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• Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby host a spiritual retreat for the political and religious leaders of South Sudan (12 Apr 2019)

• Pope Francis: peace, light, and hope are possible in South Sudan (11 Apr 2019)

• Spiritual retreat with South Sudan leaders in Vatican: time to choose life (11 Apr 2019)

• Joint Meeting of Catholic and Anglican Bishops (17 Jan 2019)

• Leicester capital of ecumenism for two-day meeting between Anglicans and Catholics (14 Jan 2019)

Stories of news & opinion from the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues

Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby host a spiritual retreat for the political and religious leaders of South Sudan
12 April 2019 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=3183
On April 10 and 11, Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby led a retreat for the political and religious leaders of South Sudan. Photo: Servizio Fotografico - Vatican Media

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Justin Welby led a retreat with Pope Francis in Casa Santa Marta this week (10-11 March) for the political leaders of South Sudan. The Reverend John Chalmers, former Moderator of the Church of Scotland was also in attendance. The ecumenical retreat was the fruit of an unprecedented collaborative effort by Lambeth Palace and the Secretariat of State.

Pope Francis: peace, light, and hope are possible in South Sudan
11 April 2019 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=3187

A remarkable, spontaneous gesture. Breaking protocol, at the conclusion of his remarks at the end of the spiritual retreat, Pope Francis fell to his knees, kissing the feet of South Sudan’s civil authorities.

“To the three of you who signed the Peace Agreement, I ask you, as a brother, remain in peace”, the Pope said. “I ask you from the heart. Let us move forward. There will be many problems, but don’t be afraid, go forward, resolve the problems”. In impromptu remarks following his address, Pope Francis said, “You have started a process; may it end well. Although struggles will arise, he said, these should stay “within the office”. However in public, he said, “before the people: [keep your] hands united”. In this way, the Pope said, “from simple citizens, you will become Fathers of the Nation”.

Spiritual retreat with South Sudan leaders in Vatican: time to choose life
11 April 2019 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=3185
Pope Francis meets South Sudan's President Salva Kiir in March 2019. Photo: Vatican Media

A Spiritual Retreat involving civil and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan is held in the Vatican, and is opened by the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. Reflections include a meditation centered on the national anthem of Africa’s youngest country.

A time of grace dedicated to reflection and prayer, to ask God “for a future of peace and prosperity for the people of South Sudan”. In the words of the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, this is the meaning of the spiritual retreat currently underway in the Vatican, at the Casa Santa Marta.

Joint Meeting of Catholic and Anglican Bishops
17 January 2019 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=3001
27 Catholic bishops of England and Wales and 27 Church of England bishops met in Leicester from 16 to 17 January for their biennial conference

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales and Church of England bishops met in Leicester from 16 to 17 January for their biennial conference. Together 27 Catholic and 27 Anglican bishops explored a diverse range of subjects including opportunities for closer collaboration at a regional and national level. Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu were present throughout. Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Welby addressed the gathering.

Leicester capital of ecumenism for two-day meeting between Anglicans and Catholics
14 January 2019 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2999
Leicester Cathedral

Fifty bishops – 25 Anglicans and 25 Catholics – will convene in the British city next January 16-17. Rev Worthen told SIR: “Spirituality, theology and coexistence will be the ingredients of the meeting” that with a tight agenda: liturgy and debates with the spotlight on the Declaration “Walking Together On The Way.” Next January 16 and 17 fifty bishops, half of them Catholic and half of them Anglican, will convene in Leicester, central England, a city with an important tradition of interreligious dialogue, for a two-day ecumenical meeting.

Synod’s words on ‘synodal’ church puzzle some people
30 October 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=3006
Sebastian Duhau, a synod observer from Australia, and Emilie Callan, a synod observer from Canada, participate in a pilgrimage hike from the Monte Mario nature reserve in Rome to St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 25. Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna said synodality refers to all the baptized taking responsibility for the church and its mission, each according to his or her talents and role within the church. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

“Synodality,” a key concept of Pope Francis‘ papacy, was used repeatedly in the final document of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocation discernment. In simple terms, “synodality” means “walking together” with every member of the church, recognizing that the grace of baptism makes one part of the body of the church and, therefore, responsible for its life and mission. “The church must really let herself be given shape by the Eucharist that she celebrates as the summit and source of her life,” being like “the bread made from many stalks of wheat and broken for the life of the world,” the synod document said.

Ecumenical covenant for the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
25 September 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2970
Fr Kevin Smith (Priest Administrator of the Anglican Shrine) and Mgr John Armitage (Rector of the Roman Catholic Shrine) at the signing of an ecumenical covenant for the Anglican and Catholic shrines to Our Lady of Walsingham

At Solemn Vespers in the Shrine Church on Monday 24th September – the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham – a new Covenant agreed between the Anglican and the Roman Catholic Shrines in Walsingham was announced and signed by Fr Kevin Smith (Priest Administrator of the Anglican Shrine) and Mgr John Armitage (Rector of the Roman Catholic Shrine). Messages from the Bishop of Norwich and the Bishop of East Anglia were read out to mark the occasion. This historic event was witnessed by visiting pilgrims and members of the local community.

New document fosters Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue
30 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2959
The north front of Westminster Abbey

The latest agreed statement by the third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) was released July 2. “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal” indicates that Anglicans and Catholics are still on the way together and learning from each other. The year 1966 included a watershed moment for Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue: Then-Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey paid a visit to Pope Paul VI, and a common journey began. In 1970, ARCIC was instituted and, since then, has explored the themes of authority and ecclesiology of communion.

Dalle differenze s’impara. Documento della commissione internazionale anglicano-cattolica
5 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2947
Welcoming Christ, a sculpture above the main north door of Liverpool Cathedral. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

La differenza non è più motivo di sospetto o di rimprovero, ma è soprattutto un’opportunità arricchente per l’ascolto reciproco, l’apprendimento e la conversione. È questo lo spirito innovativo che sottende il nuovo documento adottato dalla Commissione internazionale anglicana-cattolica. Si tratta della prima dichiarazione concordata della terza fase di dialogo ufficiale, nota anche come ARCIC III. Il documento, intitolato Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal (Camminare insieme sulla strada: imparare a essere la Chiesa – locale, regionale, universale) è stato concordato nel corso di una riunione svoltasi a Erfurt, in Germania, nel 2017, ma è stato diffuso il 2 luglio scorso dopo sette anni di riunioni e consultazioni congiunte.

Groundbreaking document released on how Anglicans and Roman Catholics can learn from each other
4 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2939
Members of the third-phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission met in the central German city of Erfurt in May 2017 for their seventh meeting. During their meeting they completed the agreed statement on ecclesiology. Photo: ARCIC

An agreed statement produced by the official commission for dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches has been heralded as “ground-breaking” and an “important step on the pilgrimage towards fuller unity in Christ”. The text for the work – “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal” – was agreed at a meeting of the third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) in the German city of Erfurt in May 2017. It was the first document produced by ARCIC III and is the culmination of seven years’ work.

ARCIC III: Anglicans and Roman Catholics can learn much from each other, says new agreed statement
4 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2950
The choir of Hereford Cathedral was invited to join the choir of the Sistine Chapel on the steps of St Peter's, Rome, to sing for the two-hour St Peter's mass on last Friday. The Dean of Hereford Cathedral, the Very Revd Michael Tavinor said: 'We felt today that we were playing our small part for the cause of Christian unity. Those choirboys will be telling their grandchildren about the day they came to Rome and sang for the Pope. It will always be with them'. Photo: Hereford Cathedral

After nearly seven years of deliberation, the third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has issued a statement on authority, structure, and decision-making, which sets out how the two traditions might learn from each other. The 34,000-word statement Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church — local, regional, universal, which runs to 70 pages, was published on Monday on the website of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The text was agreed in Erfurt, Germany, the scene of Martin Luther’s early ministry, on the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation on the Continent. ARCIC members have described the agreed statement as “exciting”, and suggest that it has the potential to restore ecumenical dialogue to good health after the difficulties experienced since Anglican developments such as the ordination of women and openly gay clergy, and the blessings of same-sex unions.

ARCIC document hailed as ‘groundbreaking’ by Catholics and Anglicans
4 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2943
In this 2017 file photo, Pope Francis is flanked by Archbishop David Moxon, then the archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Vatican, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as they arrive for an ecumenical prayer service to conclude the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. Photo: Paul Haring/CNS

Members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission expressed excitement about a fresh approach to ecumenism outlined in a statement that has taken seven years to produce. Paula Gooder, a British theologian and an Anglican member of the commission, known as ARCIC III, described the statement reflecting on authority and ecclesial communion as “groundbreaking.” “We feel that … we are walking together more closely than ever,” Gooder told Catholic News Service in a July 2 telephone interview. “I think this is a really important document.” She described the commission’s work as entering “new territory” and that she sees “great potential for future conversations and that is really exciting.” Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England, Catholic co-chair of ARCIC, said he felt the document was “exciting” because it restored ecumenical dialogue after a hiatus caused by the changes within the Anglican Communion, such as the priestly and episcopal ordination of women.

Agreed statement on ecclesiology: Walking Together on the Way
3 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2935
Members of the third-phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission met in the central German city of Erfurt in May 2017 for their seventh meeting. During their meeting they completed the agreed statement on ecclesiology. Photo: ARCIC

The Third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has issued its first agreed statement with the title Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal. Since its first meeting in 1970, ARCIC has published thirteen agreed statements. The third phase of the dialogue began in 2011 with the dual mandate to explore “the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching.” The current document completes the first part of this mandate.

Catholics, Anglicans complete work on structures of authority, communion
3 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2945
Pope Francis greets Anglican Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, director of the Anglican Center in Rome and the archbishop of Canterbury's personal representative to the Holy See, during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 8, 2017. The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission July 2 published its first document in 13 years on how both institutions can learn from each other in the exercise of ecclesial authority locally, regionally and globally. Credit: Paul Haring/CNS

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission published its first document in 13 years on how both institutions can learn from each other in the exercise of ecclesial authority locally, regionally and globally. The document, “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal,” is the first to come out of the third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, known as ARCIC III, which began meeting in 2011. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity made the document public on its website July 2. The latest agreed statement on how structures of authority support and promote ecclesial communion is considered a key element in understanding how discussion and debates are handled and decisions about ethics and “right” moral teachings are made, which will be the topic of the next document by ARCIC III.

New ARCIC text charts a way forward
3 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2941
Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley, the Catholic co-chair of ARCIC, is pictured here at a service of Vespers. Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk

Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal” is the first document produced by ARCIC in 13 years. Catholics can learn from Anglicans in giving a greater role to the laity in matters of church governance and more authority to local bishops’ conferences, according to a landmark new document from the official dialogue body of the two Churches. Anglicans, the text also argues, should focus on setting up structures and processes that safeguard the worldwide identity of its Communion and avoid becoming too focussed on one province. The recommendations are contained in “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal”, the first document produced by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) in 13 years.

Humble companions: Catholic-Anglican document sees healing in difference
3 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2933

A new document driven by a fresh approach taken by the official Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue commission reflects a major development in ecumenism where difference is not cause for suspicion or reproach, but is used as an enriching opportunity for mutual listening, learning and conversion.

This notable change is seen in the first agreed statement from the newest and third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, known as ARCIC III. The statement, “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church — Local, Regional, Universal,” was released to the public July 2 after seven years of joint meetings and consultations.

Catholic-Anglican dialogue document suggests both churches can learn from other
2 July 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2930

The official commission for dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches has published its first document in 13 years, focusing on how each global institution can learn from the other in balancing exercise of ecclesial authority at the local, regional and worldwide levels.

Among the considerations in the 68-page report, released July 2, are questions of how the Catholic Church might learn from the Anglican experience to empower local church leaders to act more independently from Rome at times, and to give more governing authority to consultative bodies such as the Synod of Bishops.

“The Roman Catholic Church can learn from the culture of open and frank debate that exists at all levels of the Anglican Communion,” the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission state in one of the conclusions of their document, titled: “Walking Together on the Way: Learning to Be the Church — Local, Regional, Universal.”

Northern Alberta Anglican, Roman Catholic priests meet, compare notes
15 June 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=3008
Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy at their one-day ecumenical conference in Slave Lake, Alta., Nov. 15, 2017. Wearing the purple shirt, in the front row, is Fraser Lawton, bishop of the diocese of Athabasca; to his right is Gérard Pettipas, archbishop of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan

Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders in northern Alberta say they’re looking forward to repeating this fall a conference held last November involving clergy from both denominations. More than two dozen clergy from the Anglican diocese of Athabasca and the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan gathered in November 15, 2017 at Slave Lake, Alta., for a one-day conference, to get acquainted and share thoughts and experiences about doing ministry in Alberta’s north. “We thought it went very well, and I think the clergy found it quite valuable,” says Bishop Fraser Lawton, of the diocese of Athabasca. “I think they appreciated just getting to know one another.”

Archbishop of Canterbury says a reconciled Church can dispel the “fear of the ‘other’”
6 June 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2927
Archbishop Justin Welby addresses the General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches in Novi Sad, Serbia, on Saturday. Photo: Albin Hillert/CEC

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has spoken of the danger that “fear of the other” poses to “Christian witness and presence”. Speaking to the General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, meeting in Novi Sad, Serbia, he said that churches working together can help to break down the walls that others seek to build. “The Church breaks across boundaries and frontiers as if they did not exist,” he said. “By being in Christ, I am made one by God in a family that stretches around the world and crosses cultural, linguistic and ecumenical frontiers, driven by the Spirit who breaks down all the walls that we seek to erect.” He began his address by saying that “fear is the greatest danger that afflicts Christian witness and presence.” He added: “It is fear of the other that causes us to put up barriers, whether within churches, between churches and for that matter between nations. It is fear of the Other the causes us to build walls, whether spiritual or physical. It is fear of the Other that leads to divisions and eventually to the fall of civilisations.”

Ugandan ecumenical service to honour its martyrs
1 June 2018 • Permanent link: iarccum.org/?p=2923
School students perform a play telling the story of the Ugandan Martyrs in Munyonyo earlier this month as part of commemorations leading up to Sunday's anniversary. Photo: Diocese of Namirembe

Thousands of Christians from Uganda and neighbouring countries are arriving in Namugongo for special services to commemorate the Ugandan Martyrs. In 3 June 1886, the Kabaka – or King – of Buganda, Mwanga II, killed 32 young Anglicans and Roman Catholic men – who worked as his pages – by burning them alive at Namugongo. They were among 23 Anglicans and 22 Roman Catholics who were put to death by the king for refusing to recant their faith between 1885 and 1887.

Yesterday, services were held at both the Anglican and Roman Catholic shrines in Namugongo, led by bishops from both Churches. Other similar events will be held in the coming days, leading up to national commemorations on Sunday.

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