ARC-USA Holds 60th Meeting, Reflects on “Seattle Document,” “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ”
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US Conference of Catholic Bishops. "ARC-USA Holds 60th Meeting, Reflects on “Seattle Document,” “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ”" (Belleville, Illinois, 2 Apr. 2006).

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WASHINGTON (April 11, 2006)–The sixtieth meeting of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the USA (ARC-USA) took place at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows in Belleville, Illinois, from March 30 to April 2, 2006. The meeting was co-chaired by Right Reverend Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., Episcopal Bishop of Kentucky, and by Most Reverend John C. Dunne, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, in the absence of Most Reverend Edward W. Clark, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, the newly-named Catholic co-chairman.

The bulk of the meeting was devoted to further reflections on the 2004 “Seattle Document” of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ.” Two papers were presented on the use of Scripture in the Seattle Document, one by Most Reverend Richard Sklba, Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee and Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the other by Right Reverend Frederick Borsch, retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, and presently Professor of Anglican Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Professor Joanne M. Pierce of the Department of Religious Studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, presented a paper on Baptism in the Seattle Document, and Father Francis A. Sullivan, SJ, offered reflections on the role of the faithful in the reception of the Marian dogmas.

The members of the consultation have been following closely developments within the Anglican Communion following the release of the Windsor Report in 2004. At this session Father George Tavard, AA, gave a paper on the understanding of communion in the ARCIC documents and the Windsor Report, and the Episcopal members updated the Catholic members on the latest developments in view of the upcoming meeting of the General Convention in June and the Lambeth Conference in 2008. During another session, Dr Jon Nilson and Dr Ellen Wondra received input from the group concerning their draft paper on regional levels of authority in the two communions.

The members also finalized a brief document outlining a common understanding of the way in which they worship together at ARC-USA meetings. The text reaffirms the longstanding practice of celebrating Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer alternating the two traditions, taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. Eucharist is celebrated each day, also alternating between the Anglican and Roman Catholic rites. In view of the absence of Eucharistic sharing between the churches, those not receiving communion at a particular celebration are nevertheless encouraged to approach the presider for a blessing. Members of the other tradition will ordinarily be invited to serve as lectors and intercessors.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the United States was established in 1965 and ordinarily meets twice each year. In addition to Bishop Gulick, the Episcopal members are Bishop Barry Howe of West Missouri, Rev Dr Thomas Breidenthal, Rev Dr Ruth Meyers, Rev Dr Robert W. Prichard, Rev Dr Ellen Wondra, Dr Marsha Dutton, Rev Canon Dr J. Robert Wright, Bishop Christopher Epting (staff), and Rev. Dirk Reinken (staff). Rev. Richard D. Visconti serves as EDEIO representative. The Catholic members, in addition to Bishops Clark and Dunne, include Rev. Robert Imbelli, Prof Jon Nilson, Prof. Joanne Pierce, Rev. Francis A. Sullivan, SJ, Rev George Tavard, AA, Rev Msgr Robert Trisco, Rev Ronald G. Roberson, CSP (staff), Mr. Benjamin Brown (staff), and Rev. Vincent Heier (NADEO Representative).