Anglican-Catholic Commission Meets in Brazil

Vatican Radio:

Anglican-Catholic dialogue is back on the agenda this week as a team of ecumenical experts from both sides meet in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro from April 30th to May 6th.

This 3rd meeting of the current Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission will continue its work on the relationship between local and universal Church, as well as the way in which both communities respond to the most pressing ethical issues of our time.

To find out more about the meeting, Philippa Hitchen talked to Mgr Mark Langham from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity who serves as Catholic co-secretary of ARCIC III…..

She also spoke, during the recent enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, to an Anglican member of ARCIC III, Bishop Christopher Hill who chairs the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity. He told her that Pope Francis’ emphasis on his role as the Bishop of Rome is extremely encouraging for the whole ecumenical endeavor…

Listen: here (mp3).



11 thoughts on “Anglican-Catholic Commission Meets in Brazil

  1. With due respect I differ with the views that it is a waste of time.

    The dialogue in as much as it has not produced much fruit throughout the previous years, should not be stopped. In so far as it goes it is clear that no one wants to be absorbed by either Church but Christ’s Church is one and is in unity. We are called for the unity, I have a belief that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel especially if discussion are taken with honesty, with obedience to Christ call, with knowledge that we ought to be above the satisfaction of this world but fighting the spirits of darkness.
    I understand the difficulty with the uncompromising stance of Roman Catholics whereas they talk of Unity but also the players representing the Anglican Church as to from which Communion is the representee. At the end of the day the Scriptures talks of One Church built by Christ.

    1. Patrick, While I’d like to agree with you and would if the talks were just on serious theological issues, the article does also say this: “as well as the way in which both communities respond to the most pressing ethical issues of our time.” I have no idea what those “most pressing ethical issues” for this group. What scares me is the moral relativism advanced by so much of the “official” Anglican Communion (esp. in the developed world but also in places like South Africa) in the areas of abortion and homosexuality. From a believing, confessing Christian standpoint, these issues aren’t gray or complex. We know the moral evil when we see it. So how does one dialog with people who advance evil and call the evil good or necessary? Doesn’t that need repentence first and foremost, not respectful mutual dialog? All the dialog does it obscure the problem and give legitimacy to serious moral error. Does it allow people to remain comfortable with their sin, seeing that someone is willing to talk with them when they are in such great error?

      1. Amen! We are pressed back to the Gospel and Holy Scripture, Who it is (obviously Christ), and what it is, His work, at Calvary: His death & resurrection, but also His ascension. The latter is almost lost in the gospel preaching today! It was St. Paul who made the Kerygma (message) the proclamation of Christ: His death, resurrection & ascension the Gospel of “Christ Jesus”, the Mediator on the Throne of Grace and Glory above! (1 Tim. 2: 5-6)

        The great question today is: Does the High Church preach the Ascended Christ? And always from here is Christ as prophet, priest and king!

        Btw, here’s a bomb but the credentials of the ministry are a proper call and fidelity to the Word of God, apart from which no ceremony of ordination is efficacious! Oops, that’s Reformed & evangelical teaching. 😉

      2. “the credentials of the ministry are a proper call and fidelity to the Word of God, apart from which no ceremony of ordination is efficacious”.
        No, this is not reformed theology I believe, but Donatism. By submitting the efficacy of the sacraments given by a priest to the personal sanctity of the said minister, you are falling into an heresy times and times condemned. The minister is a mere “pipe” to the “water” of God’s grace. Whether the pipe is made of gold or of copper has no effect on the good conveying of the water.

        + pax et bonum

      3. Bucer’s “The Restoration of Lawful Ordination for Ministers of the Church” (1549) makes clear that the Reformed tradition isn’t Donatist, though they expect the Church to carefully examine, select, and hold accountable all potential pastors, and then have an active discipline process thereafter. A key focus being on training and discernment. The baptisms and eucharists celebrated by the pastor are valid regardless of his sanctity. The efficaciousness depends on the faith of the recipient not the pastor. (Bucer interacted with Zwingli, Oecolampadius, Luther, and Melanchthon in the 1520s and then was Calvin’s mentor in Strasbourg during Calvin’s exile there, before influencing Cranmer and the CofE in his Edwardian exile time.)

        Bucer exhibits a great respect about the matter (“the procedure that our own Church has established in its concern to recover due seriousness in examining candidates for ministry”) and chastizes Rome for ordaining on the basis of money, power, connections, political, and other considerations. The amount of scandal in the buying of offices was truly outrageous at the time; his section on simony is interesting (it was considered “treason” under the law).

        For Bucer the Church only ordains those lawfully called; those who have exhibited years of established virtue and dedication; those who have been properly trained; those who have been very thoroughly examined and tested; and those who have been approved by the Church, including by the laying on of hands. This activity should be done in the presence of the people. (It is interesting that he notes “no recent convert be admitted to the ministry”; which might include those changing jurisdictions, unless very well known?)

        See also Bullinger’s extremely influentional 2nd Helvetic Confession (1566), Chapter 18 on “Of the Ministers of the Church, Their Institution and Duties”. It both specifically “detest[s] the error of the Donatists” and says “For we know that the voice of Christ is to be heard, though it be out of the mouths of evil ministers….We know that the sacraments are sanctified by the institution and the word of Christ, and that they are effectual to the godly, although they be adminstered by unworthy ministers.”

      4. @Michael: Indeed I was speaking a bit ad hoc, and indeed the visible historical Church has the responsibility to ordain only those who appear to have the call and fidelity of God on and in their lives, even the early deacons were “men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom..” (Acts 6: 3)

        Btw, it is very interesting to see and note how John Calvin was called into the ministry! (Noting Bruce Gordon’s Calvin bio.)

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