Premature Reports of The Planned Catholic-Anglican Reunion

Here is an excerpt from the official response to a Times of London report (to which I linked you yesterday) about the effort to which those engaged in the effort object.

Growing Together in Unity and Mission has not yet been officially published. It is unfortunate that its contents have been prematurely reported in a way which misrepresents its intentions and sensationalises its conclusions.”

“Both the heading of the article (‘Churches back plan to unite under Pope’) and its opening sentence, which speaks of ‘radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope’ need to be put into proper perspective. For 35 years this dialogue has addressed questions of authority, including the papacy. The so-called ‘radical proposals’ found in Growing Together in Unity and Mission are the same proposals which ARCIC has been putting forward over the past 35 years. What this document says about the Petrine Ministry is not new, but a synthesis of what is said in ARCIC’s documents on authority (Authority in the Church I, 1976; Authority in the Church II, 1981; The Gift of Authority, 1999). While it is encouraging that a document of this kind can be produced and that practical day to day cooperation between Catholics and Anglicans can be strengthened, talk of plans to reunite the two communions is, sadly, much exaggerated.”

“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.” During the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury to Pope Benedict in November, 2006, the Holy Father noted: ‘It is our fervent hope that the Anglican Communion will remain grounded in the Gospels and the Apostolic Tradition which form our common patrimony and are the basis of our common aspiration to work for full visible unity.'”
So it’s not like it’s going to happen next week, but they’ve been working on it since about 1966, are currently working on it, and intend to accomplish it one day. In other words, “Rome’s leaving the porch light on for the Anglican Communion.” That being the case, my previous “sensationalised” comments stand.
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