From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Anglicans and Roman Catholics appoint a working group

Date 01 Feb 2001 09:06:25for <,>; Thu, 1 Feb 2001 09:17:23 -0800 (PST)


New working group appointed to advance practical cooperation between Anglicans 
and Roman Catholic

by James Solheim

     (ACNS-ENS) A new, high-level working group has been appointed by the 
Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church to review the relationship 
between the two communions around the world, consolidate the results of more than 
30 years of dialogue and chart a course for the future.

     Formation of the working group stems directly from a special international 
meeting of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops outside of Toronto last May, 
chaired by Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, 
president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

     The bishops spent a week together in prayer, worship and discussion about 
their relationships in different parts of the world. In a concluding statement, 
"Communion in Mission," they described their belief that the two communions share 
a degree of common faith that makes "greater cooperation and mission" more 
possible than is currently the case. They also called for a new commission to 
help implement such possibilities, suggesting that the preparation of a joint 
affirmation of faith be placed at the top of the agenda.

     Since 1970 the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church have been 
engage in theological dialogue through a special commission, the Anglican-Roman 
Catholic International Commission.

     The working group will probably hold its first meeting later in the year. 
The co-chairs are Anglican Bishop David Beetge of South Africa and Roman Catholic 
Archbishop John Bathersby of Australia.

     Other Anglican members are: Archbishop Peter Carnley, primate of the 
Anglican Church of Australia; Bishop Edwin Gulick of Kentucky; Archbishop Peter 
Kwong, primate of Hong Kong; Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester, England; Dr. 
Mary Tanner of England. The Anglican co-secretary will be the Rev. David Hamid of 
the Anglican Communion Office in London.

     Other Roman Catholic members are: Archbishop Alexander Brunett of Seattle; 
Bishop Anthony Farquhar of Ireland; Bishop Crispian Hollis of England; Bishop 
Lucius Ugorji from Nigeria; the Rev. Peter Cross of Australia; Msgr. Timothy 
Galligan of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will serve as 
Catholic co-secretary.

     Bishop Gulick said that he was personally very excited to be a part of the 
move to talk about the practical mission implications of ecumenical work.

     "This is an opportunity to see how our agreed ecumenical statements can be 
translated into mission cooperation," he said in an interview. He said that the 
working group stems from the "energized meeting" in Canada, especially the 
contribution of bishops from the developing world who shared the areas of present 
cooperation "and the tremendous unmet challenges that would benefit from closer 
cooperation. They infused real energy into the conversation." 

     Gulick found the timing of the announcement, coming at the end of the Week 
of Prayer for Christian Unity, particularly fitting.

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