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Malta meeting advances church unity

Good progress is being made in fostering unity between the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, two Australian Archbishops said on Monday.

The Anglican Primate of Australia, Peter Carnley and the Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, John Bathersby returned home optimistic from the second meeting of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) in Malta last week.

Archbishop Bathersby, who is Catholic co-chair of IARCCUM, said the Malta meeting, held 35 years after the inaugural meeting of the Anglican/Roman Catholic Commission, sought to renew the optimism and hope of the original discussions.

"The meeting recognised that substantial progress had been made by the Committees of IARCCUM in areas of a common statement of agreement, of the reception of ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission) documents, and of practical initiatives to bring our two communions closer to the unity desired by Christ" he said.

"The presence at the meeting of Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was welcomed and his advice, particularly in regard to the common statement was valued."

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Progress on unity between Catholic and Anglican churches (Anglican Archdiocese of Perth)
Episcopalians: Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops meet in Malta to discuss ways to promote a 'lived ecumenism' (Worldwide Faith News)
Churches hope for joint declaration (15/11/02)
Ecumenical bishops' meeting (Times of Malta)

11 Dec 2002