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The Anglican and Roman Catholic ecclesial traditions: the heritage of Unitatis Redintegratio

Sherlock, Charles H. (2014) The Anglican and Roman Catholic ecclesial traditions: the heritage of Unitatis Redintegratio. International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church, 14 (4). pp. 362-379. ISSN 1474-225X

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    Abstract

    Unitatis Redintegratio (UR), the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, was both the outcome and instrument of ecumenical engagement between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, and continues to have a formative influence on their dialogue. In the lead-up to the Council, personal contacts between Church of England leaders and the nascent Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity played a significant part in a change of atmosphere towards other Christian traditions at the Vatican. UR notes the ‘special place’ which the Anglican Communion holds in the communion of churches: the 1966 meeting in Rome between Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI would lead to The Malta Report (1968) and the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). The ‘Principles of Dialogue’ set out in UR – avoiding polemical language; integrating spiritual and academic learning; expounding positions clearly, and committed openness – are affirmed in the light of the experience of ARCIC. The Agreed Statements of ARCIC I and II, focused around the motif of koinonia, are assessed in view of the topics for dialogue listed in UR:Christology; Ecclesiology (including the Blessed Virgin Mary); Sacred Scripture;Life in Christ in communion; Teaching on sacraments and ministry; and Christian personal, family, liturgical and social life. The significance of eschatology in relation to unity in Christ is highlighted, both with reference to Anglican difficulties about gender relations and authority, and to the three-fold use of ‘complete’ in UR. What might it mean for ecumenical dialogue, and ecclesial relationships, to work from the future backwards rather than just from the past forwards – i.e. in terms of faith rather than sight?

    Item Type: Published Articles
    Repository Version: Published Version
    Keywords (separated by commas): Anglican Communion, ARCIC I & II, ecclesiology, ecumenical dialogue, koinonia, The Malta Report, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity(PCPCU), T(t)radition(s), Unitatis Redintegratio
    Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
    Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
    Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
    Subject Area(s): C - Church History
    Association with University of Divinity: Other University of Divinity
    Depositing User: Dr Suman Kashyap
    Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 13:26
    Last Modified: 20 Apr 2015 13:26
    URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1731

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