From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS3234 IARCCUM Communiqué

From "Anglican Communion News Service" <>
Date Thu, 19 Dec 2002 15:41:50 -0000

ACNS 3234     |     ACO     |     18 DECEMBER 2002

International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission

23 November 2002

The second meeting of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission
for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) was held in Malta from 19 to 23 November

This new body, focusing on communion in mission, was launched a year ago in
Lambeth and Rome with strong encouragement for its work by the Archbishop of
Canterbury and Pope John Paul II. At that meeting the Commission began to
work in three areas to make further progress towards visible unity between
the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church which will strengthen
the mission of the Church of Christ.

A sub-group of the Commission worked during the past year to prepare a first
draft of a common declaration which will formally express the degree of
agreement in faith that exists between Anglicans and Catholics, consolidate
the results of more than thirty years of dialogue and commit the dialogue
partners to a deeper sharing in common life and witness. A second sub-group
met and prepared practical recommendations for the next steps in the
on-going process of ecumenical reception. The third sub-group focused on
visible and practical outcomes of spiritual communion with proposals for
pastoral and practical strategies to help the two communions, especially in
local contexts, to do together even now whatever is possible in the present
stage of real but imperfect communion. Special attention was given to
Anglican-Roman Catholic Relations in Africa where there are very large
numbers of both Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

During the plenary meeting the preparatory work was presented and discussed
very thoroughly. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council
for Promoting Christian Unity, joined the Commission on its final day and
shared extensive and most helpful comments on the draft of the declaration.

Regarding the reception of ARCIC texts, the Commission believes that the
focus at this stage should be on growth in mutual understanding and study,
rather than processes of formal response. Proposals to facilitate the study
of ARCIC texts were presented and discussed. An initial proposal has been
set forward for the production of a video to facilitate reflection on the
developing relationships between Anglicans and Catholics worldwide.

 From its experience as an international meeting of bishops, the Commission
encouraged its expression both locally and regionally.
stressed the importance and fruitfulness of episcopal cooperation and

The meeting was held at Mount St Joseph Retreat House, overlooking St Paul's
Bay. Thirty-five years ago, a preparatory commission which set a course for
future Anglican-Roman Catholic relations met in this same house, and
produced the Malta Report. Members of the Commission pondered the progress
which has been made over the past decades, and noted the continuing
relevance of the insights of their predecessors. A distinctive
characteristic of this Commission is its emphasis on the experience of
common prayer and worship within its meetings.

The Commission was greeted with warm hospitality by the Catholic and
Anglican communities in Malta, and was especially grateful for the Evensong
hosted by Canon Alan Woods and St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valetta,
where they were joined in worship by a large congregation which included
religious and civic leaders, among them the President of Malta and the Roman
Catholic Archbishop.

The next plenary meeting of the Commission will be from 10th to 14th of
June, 2003, in Northern Ireland.

The members of IARCCUM:

Bishop David Beetge (South Africa, Co-Chairman)
Archbishop Peter Carnley (Australia)
Bishop Edwin Gulick (USA)
Archbishop Peter Kwong (Hong Kong)
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali (England, also member of ARCIC )
Dr Mary Tanner (England)
The Revd Canon Jonathan Gough (Archbishop of Canterbury's Office)
Bishop John Baycroft (Co-Secretary, Anglican Communion Office, London)

Roman Catholics
Archbishop John Bathersby (Australia, Co-Chairman)
Archbishop Alexander Brunett (USA, also Co-Chairman of ARCIC)
Bishop Anthony Farquhar (Ireland)
Bishop Crispian Hollis (England)
Bishop Lucius Ugorji (Nigeria)
The Revd Dr Peter Cross (Australia)
Sr Dr Donna Geernaert (Canada)
The Revd Don Bolen (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity,

Bishop David Hamid (Gibraltar in Europe)
Monsignor Timothy Galligan (England)

Administrative Staff
Mrs Christine Codner (Anglican Communion Office)
Ms Giovanna Ramon (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity)

[Photographs to accompany this article are available from]

The ACNSlist is published by the Anglican Communion Office, London.

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