Vatican responds to Times’ claims on Anglican-Catholic relations

Vatican responds to Times’ claims on Anglican-Catholic relations

The Vatican responded today to yesterday’s “scoop” in the Times of London about an unpublished Anglican-Catholic report that allegedly paved the way to reunification if there was a split in the Anglican Communion.

Made public today was a note signed by Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby and Anglican Bishop David Beetge, co-presidents of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), regarding an article published yesterday in the British newspaper “The Times” on the IARCCUM document: “Growing Together in Unity and Mission.”

“‘Growing Together in Unity and Mission’ has not yet been officially published,” the English-language note reads. “It is unfortunate that is contents have been prematurely reported in a way which misrepresents its intentions and sensationalizes its conclusions. The first part of the document, which treats doctrinal matters, is an attempt to synthesize the work of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) over the past 35 years. It identifies the level of agreement which has been reached by ARCIC, but is also very clear in identifying ongoing areas of disagreement, and in raising questions which still need to be addressed in dialogue. Those ongoing questions and areas of disagreement are highlighted in boxed sections interspersed throughout the text. It is a very honest document assessing the state of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations at the present moment.”

The note continues: “The Times article speculates about the Catholic Church’s response to a possible schism within the Anglican Communion. It should be pointed out that the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has consistently spoken of the value of the Anglican Communion remaining a communion, rooted in the Apostolic faith, as indicated in this statement from 2004: ‘It is our overwhelming desire that the Anglican Communion stays together, rooted in the historic faith which our dialogue and relations over four decades have led us to believe that we share to a large degree’.”

Frankly, I don’t know why the unity of the Anglican Communion is a higher good than reunification with at least some of those provinces that still hold to the truths of the faith that the rest have rejected. If the Nigerian province, for example, were to contact Rome tomorrow and request such unity would their offer be rebuffed?

Are we just playing nice at the cost of bringing the truth to those who desire it?

Spooning out “ecumeni-mush”

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1 comment
  • If I can offer a timid reply: It would be better to put the WHOLE Anglican Communion under the Church’s grace. That’s gonna require a LOT of changes by a LOT of Anglicans.

    (I’m a former Episcopalian of 51 years, now RC).