A guide for couples, clergy, and those involved in marriage preparation and pastoral care.
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.
Differences of religious background in a marriage can be either a source of tension or an opportunity for growth in the unity to which the Church is called. With a view to encouraging cooperation between Anglican and Roman Catholic couples and their pastors, the bishops of both Churches are presenting these Pastoral Guidelines for Interchurch Marriages between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Canada.
Initially discussed at the national Anglican-Roman Catholic Bishops’ Dialogue of 1985, the Guidelines were referred to both the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops for revision and approval. With each Church following its own procedures, the resulting text has been accepted by both bodies and is now being offered as a joint publication.
Over the past number of years, a growing closeness has developed between our two Churches. Building upon this ecumenical experience, these Guidelines do not attempt to break new ground nor to anticipate future changes but to give full expression to the possibilities present in current regulations and practice. It is to be hoped that joint discussion and increasing cooperation will extend our vision and lead to more consistent pastoral care for interchurch couples and families.
We also pray that the dialogue between Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches will, when and in the way Christ desires, bear fruit in unity of faith and life. In that dialogue, the partners in interchurch marriages may have a prophetic role to play.
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
+Michael G. Peers
Anglican Church of Canada