Anglicans and Roman Catholics agree statement on ecclesiology
Anglicans and Roman Catholics should see in each other “a community in which the Holy Spirit is alive and active,” the latest communiqué from the official ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church says.
Members of the third-phase of the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) met in the central German city of Erfurt early this month for their seventh meeting. They chose to meet in the city to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – it is here that Martin Luther was ordained and lived as a monk.
During their meeting, the members of ARCIC agreed the text of a new statement looking at Anglican and Roman Catholic ecclesiology. Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be Church – Local, Regional, Universal, to be known as The Erfurt Document, will be published next year.
This first formal statement to be agreed in the third phase of the Arcic discussions addresses the structures and decision-making processes of the two churches and explores church order and the maintenance of communion. It paves the way for the work on ARCIC’s next statement, which explores how the church discerns “right ethical teaching” at both a local and universal level.
The statement agreed this week asks the Churches to consider where they are in need of reform, and then to ask what they can learn from their ecumenical partner.
ARCIC anticipate that the Erfurt document, Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be Church – Local, Regional, Universal, will be published in 2018.
- Click here to read the latest ARCIC Communiqué (pdf).
The dynamic opening Statement made from the latest Meeting of Anglican and Roman Catholic members of the ARCIC ecumenical commission, in the lead up to the Feast of Pentecost, is this:
“Anglicans and Roman Catholics should see in each other “a community in which the Holy Spirit is alive and active,” the latest communiqué from the official ecumenical dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church says.”
Surely, in the season between the Feast of the Ascension of Christ and the Feast of Pentecost, this statement sums up the hopes of both Faith Communities for a spirit of real convergence on matters of Faith and Order – the basic building blocks of relationship between out two Churches, and which may yet promote a more lively interaction in the Mission of the Christian Gospel in a world beset by human strife and division.
The presence of New Zealander Archbishop Sir David Moxon (Anglican Representative to the Holy See) – together with Roman Catholic Archbishop Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, England – is an indication of the seriousness with which both our Churches are actively exploring ways of joint mission. It is known, also, that Pope Francis is keen to open up avenues of cooperation with Anglicans so this might be a sign of the Holy Spirit’s ongoing work of reconciliation between our two worldwide ecclesial communities.
“Come, Holy Spirit, stir up in the Church the fire of God’s love through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen!”
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand