Sorores in Spe – Sisters in Hope of the Resurrection: A Fresh Response to the Condemnation of Anglican Orders (1896)

Status of agreed statements:
Agreed statements have been agreed by the dialogue members and submitted to the sponsoring churches for study. These texts express the careful considerations of the members of the dialogue but are not official statements of either of the churches.

Sorores in spe resurrectionis (sisters in hope of the Resurrection) argues that there is an overwhelming body of evidence in favour of revising the negative judgment on Anglican ordinations expressed in Pope Leo XIII’s Apostolic Letter Apostolicae Curae (1896). The ecclesial and sociocultural contexts then and now are significantly different. Through the intervening years, there has been a vast development of ecumenical exchange, cooperation and dialogue – including the groundbreaking Malines Conversations (1921-26). Anglicans and Catholics are now committed to “walking together” on a way of reconciliation, harmony and common witness to the gospel. Important resources for the proposal to revise the judgment on Anglican orders include the insights of the 20th century Liturgical and Ecumenical Movements, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and telling symbolic gestures from Church leaders. To these should be added reflection on the revised rites of ordination, both Anglican and Catholic. Much theological wisdom can be found in contemporary ordination rites to support a renewed understanding of the ministry of all the baptized, deacons, priests and bishops. A broadened understanding of ecclesiality, mystery, participation and anamnesis has encouraged us to look again with fresh eyes at the reality of the Church as the People of God and the Body of Christ beyond the confines of separated ecclesial bodies. Taking into account all of this evidence, both historical and theological, the Malines Conversations Group believes it is time for the negative judgment of Apostolicae Curae on Anglican ordinations to be revised so that our two communions can more fully embrace one another as “sisters in hope of the Resurrection”.

Author(s): Malines Conversations Group
Dated: 6 Dec. 2021
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Malines Conversations Group. "Sorores in Spe – Sisters in Hope of the Resurrection: A Fresh Response to the Condemnation of Anglican Orders (1896)" (6 Dec. 2021).