The universal primacy of the Pope, and an understanding of collegial powersharing, are the main points of a 40 page statement published yesterday by the joint Roman Catholic-Anglican commission (ARCIC).
    ARCIC was formed in 1970, after the meeting in Rome between the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, and Pope Paul VI. The group took up the question of papal authority in response to the challenge issued by Pope John Paul II, in his 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint, for new efforts to define the essential elements of the Petrine office.
    The document, released yesterday, states that both Catholics and Anglicans recognise the need for "the universal primacy exercised by the Bishop of Rome," while also noting that this power must be exercised "in collegial association with the other bishops."
    It recommends that the Anglican Church should develop more visible "structures of authority" to ensure unity among the local churches. Within the Catholic Church, the statement argues, there is a need for greater collegial cooperation among the bishops. The ARCIC document does not directly address the key questions that separate Anglicans from Rome, such as the Anglican decision to ordain women to the priesthood.

LINK - Anglican Communion Site: The Gift of Authority

12:29pm 13/5/99 / Catholic World News


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