The current theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church began shortly after the Second Vatican Council concluded its work in 1965. There are currently two Commissions for Anglican–Roman Catholic co-operation, the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and the International Anglican–Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).
In 2000, Archbishop George Carey and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the then President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, convoked a conference of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops at Mississauga in Canada to discern the progress made in theological conversations, and whether closer co-operation could be developed between the two traditions. The result was the International Anglican–Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission, which has been meeting since 2001.
In 2016 IARCCUM held a pilgrimage, starting at Canterbury Cathedral, and travelling to Rome, for a seminar on the work of ARCIC and a service of commissioning by Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby.More
The Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission was established by Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI in 1967. Its terms of reference were established by the Malta Report in the following year and it has worked in two phases - 1970-1981, and 1983-2005.
The first phase of work was completed with the publication of the Final Report in 1981, dealing with three topics: The Eucharist, Ministry and Authority.
The second phase covered a more diverse range of topics including: Salvation and the Church, 1986; The Church as Communion, 1991; Life in Christ: Morals, Communion and the Church, 1993; The Gift of Authority, 1999, and culminating in the publication of Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ in 2005.
Planning for a third phase of ARCIC began in 2007 and the first meeting took place in Bose, Italy in 2011. An agreed statement on ecclesiology “Walking Together on the Way” (The Erfurt Statement) was published in 2017.
ARCIC III continues its work with dialogue on how the Church comes to discern right ethical teaching.More
The first meeting between a Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury since the Reformation took place in 1960 when Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher paid an informal visit to Pope St John XXIII. Six years later their successors, Archbishop Michael Ramsey and Pope St Paul VI met in Rome and agreed a joint declaration which led to the formation of ARCIC. It was also at this meeting that the history of the Anglican Centre in Rome began.
Since that time successive Archbishops of Canterbury and Popes have met in Rome (with the exception of Pope John Paul I) and occasionally elsewhere, and both Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI visited England and met the Archbishop of the time.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Pope Francis have met on several occasions and their relationship has borne fruit in a number of ways, including a retreat held in the Vatican for the political leaders of South Sudan and the involvement of Pope Francis in the global prayer initiative Thy Kingdom Come.More