ARCIC issues text on Mary

 The Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) met from 28 January - 3 February at the Palisades Retreat Centre, Seattle, under the co-chairmanship of the Most Rev Alexander J Brunett, Archbishop of Seattle, and the Most Rev Peter Carnley, Archbishop of Perth and Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia. The Commission completed work on the text of the Seattle Statement, "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ", which it is now submitting to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and to the Archbishop of Canterbury together with the Anglican Consultative Council. The publication of "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ" will bring to completion the second phase of work of ARCIC, which was mandated in 1982 by Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Robert Runcie. In the last twenty years, the Commission has published four agreed statements - Salvation and the Church (1987), The Church as Communion (1991), Life in Christ (1994) and The Gift of Authority (1999). In 1999, the Commission began work on a consideration of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life and doctrine of the Church. The Church's understanding of Mary has been a subject of deep controversy between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Discussion at Seattle has placed the Roman Catholic dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary, and how they may relate to any future restoration of Communion, within the broader context of Scriptural and theological reflection on Mary. Following its established methodology, the Commission has sought to go behind entrenched positions, and to articulate a common approach to the subject under discussion. The meeting concluded with an ecumenical Celebration of Vespers for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (the Presentation of Christ in the Temple) in St James' Cathedral, Seattle. Bishop Brian Farrell and Canon Gregory Cameron, speaking on behalf of Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Canon John L Peterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, expressed heartfelt gratitude to current and former members of the Commission for their hard work over a period of twenty years on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. They also expressed the commitment of the Pontifical Council and the Anglican Communion to the ongoing theological dialogue, and looked forward to the establishment of a new Commission in the near future. The members of ARCIC are: Anglicans The Most Rev Peter Carnley (Archbishop of Perth and Primate of Australia, Co-Chair) The Rt Rev John Baycroft Professor Rozanne Elder The Rev Canon Jonathan Gough The Rev Professor Jaci Maraschin The Rev Dr John Muddiman The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali The Rev Professor Nicholas Sagovsky The Rev Dr Charles Sherlock The Rev Canon Gregory Cameron (Anglican Communion Office, Co-Secretary) Roman Catholics The Most Rev Alexander J Brunett (Archbishop of Seattle, Co-Chair) Sister Sara Butler, MSBT The Rev Dr Peter Cross The Rev Dr Adelbert Denaux The Most Rev Brian Farrell LC The Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon OP The Rev Professor Charles Morerod OP The Rev Professor Liam Walsh OP The Rev Canon Donald Bolen (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Co-Secretary) Source: ACN

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