Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Catholic and Anglican Bishops hold bilateral meeting

The Church of England House of Bishops and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales gathered together for a second bi-lateral meeting, this time at Lambeth Palace yesterday. In 2006, they met together in Leeds for study and worship.

The meeting was chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

The meeting takes the form of a spiritual retreat reflecting on the office and ministry of bishops as Christ's disciples. The day is based on prayer, discussion and a desire for further development of our churches' shared Christian witness. Scripture readings and addresses by the Archbishop and the Cardinal will guide the bishops' reflections.

Statement from Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

"Following the successful meeting and joint worship in Leeds in 2006, we have been looking forward to meeting again to reflect and pray together. We are sure the day will help develop our common Christian witness and the warm relations that exist between the Anglican and Catholic Bishops in England & Wales, both locally and on shared national projects.

"On our journey forward, though our communion remains imperfect, our partnership in mission and service to the people of our country is based on our Christian faith and rooted in our common baptism. Presenting our shared Christian witness to society, and working together to for the common good in society, continues to be crucially important for us."

The meeting is held in line with the mandate of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (Communion in Mission, Mississauga, May 2000: see notes to editors below). IARCCUM is a joint commission of bishops, responsible to the Anglican Communion and the Holy See for finding practical ways to express the fruits of the dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Its mandate draws on the recommendations of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Joint Preparatory Commission in Malta, in 1968.


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