Third (final?) phase in Catholic/Anglican dialogue?

From CNA:

Third phase of Catholic/Anglican dialogue to include cooperative investigation of ‘divisive‘ issues

Vatican City, Nov 27, 2009 / 02:33 am (CNA).- An interview on Vatican Radio Wednesday morning revealed that the third phase of official dialogue between the the Catholic Church and the Anglican communion, to take place within the next year, will include what Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams deemed last week to be ‘divisive’ issues. [I suspect this is a reimagining of what Rowan Williams recently referred to as "secondary issues", such as homosexual’s and women’s ordination, the role of Peter in the Universal Church, etc.]

Discussions will focus on the relationship between the universal church and the local church.

Interviewed for the radio report was Monsignor Mark Langham, responsible for advancing Catholic/Anglican dialogue at the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

Msgr. Langham said that the “starting point” of the talks between the two churches would be "the broader question of the relationship between the universal church and the local church."  He explained that cooperative investigations into issues that have arisen in the Anglican church in recent years, particularly the ordinations of women and practicing homosexuals as well as same-sex marriage within the church’s discipline, could be fruitful.

In a conference last week in Rome, Archbishop Williams noted that these “divisive” issues should be avoided.  However, following talks between representatives from the two churches in recent days it appears that it will be precisely those issues that will be discussed in the third, and likely final, phase [?!? "final"?] of ecumenical dialogue.  [You get the sense that the pressure is now most definitely on.]

Langham added that dialogue, intended to further cooperation "on all sorts of levels," is essential to the relationship, but that they would like to make headway beyond the meeting table.

ARCIC, the Anglican—Roman Catholic International Commission, is looking to promote a "wide range of possibilities for encounters," from the parish level all the way up to leadership within both communities.  [Yah… and then there are the Anglican Provisions!]

Despite criticism as to the validity of these dialogues, leaders from both churches are hoping for positive outcomes.

The churches will complete their 40th year since the inauguration of the first phase of these ecumenical dialogues in 2010.

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  1. Oneros says:

    I’ve heard horrible rumors that the solution is going to be, essentially, allowing Anglican womenpriests and invalid bishops and recognizing them as “ministers” even if not priests in the Catholic sense of the word, but still having a legitimate “ministry”.

    Recognizing protestant “communion” as of communal and symbolic value even while admitting that it doesnt have the Real Presence like Catholic Eucharist.

    In otherwords, allowing that “model” to co-exist as a sort of Low Church within the Catholic Church, as legitimate “Lay Ministry” as long as valid Catholic priests and sacraments are occasionally injected in the person’s life.

    I pray to God this isnt true.

  2. Oleksander says:


    that would be awful, where did you hear that from?

  3. William says:

    Why is the Anglican association repeatedly referred to here as a “Church”? Clearly it is not. Call it an off-shoot of the Roman Church, a disobedient daughter, a protestant sect, etc.! Don’t the Eastern (“Sister”) Churches take umbrage at calling such associations Churches?

  4. asperges says:

    There won’t be any women “priests” coming over: they have a found a niche in the C of E and will hardly wish to come over to Rome. Of course one can recognise the Anglican ministry as just that. Many good and sincere people take part in it. Many will find the transition to Catholicism very difficult in their hearts and consciences. But the fulness of the Faith can never exist where they now are.

    I think we know now quite clearly what the lie of the land is under this Pope of Unity. Quite honestly, what is left to discuss? Look where 40 years of pointless committees and groups and “discernment” got us?

    It’s time now to put an end to the wishy-washy papering over of cracks and ambiguous statements and agreements which play with words and get down to what matters. Good relations yes, and due respect, but true ecumenism points only one way, to Rome.

  5. Yubbly says:

    Sadly, I’ve heard whispers that’s true too.

    If the Anglicans will “theoretically” accept our teachings about ourselves…we will accept a minimum of sacramental life for their members. The argument is that early Christians saved baptism till death, and for much of history the Eucharist was received only once a year (or less) too.

    For the “reunited” Anglicans, they could fulfill their Sunday obligation just with evening prayer or a lay-celebrated non-real-presence “Communion” Service. Some Eastern Catholic churches allow Vespers to fulfill the obligation, after all, and the “communion” could be likened to the Antidoron. They’d just have to receive the real eucharist from a real priest (and confession if they need it) once a year.

    The hope is that if they can “theoretically” accept our orthodoxy when it comes to ecclesiology and Sacraments…orthopraxy will follow soon enough, they just need to come to it gradually. Why would anyone choose the merely symbolic communion each week when you COULD have the Real Presence…or so the over-optimistic logic goes.

    The “first degree” issues ARE agreed upon, after all. And the Church seems to be realizing that Administrative questions could be loosened a lot and decentralized.

    The real hurdle to this unfortunate “Plan” are questions of sexual morality. Let’s hope they stay hurdles, frankly, because the plan is scandalous.

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