The report of the International Anglican – Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission
In May 2000 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, and the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Edward Cassidy, called a meeting of bishops from our two Communions at Mississauga in Canada to seek a way forward in the continuing relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church.
It was a meeting filled with hope for the future relationship between the two Communions, marked by a recognition of how much we shared in common in our Christian belief and ecclesial life.
The International Anglican – Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) was established in 2001 and its work since then has been to implement the mission plan agreed in Mississauga.
IARCCUM’s report Growing Together in Unity and Mission (published by SPCK February 2007) is not an authoritative declaration by the Roman Catholic Church or by the Anglican Communion. What is offered by IARCCUM here “is intended to foster discussion and reflection…and a call for action, based upon ‘an honest appraisal of what has been achieved in our dialogue’. Despite our present ‘imperfect communion’, there is, we feel, enough common ground to take seriously how we work together” (from the preface by Archbishop John Bathersby and Bishop David Beetge, co-chairs of the Commission).
Growing Together in Unity and Mission offers practical suggestions on the way in which Anglican and Roman Catholic ecumenical participation can be appropriately fostered and carried forward. Although this text has been prepared by bishops and is addressed primarily to bishops, it is to be hoped that bishops will in turn engage clergy and laity in responding to the challenges set out in the text, in ways appropriate to their local circumstances.