Official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, which began forty years ago, has concluded its first two phases, according to a communique released by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The dialogue is undertaken by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Department for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion.
The co-chairmen and co-secretaries of this new third phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission have drawn up a plan for their first meeting, which will be held by the monastery of Bose in northern Italy, from 17 to 27 May. The new phase of ARCIC’s work was mandated by Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at their meeting in Rome in November 2009.
The co-chairmen of the commission – which is made up of ten Anglican and eight Catholic members – are Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England (Roman Catholic), and Archbishop David Moxon of the New Zealand dioceses (Anglican).
“The task of this third phase of ARCIC will be to consider fundamental questions regarding the ‘Church as Communion – Local and Universal’, and ‘How in communion the Local and Universal Church comes to discern right ethical teaching’. These interrelated topics emerged from the Common Declaration of the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury”, the communique says.
The text concludes by explaining that “the international membership of this new phase of ARCIC represents a wide range of cultural settings, and brings to the commission a variety of theological disciplines”.