The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is opening a new phase of dialogue with a meeting scheduled for May 17-27. A communiqué from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity noted that this new phase of work was mandated by Benedict XVI and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at their meeting in November 2009. The first meeting of the new phase of the commission will take place at the Monastery of Bose in northern Italy.
The communiqué noted that "the task of this third phase of ARCIC will be to consider fundamental questions regarding the 'Church as Communion -- Local and Universal,' and 'How in Communion the Local and Universal Church Comes to Discern Right Ethical Teaching.'" It added that "these interrelated topics emerged from the Common Declaration of the Pope and the archbishop of Canterbury."
The co-chairmen of this phase are Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England and Anglican Archbishop David Moxon of the New Zealand dioceses. The other Roman Catholic members of the ARCIC include: Auxiliary Bishop Arthur Kennedy of Boston; Paul Murray, professor of theology and religion at Durham University in England; Janet Smith, professor of moral theology and the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Issues at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan; Redemptorist Father Vimal Tirimanna, professor of systematic moral theology at Rome's Alphonsianum University; Benedictine Father Henry Wansbrough from Ampleforth Abbey, England; Sister Teresa Okure of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, from the Catholic Institute of West Africa, Nigeria; and Father Adelbert Denaux, former professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The Anglican members include: Paula Gooder, canon theologian of Birmingham Cathedral, England; Bishop Christopher Hill of Guildford; Reverend Mark McIntosh, Van Mildert canon professor of divinity at the University of Durham, England; Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe of Natal, Southern Africa; Area Bishop Linda Nicholls for the episcopal area of Trent-Durham in the Diocese of Toronto; Reverend Michael Poon from the Trinity Theological College in Singapore; Reverend Canon Nicholas Sagovsky, retiring canon theologian at Westminster Abbey, England; and Reverend Peter Sedgwick, principal and warden of St. Michael's College, Llandaff, Wales.
Reverend Charles Sherlock, former registrar of the Melbourne College of Divinity in Australia, will serve as a consultant to the ARCIC.
The Vatican communiqué noted that "the international membership of this new phase of ARCIC represents a wide range of cultural settings, and brings to the commission a variety of theological disciplines." The official work of dialogue, sponsored by the pontifical council as well as the Department for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion, has taken place over the past 40 years.