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Work of ARCIC irrelevant to most Christians, says Lord Carey

January 25th, 2014 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

By Simon Caldwell, Catholic Herald

Catholics and Anglicans involved in formal ecumenical dialogue might as well be “talking on the moon” because no one is listening to them, a former Anglican leader has said.

Lord Carey of Clifton said the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) was “irrelevant” to most Christians, who were motivated by relations at grassroots level. He suggested that financial grounds alone might justify the abandoning of the ecumenical project in favour of local projects underpinned by good will and a shared commitment to charity.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury said 45 years of attempts to bring about visible unity by bridging theological differences had “run into the sand”. “I don’t know what is going on,” he said. “If you take the latest ARCIC document, I think it is so irrelevant to the ordinary Christian – Catholic, Anglican or Methodist – that it might as well be talking on the moon.”

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Cheerful news for a Friday: Catholic-Anglican relations are actually in good shape

June 14th, 2013 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Arcic, Pope Francis Comments Off

By Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, Catholic Herald

Here is some cheerful and encouraging reading for a Friday – the full texts of the official speeches of Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury at their recent meeting. I urge you all to read it in full. It is nice and short too, which is an advantage.

There are several things worth commenting on. First of all, what was not said. There was no mention whatever of the question of women bishops in the Anglican communion. Presumably the reason for this is because the matter is simply not worth discussing, and can be relegated to the realm of things we simply must agree to disagree on.

Second, it is notable that there are matters that are still of mutual interest and where the Catholic Church and the Anglicans can make a difference by co-operating with each other. One such is the question of Syria, which presumably was discussed in greater detail behind the scenes. But there is more to it than Syria. In the whole matter of social teaching, the Catholic Church and the Anglicans can make a combined impact, as well as in the question of moral teaching. The Pope makes a point of referring to the strong defence of marriage recently made by the archbishop.

There is also a reference, which one suspects somehow had to be there, to ARCIC. But ARCIC is not what it once was (or, as some would doubtless prefer to put it, it is dead in the water). But if ARCIC has failed (and all the talk of corporate reunion that it once engendered now seems very odd to contemporary ears), it is important to stress that other things, which were perhaps not looked for, have succeeded. The Catholics and the Anglicans are now more or less singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to morality. There are several Anglican theologians (as well as some nominal Catholics) who are not doing so, but the Anglican mainstream seems sound on many of the great matters of the day, such as the rights of the unborn, and questions to do with embryonic “research”. Likewise the question of poverty. When Justin Welby says the following, it could be a Catholic speaking:

Read here

Read also:  I was wrong and uncharitable to suggest that the Pope should not be meeting Archbishop Welby. But about our relationship with Anglicanism I got it right by William Oddie, which refers to his earlier post On Friday, the Pope will meet Archbishop Welby. So, why do we continue talking to the Anglicans after they have so wilfully made unity impossible?

 

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Women bishops: historic words from Professor Henry Chadwick

November 19th, 2012 Jill Posted in Arcic, Church of England, Women Bishops Comments Off

By Peter Jennings, Independent Catholic News

“I would like to see the barriers to communion between Canterbury and Rome dismantled. I hope and pray that the 1988 Lambeth Conference resolution on the consecration of women as bishops, may, despite all appearances to the contrary, be over-ruled by the Lord in such a way that we are drawn closer and not driven further apart.”

These were the historic words of Professor Henry Chadwick, one of the most distinguished theologians and historians in the Church of England and a consultant at the 12th Lambeth Conference in 1988, the once-a-decade meeting of bishops from the 27 autonomous Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion, during an exclusive interview with me at the time.

The 1988 Lambeth Conference resolution which paved the way towards the consecration of women bishops was passed on a show of hands by 423-28 votes, with 19 abstentions. In a separate resolution, the Lambeth Fathers rejected a strong call for restraint over the consecration of women bishops. This resolution was defeated 277-187 votes in a secret ballot.

Professor Henry Chadwick, then a member of the first Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC-One), had emerged disappointed from the hall at the University of Kent, situated about two miles from Canterbury Cathedral, after the Lambeth Fathers had rejected the resolution calling for restraint.

Asked if he thought dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion would now be made more difficult as a result of the Lambeth Conference resolution on the ordination of women to the episcopate, Professor Henry Chadwick replied: “The bishops have recognised that provincial autonomy in the world-wide Anglican Communion means that you cannot stop a Province from consecrating women to be bishops if that is considered necessary in their cultural situation.”

Professor Henry Chadwick said: “In Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Brazil, their judgement is that consecrating women bishops is not just something they would tolerate, but is something they would actively promote and foster.

“How soon they will do it l don't know, but it might be by the end of this calendar year 1988. That not only creates great problems for Anglican-Roman Catholic relations, but it is likely to add hundreds of years to the reconciliation process.”

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Anglican and Catholic Churches seek common ground on ethics

May 18th, 2012 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

By Francis Wong, Christian Today

The Anglican and Catholic churches agreed to deepen their dialogue on moral decision making after an international meeting held in Hong Kong last week.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) met for the second time in this third phase of talks at the Hong Kong offices of the Mission to Seafarers – an ecumenical project supported by the Anglicans, the Catholics and the Lutherans.

A communiqué issued after the meeting said the Commission is preparing case studies in three ethical areas to facilitate the mutual understanding of Anglicans and Catholics.

These include matters that once seemed settled but which have come to be viewed quite differently by both traditions, such as the issue of slavery; issues on which Anglican and Roman Catholic teaching is at variance, such as divorce and contraception; and evolving issues, such as the theology of work and the economy.

The Commission plans “to share its developing work with joint meetings of bishops and with local and regional dialogues between Anglicans and Roman Catholics”.

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Communique from the Meeting of ARCIC III at Bose

May 29th, 2011 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

From ACNS

The Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission has completed the first meeting of its new phase (ARCIC III) at the Monastery of Bose in northern Italy (May 17-27, 2011). The Commission, chaired by the Most Reverend David Moxon (Anglican Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses) and the Most Reverend Bernard Longley (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham) comprises eighteen theologians from a wide range of backgrounds across the world[1]. In response to the Programme set forth by Pope Benedict and Archbishop Rowan Williams in their 2006 Common Declaration, discussions have focussed on the interrelated issues: the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching. The Programme also required the Commission to re-examine how the “commitment to the common goal of the restoration of complete communion in faith and sacramental life”[2] is to be understood and pursued today, and to present the work of ARCIC II in its entirety with appropriate commentaries to assist its reception.

In addressing these issues, the Commission has devoted time to introducing its new members to the history and achievements of ARCIC, and has benefited from the shared experience of those who were members of previous phases. Members have worked both in plenary sessions and in small groups, developing plans to address the tasks that derive from its mandate.

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Anglican-Catholic dialogue considers how its work impacts, informs relationships ‘on the ground’

May 23rd, 2011 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

From ACNS

The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCICIII) has completed the introductory part of the agenda for its first meeting. On Friday and Saturday it discussed background papers on the history of ARCIC I and II (Bishop Christopher Hill, Anglican Diocese of Guildford in England); how ARCIC I and II addressed matters of ecclesiology (Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Boston in the USA; Canon Dr Nicholas Sagovsky, England) and ethics (Fr Adelbert Denaux, Dean of Tilburg School of Theology, Utrecht; Dr Charles Sherlock, retired professor from Melbourne, Australia). Sadly, Dr Sherlock’s paper was read by another member of the Commission as he had returned home for the funeral of his mother.
 
Part of the mandate of ARCIC III is to promote the reception of the work of its predecessor body, ARCIC II. To this end it heard from Sr Teresa Okure from Nigeria and Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe on the reception of ARCIC in Africa; from Bishop Linda Nicholls, Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Toronto, Canada, on reception in North America; and Dr Paul Murray from Durham University in England on reception in Europe. These snapshots of Anglican-Roman Catholic relationships encouraged the Commission to think about how its work can be done so as to promote relationships on the ground and to bring its insights into the lived experience of our two Communions.
 
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Why ARCIC is still worth it

May 21st, 2011 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

By Austen Ivereigh, America Magazine

There is something rather retro and quaint about the 10-day gathering of 17 Catholic and Anglican bishops and theologians which begins at a monastery in northern Italy today.

Bose is a community of both men and women, made up of both Anglicans and Catholics, founded in the 1970s, when there was talk of Anglican-Catholic unity within a generation.

Although the aim of the third phase of the official Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, or ARCIC (pron. AR-KICK), is, as it has always been, the full and visible unity between the Catholic and Anglican Churches, there is a new sober realism hanging over this gathering.

ARCIC was born after the Second Vatican Council, when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey, visited Pope Paul VI in 1966, and the two leaders established an official dialogue that would examine the differences between the two traditions and seek agreement wherever possible. The first two phases — ARCIC I (1970-1981) and ARCIC II (1983-2007) — produced a series of inspiring and important documents on the Eucharist, Authority, Salvation, Mary, and so on.

But there were two big problems — or rather, one major one, with two dimensions.

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As new round of Anglican-Catholic talks begin, some question the purpose

May 18th, 2011 Jill Posted in Anglican Ordinariates, Arcic Comments Off

By David Kerr, CNA

A new round of ecumenical talks between Anglicans and Catholics is getting underway May 17 in Bose, Italy. The meeting is the third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission or ARCIC, which was established in 1970.

The Catholic co-secretary for the meeting is Msgr. Mark Langham of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.

“We begin by stressing what we have in common, finding an area we can both profess together and then moving forward from that to finding where and when and why we diverge. That’s a more productive and creative way of addressing our issues. If we simply dive in and talk about the controversial issues, as they are, people tend to entrench,” he told Vatican Radio.

Those controversial issues include the recent creation of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Established by the Vatican this year, it is a specific organization for former Anglicans within the Catholic Church. The Ordinariate aims to allow converts to preserve the cherished aspects of their Anglican heritage.

Over 900 Anglicans joined at Easter, including 61 clergy. The co-secretary for the Anglican side of things at today’s gathering is Alyson Barnett-Cowan, who does not think that development will affect the progress of the talks.

“I am trusting that it’s not going to affect the climate very much at the talks itself. Much of the talk about the Ordinariate is based upon speculation and not based on what is actually going ahead. The Ordinariate is not the agenda for theological dialogue. We will have an opportunity in one of the evenings, informally, to update people on what is going on. But at this stage that ball is really in the court of episcopal conferences and their discussion with local Anglicans about how the Ordinariate will be put into place.”

Others, though, are not so sure. William Oddie, a former Anglican vicar and journalist from England who converted to the Catholic Church, says the problem with ARCIC is that only the Catholic side of the table represents a clear, collective viewpoint.

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My hopes for ARCIC – Archbishop Bernard Longley

May 17th, 2011 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

Archbishop Bernard LongleyBy Peter Jennings, ICN

Archbishop Bernard Longley the Co-Chairman of ARCIC III shares his thoughts and hopes for this important new ecumenical dialogue during an exclusive interview with Peter Jennings, his Press Secretary.

The Archbishop of Birmingham travels to Bose, a monastery in northern Italy, today, Tuesday 17 May 2011, for the first meeting of ARCIC III.

What is ARCIC III and why was it set-up?

ARCIC III is the third phase of the international dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church. It originally began in response to the Second Vatican Council and as a result of the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Michael Ramsey, to Pope Paul VI in 1966.

Archbishop Ramsey and Pope Paul issued a joint statement at that time speaking of "a new stage in the development of fraternal relations" and this vision has been a characteristic of the ARCIC dialogue every since.

ARCIC III takes as its mandate the meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Rowan Williams in 2006 when they committed our two communions to continue the dialogue.

What particular areas of work have the Holy Father and Archbishop of Canterbury asked ARCIC III to study?

The Holy Father and the Archbishop asked ARCIC III to "address the important issues involved in the emerging ecclesiological and ethical factors making that journey more difficult and arduous".

In other words ARCIC III is being asked to reflect on the nature of the Church as understood by Anglicans and Catholics and to consider the way that the Church arrives at authoritative teaching, especially about moral issues.

On that basis ARCIC III will look at two connected areas of theology: the Church as Communion, local and universal and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching.

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Canon Theologian to Presiding Bishop/Consecrator of the Bishop of New Hampshire appointed to represent Anglican Communion in Roman Catholic Dialogue

February 15th, 2011 Jill Posted in Arcic, TEC Comments Off

From Baby Blue Online

The Canon Theologian to the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church who consecrated the Bishop of New Hampshire has been appointed to represent the Anglican Communion in official ecumenical dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church.

The Former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold advocated and presided over the election and consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

Anglican Communion Office announced that the Rev'd Dr. Mark McIntosh, an Episcopal priest from the progressive Diocese of Chicago (and now on temporary leave from his teaching position at a Chicago college) has been selected to officially represent the Anglican Communion in the the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commisson (ARCIC).  He also served as the Canon Theologian to Bishop Frank Griswald and has served chaplain to the Episcopal House of Bishops, including under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

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And now, ARCIC III: isn’t it time to bring this ecumenical farce to an end?

February 7th, 2011 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

By William Oddie, Catholic Herald

The forthcoming discussions will be an expensive freebie that achieves nothing

[....]  In the wake of the recent collapse of Muslim-Catholic dialogue, you have to ask what that word “dialogue” has come to mean these days: two groups of irreconcilables, each churning out yet again their own point of view in case their interlocutors weren’t already perfectly well aware of what they think about absolutely everything? I remember as a Catholic-minded Anglican desperately hoping, back in the 70s, in the early days of ARCIC, that a series of statements would somehow emerge which would uncover a common faith, on the basis of which corporate reunion might be a distant prospect. The statements did emerge, on Ministry, Sacraments and so forth: but they were never officially accepted by Rome as being a sound or adequate representation of Catholic belief, and nor were they.

The trouble with ARCIC always was (as a former Catholic member of it once explained to me) that on the Catholic side of the table you have a body of men (mostly bishops) who represent a more or less coherent view, being members of a Church which has established means of knowing and declaring what it believes. On the Anglican side of the table you have a body of men (and it was only men, on both sides, in those days) the divisions between whom are just fundamental as, and sometimes a lot more fundamental than, those between any one of them and the Catholic representatives they faced: they all represented only themselves.
 
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Female Toronto bishop appointed to international commission

February 5th, 2011 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Arcic Comments Off

From Anglican Journal

Linda Nicholls, suffragan bishop of the diocese of Toronto (Trent-Durham), has been appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be one of the 10 Anglican representatives to the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC).

Bishop Nicholls was nominated by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

ARCIC promotes visible unity between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. ARCIC was established in 1967 by Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI and celebrates its 40th year of ecumenical dialogue this year.

At the time of the announcement, Bishop Nicholls was on the diocese of Toronto’s annual Bishop’s Retreat and not available for comment. She has been Chair of the Primate’s Theological Commission since 2008, and was elected area bishop for Trent-Durham, based in Whitby, Ont, in 2007.

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Anglican-Catholic Dialogue Opens New Phase

February 3rd, 2011 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Arcic, Pope Benedict Comments Off

From Zenit

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is opening a new phase of dialogue with a meeting scheduled for May 17-27.

A communiqué from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity noted that this new phase of work was mandated by Benedict XVI and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at their meeting in November 2009.

The first meeting of the new phase of the commission will take place at the Monastery of Bose in northern Italy.

The communiqué noted that "the task of this third phase of ARCIC will be to consider fundamental questions regarding the 'Church as Communion — Local and Universal,' and 'How in Communion the Local and Universal Church Comes to Discern Right Ethical Teaching.'"

It added that "these interrelated topics emerged from the Common Declaration of the Pope and the archbishop of Canterbury."

The co-chairmen of this phase are Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon of the New Zealand dioceses.

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Pastoral Letter from the Bishop of Fulham

November 8th, 2010 Jill Posted in Anglican Ordinariates, Arcic Comments Off

From his website

My resignation has been formally announced. I know that for many of you this will be not unexpected but for others it will be a shock. I have thoroughly enjoyed being your Bishop and have thought it a great privilege. I remain utterly committed to our Catholic and Anglican heritage.

The Bishop of London intends to replace me and I hope that you will get a Bishop who is able to minister to you faithfully in the deteriorating situation in the Church of England.

It has been my great joy to work in three different Dioceses and in each of them I have felt welcomed and affirmed. I will miss many colleagues and the priests and parishioners of the parishes it has been my privilege to serve for more than 14 years.

My personal future is that I intend to enter the new Catholic Ordinariate being set up by the Pope. For 40 years I have been committed to the ARCIC process in which the Church of England seeks to unite with Rome. Recent decisions in our own church have made a positive outcome to these talks less and less likely. The Holy Father has made what seems to me a positive and generous offer to Orthodox Anglicans and I do not feel any choice but to accept. The consequence of this will be that our Catholic and Anglican heritage exists in two different places. It is important that we all remain friends and do not do anything to undermine or criticise each other. I am very grateful for the affection and love which Judi and I have both found in all the parishes. Many thanks for everything that you have done over the years and for all that we have achieved.

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When compromise trumps apostolic tradition

September 3rd, 2010 Jill Posted in Arcic, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By George Weigel, Catholic Herald Star

Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to Great Britain next month will unfold along a pilgrim’s path metaphorically strewn with landmines. Headline-grabbing new atheists like Richard Dawkins, along with their allies in the international plaintiff’s bar, may try to have the pontiff arrested as an enabler of child abuse. More subtly, but just as falsely, homosexual activists and their allies will portray John Henry Newman, whom the Pope will beatify, as the patron saint of gay liberation. No challenge facing Benedict in Britain, however, will be greater than the challenge of re-framing the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue, which is on the verge of de facto extinction.

The death of that once-promising dialogue would have been unimaginable 40 years ago. Then, in the aftermath of Vatican II, it seemed possible that Canterbury and Rome might be reconciled, with full ecclesiastical communion restored. That great hope began to run aground in the mid-1980s, when the Church of England faced the question of whether it could call women to holy orders (a practice already under way in other member communities of the worldwide Anglican Communion). As I discovered when researching the biography of Pope John Paul II, a theological Rubicon seems to have been crossed in a 1984-86 exchange of letters among Dr. Robert Runcie, the Anglican primate, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the pope.

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When Compromise Trumps Apostolic Tradition

August 27th, 2010 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

Dr Robert RuncieBy George Weigel, First Things

Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to Great Britain next month will unfold along a pilgrim’s path metaphorically strewn with landmines. Headline-grabbing new atheists like Richard Dawkins, along with their allies in the international plaintiff’s bar, may try to have the pontiff arrested as an enabler of child abuse. More subtly, but just as falsely, homosexual activists and their allies will portray John Henry Newman, whom the Pope will beatify, as the patron saint of gay liberation. No challenge facing Benedict in Britain, however, will be greater than the challenge of re-framing the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue, which is on the verge of de facto extinction.

The death of that once-promising dialogue would have been unimaginable 40 years ago. Then, in the aftermath of Vatican II, it seemed possible that Canterbury and Rome might be reconciled, with full ecclesiastical communion restored. That great hope began to run aground in the mid-1980s, when the Church of England faced the question of whether it could call women to holy orders (a practice already under way in other member communities of the worldwide Anglican Communion). As I discovered when researching the biography of Pope John Paul II, a theological Rubicon seems to have been crossed in a 1984-86 exchange of letters among Dr. Robert Runcie, the Anglican primate, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pope.

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Two Distinct Universes, Catholic and Anglican

August 26th, 2010 Jill Posted in Arcic, Ordination Of Women Comments Off

By David Mills, First Things

In Compromise Trumps Apostolic Tradition, George Weigel examines the collapse, through the Anglican insistence on innovating in ways contradictory to the Apostolic tradition, of the “once-promising dialogue” between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. “As I discovered when researching the biography of Pope John Paul II,” he writes in today’s second “On the Square” article,
a theological Rubicon seems to have been crossed in a 1984-86 exchange of letters among Dr. Robert Runcie, the Anglican primate, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pope. . . .
Dr. Runcie’s attempt to explain why the Church of England believed it could proceed to the ordination of women demonstrated that Anglicanism and Catholicism were living in two distinct universes of discourse, one theological, the other sociological. For Runcie advanced no theological arguments as to why apostolic tradition could be understood to authorize the innovation he and many of his Anglican colleagues proposed; rather, he cited the expanding roles of women in society as the crucial issue. Sociological trends, Runcie’s letter implied, trumped apostolic tradition—which was not, of course, something the Catholic Church could accept.
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Catholic Church saddened by General Synod’s vote on women bishops

August 11th, 2010 Jill Posted in Arcic, Roman Catholicism, Women Bishops Comments Off

By George Conger, CEN

Last month’s vote by General Synod on the consecration of women bishops is a departure from the apostolic tradition of the catholic church, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity said. However, Bishop Brian Farrell declared the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion continued to have a duty to engage in ecumenical dialogue.

In an interview with the ZENIT news service, Bishop Farrell said would women bishops would present an “enormous obstacle” to Anglican-Catholic talks. “All the Churches of the first millennium, Catholic, Eastern and Orthodox, state that only men can be ordained. These Churches see the ordination of women as an illegitimate abandonment of authentic Tradition.”

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How Women Bishops Affect Anglican-Catholic Dialogue

July 16th, 2010 Jill Posted in Arcic Comments Off

By Inma Álvarez, Zenit

After a bitter vote, the Church of England decided Monday that women can be consecrated as bishops. But the secretary of the Vatican's unity council says ecumenical dialogue will continue as before.

The synodal decision must be put to a referendum within a year by another similar synod; nevertheless it is a vote that marks an important point within the history of the Church of England.

The vote was noteworthy in another regard: a conciliatory amendment proposed by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, was rejected.

Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told ZENIT that the Anglican decision does represent an "enormous obstacle." Nevertheless, he said, the effects of this vote must be kept in a proper perspective.

ZENIT: The Anglican synod of York approved the ordination of women bishops, a decision that is being imposed gradually in the whole Anglican Communion, against the conviction of the so-called traditionalist communities. This decision can be considered firm, although the final vote will not take place until 2012. Can this decision still change, or can one expect that it will be definitive?

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Archbishop Nichols praises papal decree for encouraging Catholic-Anglican dialogue

January 27th, 2010 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Arcic, Ecumenism, Roman Catholicism Comments Off

From CNA

The president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said this week that the publication of the apostolic constitution allowing Anglicans the option of entering into full communion with the Catholic Church “will have important consequences” in England.

The apostolic constitution, “Anglicanorum coetibus,” was issued by Pope Benedict last November.

In an interview with Vatican Radio in Rome, where the archbishop is with other English prelates for their ad limina visit, Archbishop Nichols said, “The reaction to this document is, in a certain sense, measured. There was a strong reaction at first, which was inflated by the media. Now we are in a phase of evaluation, reflection and prayer.”

In order for there to be a “complete assessment of the Pope’s initiative,” the archbishop said, “one must consider the important announcement of the start of the third phase of ARCIC talks, the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission.  In my opinion, the two are related.”

“The response of the Holy Father has given a positive stimulus to ARCIC's debates,” he continued adding that the coinciding of the launch of ARCIC III and the apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus" is not a coincidence.”

“In our joint declaration,” Archbishop Nichols stated, “the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and I have said that this move by the Holy See will end a period of uncertainty, and consider this to be a positive contribution to a wider dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole, which will have important consequences for the country.”

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