Anglican and Catholic bishops on pilgrimage to Canterbury and Rome

Thirty-six IARCCUM Anglican and Catholic bishops, representing 19 different regions where Anglicans and Catholics live side by side in significant number, will meet in Canterbury and Rome for a summit meeting in October of this year. 

Thirty-six IARCCUM Anglican and Catholic bishops, representing 19 different regions where Anglicans and Catholics live side by side in significant number, will meet in Canterbury and Rome for a summit meeting in October of this year. The bishops will arrive in Canterbury for the first leg of their meeting on 30th September. They will be staying at the Lodge in Canterbury Cathedral, will take part in the liturgical life of the Cathedral, and will make a pilgrim visit to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket, where Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Robert Runcie prayed together.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discover new ways where, on the basis of the agreed statements of ARCIC, Catholics and Anglicans can give greater witness to their common faith, and particularly how they can collaborate in mission to the world. The meeting will begin by listening to the bishops’ own pastoral challenges. The bishops will also reflect on the previous documents of IARCCUM, and particularly, Growing Together in Unity and Mission. They will be accompanied by Dr. Anna Rowlands of Durham University, who will be present at all the bishops’ discussions and will resource the meeting from her expertise in Catholic and Anglican Social Theology.

The bishops will transfer to Rome on 3rd October, and will be staying near the Vatican. They will make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles, Ss Peter and Paul, and will participate in the vespers celebrated by Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby at San Gregorio al Celio on 5th October, to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey. At these vespers it is anticipated that the bishops will be mandated by Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby, in their ecumenical mission. On the same day the bishops will also attend an academic symposium at the Gregorian University.

IARCCUM is a commission established by the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church as an official joint commission. IARCCUM exists in parallel with the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, the theological commission known as ARCIC. IARCCUM’s purpose is:

  • to facilitate the development of strategies for translating the degree of spiritual communion that has been achieved into visible and practical outcomes;
  • to promote and monitor the formal response and reception of the agreed statements of ARCIC;
  • to strengthen relations between ARCIC and national Anglican-Roman Catholic Commissions (ARCs), and between different national ARCs, providing support and resources in order to foster an exchange of information and practice;
  • to encourage Anglican Provinces and Roman Catholic Episcopal Conferences to establish ARC dialogues where they do not exist;
  • to encourage Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops to develop projects and programmes of joint witness and mission in the world.

In 2000, Archbishop George Carey, then Archbishop of Canterbury, and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, then President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, convoked a conference of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops at Mississauga in Canada to discern the progress made in theological conversations since the 1960s, and whether closer co-operation could be developed between the two traditions. The result was IARCCUM, which has been meeting since 2001. In February 2007, it published the first fruit of its work, the report Growing Together in Unity and Mission, accompanied by two commentaries. IARCCUM’s work continues under the Co-Chairmanship of Bishop Donald Bolen and Bishop David Hamid.

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles

Similar articles