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Anglican-Roman Catholic talks to continue

30 May 2014


Prime location: ARCIC is to meet again in Rome, next April 

Prime location: ARCIC is to meet again in Rome, next April 

THE third phase of dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church (ARCIC) will continue next year in Rome, it was announced last week after a nine-day meeting in South Africa.

The third Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) is halfway through a series of meetings which is expected to continue for another four or five years.

A communiqué issued after the meeting in Durban described ARCIC III as "the official body appointed by the two Communions to engage in theological dialogue in order that they may come into full communion".

The members of the Commission hope to meet Pope Francis when they gather in Rome next April.

Speaking to Vatican Radio after the meeting, the director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and co-chairman of ARCIC III, Archbishop David Moxon, said that "although we don't have complete organic union in sight, that is our long-term goal." He explained that the commission would issue a series of papers in the coming years which would explore the outcomes of ARCIC I and ARCIC II.

"We feel that we've made a great deal of progress," he said. "We're about halfway through our work, and we feel that we've now got a clear view of the outcomes and the results that we're looking for. That includes a complete review of all the work of the original Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission from 40 years ago, ARCIC I; and then, later, ARCIC II, on salvation in the Church, the Church as communion, ministry, and a great many other seminal and core matters."

The communiqué said that ARCIC III would produce an "agreed statement" exploring "the Church as communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching".

Responding to criticism that the ARCIC process was moving too slowly towards unity, Archbishop Moxon told Vatican Radio that there was "80-per-cent agreement on core doctrine, which no one out on the street would think has been accomplished.

"We have an agreement on the eucharist; we have an agreement on baptism; we have an agreement on the priesthood, essentially; and we have agreement on the Church as communion - these are things that didn't exist 30 years ago. We can co-preside at each other's weddings, we can share ecumenical Liturgies of the Word, Ash Wednesday liturgies -impossible 40 years ago."

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