Anglican-Catholic dialogue hammering out the ‘tough difficulties’

 — May 16, 201616 mai 2016

British Archbishop Bernard Longley, co-chair of ARCIC III at the 2016 meeting in Toronto. Photo by Michael Swan
British Archbishop Bernard Longley, co-chair of ARCIC III at the 2016 meeting in Toronto. Photo by Michael Swan
by Michael Swan, The Catholic Register

After nearly 50 years of discourse between the Catholic and Anglican communions, the official dialogue body wants to fine-tune how it studies the differences and similarities between two churches which both call themselves Catholic.

ARCIC III hasn’t proved itself yet,” Sir David Moxon, Anglican co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, told The Catholic Register following an ecumenical evensong on Pentecost Sunday.

This third stage of the dialogue has been meeting since 2011, but has yet to publish a major document. It is currently studying how the Church arrives at moral teaching.

The official dialogue sponsored by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury is meeting in Toronto until May 18, when a concluding communique is expected from the meeting of 22 bishops, theologians and support staff. It is the first time the body has met in Canada and, to the knowledge of the participants, the first time in 50 years that ARCIC has met during Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit first revealed the global unity of the Christian message expressed in the diversity of languages from around the world.

ARCIC III expects to publish its first book within the next four months, said Moxon. The Anglican representative to the Holy See in Rome is currently in negotiations with publishers to bring out Towards a Church Fully Reconciled, a series of essays that “will tackle the tough difficulties,” Moxon said.

ARCIC has looked at its work since the Second Vatican Council and divided the issues into three categories — areas of agreement, issues on which the churches are still seeking agreement and areas of disagreement.

Despite 80-per-cent agreement on such questions as Church structure, Eucharist, liturgy and ethics, disagreements on ordination of women to the priesthood and as bishops, ordination of openly gay bishops, blessings of same-sex relationships and moves in some parts of the Anglican communion to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions have derailed or slowed talks over the past decade.

The current topic of discussion at ARCIC is meant to meet these controversies head-on, said Canadian Anglican Bishop Linda Nicholls.

“If we’ve come to so much agreement in ARCIC I and ARCIC II, why is it we’ve arrived in such different places (on sexual equality and sexual ethics)?” asked Nicholls, summing up the current work of the commission. “We’re almost so close that the last little bit is so hard.”

Nicholls is also a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue of Canada, which, since it was founded in 1971, has always had at least one member on the international body. The Canadian group scheduled its meeting this year to overlap with the international meeting in Toronto so there could be discussion between the two levels, Nicholls said.

ARC plans to publish this year a collection of all the ARCIC II papers issued between 1983 and 2005, ending with “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ.” The Canadian collection of these documents will also include commentary and essays.

That there are tough issues and serious disagreements “cannot be an excuse for doing little or nothing,” Archbishop Bernard Longley, the British Catholic co-chair of ARCIC III, said in his homily at evensong in St. James’ Cathedral.

ARCIC is now faced with questions that did not exist at the beginning of the official dialogue, said Longley. While there’s been a lot of focus on the Anglican storm over same-sex marriage, Catholics have their own issues when it comes to moral teaching, including the reception of Humanae Vitae, said Longley. The Church’s official teaching against artificial birth control has failed to persuade many married Catholics. A 2011 study found that only two per cent of Catholic women between 15 and 44 in the United States use natural family planning and a 2014 survey of 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries found that more than 90 per cent of Catholics in France, Brazil, Spain, Argentina, and Colombia have no problem with artificial birth control.

Official ecumenical dialogues have traditionally called upon some of the most distinguished thinkers in theology and church history to contribute to their work. Including the 1967 preparatory commission’s Malta Report, the three stages of ARCIC have produced 20 agreed statements which have included thorough examinations of the theologies of Eucharist, ordination, the Church as Communion, authority and leadership and the role of Mary in the Church. But when it comes to how the Church actually understands and carries out official teaching, the dialogue may in fact need the help of sociologists and others in the social sciences, said Boston auxiliary Bishop Art Kennedy. The dialogue can’t be maintained in a closed room sealed off from the life and culture of the Church on the ground, he said.

“We all live in this post-modern culture. It’s in the air that we breathe,” said Kennedy.

Getting the achievements of ARCIC to date translated from theological papers into practical pastoral plans and programs is going to require help from ARCIC’s big brother, the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity — IARCCUM. This organization of bishops was established in Toronto in 2000 and maintains a web site at

[IARCCUM] hopes to bring together 36 pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Rome Oct. 5 and 6 for a meeting with Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

“Now the time has come for it to become an action,” said Moxon.

Posted: May 16, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: Catholic Register, DialogueIn this article: Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, dialogue, ecclesiology, IARCCUM
Transmis : 16 mai 2016 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : Catholic Register, DialogueDans cet article : Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, dialogue, ecclesiology, IARCCUM

New Vatican magazine criticises Church for ‘ignoring role of women’

 — May 3, 20163 mai 2016

The cover of L'Osservatore Romano announcing the election of Pope Francis in 2013The magazine, which launched today, started as a monthly section in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

The Church has ignored the female contribution to Catholic culture in recent years, according to an editorial in a new women’s magazine published by the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper.

Lucetta Scaraffia, the co-ordinator of Women-Church-World, the new monthly magazine published by L’Osservatore Romano, said that a “hidden revolution” had taken place during the last century with women making an increasingly important contribution to the intellectual life of Catholicism.

But this, she explained, had been “almost ignored” by the Church even though it had intensified in the years following the Second Vatican Council when more and more women started to study theology. … Read more » … À suivre »

Anglican-Catholic dialogue coming to Toronto

 — April 29, 201629 avril 2016

Saskatoon RC Bishop Donald Bolen, left, and Anglican Bishop Linda Nicholls will be among those speaking on Anglican-Catholic dialogue in Toronto May 11. Photo: Michael Swan/Catholic RegisterOne of the most important and troubled projects from the Second Vatican Council arrives in Toronto May 11 for some serious, scholarly, and saintly talk.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, better known as ARCIC, rolls into town to puzzle over how Catholics and Anglicans make decisions over ethical questions and to find new ways to sum up its work over the last five decades.

ARCIC is the official ecumenical dialogue between the world’s 85 million Anglicans and 1.3 billion Catholics set up by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1969.

This is the first time ARCIC has met in Canada, and it gives Canada’s own Anglican-Catholic dialogue partners a chance to rub shoulders with their international counterparts.

The public will have a chance to pray with the theologians and bishops involved in the dialogue and then hear them speak about their work for unity on May 11, beginning with a 7 p.m. evening prayer service in the Basilian chapel on the University of St. Michael’s College campus. At 7:30 the ecumenists will walk across the street to Brennan Hall to hear the co-chairs of Canada’s national Anglican-Catholic dialogue and the international co-chairs speak about the state of the dialogue.

Unknown to most Anglicans and Catholics, their official international dialogue has deeply studied and declared broad agreement on such contentious issues as the importance of the Pope’s role as guarantor of Christian unity, Mary’s role in the life and the devotion of the Church, the centrality of the Eucharist and the Church’s self-understanding that it is first and foremost a communion in Christ. ARCIC documents such as The Gift of Authority, Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, Life in Christ, Morals, Communion and the Church, The Church as Communion and Salvation and the Church are praised in theological circles as among the most important and articulate statements of Christian belief in our time. … Read more » … À suivre »

Hindu–Catholic dialogue encourages hospitality and open hearts in receiving refugees

 — March 31, 201631 mars 2016

The Hindu-Catholic dialogue of Canada meeting in Toronto in February 2016Following its last meeting in Toronto on February 6, 2016, the Hindu–Catholic Dialogue of Canada released a joint statement to reaffirm the importance of hospitality in receiving the stranger and welcoming refugee. “Hospitality is among the most sacred values in many religious traditions, including Hinduism and Christianity,” stated the members of the dialogue. The statement concluded with an appeal to all peoples in Canada “to offer our prayers to those reeling in response to war, terror, and hate…” and urging “all Canadians to respond with openness, care and generosity to those refugees who find their ways to our shores, and indeed to all strangers in our midst. Dialogue and encounter are among our most important resources for meeting the demands of the present refugee crisis.”

The theme of the last meeting of the Hindu-Catholic Dialogue was on the Theology of Incarnation in both Catholic and Hindu traditions. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has eight appointees on this national dialogue, with the Most Reverend Daniel Miehm, Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton, serving as the Catholic Co-Chair. Dr. Tinu Ruparell, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, is the Hindu Co-Chair. The Hindu-Catholic Dialogue meets twice annually and is scheduled to meet again in August 2016. … Read more » … À suivre »

Le Dialogue hindou-catholique encourage l’hospitalité et l’ouverture du cœur dans l’accueil des réfugiés

 — March 31, 201631 mars 2016

le Dialogue hindou-catholique du Canada à Toronto le 6 février 2016À la suite de sa dernière réunion, le 6 février 2016 à Toronto, le Dialogue hindou-catholique du Canada a publié une déclaration commune pour réaffirmer l’importance de l’hospitalité pour accueillir l’étranger et bien recevoir le réfugié. « L’hospitalité est une valeur des plus sacrées dans plusieurs traditions religieuses, dont l’hindouisme et le christianisme », ont affirmé les membres du dialogue. La déclaration concluait par un appel à toute la population du Canada afin d’offrir « des prières pour ceux et celles qui souffrent des conséquences de la guerre, de la terreur et de la haine… » et par une interpellation à « toutes les Canadiennes et tous les Canadiens à faire preuve d’ouverture d’esprit, de sollicitude et de générosité à l’endroit des réfugiés qui arrivent chez nous, de même qu’à l’égard de tous les étrangers parmi nous. Le dialogue et la rencontre sont les ressources les plus importantes dont nous disposions pour répondre aux exigences de la crise actuelle des réfugiés. »

Le thème de la dernière réunion du Dialogue hindou-catholique portait sur la théologie de l’incarnation pour les traditions catholique et hindoue. Huit délégués de la Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada (CECC) participent à ce dialogue national, dont le coprésident catholique, Mgr Daniel Miehm, évêque auxiliaire à Hamilton. M. Tinu Ruparell, Ph.D., professeur d’études religieuses à l’Université de Calgary, est le coprésident hindou. Le dialogue catholique-hindou se réunit deux fois par année, et sa prochaine réunion est prévue pour août 2016. … Read more » … À suivre »

Women who preach

 — March 1, 20161 mars 2016

In Jesus’ times, no one among the poor was poorer than a widow, a woman without a man, hence without either rights or protection. The world and the society in which Jesus lived and moved were basically structured on a patriarchal model; women were invisible in society with the kind of invisibility typical of a legal status of minority, indeed of exclusion. The originality of Christ’s behaviour must be integrated into this historical truth. In fact, Jesus saw, looked, noted and connected his life with the lives of the women who followed him, loved him and accompanied him even to his death.

Whereas the gaze of Simon the Pharisee (cf. Lk 7:36) – as Maria dell’Orto wrote – saw and judged, scrutinized and condemned, excluding people, Christ’s gaze set people on their feet, identified and recognized them. In so doing he invited all, both women and men, to discernment, to asking themselves questions and to communion. In this perspective a panoramic view of Christian history leads one to consider those prophetic and charismatic female figures who, by their personal authority, in turbulent centuries, contributed to evangelizing a still pagan world and/or a Church which was hostile and divided: Saints Genevieve, Clotilda, Joan of Arc, Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena… … Read more » … À suivre »

National Dialogue for Christian Unity holds inaugural meeting in Aotearoa New Zealand

 — February 26, 201626 février 2016

Anglican, Roman Catholic and Methodist Churches in Aotearoa New Zealand are forming an ecumenical entity to pursue closer ties and share understandings. They held an inaugural meeting for the National Dialogue for Christian Unity (NDCU) on 25 February in Wellington.

Participants said they hope that the NDCU will lead to formal ecumenical collaboration among churches and other groups in society that want to work together on issues concerning all New Zealanders.

In addition to meeting during the day, participants attended a Service of Celebration at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Wellington.

The formal establishment of the NDCU represents a significant and very hopeful development in ecumenical relationships in Aotearoa New Zealand, said Archbishop Philip Richardson, bishop of Taranaki and archbishop of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. “Friendships between churches have been strong, so to give structure and form to these is cause for rejoicing.” … Read more » … À suivre »