2018 ~ Anglican-Roman Catholic news & opinion
“Synodality,” a key concept of Pope Francis‘ papacy, was used repeatedly in the final document of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocation discernment. In simple terms, “synodality” means “walking together” with every member of the church, recognizing that the grace of baptism makes one part of the body of the church and, therefore, responsible for its life and mission. “The church must really let herself be given shape by the Eucharist that she celebrates as the summit and source of her life,” being like “the bread made from many stalks of wheat and broken for the life of the world,” the synod document said.
A Roman Catholic bishop and his Anglican counterpart have been inspired by an official international ecumenical mission partnership to create a joint project to address the development needs of children living in poverty. In October 2016, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis jointly commissioned and sent out 19 pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops to do joint mission across the world. The Roman Catholic Bishop of Saint John, Robert Harris, and the Anglican Bishop of Fredericton, David Edwards, were not part of that initiative; but inspired by it the two bishops – whose dioceses overlap – have signed a joint declaration to launch a child development programme.
The project, “Dads & Tots”, will work with single fathers from the Waterloo Village and South End neighbourhoods of Saint John, a port city in Canada’s New Brunswick province. The project will enable mentoring relationships with experienced fathers who can teach them parenting skills and facilitate weekly relationship-building sessions whereby the fathers can interact with their children in a controlled literacy- and play-based environment.
The project follows the formation last year of a Saint John IARCCUM Group between the two dioceses. Dads & Tots has now begun as a six-week pilot ahead of its permanent launch in January. It is being run by a specialist in early childhood intervention and will use facilities and equipment donated by the two dioceses.
Pope Francis‘ top-down change of the Roman Catholic Church took on an ecumenical dimension last week as two Church of England bishops were officially included in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales visit ad limina to Rome.
In their 1 Oct 2018 communique the bishops’ conference reported among the “firsts” of their 24-29 Sept 2018 meeting with Francis was the presence of two Anglican bishops and a representative from the Conference of Religious in England and Wales.
“In a number of our visits we have been accompanied by two bishops of the Church of England, Bishop Martin Warner and Bishop Christopher Foster. On one occasion we were joined by Sister Frances Orchard CJ of the Conference of Religious in England and Wales. We also visited the Pontifical Commission for Communication, whose Prefect, Dr Paolo Ruffini, is a layman. These are all ‘firsts’ – examples of openness and change” they said.
According to Catholic canon law, diocesan bishops and prelates with territorial jurisdiction are obliged to meet with the pope every five years to report on the state of their dioceses and prelatures. Last week’s visit included the 22 diocesan bishops of England and Wales, the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Ordinary of the Military Ordinariate, the Apostolic Eparchs of the Ukrainian and Syro-Malabar Churches in Britain, and the Apostolic Prefect of the Falkland Islands.
At Solemn Vespers in the Shrine Church on Monday 24th September – the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham – a new Covenant agreed between the Anglican and the Roman Catholic Shrines in Walsingham was announced and signed by Fr Kevin Smith (Priest Administrator of the Anglican Shrine) and Mgr John Armitage (Rector of the Roman Catholic Shrine). Messages from the Bishop of Norwich and the Bishop of East Anglia were read out to mark the occasion. This historic event was witnessed by visiting pilgrims and members of the local community.
The latest agreed statement by the third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) was released July 2. “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal” indicates that Anglicans and Catholics are still on the way together and learning from each other. The year 1966 included a watershed moment for Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue: Then-Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey paid a visit to Pope Paul VI, and a common journey began. In 1970, ARCIC was instituted and, since then, has explored the themes of authority and ecclesiology of communion.
La differenza non è più motivo di sospetto o di rimprovero, ma è soprattutto un’opportunità arricchente per l’ascolto reciproco, l’apprendimento e la conversione. È questo lo spirito innovativo che sottende il nuovo documento adottato dalla Commissione internazionale anglicana-cattolica. Si tratta della prima dichiarazione concordata della terza fase di dialogo ufficiale, nota anche come ARCIC III. Il documento, intitolato Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal (Camminare insieme sulla strada: imparare a essere la Chiesa – locale, regionale, universale) è stato concordato nel corso di una riunione svoltasi a Erfurt, in Germania, nel 2017, ma è stato diffuso il 2 luglio scorso dopo sette anni di riunioni e consultazioni congiunte.
An agreed statement produced by the official commission for dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches has been heralded as “ground-breaking” and an “important step on the pilgrimage towards fuller unity in Christ”. The text for the work – “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal” – was agreed at a meeting of the third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) in the German city of Erfurt in May 2017. It was the first document produced by ARCIC III and is the culmination of seven years’ work.
After nearly seven years of deliberation, the third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has issued a statement on authority, structure, and decision-making, which sets out how the two traditions might learn from each other. The 34,000-word statement Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church — local, regional, universal, which runs to 70 pages, was published on Monday on the website of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The text was agreed in Erfurt, Germany, the scene of Martin Luther’s early ministry, on the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation on the Continent. ARCIC members have described the agreed statement as “exciting”, and suggest that it has the potential to restore ecumenical dialogue to good health after the difficulties experienced since Anglican developments such as the ordination of women and openly gay clergy, and the blessings of same-sex unions.
Members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission expressed excitement about a fresh approach to ecumenism outlined in a statement that has taken seven years to produce. Paula Gooder, a British theologian and an Anglican member of the commission, known as ARCIC III, described the statement reflecting on authority and ecclesial communion as “groundbreaking.” “We feel that … we are walking together more closely than ever,” Gooder told Catholic News Service in a July 2 telephone interview. “I think this is a really important document.” She described the commission’s work as entering “new territory” and that she sees “great potential for future conversations and that is really exciting.” Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England, Catholic co-chair of ARCIC, said he felt the document was “exciting” because it restored ecumenical dialogue after a hiatus caused by the changes within the Anglican Communion, such as the priestly and episcopal ordination of women.
The Third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has issued its first agreed statement with the title Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal. Since its first meeting in 1970, ARCIC has published thirteen agreed statements. The third phase of the dialogue began in 2011 with the dual mandate to explore “the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching.” The current document completes the first part of this mandate.
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission published its first document in 13 years on how both institutions can learn from each other in the exercise of ecclesial authority locally, regionally and globally. The document, “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal,” is the first to come out of the third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, known as ARCIC III, which began meeting in 2011. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity made the document public on its website July 2. The latest agreed statement on how structures of authority support and promote ecclesial communion is considered a key element in understanding how discussion and debates are handled and decisions about ethics and “right” moral teachings are made, which will be the topic of the next document by ARCIC III.
“Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal” is the first document produced by ARCIC in 13 years. Catholics can learn from Anglicans in giving a greater role to the laity in matters of church governance and more authority to local bishops’ conferences, according to a landmark new document from the official dialogue body of the two Churches. Anglicans, the text also argues, should focus on setting up structures and processes that safeguard the worldwide identity of its Communion and avoid becoming too focussed on one province. The recommendations are contained in “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal”, the first document produced by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) in 13 years.
A new document driven by a fresh approach taken by the official Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue commission reflects a major development in ecumenism where difference is not cause for suspicion or reproach, but is used as an enriching opportunity for mutual listening, learning and conversion.
This notable change is seen in the first agreed statement from the newest and third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, known as ARCIC III. The statement, “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church — Local, Regional, Universal,” was released to the public July 2 after seven years of joint meetings and consultations.
The official commission for dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches has published its first document in 13 years, focusing on how each global institution can learn from the other in balancing exercise of ecclesial authority at the local, regional and worldwide levels.
Among the considerations in the 68-page report, released July 2, are questions of how the Catholic Church might learn from the Anglican experience to empower local church leaders to act more independently from Rome at times, and to give more governing authority to consultative bodies such as the Synod of Bishops.
“The Roman Catholic Church can learn from the culture of open and frank debate that exists at all levels of the Anglican Communion,” the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission state in one of the conclusions of their document, titled: “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church — Local, Regional, Universal.”
Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders in northern Alberta say they’re looking forward to repeating this fall a conference held last November involving clergy from both denominations. More than two dozen clergy from the Anglican diocese of Athabasca and the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan gathered in November 15, 2017 at Slave Lake, Alta., for a one-day conference, to get acquainted and share thoughts and experiences about doing ministry in Alberta’s north. “We thought it went very well, and I think the clergy found it quite valuable,” says Bishop Fraser Lawton, of the diocese of Athabasca. “I think they appreciated just getting to know one another.”
What’s the role of the deacon in the Church and is it still relevant?
Deacons have been a tradition in both the Anglican and Roman Catholic faith communities since the early days of both churches. Experts debated their future role at the International Anglican-Roman Catholic-Ukrainian Catholic Conference on the Diaconate, held May 10 – 13 at Campion College in Regina.
“It’s a privileged moment to have representatives from different Christian churches, most notably Anglican, Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic, and the Eastern voice, to share their reflection on the diaconate. It will be exciting to watch where the seeds planted here will go,” said Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen, who co-chaired the conference with Anglican Bishop Robert Hardwick.
“I think it will strengthen our ecumenical partnerships,” Hardwick said.
Bolen is co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and continues to work internationally on Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue.
Among the most vigorous debates at the conference was the role of women.
“I belong to an order of preachers and have done some preaching, but I am not allowed to preach in a Catholic Church,” said Dominican Sister Gloria Marie Jones of Mission San Jose, Calif. Permanent deacons, however, can preach at Mass and administer some sacraments.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has spoken of the danger that “fear of the other” poses to “Christian witness and presence”. Speaking to the General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, meeting in Novi Sad, Serbia, he said that churches working together can help to break down the walls that others seek to build. “The Church breaks across boundaries and frontiers as if they did not exist,” he said. “By being in Christ, I am made one by God in a family that stretches around the world and crosses cultural, linguistic and ecumenical frontiers, driven by the Spirit who breaks down all the walls that we seek to erect.” He began his address by saying that “fear is the greatest danger that afflicts Christian witness and presence.” He added: “It is fear of the other that causes us to put up barriers, whether within churches, between churches and for that matter between nations. It is fear of the Other the causes us to build walls, whether spiritual or physical. It is fear of the Other that leads to divisions and eventually to the fall of civilisations.”
Thousands of Christians from Uganda and neighbouring countries are arriving in Namugongo for special services to commemorate the Ugandan Martyrs. In 3 June 1886, the Kabaka – or King – of Buganda, Mwanga II, killed 32 young Anglicans and Roman Catholic men – who worked as his pages – by burning them alive at Namugongo. They were among 23 Anglicans and 22 Roman Catholics who were put to death by the king for refusing to recant their faith between 1885 and 1887.
Yesterday, services were held at both the Anglican and Roman Catholic shrines in Namugongo, led by bishops from both Churches. Other similar events will be held in the coming days, leading up to national commemorations on Sunday.
A joint Anglican-Roman Catholic delegation visited southern Malawi last week to celebrate the success of an ecumenical scholarship programme started last year by the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mangochi. The St Timothy Scholarship Programme was launched in September 2017 as a direct response to the Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at San Gregorio al Celio in Rome on 5 October 2016. The two leaders commissioned and sent out 19 pairs of Anglican and Catholic bishops to work together in collaborative mission and witness to the “ends of the earth” to give voice to their common faith in Jesus Christ. The programme has been warmly endorsed by the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).
The programme, which is funded by offshore donors and managed jointly by the two dioceses, provides scholarships to enable children from the poorest families to attend residential secondary schools run by the dioceses on an all expenses paid basis. The €600 (Euro, approximately £530 GBP) scholarships cover tuition fees, room and board, school uniforms, school shoes, athletic wear, stationery, toiletries, bedding, school bag, scientific instruments and a travel allowance funding the student’s cost of travelling from home to school and return by public transport at the beginning and end of each school term.
An informal but officially-sanctioned ecumenical dialogue between Anglican and Roman Catholic theologians has met to consider “the difficult question of Anglican Orders.” The Malines Conversation Group was originally established in the early 1920s by Cardinal Désiré-Joseph Mercier, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Malines-Brussels; some 24 years after Pope Leo XIII declared that Anglican Orders were “absolutely null and utterly void”. The 1920s Malines Conversations Group envisioned the restoration of communion between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in the phrase l’Église Anglicane unie non absorbée – united, but not absorbed.