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• Dialogue group calls for Catholic recognition of Anglican ordinations (15 Dec 2021)

• Sorores in Spe – Sisters in Hope of the Resurrection: A Fresh Response to the Condemnation of Anglican Orders (1896) (13 Dec 2021)

• Anglican Communion Primates to attend online Primates’ Meeting (19 Nov 2021)

• Symposium in Rome on Malines Conversations (14 Jun 2021)

• Ecumenism where faith is flourishing (14 Jun 2021)

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

Dialogue group calls for Catholic recognition of Anglican ordinations
15 December 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3901
Snow covers the railings outside Westminster Abbey in London

A group of Catholic and Anglican theologians has publicly called on the Vatican to review and overturn a papal document from 1896 that declared Anglican ordinations “absolutely null and utterly void.” “Where we once walked apart, we now walk together in friendship and love,” wrote members of the Malines Conversations Group after tracing the history of ecumenical agreements between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion and, especially, reviewing examples of collaboration and gestures of recognition.

The judgment made by Pope Leo XIII in his apostolic letter “Apostolicae Curae” in 1896 “does not accord with the reality into which the Spirit has led us now,” said members of the group, which is an informal Catholic-Anglican dialogue that began in 2013. Members of the group, who are not appointed to represent their churches but keep their respective ecumenical offices informed of their studies and discussions, presented their document Dec. 15 at Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. The 27-page document is titled, “Sorores in Spe — Sisters in Hope of the Resurrection: A Fresh Response to the Condemnation of Anglican Orders.”

Sorores in Spe – Sisters in Hope of the Resurrection: A Fresh Response to the Condemnation of Anglican Orders (1896)
13 December 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3891

The members of the Malines Conversations Group are honoured to invite you to the presentation of their new document:

SORORES IN SPE – Sisters in Hope of the Resurrection: A Fresh Response to the Condemnation of Anglican Orders (1896)

during an ecumenical seminar at the Angelicum’s Institute for Ecumenical Studies, Rome, Wednesday, 15 December 2021, 15:00-16:00, in presence at Aula 11 of the Angelicum or in direct streaming on Angelicum YouTube.

Anglican Communion Primates to attend online Primates’ Meeting
19 November 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3874
Anglican Primates meeting in Amman, Jordan

The Anglican Communion Primates will meet online on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 November, for consultation, discussion and prayer.

The Primates will meet via video conference. They will reflect on their ministries and discuss a range of issues for the church and for the world, including COVID-19; COP26; ministry to refugees; and the forthcoming Lambeth Conference.

The Primates’ Meeting is one of Anglicanism’s four “Instruments of Communion” and helps to bind together the “independent but inter-dependent” provinces.

The last Primates’ Meeting was also held virtually, in November 2020. But plans are in place for an in-person Primates’ Meeting in March 2022.

Symposium in Rome on Malines Conversations
14 June 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3845
Cardinal Kurth Koch speaking at the

The symposium “The Malines Conversations 100 Years On” was held at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Holy See on 11 June 2021, co–hosted by the Belgian and British Ambassadors to the Holy See, Patrick Renault and Sally Axworthy, respectively, to mark the 100th anniversary to be celebrated in Malines later in the year.

Ecumenism where faith is flourishing
14 June 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3848
Archbishop Ian Ernest speaking at the Malines Conversations Conference

In his opening speech at the first Malines Conversations, on the 6th of December 1921, Cardinal Mercier shared that all of those present for the occasion, had agreed to seek the Lord and asked to make their souls live. He also invited those present to invoke the grace of the Holy Spirit. This moment of devotion needs to be valued as we celebrate the intentions of those who were willing to take the risks in uncharted territory they were called to enter. In my opinion, these conversations were built on the foundation of a spirit of faith.

ARCIC III plenary meeting held online
14 May 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3838
ARCIC III met online in 2021 due to the continuing pandemic restrictions on travel

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission was, for the second consecutive year, unable to meet in plenary due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Instead, the Commission met in two webinars on 10 and 12 May in which they considered the forthcoming study document of the Faith and Order Commission, Churches and Moral Discernment: Facilitating Dialogue to Build Koinonia. This document was presented jointly by Professor Myriam Wijlens, Co-chair of the study group and consultant of ARCIC, and Dr David Kirchhoffer, the principal drafter of the text. Members considered how the work, and specifically the “Tool” for Moral Discernment developed in the document, could be integrated with ARCIC’s own work.

The Commission is currently examining the question of how the Church in communion discerns right ethical teaching and, in continuity with its previous agreed statement, Walking Together on the Way, is using Receptive Ecumenism to examine this question. The Commission decided to meet for two further webinars later in the year in which it will return to previous case studies presented in its Jerusalem 2019 plenary in the light of the work of the Faith and Order study.

In memoriam Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy
12 April 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3840
In memoriam Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity mourns the death on 10 April 2021 of Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, President of the Council from 1989–2001.

The term of office of Cardinal Cassidy was deeply inspired by the Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint (1995) of Pope John Paul II. Among many highlights, he promoted the resumption of the interrupted theological dialogue with the Orthodox Church, resulting in the publication of the Balamand Document (1993). He was also instrumental in the publication of the Common Christological Declaration (1994) between Pope John Paul II and Catholicos Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV of the Assyrian Church of the East, as well as the Christological declarations with the Armenian Catholicoi Karekin I (1996) and Aram I (1997). In 1999, on behalf of the Catholic Church, he signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Lutheran World Federation. He also oversaw the publication of the updated Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (1993) and of The Ecumenical Dimension in the Formation of Those Engaged in Pastoral Work (1997).

Cardinal Cassidy accompanied Pope John Paul II on many apostolic visits, among them the 1999 visit to Romania in which he met with Patriarch Teoctist of the Romanian Orthodox Church, to Mount Sinai in 2000, and in 2001 a Jubilee Pilgrimage “in the footsteps of Saint Paul” including historical visits to Athens and Damascus. In the last years of his presidency, Cardinal Cassidy was highly committed to the ecumenical dimension of the events of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.

Joint Declaration Steering Committee meets virtually to continue the work of unity
9 March 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3842
The JDDJ Steering Committee meeting online

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (1999) constitutes a major achievement in the search for Christian unity, effectively resolving one of the key theological conflicts of the Reformation. Initially an agreement signed by Lutherans and Catholics, it has since been joined and affirmed by three other Christian World Communions, namely the Methodist, Reformed churches and Anglicans.

In 2019, a first consultation between the five Communions on how the Joint Declaration affects their relationship was held in Notre Dame University (USA). The consultation gave rise to the Notre Dame Consultation Statement, a document affirming the substance of the Joint Declaration and recommending ways to deepen institutional relationships between the five Christian Communions. A Steering Committee composed of senior leadership of the five Christian Communions was set up to further promote the Joint Declaration in the life of the communions.

Message of Pope Francis in memory of the 21 Coptic martyrs
16 February 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3802
Icon of the 21 Coptic Martyrs executed by ISIS at Sebaste, Libya in 2015

On Monday 15 February Pope Francis sent a video message (scroll down) for the “Day of Contemporary Martyrs” organized by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London on the occasion of the commemoration of the 21 Coptic martyrs executed on 15 February 2015.

The initiative gathered in a webinar His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, His Grace Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and His Eminence Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, as well as other participants.

The “Day of Contemporary Martyrs” is a commemorative event of thanksgiving for the lives of those who faithfully practised their Christian faith till the shedding of their blood, offering at the same time the opportunity to raise awareness of the ongoing tragedy of those who are still today persecuted solely on the basis of faith or belief.

+Bill Fey, OFM Cap., 1942-2021
25 January 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3817
Most Rev. William Regis Fey, OFM Cap (1942-2021), Bishop of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

Bishop William Regis Fey, O.F.M. Cap., recently retired as the second bishop of the Diocese of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea, died late Tuesday night, January 19th, from Covid-related illness.

Bishop Fey was born in Pittsburgh on November 6, 1942, to Regis Fey and Dorothy (Clair) Fey, attending Middlesex Township Elementary School in Pittsburgh and St. Paul Grade School in Butler before enrolling at Saint Fidelis Seminary, Herman, for his high school and college education.

Archbishop Justin’s speech to mark Coptic Orthodox Contemporary Martyrs Day
15 January 2021 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3815
Icon of the 21 Coptic Martyrs executed by ISIS at Sebaste, Libya in 2015

In November 2015, at the opening service of the General Synod of the Church of England, we had the privilege of Father Raniero Cantalamessa, now a Cardinal, preaching at the main service in Westminster Abbey in front of the Queen and the General Synod. Memorably he described persecutors as the great ecumenists, for he said they do not ask when they kill us, are you Orthodox or Catholic or Anglican or Protestant or Pentecostal? They ask only are you Christian?

And the reality of the ecumenism of blood is felt on this day as we commemorate the modern martyrs. It reminds us, and I’m reminded too by a fellow bishop in the Church of England who is themselves from a family where there is a modern martyr, that ecumenism and solidarity are with the persecuted, for we are united to them by their blood. It is not just something we feel for the persecuted nor that we stand to the towards the persecuted. ‘With’ is the key word and if we are going to be with them, whether it is the 21 martyrs in Libya (and I still remember the horror of that news) or whether it is in Nigeria or so many other parts of the world, we are there to listen as well as to speak; more to listen; to be in solidarity with them.

Anglican leaders in call for “equitable” global access to Covid-19 vaccines after online meeting
12 November 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3877
Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 deaths per million people

Potential Covid-19 vaccines should be made available to the world’s poorest people, the Primates of the Anglican Communion said. They made their call in a Communiqué published today after an online meeting held last week to discuss the global health emergency. During the meeting, they were briefed by two representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO and discussed regional reports from each other on the impact of the pandemic.

The WHO’s Executive Director for Health Emergencies Preparedness & Response, Dr Mike Ryan, told the Anglican leaders that “Epidemics are about communities. Communities stop epidemics. For this reason, we are eager to work with faith leaders to build solidarity and uphold social justice – enabling you to speak to communities in a credible and understandable way.”

Dates for the Lambeth Conference announced
20 October 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3794
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced the dates of the postponed Lambeth Conference

The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced revised dates for the 15th Lambeth Conference. Hosted in Canterbury, Kent, the face-to-face conference will be planned for the 27th July – 8th August 2022 (with the official conference ending on the 7th August and departures on the 8th August).

The conference has been rescheduled from the original 2020 dates due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference organisers will continue to monitor the implications of COVID-19 and follow official health guidance in the months ahead.

With the theme of ‘God’s Church for God’s World – walking, listening and witnessing together’ the conference will focus on what it means for the Anglican Communion – shaped by the Five Marks of Mission – to be responsive to the needs and challenges of a fast changing world in the 21st Century.

Archbishop Justin’s commentary on ‘Fratelli tutti’
12 October 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3792
Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby greet during visit to Rome

In this Encyclical, Pope Francis sets out a clear, exciting and ambitious vision of the role of human friendship and solidarity as the basis for a better future world order.

Throughout this work, he interweaves the themes of the individual and the social, and stresses their necessary interdependence, rejecting the extremes both of individualism and of social collectivism as contrary to the true dignity and rights of all human beings. His is a true and clearly Christian voice of radical moderation, neither captured by the individualism of the culture nor a prisoner of the dreams of social collectivism.

The Lambeth Conference reschedules to 2022
6 July 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3730
The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced the rescheduling of the Lambeth Conference originally planned for 2020

In March it was announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and global restrictions on travel and mass gatherings, the Lambeth Conference of 2020 would need to be rescheduled to the British summer of 2021. The Archbishop of Canterbury has now taken the important decision to reschedule the Lambeth Conference by a further year to the British summer of 2022. The conference will meet in 2022 in Canterbury. In the above filmed message to the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop has also announced that a wider programme will be developed before and after the event delivered virtually and through other meetings. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the Archbishop of Canterbury and conference planning teams have been monitoring the situation, following relevant advice from public and global health authorities as it becomes available. They have also undertaken ongoing consultation with Primates, bishops and spouses – about the impact of COVID-19 in their countries. As with most large scale events and conferences of this nature – planning for events in such an unstable climate is difficult. As an international gathering (the Lambeth Conference invites bishops and spouses from over 165 countries) there are a significant number of uncertainties that make preparations for a 2021 meeting challenging. Whilst some lock down measures are starting to ease in some countries, social distancing measures, travel restrictions and quarantine measures could impede logistics and delegates’ travel planning for the foreseeable future. There are also the risks of a potential second wave of the virus and the reality that there are different phases in how the pandemic is spreading around the world – with no vaccine yet available.

Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Welby pray together on first day of church opening
16 June 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3619
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Justin Welby praying at Westminster Cathedral on the first day of re-opening after COVID-19 shutdown

On Monday 15th June, to mark the reopening of churches for individual prayer, Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby prayed together in Westminster Cathedral and Abbey to mark this ‘moment of grace,’ as the Cardinal said in his homily for Corpus Christi. As the West Doors opened for the first time in nearly three months, they were greeted by Acting Administrator Fr Daniel Humphreys and Precentor Fr Andrew Gallagher. Proceeding into the sacred space, they knelt in socially-distant prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

Leaving the Cathedral, they walked across Victoria Street to Westminster Abbey. Arriving at the Abbey, they were greeted by the Dean of Westminster Dr David Hoyle, who took them to the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor where they prayed in silence. Praying together was a visual reminder of the importance of prayer in churches and to emphasise the significance of this day.

Abbey opens its doors and welcomes two Archbishops
15 June 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3624
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Justin Welby praying at Westminster Cathedral on the first day of re-opening after COVID-19 shutdown

Two of the country’s most senior church leaders visited Westminster Abbey today (Monday 15th June) when the Great West Door opened for the first time in three months since churches were closed for the Covid-19 lockdown.

Following Government guidance, the Abbey now has re-opened for private prayer. Two of the first visitors were the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; and Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.

They were welcomed to the Abbey by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, and taken to the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor behind the High Altar where they all prayed in silence.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Cardinal Vincent Nichols’ Joint Statement on West Bank Annexation
12 June 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3621
This week, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster wrote to both the Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev, and the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, expressing their opposition to any move by the Government of Israel to annex West Bank territory after 1 July 2020

This week, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster wrote to both the Israeli Ambassador, Mark Regev, and the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, expressing their opposition to any move by the Government of Israel to annex West Bank territory after 1 July 2020.

These letters followed the recent warning from the leaders of Churches in the Holy Land that the Government of Israel’s proposed annexation of West Bank territory would “bring about the loss of any remaining hope for the success of the peace process.”

In each letter they made clear they “unambiguously support the fundamental right of Israel’s citizens to live in peace and safety but these prospects can only be secured through negotiation rather than annexation.” It is essential that both Israelis and Palestinians may live without violence or the threat of violence from each other or other armed groups, the Cardinal and Archbishop emphasised.

Growing mutual trust: The path of relations with Anglicans and Methodists
10 June 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3616
Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1945-1961. He was the first Archbishop to visit Rome since the Reformation

On 1st December 1960 the Right Reverend Geoffrey Fisher flew from Jerusalem to Rome and the following morning was received in private audience by Pope Saint John XXIII. It was the first visit of an Archbishop of Canterbury to the Pope since Archbishop Arundel in 1397. It was also the first visit of its kind, that of a head of a Christian communion to the Pope, with which the newly formed Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity was involved. The extent of that involvement is difficult to establish. The Secretariat’s first secretary, Mgr Willebrands, had met Archbishop Fisher at a meeting of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches in St Andrew’s, Scotland, in August 1959. Shortly afterwards Pope John communicated his willingness to meet the archbishop leading to speculation that Willebrands and Fisher came up with the plan at the WCC meeting. The use of WCC meetings to establish bilateral relations was frowned upon and so Fisher firmly denied that the visit was anything other than his idea and initiative.

Pope Francis’ video message for Thy Kingdom Come 2020
1 June 2020 • Persistent link: iarccum.org/?p=3632
Pope Francis greets Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby during a private audience at the Vatican Oct. 27, 2017

Pope Francis recorded a video–message which was broadcast as part of the Pentecost service of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Reverend Justin Welby. The period between the feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost has traditionally been a time of prayer for Christian unity. Pentecost celebrates that moment when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, peoples of many different languages were united in hearing and accepting the first preaching of the resurrection of Jesus. In the southern hemisphere many countries keep these days as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and by promoting the Thy Kingdom Come movement, Archbishop Welby has made it a special time for Christians to unite in prayer for the evangelisation of the world. In the video–message Pope Francis prays that Christians “be more deeply united as witnesses of mercy for the human family” and warns, “We cannot ask others to be united if we ourselves take different paths.”

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