Work of ARCIC Irrelevant

So says Lord Carey:

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey (PA) Below: 'Anglicans and Christians might as well be 'talking on the moon' (Christian Adams)

Catholics and Anglicans involved in formal ecumenical dialogue might as well be “talking on the moon” because no one is listening to them, a former Anglican leader has said.

Lord Carey of Clifton said the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) was “irrelevant” to most Christians, who were motivated by relations at grassroots level. He suggested that financial grounds alone might justify the abandoning of the ecumenical project in favour of local projects underpinned by good will and a shared commitment to charity.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury said 45 years of attempts to bring about visible unity by bridging theological differences had “run into the sand”. “I don’t know what is going on,” he said. “If you take the latest ARCIC document, I think it is so irrelevant to the ordinary Christian – Catholic, Anglican or Methodist – that it might as well be talking on the moon.”

Rest here.



7 thoughts on “Work of ARCIC Irrelevant

  1. The creation of the Ordinariate by Benedict XV1 has made a home to accomodate those Anglicans who have found that the Cof E (and indeed other parts of the Anglican Communion) has slowly been forced by secular society to accept all the controversial issues which are a deviation from traditional church teaching and doctrine, and which are now tearing the Church (certainly in the Anglican context) apart.

    The present Holy Father,Pope Francis, has a different style of leadership to that of his predecessor but there are those forces inside and outside of the Vatican who will not let him “rock the boat” in terms of working towards the acceptance of a truly unified “universal” church.
    At the local level, in my experience, it is the laity who bring about the ‘grass roots’ change of which Lord Carey speaks. Here in the Anglican church of Canada in our Diocese of QuAppelle, and in the Roman catholic Archdiocese of Regina , our bishops have agreed to a covenant of co-operation whereby Anglicans and Roman catholics can work together in matters of common concern. The local Roman catholic parish of St Mary the Virgin here in Moosomin Saskatchewan prays at each Mass for the time when we (Anglicans and Roman catholics) will once again be in full communion in which we will all share in the Eucharist together at a common altar. We at the Anglican parish of St Alban do the same.
    Joint ‘non Eucharistic’ services in terms of this covenant are held quarterly, each church taking its turn to host these services.(Our community here is small, and I guess that being a small community is a ‘plus’ in terms of ecumenical relations.)
    The laity see the need for closer co-operation and working towards common goals in common prayer with a common purpose.
    Sadly, I’m not sure that the bishops ( not all of course) and those in higher places do recognise the need to “dwell together in unity”.
    If anything does force us to work together, it will be Economics that will eventually be the determining factor and will force us to work and worship together, and in so doing, turn a blind eye as to whether Anglicans attending a Roman catholic service receive the Blessed sacrament or whether Roman catholics receive the Blessed sacrment at an Anglican altar.
    In some places this is already happening. I know of some Anglican clergy who have been invited by their Roman catholic counterparts to receive communion at their altars when they attend these churches.
    (I myself was invited to receive communion at a celebration of the Holy Mass when I visited a retreat house recently.)

    Like it or not, the Roman catholic church will have to , in time , accept that women in the ordained ministry do have a place in the life of the church. Sadly, this and the issue of gay Anglican priests living in committed relationships with their same gender partners, are the issues which dominate newspaper headlines. (I’m not taking sides here, I’m just stting a fact.)

    When i was involved in ministry within the Traditional Anglican Communion as a deacon for a short time, I truly believed that ‘ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS’ gave all Anglicans the chance of some meaningful way of achieving that unity which we as Christians all desire.The debate on the issues which saw some Anglicans going into the Ordinariate and some remaining in there traditionalsit groups has long been debated on this website, and I do not wish to bring this up here again.
    The fact is also that whilst negotiations for Anglicans to be accepted into the Ordinariate were going on, ARCIC continued in its work despite the difficulties which the ordination of women and the debate surrounding the issue of gay people with same sex relationships whilst also being in holy orders came into being in some parts of the Angllican Communion.
    Not surprising therefore that Lord Carey’s remarks are what they are.(I do realise that the work of ARCIC is between the C of E and the church of Rome but I do believe it’s decisions have an effect on the rest of the Anglican Communion one would assume, but in these matters there are no clear cut solutions.)

    As I write this , I have just returned from the Eccumenical World day of Prayer service held at our local Roman catholic parish. Everyone in our seven churches took part; Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, United church of Canada, Anglicans, Lutherans and Roman catholics.
    Everyone over tea was saying “Why can’t we be One Church? Why can we not worship together more often?”
    The lesson for the Homily read at the service was from Paul’s First letter to the Corinthians
    (1 Corinthians1 : 10-17) which speaks of divisions in the church.
    If St Paul was saying this in the early church, why am I not surprised that we are still in the same situation today? I am not so naive as to think that the unity we seek can be achieved overnight, but after centuries of division and schism and the work of bodies like ARCIC during my own lifetime, one cannot but ask if true visble unity between Christians is indeed possible.
    We cannot go to services such as the one I attended this evening and sing with great gusto the hymn “One Church! One Faith! One Lord!” and songs like “Bind us together, Lord” and then go out and have a “business as usual” approach in our ministry to God’s people till we meet again.
    Admittedly it will take a bold Pope to venture into these waters and really initiate a proclamation allowing non Roman catholics to receive communion in Roman catholic churches. Anglicans already ( in some cases but not all ) permit Christians to receive the Blessed sacrament at an Anglican altar.
    The reality is that people in this secular generation will not take whatever Church they may be drawn to seriously when we ourselves are divided.
    I personally cannot see true unity between Roman catholics and Anglicans being achieved in my lifetime, but I may be wrong.Anglican in the ordinariate will probaly disagree as they are in Communion with Rome. For the record, I also believe that true unity cannot be achieved without the church of Rome and indeed the Orthodox Church.
    I agree with Lord Carey when he says that it will be ” local projects underpinned by good will and a shared commitment to charity” that will be a visible manifestation of our shared Faith and which will bring us as Christians into ‘one Fold with one Shepherd’.

    I know some Anglo catholic readers will say that I am, once again. writing in wooly ecumenical terms, but I do believe that we owe it to our Blessed Lord to bring anbout that visible unity in the church which we as Annglicans and Roman catholics seek.
    A divided church can never fully witness to the Glory of God, neither can it truly carry out the Great Commission in which we are all called as Christians by God to serve and witness to the the Gospel in a very troubled World.

  2. Btw, we should note that it was actually during, so-called ‘Lord Cary’s’ time as the ABC, that the CoE ordained its first women priests (“priestess’s”, as C.S. Lewis called them!) And too Cary had the best time to present the Pauline (and the Jewish & Judeo-Christian)… biblical doctrine of Creation and Natural law against homosexual attitudes (Romans 1: 18-32). But he failed to take the hard-line of the biblical doctrine here! And then it became not just an “attitude”, but a practice accepted!

  3. Agreed , Fr Robert. ++Carey was not the most dynamic ABC and indeed it was in his time that these issues were not dealt with. Perhaps many in other parts of the Anglican Communion at that time thought to themselves “Oh! that wont happen here.” or “We’ve no need to worry; that’s just a C of E situation.” The result however is that we now have a very divided Anglican Communion which hampers any talks of restoring the unity of God’s people, especially unity between Roman catholics and Anglicans. These divisive issues should have been addressed in ++Carey’s time, but they weren’t. Many clergy and Laity warned what the results of the ordination of women and homosexual priests would be,but the result was that many in the Anglican communion were ”side-lined ” or ‘co-ersed into silence’ for their criticism. We only need to look at what has happened in the USA where Anglicans and Episcopalians are now locked in legal battles over property, church buildings, furnishings and so on. Litigation is costly and the results have led some Dioceses to bankruptcy, both spiritually in some cases, and financially. ‘Very sad indeed.At the same time we all must realise that despite our human frailty, God is ever present. It is His church and ‘the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.’

    1. Sadly, but truly the NT especially tells and warns us of the grave apostasy in the visible church, as in Letters from Paul, in 2 Timothy, and too the General Letters of 2 Peter and Jude. Indeed the true Church will abide, but that church is much more than the mere visibility of even historical entities. But the “Church” and “assemblies” of “spirit and truth” are really the people, “to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s.” (1 Cor. 1: 2) So if we are to be truly the Historical and Visible Church, we must be seen as in something of that spiritual and truthful reality ‘In Christ’! As Jesus said, both “salt” and light”! And in and for such we MUST follow and continue… “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship (“Koinonia”), and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2: 42) Here the Lordship of Christ is seen and lived, among the People of God! (Matt. 18: 20)

  4. with God alone UNITY is possible! but in the midst of everything, HE asks us to be Faithful – as well as perseverance in the Faith – and that is NOT irrelevant!

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