Anglicans & Catholics celebrate 50 years of ecumenical dialogue

The International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) has concluded a week long meeting marking the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of ecumenical dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican world. In meetings held at Canterbury Cathedral, St Peter’s Basilica, the Gregorian University and the Episcopal Church of St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome between from 30 Sept tp 7 Oct 2016, the IARCCUM team recognized there were significant obstacles to full reconciliation, including the recent innovations of women bishops and changing views on the morality of homosexual conduct. However, the meetings led by the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal Kurt Koch, Dr. Anna Rowlands of the University of Durham and other church leaders and teachers, the participants affirmed their common faith. The Anglican co-chairman of the meeting, the Suffragan Bishop in Europe, the Rt. Rev. David Hamid stated the two ecclesial communities recognized “each other as brothers and sisters in Christ through baptism”; “found significant agreement about Eucharistic doctrine, ministry and salvation”; reached “important convergence on authority, the Church as communion, moral principles, Mary and the saints, and episcopacy, including the role of the bishop as the symbol and promoter of unity”;  “share common traditions in liturgy, spirituality, and forms of consecrated and monastic life”; and “noted the complementarity of our social teaching and of our pastoral efforts to live the Gospel of mercy and love.” The bishops were engaged in an “ecumenism of hope” that sought to dispel “the gloom of this world with the light of the Gospel, with the non-violent power of a love that conquers sin and overcomes death.” The Roman Catholic co-chairman, Archbishop Donald Bolen said he was optimistic about the future course of ecumenical relations.  “The bishops engaged in everything in a way that was beautiful to see. Strong friendships have formed. In our discussions, we did not shy away from the difficulties we sometimes face. But the possibilities for our two traditions working together in a needy world are abundant and promising.”


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