Catholics and Episcopalians Move Towards Unity

Apr 05, 2003 05:12 PM EST

WASHINGTON – As a means to foster Christian unity, a panel of U.S. Roman Catholic and Episcopal Church delegates proposed that bishops from the two denominations attend each other’s official meetings.

The call for unity began as a response to a 1999 report on church authority between the Vatican and the Anglican Communion; the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the international Anglican faith. To foster the ecumenical spirit, the delegates suggested that the Episcopal and Anglican bishops accompany their Roman Catholic colleagues when they make their periodic visits to the pope.

The Catholic bishops were also asked to join regular meetings of Episcopal and Anglican bishops.

The paper also writes that "reformed understanding and practice" of the papacy is needed for reunion of the two churches. Anglicans continue to disagree with Catholic views of infallible teaching and lay participation.

By Pauline J.