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The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) met from 27 August to 3 September at the Church of Ireland College of Education in Dublin, under the co-chairmanship of the Most Reverend Alexander J. Brunett, Archbishop of Seattle, USA, and the Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA. Two new members from the Roman Catholic Church were welcomed: the Most Reverend Marc Ouellet, the new Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Rt Revd Malcolm McMahon OP, the Bishop of Nottingham. Dr Michael Kinnamon was present as an observer from the Faith and Order Commission. This was the last plenary of ARCIC for the Revd Monsignor Timothy Galligan, the Roman Catholic Co-secretary. Mgr Galligan is succeeded by the Revd Don Bolen, who participated in ARCIC for the first time.
Discussion continued on the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life and doctrine of the Church. The members studied matters related to Mary in the Scriptures, Patristic thought, Reformation authors and the dogmatic definitions regarding the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. They agreed a schema for a statement based upon the dialogue to date and undertook some preliminary drafting.
The Commission was grateful to receive information on the discussion of its most recent agreed statement The Gift of Authority (May 1999) in the Churches, including the official study now underway in Anglican provinces, as mandated by the Anglican Consultative Council.
The Commission felt very profoundly the absence of its longest standing member, Fr Jean-Marie Tillard OP, who had died since the last meeting of the plenary. The members recalled, with deep appreciation and affection, by informal conversation and liturgical commemoration, the immense contribution of Fr Tillard to the work and life of the Commission.
During its plenary meeting the members of ARCIC were honoured to be invited to a dinner hosted by the Most Revd Walton Empey, the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, at which Cardinal Desmond Connell, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, and Archbishop Robin Eames, the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, were special guests.
The Commission expressed its gratitude to the staff of the Church of Ireland College of Education for their hospitality and assistance with the practical arrangements of the meeting.
ARCIC will next meet in Vienna, Austria from 10 to 18 July 2002.