage.

The Anglican Communion’s spymaster general
15 June 2016 • Persistent link:
The Anglican Communion's spymaster general? Archbishop David Moxon, director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, reads a lesson during a special service of choral evensong at Westminster Abbey, marking the centre's 50th anniversary

Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders were joined by senior figures from other Christian denominations last night at a special choral evensong in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Anglican Centre in Rome. Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox Church leaders were present at the service, which was sung by the Westminster Abbey Choir. In his sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised the work of the Centre, and its director, Archbishop David Moxon, joking that the centre was seen by some as the Anglican Communion’s spy station in Rome. “Those are the first time I heard those words this evening,” Archbishop David told ACNS afterwards, “but I think in terms of intelligent reporting, in terms of a careful look at each other, in terms of good communication and awareness of each other, it is a humorous and anecdotal description which I enjoy.” The service, he said, summed up “50 years of faith, hope and love”, and he added: “The Anglican Centre is a bit like a fiddler on the roof: it needs funding every year, it can’t guarantee its existence, but it tries to play a tune of faith, hope, love; to try to suggest that what unites us is greater than what divides us. That’s the point. “And we stand on that roof, playing that tune, saying to people ‘look up! The Holy Spirit is trying to build bridges all the time.’ We are part of that process, part of that energy,” he said, adding that God gives the courage and hope needed to build bridges between the denominations.

Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant continues to thrive
1 June 2016 • Persistent link:
Bishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson of the Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle and Archbishop Daniel Bohan of the Archdiocese of Regina celebrate an ecumenical covenant service on Pentecost

The Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant between the Regina archdiocese and the Diocese of Qu’Appelle signed in 2011 continues to grow, with activities between the two faith communities. They gathered May 15, Pentecost Sunday, at St. Paul’s Cathedral for a traditional Anglican evensong service with a homily delivered by archdiocesan administrator Rev. Lorne Crozon and the apostolic blessing performed by Winnipeg Archbishop Emeritus James Weisgerber. Canon Michael Jackson, Anglican co-chair of the Covenant Implementation Committee, opened the service, followed by St. Paul’s Cathedral dean Michael Sinclair, who welcomed everyone.

Susan Klein, Roman Catholic co-chair of the Covenant Implementation Committee reported on the numerous activities the covenant participants have shared since the last time they met. Among the highlights was Signs of Hope: A Conversation on First Nations Ministry, held in the fall of 2015. It attracted Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals who engaged in conversations following presentations by Rev. Dale Gillman and Sister Re-Anne Letourneau.

Anglicans, Roman Catholics team up to tackle big questions
20 May 2016 • Persistent link:
Bishop Donald Bolen of the Roman Catholic diocese of Saskatoon

Is doubt just the opposite of faith? Or is it more complicated?

Bishop Donald Bolen, of the Roman Catholic diocese of Saskatoon, says this is one of the central issues facing people today, and a question that’s been on his mind throughout his life as a priest.

For him, it’s definitely more complicated.

“In a sense, apathy is the opposite of faith, whereas a lively doubt is a part of our faith,” Bolen says. “Doubt wants faith to have its reasons… I think when people pay serious attention to their doubts and don’t give up on them, but work with them, the doubting becomes a motivation to think more, to search more, to pray more, to look harder, to find reasons, and I think that’s a motivation which leads to a deeper faith,” he says.

“The doubter is on a quest.”

Anglicans, Catholics to publish first ARCIC III volume
17 May 2016 • Persistent link:
The Labyrinth at Anglican convent of St John the Divine in Toronto, Canada, where the 2016 ARCIC meeting is taking place, symbolises a pilgrimage of penitence and prayer

Anglican and Catholic theologians, meeting in Toronto, Canada this week, have agreed on the publication of their first ARCIC III document on the theme “Towards a Church fully reconciled”. The volume, which is likely to be published in the autumn, uses the ‘Receptive Ecumenism’ approach to look at the limitations within each communion and see how one Church can help the other grow towards the fullness of faith. The third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) is holding its sixth annual meeting from May 11th to 19th, hosted by the Anglican sisters of St John the Divine in Toronto. The 18 members of the Commission have completed work on the first part of their mandate, exploring tensions between the local and Universal Church within the two communions, and are continuing discussions on a second volume, looking at how Anglicans and Catholics make difficult moral and ethical decisions.

Anglican-Catholic dialogue hammering out the ‘tough difficulties’
16 May 2016 • Persistent link:
English Archbishop Bernard Longley, co-chair of ARCIC III at the 2016 meeting in Toronto

After nearly 50 years of discourse between the Catholic and Anglican communions, the official dialogue body wants to fine-tune how it studies the differences and similarities between two churches which both call themselves Catholic.

ARCIC III hasn’t proved itself yet,” Sir David Moxon, Anglican co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, told The Catholic Register following an ecumenical evensong on Pentecost Sunday.

This third stage of the dialogue has been meeting since 2011, but has yet to publish a major document. It is currently studying how the Church arrives at moral teaching.

The official dialogue sponsored by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury is meeting in Toronto until May 18, when a concluding communique is expected from the meeting of 22 bishops, theologians and support staff. It is the first time the body has met in Canada and, to the knowledge of the participants, the first time in 50 years that ARCIC has met during Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit first revealed the global unity of the Christian message expressed in the diversity of languages from around the world.

Reaping the benefits of Anglican-RC talks
13 May 2016 • Persistent link:
Praying together on Ash Wednesday eventually led to New Zealand Roman Catholics and Anglicans collaborating in a number of different ways-including a joint mission that serves 7,000 people, says Archbishop David Moxon of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, and Anglican co-chair of ARCIC

About 23 years ago, says Archbishop David Moxon of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, he and the local Roman Catholic bishop made an agreement that still makes him feel hopeful. The two church heads decided to share the rite of imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday – a tradition that continues in New Zealand today. Outstanding doctrinal differences prevent the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches from being able to actually take communion together. But Moxon, who is also the Anglican co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC)-the two faith groups’ international ecumenical body-is encouraged about the prospect of ongoing dialogue. The relationships made between New Zealand Anglicans and Roman Catholics through sharing the Ash Wednesday rite, he says, led the two churches to spearhead a joint mission that involves nine Christian charities and serves about 7,000 people in the city of Hamilton, New Zealand.

Anglican-Catholic dialogue coming to Toronto
29 April 2016 • Persistent link:
Bishop Donald Bolen of Saskatoon and Bishop Linda Nicholls of Huron, the Roman Catholic and Anglican co-chairs of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue of Canada (ARC)

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.

Anglicans affirm Lutheran-Catholic agreement, endorse Reformation anniversary
28 April 2016 • Persistent link:
The ecumenical guests with Archbishop Justin Welby at the ACC meeting in Lusaka

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.

Anglicans and Catholics discuss recognition of ministry
26 April 2016 • Persistent link:

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”.

Reformation and unity in ACC’s ecumenical resolutions
26 April 2016 • Persistent link:
The ecumenical guests with Archbishop Justin Welby at the ACC meeting in Lusaka

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.

Primate of Hong Kong elected as new chair of Anglican Consultative Council
19 April 2016 • Persistent link:
The archbishop and primate of Hong Kong, Rev. Dr Paul Kwong, has been elected as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC)

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.

Study, worship, and engage on issues theologically, Archbishop of Canterbury urges Anglican Consultative Council
19 April 2016 • Persistent link:
Participants at the ACC meeting in Lusaka studied, worshipped, and engaged on issues theologically

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.”

Ecumenical greetings to ACC-16 from Roman Catholic Church
12 April 2016 • Persistent link:

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.

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