The Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC-II) held its second meeting at St. John’s College, Durham, from August 22 to 31, 1984. The main work of the Commission was to continue discussion of its present major theme, Church and Salvation, with special reference to the doctrine of Justification, in the light of papers prepared in recent months and of draft texts proposed by a sub-commission earlier this year. Under the chairmanship of Bishop Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Arundel and Brighton (RC) and Bishop Mark Santer of Kensington (Anglican), members of the Commission, who came from five Continents, made substantial progress in the preparation of a statement on fundamental doctrinal principles concerning salvation, justification and the role of the Church in God’s plan for the redemption of the whole human race. In the course of the discussion attention was paid to matters allied to the main theme, especially those arising from the controversies of the sixteenth century. The Commission made plans for a sub-commission to carry its work forward in the twelve months before its next meeting.
A beginning was also made on the study of growth in reconciliation and on stages along the way to full communion on a basis of unity in faith. Some questions of this kind are being referred for preliminary work by various national Anglican/Roman Catholic committees on the basis of their experience of local relations between the two Churches.
At an open session on Monday, August 26th, the Commission was joined by Bishop Michael Ramsey, Bishop Jenkins of Durham, Bishop John Moorman (a member of ARCIC-I), and theologians from the Department of Theology of the University of Durham, from the Roman Catholic seminary at Ushaw, and from the English Anglican/Roman Catholic Committee, to discuss its work and also that of the previous commission, ARCIC-I, whose FINAL REPORT is now being considered by both Communions.
The warmth of the welcome of both the Cathedral and University authorities was greatly appreciated by the members of the Commission, in particular the way in which the Cathedral’s Galilee chapel, in which the Venerable Bede is buried, was set aside for the Commission’s worship.