Vatican meets with Anglicans after year-long break

Published February 1, 2006

After a year-long break sparked by the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, talks have resumed between the Vatican and the Anglican Communion, reports the Church of England Newspaper. In a communiqué released Dec. 12, the Anglican members of the consultation stated that tensions between the two churches “following developments in two of the Anglican provinces relating to ministry by and to persons of a homosexual orientation and practice” had led to a postponement of the 2004 meeting. The statement said that assurances by the Anglican Communion led to a resumption of talks; a fourth meeting of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission was held “to review work on the project to produce a common statement” that would “identify a sufficient degree of agreement in faith to enable the development of a deepened common life and mission” between the two churches. The commission also completed work on a summary of theological agreements reached between the two communities. The report will “harvest the theological fruits” of 40 years of agreements of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, “taking the thinking and turning it into mission” said Bishop Edwin Gulick of Kentucky, citing prayer services where Roman Catholics and Anglicans renew their baptismal vows. The report has not been made public and is to be submitted to the Vatican and to London for review and publication. The Anglican members of the Consultation present in Rome included the chairman, David Beetge, bishop of Highveld, South Africa; Peter Carnley, retired primate of Australia and archbishop of Perth; Peter Fox, bishop of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Mary Tanner of the Church of England, Bishop Gulick and representatives from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council. Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, headed the Roman Catholic delegation. At an evening prayer service at Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Archbishop Carnley, in his homily, suggested a model for church unity was the unity of the Trinity. The three persons of the Trinity were “not absorbed into the life of the others to the point where all individuality is lost,” but they are one “by virtue of the fact that they share a common will and a common purpose; they are one in the common exchange of love,” he said.


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