Published in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 2018
Quoting from an Introductory letter from the Co-Chairs of the English and Welsh Anglican Roman Catholic Committee (English and Welsh ARC), the Rt Revd Timothy Thornton (Anglican) and Most Revd Bernard Longley (Roman Catholic) write:
The English and Welsh Anglican Roman Catholic Committee (English and Welsh ARC), now at the end of its current Quinquennium, has been seeking to establish an overview of how Anglicans and Roman Catholics are working together in various contexts at diocesan and parish levels. Diocesan ecumenical officers have been an invaluable source of information about this.
This information has helped us to produce Walking Together: Mapping Anglican – Roman Catholic Relations. This report has now been released and, in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2018, we are very pleased to attach a copy of the report to this message, together with a summary.
We realise the report represents a snapshot in time and is in no way exhaustive. Nonetheless, it provides a very helpful picture of what is happening on the ground in terms of partnership between these two churches, as well as highlighting possible areas of work for the future.
We have been much heartened by the encouragement given by Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin to the Bishops of IARCCUM in 2016 at the 50th Anniversary celebrations in Rome of the visit of Archbishop Ramsey to Blessed Pope Paul VI. As Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin were commissioning bishops to go out in pairs their closing words were:
We are impatient for progress that we might be fully united in proclaiming, in word and deed, the saving and healing gospel of Christ to all people. For this reason we take great encouragement from the meeting during these days of so many Catholic and Anglican bishops of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) who, on the basis of all that they have in common, which generations of ARCIC scholars have painstakingly unveiled, are eager to go forward in collaborative mission and witness to the “ends of the earth”. Today we rejoice to commission them and send them forth in pairs as the Lord sent out the seventy-two disciples. Let their ecumenical mission to those on the margins of society be a witness to all of us, and let the message go out from this holy place, as the Good News was sent out so many centuries ago, that Catholics and Anglicans will work together to give voice to our common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, to bring relief to the suffering, to bring peace where there is conflict, to bring dignity where it is denied and trampled upon.
RT REVD TIMOTHY THORNTON MOST REVD BERNARD LONGLEY
Bishop at Lambeth Archbishop of Birmingham
(Anglican Co-Chair, (Roman Catholic Co-Chair,
English ARC 2012-2017) English ARC 2012-2017)