The members of the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) gathered at Dromantine in Northern Ireland between 10th and 14th June, 2003, for their third meeting at the kind invitation of the Most Revd Anthony Farquhar, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, and as guests of the Society of African Missions. The meeting was held in the context of common prayer, and the due sacramental celebration of both traditions.
The Commission continues the work arising from the conference of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops held at Mississauga in 2000, and is responsible to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Anglican Communion for finding practical ways to express the fruits of the dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics over the last thirty-five years.
The chief business of the Commission has been to continue work on the text of a Common Declaration to be submitted to the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, which is intended to identify a sufficient degree of agreement in faith to enable a new level of common life and mission together.
In addition, the Commission is promoting a number of projects to communicate the extent of what has already been achieved in the dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, particularly the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), and to nurture new ways of working together. The Commission is encouraging the development of a range of video and web resources to communicate the history of the dialogue, and to support the study, discussion and reception of the more recent work of ARCIC.
The Commission believes that the commitment to unity and common mission is growing among Roman Catholics and Anglicans as they work and pray together. The Commission is therefore identifying examples of good practice from across the world to support and encourage further practical co-operation at episcopal and local levels.
The Commission welcomed news of the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers Colloquium, established by academics from the Angelicum and Gregorian Universities in Rome and from the Centre of Law and Religion of Cardiff University in Wales. This Colloquium, which meets annually, will explore the canon law of our respective churches in relation to sacramental sharing at their next meeting in 2004.
The Commission reviewed events of importance in the lives of the Anglican Communion and Roman Catholic Church since our last meeting. We were encouraged by examples of close co-operation and joint initiatives, for instance, in responding to the situation in the Middle East and the war in Iraq.
The members of the Commission travelled to Belfast, in order to pray together at the Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals in that city, and to reflect on the progress of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland. They welcomed the Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Armagh and the local diocesan bishops at their meeting, and joined with them in praying for reconciliation and the work of Christian witness in Northern Ireland.
The Commission is greatly heartened by the degree of co-operation that it discerns between Roman Catholics and Anglicans in many situations across the globe, and by the fraternal spirit experienced in their own meetings. Commission members are hopeful that developments manifested in these areas represent substantial progress towards the unity and common mission which is the goal of our ecumenical dialogue. The Commission will meet next in Seattle in February 2004.
The members of IARCCUM are:
Bishop David Beetge (Bishop of the Highveld, Co-Chair)
Archbishop Peter Carnley (Archbishop of Perth)
Bishop Edwin Gulick (Bishop of Kentucky)
Archbishop Peter Kwong (Archbishop of Hong Kong; unable to attend this meeting)
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali (Bishop of Rochester, also member of ARCIC)
The Revd Canon Jonathan Gough (Archbishop of Canterbury's Office)
Dr Mary Tanner The Revd Canon Gregory Cameron (Anglican Communion Office, Co-Secretary)
Bishop John Baycroft Bishop David Hamid (Assistant Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe)
Archbishop John Bathersby (Archbishop of Brisbane, Co-Chair)
Archbishop Alexander Brunett (Archbishop of Seattle, also Co-Chair of ARCIC)
Bishop Anthony Farquhar (Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor)
Bishop Crispian Hollis (Bishop of Portsmouth)
Bishop Lucius Ugorji (Bishop of Umuahia)
The Revd Dr Peter Cross (also member of ARCIC)
Sr Dr Donna Geernaert The Revd Donald Bolen (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Co-Secretary)
Monsignor Timothy Galligan
The Revd Dr Paul McPartlan Administrative Staff
The Revd Terrie Robinson (Anglican Communion Office)
Ms Giovanna Ramon (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity)
By Albert H. Lee