Friday, September 23rd, 2016
For the next two weeks, Cardinal John Dew will be away on an IARCCUM (Anglican/ Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission) Pilgrimage.
Cardinal John will first go to Canterbury, in England where he will join the IARCCUM Pilgrims; 36 Anglican and Catholic bishops, representing 19 different regions.
The bishops will begin the first leg of their meeting on 30th September in Canterbury.
They will be staying at the Lodge in Canterbury Cathedral, will take part in the liturgical life of the Cathedral.
And they will make a pilgrim visit to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket, where Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Robert Runcie prayed together.
On October 3 the bishops move on to Rome and will be staying near the Vatican.
They will make a pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles, Ss Peter and Paul.
They will then participate in the vespers celebrated by Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby at San Gregorio al Celio on 5th October, to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey.
At these vespers it is anticipated that the bishops will be mandated by Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby, in their ecumenical mission.
On the same day the bishops will attend an academic symposium at the Gregorian University.
“50 years of walking together in faith” is a symposium to be held Wednesday, 5 October 2016 at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
This symposium will be an opportunity to explore in detail some of the achievements of 50 years of dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
IARCCUM is a commission established by the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church as an official joint commission.
IARCCUM exists in parallel with the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, the theological commission known as ARCIC.
ARCIC is the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission established by Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI in 1967.
In these days of in-fighting between Provinces of the Anglican Communion, on issues of Human Sexuality, Equal Marriage and Biblical Interpretation on such matters, it is refreshing to realise that the ecumenical world of Anglican and Roman Catholic relationship proceeds apace – with the announcement in the local R.C. Media (N.Z. ‘Cath News’) of the local Roman Catholic Cardinal ++ John Dew’s joining with 35 other Anglican and Roman Catholic Bishops from around the world in the next Meetings of IARCCUM – the successor to ARCIC, founded by ABC Michael Ramsay and Pope Paul VI in 1967.
Here is the schedule of the first meeting at Canterbury, U.K., where Anglican Archbishop Runcie and Pope John-Paul II first met together – at the shrine of Saint Thomas a Becket – to renew their common Baptismal Vows:
“The bishops will begin the first leg of their meeting on 30th September in Canterbury. They will be staying at the Lodge in Canterbury Cathedral, will take part in the liturgical life of the Cathedral. And they will make a pilgrim visit to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket, where Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Robert Runcie prayed together.”
For those of us who are keen to help the cause of Church Unity, dear to the heart of Jesus, this sign of the willingness of our two Churches to continue together in dialogue – despite the differences that still exist between us on matters of Church Order and Doctrine – this openness to one another in Love is a charism sadly lacking in the constituent members of our own Anglican Communion.
May God continue to work through these Bishops of our two Churches, gathered together in fellowship and loving concern for one another and the parts of the Body of Christ they together represent, remembering the Prayer of Our Lord: “Father, that they may be one”.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand