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Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ

Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ
Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission
Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006
ISBN: 978-0-8264-8155-9

Note: the 2006 "revised and expanded edition" includes the theological commentaries by Jared Wicks, s.j. and Timothy Bradshaw, as well as supporting essays by Charles Sherlock and Sara Butler.

The Seattle Statement
Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC II)

The preface of the document:

In the continuing journey toward full communion, the Roman Catholic Church and the Churches of the Anglican Communion have for many years prayerfully considered a number of questions concerning the faith we share and the way we articulate it in the life and worship of our two households of faith. We have submitted Agreed Statements to the Holy See and to the Anglican Communion for comment, further clarification if necessary, and conjoint acceptance as congruent with the faith of Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

In framing this Agreed Statement, we have drawn on the Scriptures and the common tradition which predates the Reformation and the Counter Reformation. As in previous Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) documents, we have attempted to use language that reflects what we hold in common and transcends the controversies of the past. At the same time, in this statement we have had to face squarely dogmatic definitions which are integral to the faith of Roman Catholics but largely foreign to the faith of Anglicans. The members of ARCIC, over time, have sought to embrace one another's ways of doing theology and have considered together the historical context in which certain doctrines developed. In so doing, we have learned to receive anew our own traditions, illumined and deepened by the understanding of and appreciation for each other's tradition.

Our Agreed Statement concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary as pattern of grace and hope is a powerful reflection of our efforts to seek out what we hold in common and celebrates important aspects of our common heritage. Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, stands before us as an exemplar of faithful obedience, and her "Be it to me according to your word" is the grace-filled response each of us is called to make to God, both personally and communally, as the Church, the body of Christ. It is as figure of the Church, her arms uplifted in prayer and praise, her hands open in receptivity and availability to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, that we are one with Mary as she magnifies the Lord. "Surely," Mary declares in her song recorded in the Gospel of Luke, "from this day all generations will call me blessed."

Our two traditions share many of the same feasts associated with Mary. From our experience we have found that it is in the realm of worship that we realize our deepest convergence as we give thanks to God for the Mother of the Lord who is one with us in that vast community of love and prayer we call the communion of saints.

The full text of the document is available online.