Thursday, February 23, 2006

ARCIC III

An article from the Living Church...interesting stuff. You gotta love the acronym ARCIC III. Sounds like a robot, "Danger Rev. Robinson...Danger!"
-The Archer
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Vatican Agrees to ARCIC III

02/22/2006
The Roman Catholic Church has agreed to a third round of Anglican Roman Catholic International Consultation talks, according to Bishop Brian Farrell, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.The “decision has already been made,” Bishop Farrell told The Living Church on Feb. 16 during the ninth assembly of the World Council of Churches in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

ARCIC III will examine Roman Catholic and Anglican ecclesiology on the question of the “local and universal Church,” he said, but “we will develop this decision more concretely in the future.”The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, the Presiding Bishop’s deputy for interfaith and ecumenical relations, welcomed the announcement, noting the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic Church in the United States had already initiated conversation on this topic.Relations between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church were strained by the actions of the 74th General Convention, and high-level relations had been halted for almost two years, with the Vatican imposing conditions upon the Anglican Communion in order to complete the Statement on Mary, released in Seattle last year.

The president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity at the Vatican, Cardinal Walter Kasper, told reporters at the WCC assembly the question of homosexuality had become a “new phenomenon” in ecumenical dialogue. “All Christian Churches had the same position on this question,” he said, but “now this question has come up” and has been “divisive” in its effects on bilateral dialogue.Bishop Farrell stated there were “new concerns in our relationship” with the Anglican Communion, but that “we are not just observers, we are participants” in the debate.

“This is one of our ecumenical partners in difficulty and we are very concerned that they find a way out of the difficulty. However, we cannot make up their minds for them. So we have to wait,” he said, noting the Vatican would continue in dialogue with the Anglican Communion, in whatever “shape” the Communion might take.

-(The Rev.) George Conger reporting for The Living Church from Porto Alegre, Brazil.

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