Part One: The achievements of Anglican-Roman Catholic theological dialogue
Introduction: Commitment to unity and mission
1. Anglicans and Roman Catholics1
agree that God desires the visible unity of all Christian people and that such
unity is itself part of our witness. Our churches share a commitment to work
for that unity in truth for which Christ prayed (John 17). We have each expressed
this in our own internal statements and, since 1966, Popes and Archbishops of
Canterbury have re-affirmed this goal of the restoration of visible unity and
full ecclesial communion in their Common Declarations.2
2. It was with this end in mind that in 1966 Pope Paul VI and Archbishop
Michael Ramsey called for the setting up of a theological dialogue. Since then,
the Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) has produced
a series of agreed statements addressing issues on which agreement is required
if the two Communions are to live in visible unity. The first series of statements,
published together under the title The Final Report, covered the areas
of Eucharist, ministry and ordination, and authority.3
The Final Report was presented to the authorities of both Communions and
received official response. The Anglican Communion recognised the Eucharist
and ministry statements as "consonant in substance with the faith of Anglicans".4
An initial Roman Catholic response requested further work in these two areas.5
Clarifications prepared by an ARCIC sub-commission were subsequently judged
by the Roman Catholic Church to have greatly strengthened agreement in these
Both Communions recognised convergence in the area of authority, while acknowledging,
as ARCIC itself had done, that significant issues remained to be addressed.7
The second phase of ARCIC continued the search for further agreement in faith,
addressing salvation and justification, ecclesiology, morals, authority and
the place of Mary in the life of the Church. These documents have not yet received
an official evaluation from the churches.8
Through this theological dialogue over forty years Anglicans and Roman Catholics
have grown closer together and have come to see that what they hold in common
is far greater than those things in which they differ.
3. Hand in hand with the work of theological dialogue, relationships
have been developing between Anglicans and Roman Catholics in a variety of ways.
As Archbishop George Carey and Pope John Paul II noted, "in many parts of the
world, Anglicans and Catholics, joined in one baptism, recognise one another
as brothers and sisters in Christ and give expression to this through joint
prayer, common action, and joint witness".9
In diverse contexts, Anglicans and Catholics attempt to witness together in
the face of rapid change, globalisation and fragmentation, growing secularism,
religious apathy and moral confusion. In places, Anglican and Roman Catholic
bishops meet regularly for consultation and prayer. Representatives of each
tradition are invited to be observers at the conciliar gatherings of the other.
Since the Second Vatican Council, Archbishops of Canterbury and Popes have met
together on frequent occasions, praying together for the Church and for the
world. Their joint declarations affirm the degree of communion that is already
shared, as well as the urgency of continuing together on the way to visible
A further step
4. In May of 2000, building on the reflections of Pope John Paul II
and Archbishop George Carey in their Common Declaration of 1996, a meeting of
Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops was convened by Cardinal Cassidy and the
Archbishop of Canterbury in Mississauga, Canada. Its purpose was to address
the imperative for Christian reconciliation and healing in a broken and divided
world at the beginning of a new millennium, to assess the progress made in Anglican
- Roman Catholic relations and to chart a way forward for the future. The assembled
bishops focused on the special relationship between the two Communions which
was expressed in Unitatis Redintegratio, the Decree on Ecumenism
of the Second Vatican Council: "Among those [communions separated at the
time of the Reformation from the Roman See] in which Catholic traditions and
institutions in part continue to exist, the Anglican Communion occupies a special
5. As the bishops prayed together and meditated on Holy Scripture they
realised afresh both the degree of spiritual communion they already shared in
a common liturgical inheritance and also the pain of not receiving Holy Communion
together at the Eucharist. As they reviewed the theological agreed statements
of ARCIC and the official responses of the two Communions to that work, they
noted "the very impressive degree of agreement in faith that already exists".
The bishops were able to discern that, in spite of remaining differences, the
faith shared by Anglicans and Roman Catholics "is not just formally established
by our common baptism into Christ, but is even now a rich and life-giving, multifaceted
As they reviewed together relations in the different regions of the world, they
were encouraged by examples of collaboration, particularly in action for social
justice and joint pastoral care. At the same time they noted that the degree
of faith we currently share could allow us to join much more profoundly in common
mission to our fragmented world, and that our disunity inevitably damages the
mission of the Church. They called upon the churches to enter into a new stage
in our relations, marked by "a communion of joint commitment to our common
mission in the world (cf. John 17.23)".12
6. In recognising this degree of communion, the bishops at Mississauga
set out a vision of the way in which a new relationship might be marked:
We believe that now is the appropriate
time for the authorities of our two Communions to recognise and endorse this
new stage through the signing of a Joint Declaration of Agreement. This Agreement
would set out: our shared goal of visible unity; an acknowledgement of the consensus
in faith that we have reached, and a fresh commitment to share together in common
life and witness.13
Since this meeting, however, the Churches of the Anglican Communion
have entered into a period of dispute occasioned by the episcopal ordination
of a person living in an openly-acknowledged committed same-sex relationship
and the authorisation of public Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions. These
matters have intensified reflection on the nature of the relationship between
the churches of the Communion. The Anglican Communion has acted to address these
difficulties, notably through the Windsor Report of 2004. It is noteworthy
that Anglicans have looked for the positive assistance of their ecumenical partners
including the Catholic Church in this process.14
In addition, ecumenical relationships have become more complicated as proposals
within the Church of England have focussed attention on the issue of the ordination
of women to the episcopate which is an established part of ministry in some
7. This present context, which adds to existing differences between
our two Communions, is not the appropriate time to enter the new formal stage
of relationship envisaged by the bishops at Mississauga. Nevertheless it must
be acknowledged that the progress towards agreement in faith achieved through
the theological dialogue has been substantial, but that in the past four decades
we have only just begun to give tangible expression to the incontrovertible
elements of shared faith. Even in a time of uncertainty, the mission given us
by Christ obliges and compels us to seek to engage more deeply and widely in
a partnership in mission, coupled with common witness and joint prayer.
8. In developing the text of this statement, the International Anglican
- Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) is well aware that
it has not answered the full challenge extended by the bishops at Mississauga;
but ever mindful that Christ continues to urge us towards unity, the Commission
has sought to undertake what is appropriate in the present context. In order
to renew the enthusiasm which was shared at Mississauga, to transmit it to the
future and to give common witness in our secularised societies, we must be honest
in addressing and seeking to overcome recent problems. We believe that this
is possible when we hold to our rich common heritage and the results already
achieved through our dialogue. In addition to all we can and must do, we trust
the Holy Spirit that the One who initiated our pilgrimage to unity and common
mission will bring it to fulfilment.
9. The following text offers an honest appraisal of what has been achieved
in the dialogue: discerning those doctrinal elements over which there is a readiness
in both of our Communions to see in ARCIC's work a faithful expression of what
the Church of Christ teaches; and candidly pointing to remaining difficulties,
thus identifying where further theological work is necessary. In the text, these
issues calling for further exploration have been placed in clearly identifiable
10. From the first beginnings of our theological dialogue, Anglican
- Roman Catholic relations have consistently embraced the notion of unity by
stages, acknowledging that our churches would need to grow gradually into the
full communion which Christ desires for us, and trusting that the Holy Spirit
would guide this process. While this may not be the moment to initiate a formal
new stage in our relations, we believe that it is the time to bridge the gap
between the elements of faith we hold in common and the tangible expression
of that shared belief in our ecclesial lives. The final section of this document
therefore proposes some specific steps to deepen our fellowship in life and
mission which we believe are responsibly open for us and would be appropriate
for us to take in the present context.
1. Belief in God as Trinity
11. Together the Roman Catholic Church and the Churches of the Anglican
Communion believe that Christian life is begun in the waters of Baptism. We
agree that this sacrament involves a threefold profession of faith in God who
is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Most Holy Trinity. The threefold profession,
both at Baptism and also on those great occasions, above all at Easter, when
baptismal promises are renewed, corresponds to the three clauses of the Apostles'
Creed. Our full recognition of one another's Baptism is itself the basis of
the growing communion between us.
12. Anglicans and Roman Catholics rejoice to be able to affirm as one:
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
13. We confess together that we are the graced recipients of the wholly
unmerited gift of God's self-revelation in Christ. Our profession of faith springs
from this gift, as also does our solemn responsibility to go out and share what
we have received (cf. Matthew 10.8; 28.18-20). We proclaim that Christ is the
image of the invisible God (Colossians 1.15). He, the unique mediator between
God and humanity, took flesh, suffered and died on the Cross for us, and was
raised to life by the Father through the power of the Spirit, so that we in
turn might have life through the same Spirit (cf. Romans 8.11), partake in the
divine nature (cf. 2 Peter 1.4), and so reflect the glory of God (cf. 2 Corinthians
By the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, Christ has redeemed
the world once and for all (cf. Colossians 1.20-22). We are deeply united in
joyful thanksgiving to the living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In liturgical
celebrations, we regularly make the same trinitarian profession of faith in
the form of the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
14. We believe that the divine life is one of communion (in Greek,
koinonia), and that the Church is a communion by participation in the
eternal communion of the Son with the Father in the Holy Spirit.16
The 'communion of saints' we profess in the Apostles' Creed translates the Latin,
communio sanctorum, which is simultaneously the communion of God's
holy people (sancti) and their communion in God's holy gifts (sancta)
of word and sacrament.17
The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion can already recognise many
of God's gifts in one another. This sharing in God's gifts already constitutes
a bond of communion between us. We are called to live out that real but imperfect
communion visibly, while striving ultimately for full visible unity.
2. Church as Communion in Mission
15. "The purpose of God according to Holy Scripture is to gather the
whole of creation under the Lordship of Jesus Christ in whom, by the power of
the Holy Spirit, all are brought into communion with God (Ephesians 1). The
Church is the foretaste of this communion with God and with one another."18
Anglicans and Catholics in dialogue have come to agree that communion or
koinonia is the term that most aptly expresses the mystery underlying the
various New Testament images of the Church.19
Union with God in Christ Jesus through the Spirit is the heart of Christian
koinonia. The Son of God has taken to himself our human nature, and
he has sent upon us his Spirit, who makes us so truly members of the body of
Christ that we too are able to call God "Abba, Father" (Romans 8.15;
Galatians 4.6). Koinonia with one another is entailed by our koinonia
with God in Christ (cf. 1 John 1.1-4). This is the mystery of the Church.20
16. Moreover, we agree that this mystery requires visible expression.21
The Church is intended to be the 'sacrament' of God's saving work, i.e. 'both
sign and instrument'22
of God's purpose in Christ, "to unite all things in him, things in heaven and
things on earth" (Ephesians 1.10).23
As the body of Christ the incarnate Son, who was sent into the world because
God loves the world (cf. John 3.16-17), the Church itself is essentially sent
on mission into the world. Its mission is rooted in the saving mission of the
Son and the Spirit and is, indeed, a sacramental form of that divine mission.
17. The Church is, therefore, a communion in mission. It is precisely
as communion that the Church is "sacrament of the merciful grace of God for
and sent into the world. The Church's own unity is at once an experience of
the mystery of the Kingdom and a Gospel witness (cf. Jesus' prayer, "that they
may all be one... so that the world may believe", John 17.21). The Church's
living of communion is therefore a vital part of its mission, and mission is
harmed when communion is lacking. The Church announces what it is called to
and is already the community where salvation is offered and received. It is
therefore an effective sign, given by God in the face of human sinfulness, division
"Confessing that their communion signifies God's purpose for the whole human
race, the members of the Church are called to give themselves in loving witness
and service to their fellow human beings."27
18. As a foretaste of the Kingdom, the Church exists to announce the
fullness of the Kingdom. The Holy Spirit who anoints and empowers the Church
reveals to it the things to come (cf. John 16.13). While also acting outside
the community of Christians, the Spirit nurtures the new life of the Kingdom
within the Church, where Christ is confessed explicitly,28
and the Gospel becomes "a manifest reality".29
The Church is called to be "a living expression of the Gospel, evangelised and
evangelising, reconciled and reconciling, gathered together and gathering others".30
"Christ's will and prayer are that his disciples should be one. Those who have
received the same word of God and have been baptised in the same Spirit cannot,
without disobedience, indefinitely acquiesce in a state of separation. Unity
is of the essence of the Church, and since the Church is visible its unity also
must be visible."31
We are therefore irrevocably committed to the re-establishment of full visible
19. Roman Catholics and Anglicans agree that the Eucharist is the effectual
sign of koinonia, that the ministry of oversight (episcope)
serves the koinonia, and that a ministry of primacy is a visible link
and focus of koinonia.32
We understand the Church to be a communion of local churches (dioceses).33
A local church is "a gathering of the baptised brought together by the apostolic
preaching, confessing the one faith, celebrating the one eucharist, and led
by an apostolic ministry".34
Amongst the diversity of local churches, unity and coherence are maintained
by the common confession of the one apostolic faith, by a shared sacramental
life, by a common ministry of oversight, with both collegial and primatial dimensions,
and by joint ways of reaching decisions and giving authoritative teaching.35
We agree that the one celebration of the Eucharist is the "pre-eminent expression
and focus" of ecclesial communion.36
20. Within the context of our agreement on the nature of the Church
and its mission, the question must be addressed: where is the Church actually
to be found? Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that there are essential elements,
constitutive of ecclesial life, which must be "present and mutually recognised"
in each local church, in order for there to be that "one visible communion which
The degree of visible communion depends on the extent of our mutual recognition
of the holy gifts and the essential constitutive elements of the Church in one
24. Anglicans and Catholics share a considerable degree of agreement
on the constitutive elements of visible communion. We agree that the ministry
of oversight has "both collegial and primatial dimensions", and furthermore,
that in the context of the communion of all the churches, the episcopal ministry
of a universal primate finds its role as "the visible focus of unity".53
25. Our ecumenical effort is founded on the conviction that all of these
gifts, "which come from Christ and lead back to him, belong by right to the
one Church of Christ".54
"Full unity will come about when we all share in the fullness of the means of
salvation entrusted by Christ to his Church."55
In our search for unity, the goal of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican
Communion is to come together in a common confession of the apostolic faith
and a shared sacramental life with a common ministry of oversight. The sharing
of these inter-related elements will serve and strengthen the Church's witness
3. The Living Word of God
26. Anglicans and Roman Catholics embrace a common Christian inheritance,
shared for many centuries, "with its living traditions of liturgy, theology,
spirituality, Church order, and mission".56
We agree that the Church lives in a dynamic process of tradition, "communicating
to each generation what was delivered once and for all to the apostolic community",57
and that the Church is "servant and not master of what it has received".58
Through many centuries beforehand, God prepared his people for the coming of
Christ. The patriarchs and the prophets received and spoke the word of God in
the Spirit, and then, in the fullness of time (Galatians 4.4), by the power
of the same Spirit, the Word of God took flesh, was born of a woman, and accomplished
27. The Word who became flesh and dwelt among us is at the centre of
what was transmitted from the beginning and what will be transmitted until the
and the Holy Spirit quickens the memory of the teaching and work of Christ and
of his exaltation, of which the apostolic community was the first witness.61
It is the living Word of God, together with the Spirit, who communicates God's
invitation to communion to the whole world in every age.62
Therefore, we rejoice to reaffirm that the Church's mission is most truly that
of the Son and the Spirit. Properly understood, tradition is itself an act of
communion whereby the Spirit unites the local churches of our day with those
that preceded them in the one apostolic faith.63
The communion of the Church spans time and space.64
28. We agree that the revealed Word is "received and communicated through
the life of the whole Christian community";65
since the Holy Spirit is given to all the people of God, it is within the Church
as a whole that the living memory of the faith is active.66
Christians are together formed into the body of Christ by the Spirit for the
praise and glory of God and to minister grace and communion to the world.
29. We exist as Christians by the Tradition of the Gospel, testified
in Scripture, transmitted in and by the Church through the power of the Holy
"Within Tradition the Scriptures occupy a unique and normative place and belong
to what has been given once for all."68
At a very early stage, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, "the Church was led
to acknowledge the canon of Scripture as both test and norm" in order to safeguard
the authenticity of its memory.69
Therefore the Scriptures as the uniquely inspired witness to divine revelation
have a unique role in keeping alive the Church's memory of the teaching and
work of Christ. We agree that the Church's teaching, preaching and action must
constantly be measured against the Scriptures; however, the manner in which we
each understand the Scriptures as "test and norm" needs still more clarification.
30. In approaching Scripture, the Christian faithful draw upon the rich
diversity of methods of reading and interpretation used throughout the Church's
history (e.g. historical-critical, exegetical, typological, spiritual, sociological,
canonical). These methods, which all have value, have been developed in many
different contexts of the Church's life, which need to be recalled and respected.
Anglican - Roman Catholic dialogue in recent decades has itself been a context
for the development of an ecumenical reading of Scripture that has consciously
tried to get behind well-known controversies and to seek new shared insights
concerning those things which have divided us.70
31. Effective preaching is indispensable in enabling the Scriptures
to nourish the faithful and in communicating the living Word of God (cf. Romans
10.14-17). The responsibility to keep the community true to the apostolic faith,
and transmit that faith to the Church of every age, is an essential element
in the ministry of those who have oversight in the Church.71
In order to sustain and promote the Church's mission72
they exercise a ministry of memory, preaching, explaining and applying the truth
of the Gospel.
33. Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that they receive one baptism,
administered with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We do this in obedience to the command of the risen Lord (cf. Matthew 28.18-20).
We consider baptism a sacrament of initiation instituted by Jesus Christ, by
which we are incorporated into the life of his body, the Church. Baptism is
the sacrament of faith, through which a person embraces the faith of the Church
and is embraced by it.
34. Together with other Christians, we accept the meanings baptism has
in the Scriptures, and the tradition and practice of the early Church.73
By baptism, through faith, Christians are united with Christ in his life, death
and resurrection. Along with all our human sinfulness, we are buried with Christ
(cf. Romans 6.3-11) and raised to a new life, which begins here and now, in
the power of his resurrection.74
Thus we believe this one baptism is for the forgiveness of sins, including original
sin, and that we are pardoned, washed and cleansed by Christ, who came into
the world to save sinners. "Baptism is the unrepeatable sacrament of justification
and incorporation into Christ (1 Corinthians 6.11, 12.12-13; Galatians 3.27)."75
Through baptism, by grace alone and not because of any merit on our part, we
put on Christ, and receiving his Spirit, we are enabled to live a new life.
35. By the power of the indwelling Spirit, baptism initiates a renewal
of life and growth in holiness which God will bring to completion in eternal
life. What is given in baptism is the "first instalment of the final consummation
and the ground of the believer's hope".76
By this lifelong process of sanctification, believers "grow into conformity
with Christ, the perfect image of God, until he appears and we shall be like
36. We believe that all who are baptised are incorporated into the body
of Christ, the Church. "Through baptism, Christians are brought into union with
Christ, with each other and with the Church of every time and place."78
This spiritual communion of the baptised receives necessary expression in a
visible community, in which the Word of God is proclaimed afresh, the sacraments
are celebrated, and the people of God receive pastoral oversight, so that the
life of the Gospel and the mission flowing from it are lived out by the baptised.79
Baptism into the Christian community is directed to the full expression of the
new life received in Christ, as sin is overcome and God is served and glorified
in Christ-like lives.
37. In both the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, the
sacramental process of Christian initiation also includes confirmation. Common
to our understanding is that confirmation is an empowerment by the Holy Spirit
for witness and mission, and a public manifestation of membership in the Body
of Christ. The twentieth century saw a reappraisal in both the Roman Catholic
Church and the Anglican Communion of the relationship between Baptism, Confirmation
and participation in Holy Communion. In both traditions, it is now widespread
practice to admit children to Communion at the age of reason.
38. The Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church recognise the baptism
each confers. Anglicans and Catholics therefore regard our common baptism as
the basic bond of unity between us,80
even as we recognise that the fullness of eucharistic communion to which baptism
should lead is impeded by disagreement concerning some of the elements of faith
and practice which we acknowledge are necessary for full, visible communion.
Nevertheless, we recognise that this incompleteness constitutes an imperative:
Anglicans and Catholics are committed to overcoming by God's grace all the divisions
that still hinder the fullness of eucharistic and ecclesial communion. Our fundamental
baptismal communion gives us the shared responsibility to witness as fully as
possible to the Gospel of Christ before the world and to show forth the new
life lived by the body of Christ, with the liberation and renewal it brings.
39. Anglicans and Catholics agree that the full participation in the
Eucharist, together with Baptism and Confirmation, completes the sacramental
process of Christian initiation.81
The Eucharist is a gift received from the Lord himself, and celebrated in obedience
to his command until he comes again (cf. 1 Corinthians 11.23-25; Matthew 26.26-29;
Mark 14.22-25; Luke 22.14-20; John 6.53-58). The visible communion of Christ's
body, entered through baptism, is nourished, deepened, and expressed in the
eucharistic communion when believers eat and drink and receive the body and
blood of Christ. When his people are gathered at the Eucharist to commemorate
Christ's saving acts for our redemption, he makes present and effective among
us the eternal benefits of his victory and elicits and renews his people's response
of faith, thanksgiving and self-surrender.82
The identity of the Church as Christ's body is expressed and visibly proclaimed
by its being centred in the partaking of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist.83
40. We agree that the Eucharist is the memorial (anamnesis)
of the crucified and risen Christ, of the entire work of reconciliation God
has accomplished in him.84
By memorial, Anglicans and Catholics both intend not merely a calling to mind
of what God has done in the past but an effectual sacramental proclamation,
which through the action of the Holy Spirit makes present what has been accomplished
and promised once-and-for-all. In this sense, then, there is only one historical,
unrepeatable sacrifice, offered once for all by Christ and accepted once for
all by the Father, which cannot be repeated or added to.85
The eucharistic memorial, however, makes present this once-and-for-all sacrifice
of Christ. It is therefore possible to say that "the Eucharist is a sacrifice
in the sacramental sense, provided that it is clear that this is not a repetition
of the historical sacrifice."86
"In the Eucharistic Prayer, the Church continues to make a perpetual memorial
of Christ's death, and his members, united with God and one another, give thanks
for all his mercies, entreat the benefits of his passion on behalf of the whole
Church, participate in these benefits, and enter into the movement of his self-offering."87
The action of the Church in the eucharistic celebration "adds nothing to the
efficacy of Christ's sacrifice on the cross" but is rather a fruit of that sacrifice.
In the eucharistic celebration Christ's one sacrifice is made present for us.88
41. Anglicans and Catholics believe in the real presence of Christ in
the Eucharist. The real communion with Christ crucified and risen presupposes
his true presence, which is "effectually signified by the bread and wine which,
in this mystery, become his body and blood."89
"What is here affirmed is a sacramental presence in which God uses the realities
of this world to convey the realities of the new creation: bread for this life
becomes the bread of eternal life. Before the Eucharistic Prayer, to the question:
'What is that?', the believer answers: 'It is bread'. After the Eucharistic
Prayer, to the same question he answers: 'It is truly the body of Christ, the
Bread of Life'."90
While Christ is present and active in a variety of ways in the entire eucharistic
celebration, so that his presence is not limited to the consecrated elements,91
the bread and wine are not empty signs: Christ's body and blood become really
present and are really given in these elements.92
42. The real presence of Christ depends not on an individual believer's
faith but on the power of the Holy Spirit, whom the Church invokes in the liturgy
in order to receive the Lord's real gift of himself.93
Nevertheless, Anglicans and Catholics agree that faith is required in order
that, partaking of the sacrament of the Lord's real presence, a life-giving
encounter may result.94
"The bread and wine become the sacramental body and blood of Christ in order
that the Christian community may become more truly what it already is, the body
43. We agree that the Eucharist is the "meal of the Kingdom",96
in which the Church gives thanks for all the signs of the coming Kingdom. By
the transforming action of the Spirit of God the elements of bread and wine,
fruits of the first creation, become an anticipation of the joys of the age
to come, "pledges and first-fruits of the new heaven and new earth",97
and a foretaste of the Kingdom.98
Reconciled in the Eucharist, the members of the body of Christ are called to
be "servants of reconciliation among men and women and witnesses of the joy
of the resurrection"99
which breaks into our world.
44. Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that every celebration of the
Eucharist has to do with the whole Church, and that the whole Church is involved
in each local celebration. The communion established in the body of Christ is
a communion with all Christians of all times and places.100
They also agree that only bishops and episcopally ordained and authorised priests
preside at the Eucharist.
50. Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that Christ entrusts his own
ministry to the whole Church as his Body; his ministry is the source and model
from which all ministry flows and takes its shape.104
The Holy Spirit gives to every baptised person gifts (charisms) to be used in
the service of the Christian community and in the service of the world and its
needs. All are called to offer their lives as a "living sacrifice" (Romans 12.1)
and to pray for the Church and for the world.105
51. Within the community of the Church, the ordained ministry is part
of God's design for his people. Ordained ministry relates both to the ministry
of Christ and to the ministry of the whole people of God.106
In the early Church, the Apostles exercised a ministry, unique and unrepeatable,
which remains of fundamental significance for the Church of all ages.107
Ordained ministers have special care and responsibility for continuing the teaching
and mission of the Apostles and for symbolising and maintaining apostolicity,
which is a mark of the whole Church.
52. We agree that the providential threefold ordering of the ministry
of bishop, presbyter (priest) and deacon emerged from the patterns of ministry
in the New Testament, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, very early in the
history of the Church. Both of our Communions have retained the threefold ministry
and intend to be faithful to that pattern.
53. Christ called the Apostles, and, in and through the Church, continues
to call people to serve in the apostolic ministry. "Ordination denotes entry
into this apostolic and God-given ministry."108
The act of ordination is a sign of the apostolicity and continuity of the Church.109
It is a sign of God's fidelity to the Church and of the Church's intention to
be faithful to the Apostles' teaching and mission. In the sacramental act the
bishop prays God to grant the gift of the Holy Spirit on those being ordained
and lays hands on the candidates as the outward sign of the gift bestowed. Thus
their vocation is from Christ and the qualification for the exercise of ministry
is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Both Anglicans and Roman Catholics "affirm the
pre-eminence of baptism and the eucharist as sacraments necessary to salvation.
This does not diminish their understanding of the sacramental nature of ordination."110
"Because ministry is in and for the community and because ordination is an act
in which the whole Church of God is involved, the prayer and laying on of hands
take place within the context of the eucharist."111
Ordination is unrepeatable within both our Communions.
54. In both Communions presbyters and deacons are ordained by the bishop.
In the ordination of a presbyter, the bishop is joined by presbyters in the
laying on of hands, signifying the shared nature of the commission entrusted
to the candidate. In the ordination of a new bishop, at least three bishops
lay hands on the candidate, signifying that the new bishop and the local church
are within the communion of the churches. "Their participation also ensures
the historical continuity of this church with the apostolic church and of its
bishop with the original apostolic ministry."112
The communion of the churches in mission, faith and holiness through time and
space is thus symbolised and maintained in the bishop. Ordination is understood
by both Communions as being in the succession of the Apostles, within the apostolicity
of the whole Church.113
55. We agree that those who are ordained have responsibility for the
ministry of Word and Sacrament. An essential element in the ordained ministry
is the responsibility for oversight (episcope), to ensure that the
Church lives in fidelity to the apostolic faith and to transmit it to the next
The fullness of the ministry of oversight is entrusted to the episcopate, which
has the responsibility of maintaining and expressing the unity of the Church
and leading it in mission.115
Consulting the faithful is an integral aspect of episcopal oversight.116
Within a diocese the ministry of oversight is exercised by the bishop, and in
the service of the communion of all the local churches, by bishops collegially.
In their dioceses, when they come together regionally, and at a world-level,
bishops have a special role in keeping the Church true to apostolic teaching
and mission in conformity to the mind of Christ. Priests are associated with
the bishop in the exercise of oversight and in the ministry of the Word and
Sacraments, presiding at the Eucharist and pronouncing absolution.117
Deacons are associated with bishops and presbyters in the ministry of Word and
Sacrament. They have a special responsibility in collaboration with the bishops
in the Church's ministry of outreach.
56. The Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church affirm the
priesthood of bishops and presbyters, believing it to be related to the priesthood
of Christ and the priesthood of the whole people of God.118
The priesthood of Christ is unique. He is our High Priest who has reconciled
humanity with the Father. All priesthood derives from his and is wholly dependent
upon it. The priesthood of the whole people of God (cf. 1 Peter 2.5) is the
consequence of incorporation by baptism into Christ and looks forward to their
reign with Christ (cf. Revelation 5.10, 20.6).119
57. The ordained ministry is called priestly because it brings the whole
of the Gospel to all the people for their salvation, so that they may be able
to worship the true God (cf. Romans 15.16). The ordained ministry is called priestly
also because, in the celebration of the Eucharist as the memorial of Christ's
sacrifice, the ordained ministry has a particular sacramental configuration
with Christ as High Priest who continues to make intercession for us (cf. Hebrews
"At the eucharist Christ's people do what he commanded in memory of himself
and Christ unites them sacramentally with himself in his self-offering. But
in this action it is only the ordained minister who presides at the eucharist,
in which, in the name of Christ and on behalf of his Church, the president recites
the narrative of the institution of the Last Supper, and invokes the Holy Spirit
upon the gifts. The word priesthood is used by way of analogy when it is applied
to the people of God [the common priesthood] and to the ordained ministry. These
are two distinct realities which relate, each in its own way, to the high priesthood
of Christ, the unique priesthood of the new covenant…"121
58. The priesthood of the ordained ministry cannot be derived from the
congregation. It is a distinct vocation, and not an enhancement of the common
priesthood. But the common priesthood and the ministerial priesthood are nevertheless
interrelated. The minister, though not the delegate of the congregation, does
act in its name and focuses thereby its offering of worship. Only bishops and episcopally ordained and authorised priests preside at the Eucharist.
59. Roman Catholics and Anglicans share this agreement concerning the
ministry of the whole people of God, the distinctive ministry of the ordained,
the threefold ordering of the ministry, its apostolic origins, character and
succession, and the ministry of oversight.
7. Authority in the Church
62. Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that the primary authority for
all Christians is Jesus Christ himself. "To him God has given all authority
in heaven and on earth."126
To follow Christ is to be set under the authority of Christ. The authority of
the Church is derived from and wholly dependent upon the authority of Christ
(cf. Matthew 11.27, 28.18ff). "This is Christian authority: when Christians
so act and speak, men perceive the authoritative word of Christ."127
"It is in conformity with the mind and example of Christ that the Church is
called to exercise authority (cf. Luke 22.24-27; John 13.14-15; Philippians
His authority "was demonstrated by his self-giving service in sacrificial love
(cf. Mark 10.45)."129
63. Christ entrusts his authority to the Church, both to keep the Church
mindful of God's purpose in creation and redemption, and also to help the Church
respond faithfully to that purpose.130
Moreover, authority has "a radically missionary dimension". "Authority is exercised
within the Church for the sake of those outside it, that the Gospel may be proclaimed
"in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction" (1Thessalonians 1.5)."131
64. Changing situations provide fresh challenges to the Gospel. Every
generation is called to translate the Gospel prophetically. This dynamic process
of communicating to each generation what was delivered once for all to the apostolic
community is what is known as tradition, which is far more than the transmission
of true propositions concerning salvation. This handing on (traditio)
involves stating the Gospel in new ways. Yet such restatement must be consonant
with the apostolic witness recorded in the Scriptures: within Tradition the
Scriptures are uniquely authoritative.132
65. The Gospel is only fully understood in the Church. God's revelation
has been entrusted to a community, which means that the whole people of God
has the responsibility for discerning and communicating God's Word.133
Within the 'symphony' of the whole people of God, everyone has a part to play
- those with the ministry of oversight, the theologians and all the people of
66. Bishops have a vital role in the process of discernment, bearing
a special responsibility for promoting truth and discerning error and for preserving
and promoting communion; but this is never exercised apart from the whole body
of the faithful.135
The interaction of bishop and people in this exercise of discernment and teaching
is a safeguard of Christian life and fidelity. Discernment involves both heeding
and sifting in order to assist the people of God in understanding, articulating
and applying their faith.136
The bishop's authority necessarily includes responsibility for making and implementing
the decisions that are required for the sake of koinonia.137
67. At ordination, bishops receive not only responsibility for their
local church but also a share in collegial responsibility for the wider community.
"Bishops meet together collegially, not as individuals but as those who have
authority within and for the synodal life of the local churches ... When bishops
take counsel together they seek both to discern and to articulate the sensus
fidelium as it is present in the local church and in the wider communion
"The duty of maintaining the Church in truth is one of the essential functions
of the episcopal college … The exercise of this teaching authority requires
that what it teaches be faithful to Holy Scripture and consistent with apostolic
"The challenge and responsibility for those with authority within the Church
is so to exercise their ministry that they promote the unity of the whole Church
in faith and life in a way that enriches rather than diminishes the legitimate
diversity of local churches."140
68. We are agreed that no local church is self-sufficient. Various structures
and practices are needed to maintain and manifest the communion of the local
churches and sustain them in fidelity to the Gospel. These include local, provincial,
world-wide and ecumenical synods and councils.141
Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that from New Testament times (cf. Acts
15.6-29), the Church has sought through collegial and conciliar gatherings to
be obedient to Christ in fidelity to its vocation.
69. Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that councils can be recognised
as authoritative when they express the common faith and mind of the Church,
consonant with Scripture and the apostolic Tradition.142
Those councils up to modern times which the Catholic Church describes as 'ecumenical'
are understood as having a binding character, and are for Roman Catholics an
authoritative expression of the living tradition.143
Anglicans historically have only recognised the binding authority of the first
four ecumenical councils. While they affirm some of the content of successive
councils, they believe that only those decisions which can be demonstrated from
Scripture are binding on the faithful.
70. The communion of the Church requires a ministry of primacy at every
level of the Church's life as a visible link and focus of its communion.144
From early times an ordering developed among the bishops, whereby the bishops
of prominent sees exercised a distinctive ministry of unity, as the first among
the bishops of their regions. They acted not in isolation from but in collegial
association with other bishops. Primacy and collegiality are complementary dimensions
of episcope, exercised within the life of the whole Church. (Anglicans
recognise the ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury in precisely this way.)
71. The office of a universal primate is a special and particular case
of that care for universal communion proper to the episcopal office itself.
"The only see which makes any claim to universal primacy and which has exercised
and still exercises such episcope is the see of Rome, the city where
Peter and Paul died".145
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome as
universal primate is in accordance with Christ's will for the Church and an
essential element for maintaining it in unity and truth. Anglicans rejected
the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome as universal primate in the sixteenth
century. Today, however, some Anglicans are beginning to see the potential value
of a ministry of universal primacy, which would be exercised by the Bishop of
Rome, as a sign and focus of unity within a re-united Church.146
72. We agree that the Church, "pillar and bulwark of the truth" (1 Timothy
3.15), is indefectible. The Church is confident that the Holy Spirit will effectually
enable it to fulfil its mission so that it will neither lose its essential character
nor fail to reach its goal.147
8. Discipleship and Holiness
77. Anglicans and Roman Catholics teach that the Christian vocation
is to holiness of life (cf. Exodus 9.6; Matthew 5.48), and that moral behaviour
is integral to the maintenance of communion with the Holy Trinity, as well as
to communion with the community of believers in the Church. We have received
the same Gospel and are agreed that the Gospel we proclaim cannot be divorced
from the life we live (cf. 1 John 3.18; James 2.20).150
Our common acceptance of the same fundamental moral values, and the sharing
of the same vision of humanity, created in the image of God and recreated in
Christ, are constitutive elements of ecclesial communion and are essential for
the visible communion of the Church.151
78. We hold that the reality of createdness sets humanity in a relationship
of interdependence with all creation and we affirm that the material order of
creation may be caught up into and transfigured by the work of the Holy Spirit
as an effective channel of his grace and love.
79. We affirm the dignity of the human person, male and female, created
by God for communion with God. No matter what differences exist between people,
we agree that all persons share equal dignity as creatures of God. From this
flow the basic human rights to such necessities of life as food, clothing, shelter,
education, work, freedom of religious expression and freedom to participate
in the shaping of society. Our common tradition balances the dignity and rights
of the individual with the good of the whole community. We agree that human
freedom is a freedom of responsiveness and interdependence. Human persons are
created for communion, and communion involves responsibility, in relation to
society and creation as well as to God.152
Living out the Gospel includes living in a relationship of justice and love
with our neighbours, and requires us to contribute to the common good as well
as to benefit from it. The call to follow Christ's example of self-giving love
is sometimes a call to renounce what is rightfully ours in order to respond
to a greater need of others in the human community.153
80. We agree that growth in Christ, for believers and for the believing
community, arises from a response to the grace of God and is to be shaped according
to the mind of Christ. The fidelity of the Church to the mind of Christ involves
a continuous process of listening, learning, reflecting and teaching. In this
process each member of the community has a part to play. Each person has to
learn to reflect and act according to an informed conscience. Learning and teaching
are a shared discipline, in which the faithful seek to discover together what
obedience to the gospel of grace and the law of love entails amidst the moral
perplexities of the world.154
81. We agree that the context in which the Church is called to witness
and exercise its ministry of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation, is marked
by fragility and sin. Where there is moral failure, the Church strives to call
forth repentance and makes every effort to restore sinners to the life of grace
in the community and to proclaim forgiveness. We agree that the Church
is a community with a vital two-fold ministry of reconciliation: it is a community
in which the reconciliation that comes from God in Christ can be experienced
by its members, and also a community that should promote reconciliation in every
possible way in the world (cf. 2 Corinthians 18-21). Both Anglicans and Catholics acknowledge that private confession before a priest
is a means of grace and an effective declaration of the forgiveness of Christ
in response to repentance.
82. Throughout its history the Church has sought to be faithful in following
Christ's command to heal, and this has inspired countless acts of ministry in
medical and hospital care. Alongside this physical ministry, both traditions
have continued to exercise the sacramental ministry of anointing. Within the
Roman Catholic tradition, the act of anointing became especially associated
with the rites administered to the Christian departing this life. But in recent
years, there has been an increasing practice of anointing of the sick. Anglicans
also have rediscovered the value of this sacramental action as an effective
means of proclaiming the wider healing ministry of the Church.
83. Anglicans and Roman Catholics share similar ways of moral reasoning.
We recognise the normative authority of Scripture and rely on a shared tradition
which appeals to natural law and pays attention to the wisdom in the order of
84. The teaching of Anglicans and Roman Catholics is united or compatible
on many matters of social ethics, for example, on war and peace. We agree that
war as a method of settling international disputes is incompatible with the
teaching and example of our Lord Jesus Christ.156
There has also been consistency in the application of this teaching to specific
conflicts and a common use of insights drawn from theories of 'just war'. There
is also consistency in our respective teaching regarding freedom and justice
and other issues of human rights and responsibilities.
85. In both our Communions marriage has a God-given pattern and significance,
entailing the life-long exclusive commitment of a man and a woman, encompassing
the reciprocal love of husband and wife and the procreation and raising of children.
Both Communions speak of marriage as a covenant and a vocation to holiness and
see it in the order of creation as both sign and reality of God's faithful love.157
It thus has a naturally sacramental dimension. "When God calls women and men
to the married estate, and supports them in it, God's love for them is creative,
redemptive and sanctifying."158
In both Communions, the husband and wife are the celebrants of the sacrament.
A priest normally has a special role in witnessing to the sacramental character
9. The Blessed Virgin Mary
88. All generations of Anglicans and Roman Catholics have called the
Virgin Mary 'blessed'. Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree that it is impossible
to be faithful to Scripture without giving due attention to the person of Mary.172
Even though pieties and forms of teaching have developed independently in centuries
of separation, it is still possible for us to express extensive agreement, based
on the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions, on the place of Mary in
the economy of salvation and the life of the Church. Within the contemporary
life of our Communions we can discern much in common in our belief about the
one who, of all believers, is closest to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
89. Anglicans and Catholics agree that there can be but one mediator
between God and humanity, Jesus Christ, and reject any interpretation of the
role of Mary which obscures this affirmation. We agree in recognising that Christian
understanding of Mary is inseparably linked with the doctrines of Christ and
of the Church. Catholics and Anglicans recognise the grace and unique vocation
of Mary, Mother of God Incarnate (Theotókos), observe her festivals,
and accord her honour in the communion of saints.173
We learn that Mary was prepared by divine grace to be the mother of our Redeemer
in accord with the biblical pattern of grace and hope. In view of this vocation
to be the mother of the Holy One, it is fitting that Christ's redeeming work
reached 'back' in Mary to the depths of her being and
to her earliest beginnings.174
It is also fitting to believe that the teaching that God has taken the Blessed
Virgin Mary in the fullness of her person into his glory is consonant with Scripture,
only to be understood in the light of Scripture, and is a sign of the eschatological
hope of all humanity.175
We agree in recognising in Mary a model of holiness, obedience and faith for
all Christians and for the Church.176
90. Anglicans and Roman Catholics share the ancient tradition of praying
with and praising Mary. In the past, when Anglicans feared that devotional practices
were presenting Mary as a mediator in place of Christ, direct invocation
of Mary was avoided. Where no such danger is apparent, the practice of asking
Mary, paramount in the Communion of Saints, to pray for us, has revived in some
quarters. Catholics and Anglicans can acknowledge together that Mary has a continuing
role in pointing Christians to Christ, the unique mediator; and that Mary and
the saints pray for the whole Church. The practice of asking Mary and the saints
to pray for us is not communion-dividing.177
We are agreed that a range of pieties can be accommodated within our traditions
when there is agreement in doctrine.
93. The Commission gratefully acknowledges that the faith we hold in
common is given to us by God. In this statement we have attempted to harvest
the fruits of forty years of dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
As we reviewed the experience of our Churches it became clear to us how increased
interaction has led to greater mutual understanding, and at the same time how
this greater awareness of the extent of our shared faith has set us free to
witness together more effectively. We celebrate and praise God for this.
94. There have been failures on the way and opportunities missed. We
recognise that the obstacles that prevent us from receiving together all that
God offers damage the effectiveness of our mission to the world. The Commission
has become more profoundly aware of how intimately connected are understanding
and cooperation, faith and mission. It is our conviction that, as we grow towards
full, ecclesial communion and respond afresh to the common mission entrusted
to his Church by our Lord, the remaining Church-dividing issues will be resolved
95. Because we hope in the bountiful grace of God, we are encouraged
to persevere, and to face the difficulties of growing together. We give glory
to God, "whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask
or imagine; glory be to him from generation to generation in the Church and
in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3.20-21).
Part Two: Towards Unity and Common Mission
96. Genuine faith is more than assent: it is expressed in action. As
Anglicans and Roman Catholics seek to overcome the remaining obstacles to full
visible unity, we, the bishops of IARCCUM, recognise that the extent of common
faith described in this statement compels us to live and witness together more
fully here and now. Agreement in faith must go beyond mere affirmation. Discerning
a common faith challenges our churches to recognise that elements of sanctification
and truth exist in each other's ecclesial lives, and to develop those channels
and practical expressions of co-operation by which a common life and mission
may be generated and sustained.
97. We believe in a God whose life is communion and pure love, and that
we ourselves share God's life in Christ through the Holy Spirit. All that we
do as Anglicans and Roman Catholics, and, in particular, all that we seek to
do together, should therefore be done in communion, with grace and generosity
so that we do not obstruct the proclamation of the Good News. It is the call
to generosity that is leading us now to share our gifts and our lives with one
another, and it is the same call to generosity that prompts us to share with
all people what God has given to us. The Church's mission flows intrinsically
from our participation in the life of the one true God. We should always be
seeking to share with one another and with the world at large the good gifts
of the living God.
98. We also recognise the progress which has been made in our relations
with other Christians and remain committed to the reconciliation of all
Christian people. Wherever Anglicans and Roman Catholics take steps to
deepen our relationship with one another in life and mission, we should be
sensitive to our other ecumenical partnerships, acting in ways consistent
with agreements we have already entered into.
99. We, the bishops of IARCCUM, invite Anglicans
and Roman Catholics everywhere to consider the following suggestions. They are
offered as practical examples of the kind of joint action in mission that we
believe our shared faith now invites us to pursue and which would deepen the
communion we share. We also recognise, however, that the context and dynamics
of relationships between Anglicans and Roman Catholics differ widely across
the world. There may be compelling reasons why some of the suggestions and invitations
set out below are neither appropriate nor feasible in some local contexts. Nevertheless
the fruits of the dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics over forty years
constitute an exhortation for all Anglicans and Catholics to consider how we
may carry forward our commitment to full visible unity, and we commend the ideas
and proposals set out below for careful consideration and reflection.
1. Visible expressions of our shared faith
Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Churches of the Anglican
Communion are liturgical Churches in which God is glorified in common public
worship. We invite Anglicans and Roman Catholics to develop strategies to foster
the visible expression of their shared faith.
100. Given our mutual recognition of one another's baptism, a number
of practical initiatives are possible. Local churches may consider developing
joint programmes for the formation of families when they present children for
baptism, as well as preparing common catechetical resources for use in baptismal
and confirmation preparation and in Sunday Schools. We suggest that our local
parishes regularly make a public profession of faith together, perhaps by renewing
baptismal promises at Pentecost each year. We invite local churches to use the
same baptismal certificate, and, where necessary, to review and improve those
currently in use. While respecting current canonical requirements, we also encourage
the inclusion of witnesses from the other church at baptisms and confirmations,
particularly in the case of candidates from interchurch families. We encourage
co-operation in faith renewal programmes which aim to help reclaim the baptismal
commitment of people in the course of their adult life.
101. Given the significant extent of our common understanding of the
Eucharist (cf. paragraphs 39 to 44 above), and the central importance of the
Eucharist to our faith, we encourage attendance at each other's Eucharists,
respecting the different disciplines of our churches.178
This is particularly appropriate during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
and other festive occasions in the life of our local communities. This would
provide opportunities for experiencing each other's eucharistic life, thereby
serving both to deepen our communion and our desire for full communion. While
this would take the form of non-communicating attendance in each other's churches,
it would nonetheless initiate a renewed awareness of the value of spiritual
communion. We commend the offering of a blessing which has become a regular
practice in some places for those who may not receive holy communion.
102. We also encourage more frequent joint non-eucharistic worship,
including celebrations of faith, pilgrimages, processions of witness (e.g. on
Good Friday), and shared public liturgies on significant occasions. We encourage
those who pray the daily office to explore how celebrating daily prayer together
can reinforce their common mission.
103. We encourage Anglicans and Roman Catholics to pray for the local
bishop of the other church as well as for their own bishop, and for God's blessing
on their co-operation where possible in their leadership of the local churches'
mission. We welcome the growing Anglican custom of including in the prayers
of the faithful a prayer for the Pope, and we invite Roman Catholics to pray
regularly in public for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the leaders of the
2. Joint study of our faith
Given the degree of agreement in faith outlined in this statement,
we wish to promote joint study in order to deepen the faith we share.
104. Since the Scriptures hold a prime place in the life of faith for
both Anglicans and Catholics, we encourage joint study of the Scriptures, particularly
by those in training for ministry. Ecumenical translations of the Bible are
invaluable resources in our efforts to engage in common witness. We note the
close similarities of Anglican and Roman Catholic lectionaries which make it
possible to foster joint bible study groups based upon the Sunday lectionary.
We also encourage the development of common hermeneutical principles (see paragraphs
26 to 30 above) in order to reach an agreed ecumenical reading of the Scriptures.
This could be nurtured through shared sponsorship of lectures and workshops
on different methodological approaches, both ancient and modern, to the Scriptures.
Lastly, we suggest the introduction of joint workshops for preachers, as well
as shared study of each other's liturgical traditions.
105. In reflecting on our faith together it is vital that all bishops
ensure that the Agreed Statements of ARCIC are widely studied in both Communions.
In addition to ARCIC I's Final Report (1982), we invite joint study
of the work of the second phase of ARCIC. For instance, Church as Communion
reflects on the mystery of the Church and the visible elements of communion
necessary for full visible unity, which can help Anglicans and Roman Catholics
to identify the constitutive elements of the Church in each other's life and
witness and, as they discern elements in common, can assist them to consider
how they may come together in their living of them. A study of Life in Christ:
Morals, Communion and the Church could deepen mutual understanding of our
shared moral principles as well as our remaining differences. We encourage the
setting up of discussion groups on the recent Agreed Statement, Mary: Grace
and Hope in Christ, with a view to gaining a greater appreciation of our
common Mariological heritage and to reflecting upon the practical implications
of the Commission's findings.179
106. National or regional Anglican - Roman Catholic Commissions (ARCs)
already exist in several parts of the world, and they have made significant
contributions through engaging in theological dialogue and discerning various
avenues for pastoral co-operation (e.g. in the Caribbean, US, England and Wales,
Canada, Australia, New Zealand). Anglican provinces and Catholic episcopal conferences
might consider the establishment of ARCs where they do not exist. In addition
to their local impact, they also can have a valuable role in assisting the reception
of the Agreed Statements of ARCIC and in offering information to the International
Commission about the development of relationships at the local level.
107. There are numerous theological resources that can be shared, including
professional staff, libraries, and formation and study programmes for clergy
and laity. The possibilities for sharing that are already open to us, e.g. those
identified in The Ecumenical Dimension in the Formation of those Engaged
in Pastoral Work,180
should be explored and implemented to their fullest potential.
3. Co-operation in ministry
We encourage co-operation wherever possible in lay and ordained ministries.
108. In addition to national ARCs, regional Anglican - Roman Catholic
bishops' dialogues have also been established in various places with a view
to addressing pastoral issues and creating a context in which trust and friendship
develop in the mutual love of Christ. This type of dialogue has proved fruitful,
for example, in providing guidelines for interchurch families and other social
and pastoral situations. Where such dialogue does not already take place, we
encourage Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops to consider the value of annual
or more frequent meetings.181
109. Striving towards unity involves the resolution of divisive issues
from the past, but it also requires close communication so as to address ongoing
developments within our respective Communions. Wherever possible, ordained and
lay observers can be invited to attend each other's synodical and collegial
gatherings and conferences. We also encourage Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders,
on both the international and national levels, to consult one another as fully
as possible before crucial decisions touching the unity of the Church are taken
in matters of faith, order, or moral life.
110. We encourage bishops to undertake joint study of recent Roman Catholic
and Anglican documents182
so as to enable common teaching on matters pertaining to local mission and witness.
There is an obvious value when Church leaders issue joint pastoral statements
on urgent matters of common concern at regional and national levels and we urge
all bishops to do so whenever possible.
111. Beyond these forms of consultation, a range of other initiatives
at the episcopal level could be envisaged. We see a particular value in the
practice of providing letters of introduction to ecumenical colleagues whenever
a new bishop is elected. Consideration could be given to the association of
Anglican bishops with Roman Catholic bishops in their ad limina visits
Episcopal consultation and co-operation in the formulation of protocols for
handling the movement of clergy from one Communion to the other is encouraged.
112. Given the extent of our common understanding of ministry, we encourage
exploring possibilities for engaging in some aspects of joint formation. Jointly
sponsored workshops for newly ordained bishops could highlight ways in which
their ministry could be attentive to ecumenical concerns, for instance, by fostering
the sort of consultation and pastoral co-operation outlined above. In preparation
for priestly ministry, while bearing in mind distinct elements of formation,
thought can be given to appropriate co-operation in theological education (e.g.
in the fields of biblical studies, church history, pastoral formation). There
is a possibility for even more extensive co-operation in the fields of diaconal
training and ongoing clergy formation, including joint clergy retreats.
113. While not losing sight of underlying doctrinal problems regarding
the mutual recognition of orders (cf. paragraphs 60 to 61 above), every appropriate
opportunity can be taken to acknowledge publicly the fruitfulness of each other's
ordained ministries, for example by attending each other's ordinations.
114. We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore together how the
ministry of the Bishop of Rome might be offered and received in order to assist
our Communions to grow towards full, ecclesial communion.184
115. Anglicans and Roman Catholics share a rich heritage regarding the
place of religious orders in ecclesial life. There are religious communities
in both of our Communions that trace their origins to the same founders (e.g.
Benedictines and Franciscans). We encourage the continuation and strengthening
of relations between Anglican and Catholic religious orders, and acknowledge
the particular witness of monastic communities with an ecumenical vocation.
116. There are many areas where pastoral and spiritual care can be shared.
We acknowledge the benefit derived from many instances of spiritual direction
given and received by Anglicans to Catholics and Catholics to Anglicans. Of
particular concern in the area of ministry is the need to develop programmes
of joint pastoral care for interchurch families (including marriage preparation)
and to find ways to minister to their concerns.
117. We recommend joint training where possible for lay ministries (e.g.
catechists, lectors, readers, teachers, evangelists). We commend the sharing
of the talents and resources of lay ministers, particularly between local Anglican
and Roman Catholic parishes. We note the potential for music ministries to enrich
our relations and to strengthen the Church's outreach to the wider society,
especially young people.
4. Shared witness in the world
We encourage fostering a mission-orientated spirituality of
engagement with the world and developing joint strategies of outreach so as
to share our faith.
118. We recognise the intimate relationship between the unity of the
Church, the peace and well-being of the human community, and the integrity of
all creation. We urge our two Communions to work together globally with others
to promote social justice, to eradicate poverty and to care for the environment
(e.g. by supporting the Millennium Development Goals set out by the United Nations).
119. We also encourage local churches to join together in making contributions
to public life, giving voice to Christian perspectives on important social questions.
We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics in their social witness to act upon the
principle that we should do all things together excepting only those things
that deep differences compel us to do separately (cf. the Lund Principle), particularly
given the agreement in faith we have set out in this Statement.
120. Wherever we as churches have been guilty of contributing to tensions
and strife of a political, socio-economic or religious nature, we should demonstrate
a willingness to repent of our actions and to move toward reconciliation.185
In so doing we hope that we might be able to give witness before the wider society
to the necessity of ongoing conversion and to Christian processes of conflict
resolution. In many instances, such witness will express itself by co-operation
with governments or secular bodies which seek to bring reconciliation to their
121. We encourage joint participation in evangelism, developing specific
strategies to engage with those who have yet to hear and respond to the Gospel.
We invite churches to study together the biblical foundations for evangelism
as they apply to the local cultural context of mission. We recognise the importance
of the shared training of lay people for evangelism, and the development of
new ways of gathering faith communities.
122. We invite our churches to consider the development of joint Anglican/Roman
Catholic church schools, shared teacher training programmes and contemporary
religious education curricula for use in our schools. We are conscious of the
pressing need for new ways to reach youth, and believe that young people would
themselves welcome creative joint outreach programmes.
123. While continuing to strengthen Anglican - Roman Catholic relations
both through theological dialogue and common mission, we remain committed to
the wider unity of all Christians. In order to safeguard the cohesion of our
engagement in the ecumenical movement and to extend the parameters of agreements
in faith which we have reached, we strongly encourage close consultation when
one of us engages in a new ecumenical partnership with another church, whether
locally, regionally or at a world level.
124. Local churches could learn from the contribution to the Church's
mission made by new groups, movements and associations within our Communions,
particularly those movements whose charism includes a strong commitment to Christian
125. We recommend working more closely together in our relations with
adherents of other religions. We are particularly mindful of
the value of speaking with a common voice as Christians amidst situations of
conflict, misunderstanding and mistrust, especially when Christians or those
of other faith communities live as vulnerable minorities.
126. We the bishops of IARCCUM strongly commend these suggestions to
members of the episcopate around the world, mindful of the specific responsibilities
of bishops for the promotion of Christian unity and the mission of the Church.
We give thanks to God for the extensive theological consensus articulated in
this document - fruits of the last forty years of dialogue - and we pray that
God will richly bless all that we are now called to do in His Name. We call
on all bishops to encourage their clergy and people to respond positively to
this initiative, and to engage in a searching exploration of new possibilities
for co-operation in mission.
In this document we have tried to use those terms most commonly used by
churches to describe themselves, but sometimes context has meant that it
has been preferable for the sake of clarity to refer to the 'Roman Catholic
Church'. In using a variety of names, no theological position is being adopted
intentionally by IARCCUM, which has sought to be fair to the self-understanding
of both dialogue partners.
The Final Report (London: CTS/SPCK, 1982) included the statements
Eucharistic Doctrine (1971); Ministry and Ordination (1973);
Authority in the Church I (1976); an Elucidation of each of these
three texts (Eucharist and Ministry Elucidations dated
1979, Authority in the Church I Elucidation dated 1981); and
Authority in the Church II (1981). For a full listing of ARCIC
documents, see Appendix II.
Resolution 8, Lambeth Conference of 1988.
'Catholic Response to the Final Report of ARCIC-I', initially published
in L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 6, 1991; reprinted in Information
Service 82 (1993/I), pp.47-51.
'Clarifications of Certain Aspects of the Agreed Statements on Eucharist
and Ministry', Information Service 87 (1994/IV), pp.239-242. In
his letter to the Co-Chairmen of ARCIC on March 11, 1994, Cardinal Edward
Cassidy noted that the Clarifications had been "examined by the appropriate
dicasteries of the Holy See" and that with regard to Eucharist and Ministry,
"no further study would seem to be required at this stage" (Information
Service 87 [1994/IV], p.237). No formal Anglican response to Clarifications
has been initiated.
Cf. Resolution 8, Lambeth Conference of 1988; 'Catholic Response to
the Final Report of ARCIC-I'.
Salvation in the Church was welcomed as a "timely and significant
contribution" by the Lambeth Conference in 1988, and commended for study
across the Anglican Communion. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith also offered observations on Salvation in the Church (London:
CTS, 1989), noting that their judgement was "substantially positive" but
not yet "able to ratify the final affirmation (no.32) according to which
the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion 'are agreed on the essential
aspects of the doctrine of salvation and on the Church's role within it'."
The Common Declaration by Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop of Canterbury
Dr George Carey, December 5, 1996, in Information Service 94 (1997/I),
10. Unitatis Redintegratio, n.13,
in Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents,
Austin Flannery ed. (Dublin: Dominican Publications, 1975): "Inter
eas, in quibus traditiones et structurae catholicae ex parte subsistere
pergunt, locum specialem tenet Communio anglicana."
11. Communion in Mission (Information
Service 104 [2000/III], pp.138-39), nn.4-5.
14. Cf. the report of an ad hoc sub-commission
of IARCCUM, 'Ecclesiological Reflections on the Current Situation in the
Anglican Communion in the Light of ARCIC', in Information Service
119 (2005/III), pp.102-115; letter of Cardinal Kasper to the Archbishop
of Canterbury, Dec. 17, 2004, reprinted in Information Service
118 (2005/I-II), pp.38-39.
15. Cf. ARCIC, Salvation and the Church
(1987), n.1; our humanity is transformed, recreated, restored and perfected
in Christ (ibid. nn.12, 13, 17, 19), purely by God's grace (ibid.
nn. 1, 3, 9, 19, 23-25, 27, 30).
16. Cf. ARCIC, Church as Communion (1991),
17. Salvation and the Church, nn.1, 9,
18. The Unity of the Church as Koinonia:
Gift and Calling ('The Canberra Statement', 1991), in Growth in
Agreement II, J. Gros, H. Meyer and W. Rusch, editors, (Geneva/Grand
Rapids: WCC Publications/Eerdmans, 2000), p.937.
19. ARCIC, The Final Report (London: CTS/SPCK,
1981), Introduction, n.4.
20. Ibid. n.5; cf. Church as Communion,
nn.8, 13, 43.
21. Ibid. n.7; cf. Church as Communion,
22 Ibid. n.7; cf. Salvation and the
Church, nn.26-29; Church as Communion, nn.17, 19.
23. Church as Communion, nn.15, 35, 38.
24. Ibid. n.5. The Catholic Church made
the same point in the 'Final Relatio' of the Extraordinary Synod held in
Rome in 1985 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the ending of Vatican
II: 'The Church as communion is a sacrament for the salvation of the world'
(II, D, 1; in L'Osservatore Romano, 10 December, 1985).
25. The Final Report, Introduction, n.7.
26. Church as Communion, n.19.
29. Salvation and the Church, n.28. Likewise,
at Vatican II, the Catholic Church stated: "The Church believes that it
is led by the Spirit of the Lord who fills the whole world" (Gaudium
et Spes [Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World],
n.11). "Every benefit the people of God can confer on mankind during its
earthly pilgrimage is rooted in the Church's being the 'universal sacrament
of salvation', at once manifesting and actualising the mystery of God's
love for men" (Gaudium et Spes, n.45).
30. Salvation and the Church, n.28.
31. The Final Report, Introduction,
33. Cf. also the expression, 'a body of churches'
(corpus Ecclesiarum), used by Vatican II, Lumen Gentium
(Dogmatic Constitution on the Church), n.23.
34. Church as Communion, n.43; cf.
36. Ibid. n.45, cf. n.24.
37. Cf. ibid. nn.14,43,48.
38. Lambeth Conference, 1998, Resolution
39. 'Called to be One: Section IV Report', in
The Official Report of the Lambeth Conference 1998 (Harrisburg: Morehouse Publishing, 1999), p.233; cf. also Lambeth Conference, 1998, Resolution
40. Unitatis Redintegratio, n.3; cf.
Lumen Gentium, n.8.
41. Lumen Gentium, n.14; cf. also n.15.
43. Unitatis Redintegratio, n.3.
44. Cf. Pope John Paul II's Encyclical Letter on
ecumenism, Ut Unum Sint (1995), n.11.
45. Unitatis Redintegratio, n.3.
51. ARCIC, The Gift of Authority (1999),
52. Cf. ARCIC, Authority in the Church II
53. Church as Communion, n.45.
54. Unitatis Redintegratio, n.3; cf.
Lumen Gentium, n.8.
56. The Malta Report (Report of the Anglican-Roman
Catholic Joint Preparatory Commission, 1968; published in The
Final Report, pp.108-116), n.3.
57. The Gift of Authority, n.14. By convention, the capitalised
word 'Tradition' refers to 'the Gospel itself, transmitted from generation
to generation in and by the Church', indeed to 'Christ himself'; the uncapitalised
word 'tradition' refers to 'the traditionary process', the handing on of
the revealed truth; and the plural 'traditions' refers to the diversity
of forms of expression and of confessional traditions; cf. Fourth World
Conference on Faith and Order, Montreal Report, 1963, section II,
n.39. By their very nature, traditions stand in need of regular scrutiny.
58. Salvation and the Church, n.27.
59. ARCIC, Authority in the Church I: Elucidation
60. The Gift of Authority, n.14.
61. Church as Communion, n.26.
63. The Gift of Authority, n.16.
64. Church as Communion, n.31.
65. The Gift of Authority, n.14.
66. Church as Communion, n.29.
67. Montreal Report, 1963 (op. cit.),
Section II, n.45.
68. The Gift of Authority, n.19
69. Church as Communion, n.26.
70. Cf. ARCIC, Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ
(2005), n.7, which explicitly states the Commission's intent to offer an
'ecclesial and ecumenical' reading of Scripture.
71. Cf. ARCIC, Ministry and Ordination
72. Cf. Church as Communion, n.32.
73. Cf. World Council of Churches, Baptism,
Eucharist and Ministry [BEM], Faith and Order Paper no.111
(Geneva: WCC Publications, 1982), Baptism, nn.1-23.
75. Salvation and the Church, n.16.
79. Cf. Church as Communion, nn.15, 19.
80. Cf. ibid. n.50, quoting the Common
Declaration of Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Robert Runcie, 2 October,
81. Cf. BEM, Baptism, n.20.
82. Cf. ARCIC, Eucharistic Doctrine (1971),
84. Cf. ARCIC, Eucharistic Doctrine: Elucidation,
(1979), n.5; also 1 Corinthians 11.24-25; Luke 22.19.
85. Cf. Eucharistic Doctrine, n.5.
86. Eucharistic Doctrine: Elucidation,
87. Eucharistic Doctrine, n.5.
88. Cf. Eucharistic Doctrine: Elucidation,
89. Eucharistic Doctrine, n.6.
90. Eucharistic Doctrine: Elucidation,
91. Cf. Eucharistic Doctrine, n.7;
Eucharistic Doctrine: Elucidation, n.6.
92. Cf. Eucharistic Doctrine, n.8.
94. Cf. ibid.; also BEM, Eucharist,
95. Eucharistic Doctrine: Elucidation,
96. Cf. BEM, Eucharist, nn.22-26.
97. Eucharistic Doctrine, n.11.
98. Cf. BEM, Eucharist, n.6.
Cf. Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,
Directoryfor the Application of Principles and
Norms on Ecumenism, henceforth Ecumenical Directory (Vatican City: Vatican Press, 1993), nn.104, 122-123,
103. Cf. Clarifications; Eucharistic
Doctrine: Elucidation, n.9.
104. Cf. Ministry and Ordination,
110. Ministry and Ordination: Elucidation,
111. Ministry and Ordination, n.14.
115. Cf. Church as Communion, n.45.
116. Cf. The Gift of Authority,
117. Cf. Ministry and Ordination, n.9.
118. Cf. Ministry and Ordination, n.13;
BEM, Ministry, n.17.
119. Ministry and Ordination:
122. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York addressed
and rejected these arguments in their response Saepius Officio
123. Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II,
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 1994, n.4.
124. At present 14 of the 38 provinces of the Anglican
Communion have legislation in place to enable the ordination of women to
the diaconate, the presbyterate and the episcopate. A further 12 provinces
ordain women to the diaconate and presbyterate, and three provinces ordain
women to the diaconate only.
125. Ministry Elucidation n.5 reads:
"While the Commission realizes that the ordination of women has created
for the Roman Catholic Church a new and grave obstacle to the reconciliation
of our communions (cf. Letter of Pope Paul VI to Archbishop Donald Coggan,
23 March 1976, AAS 68), it believes that the principles upon which its doctrinal
agreement rests are not affected by such ordinations; for it was concerned
with the origin and nature of the ordained ministry and not with the question
who can or cannot be ordained. Objections, however substantial, to the ordination
of women are of a different kind from objections raised in the past against
the validity of Anglican Orders in general."
126. ARCIC, Authority in the Church I (1976),
n.1; cf. Matthew 28.18.
128. The Gift of Authority, n.5.
132. Cf. Authority in the Church I, n.15;
The Gift of Authority, n.19.
133. The Gift of Authority, n.28.
134. Cf. ibid. nn.28, 30.
135. Cf. Authority in the Church I, n.18.
136. Cf. ibid; Church as Communion,
137. The Gift of Authority, n.36.
142. Cf. Authority in the
Church I, n.9.
143. Cf. ibid.
144. Cf. Final Report, Introduction n.6.
145. Authority in the Church I, n.23.
146. Cf. Authority in the Church II,
147. Authority in the Church II, n.23.
148. Cf. The Gift of Authority, nn.56,
149. Cf. Section Report on 'Dogmatic and Pastoral
Concerns', in The Truth Shall Make You Free: The Lambeth Conference
1988 (London: Church House, 1988), p.104.
150. Cf. ARCIC, Life in Christ: Morals, Communion and the Church (1994), n.2.
151. Cf. Church as Communion, nn.44, 45.
152. Cf. Life in Christ, n.7.
153. Church as Communion, n.15.
155. Cf. Life in Christ, n.9.
156. Cf. Lambeth Conference, 1930, Resolution 25
(reaffirmed at succeeding Lambeth Conferences) and also Gaudium et Spes,
157. Cf. Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation
on the family, Familiaris Consortio (1981), n.34.
158. Life in Christ, n.60 (citing Lambeth
Conference, 1968, Resolution 22).
159. Life in Christ, n.46.
162. Lambeth Conference, 1930, Resolution 16 and
Lambeth Conference, 1978, Resolution 10.
163. Donum Vitae, Pastoral Instruction
of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 1987.
164. Life in Christ, n.78.
166. Humanae Vitae, Encyclical Letter of
Pope Paul VI (1968), n.11.
167. Lambeth Conference, 1930, Resolution 15 and
Lambeth Conference, 1968, Resolution 22.
168. Life in Christ, n.87.
169. Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992),
170. Namely, the election of a bishop in a same-sex
relationship in the Episcopal Church (USA) and the authorisation of a public
Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions in the Diocese of New Westminster in
the Anglican Church of Canada.
171. Resolution 1.10 noted that "in view of
the teaching of Scripture", the Conference "upholds faithfulness in marriage
between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence
is right for those who are not called to marriage".
172. Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, n.6.
173. Authority in the Church II, n.30;
Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, n.2.
174. Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, nn.54-55,
176. Authority in the Church II, n.30;
Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, n.2.
177. Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, nn.64-75.
178. Discipline in the Catholic Church is
set out in the Ecumenical Directory, nn.129-32; Anglican discipline
varies from province to province.
179. Cf. Timothy Bradshaw, Commentary and Study
Guide on the Seattle Statement of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International
Commission, Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ (London: Anglican
Communion Office, 2005); Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ - The Text with
Commentaries and Study Guide, ed. Donald Bolen and Gregory Cameron
(London: Continuum, 2006).
180. The Ecumenical Dimension in the Formation
of those Engaged in Pastoral Work (Vatican City: Vatican Press,
181. For instance, Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops
in the Sudan have met regularly over the past four years and have effectively
and jointly addressed important social themes.
182. In the Catholic Church this would include texts
such as papal encyclicals and other authoritative teachings. In the Anglican
Communion this would include reports of Commissions of the Anglican Communion,
material from the four Instruments of Communion, and other study papers.
183. We note that this has already occurred in the
case of a recent ad limina visit of Roman Catholic bishops from
Papua New Guinea.
184. Cf. Ut Unum Sint,
n.96; The Gift of Authority, n.59.
185. E.g. Pope John Paul II's initiatives at the
close of the last millennium to promote repentance for the Church's past
186. E.g. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
in South Africa.
187. Unitatis Redintegratio, n.1.
188. Redemptoris Missio, n.50.
189. Ecumenical Directory, n.208.
190. Section IX of Resolution 9.
192. 'Called to be One: Section IV Report', in
The Official Report of the Lambeth Conference 1998, p.232, citing
The Porvoo Common Statement (London: Council for Christian
Unity of the General Synod of the Church of England, 1993), n.28.
193. The Common Declaration by Pope Paul VI and
the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey, March 24, 1966, in ARCIC
I's The Final Report, pp.117-18.
194. The Common Declaration by Pope Paul VI and
the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Donald Coggan, April 29,1977, in The
Final Report, pp.119-122, here citing n.7, p.121.
197. The Common Declaration by Pope John Paul II
and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Robert Runcie, October 2, 1989, in
Information Service 71 (1989/III-IV), pp.122-23.
198. The Common Declaration by Pope John Paul II
and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey, December 5, 1996, in
Information Service 94 (1997/I), pp.20-21.
199. Church as Communion, n.43.
201. The Common Declaration by Pope John Paul II
and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Robert Runcie, May 29, 1982, in
Information Service 49 (1982/II-III), pp.46-47, here citing n.5, p.47.
202. Ut Unum Sint, n.78; Lambeth Conference
1998, Resolution IV.7e and Resolution IV.24a; 'The Canberra Statement' (op.
203. Communion in Mission, n.6.