Unity Faith and Order - Commissions IASCER
The Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations
IASCER: Resolutions arising from the 2007 meeting
Anglican – Methodist relations
- welcomes the report of the Anglican – Methodist International Consultation which took place in London at the end of October 2007
- affirms the establishment of an Anglican – Methodist Commission for Unity in Mission proposed in that report
- commends the programme of work set out in that report as a fruitful agenda for the work of the Commission, and
- encourages the appropriate Instruments of Communion to take the necessary steps to enable the commission to begin its work.
IARCCUM – Growing Together in Unity and Mission
- welcomes the Agreed Statement of IARCCUM with its record of the achievements of the Anglican – Roman Catholic theological dialogue
- commends the recommendations in Part Two of the Agreed Statement for further collaboration in unity and mission to the bishops of the Anglican Communion, in the hope that “bishops will in turn engage clergy and laity in responding to the challenges set out in the text”
- hopes that, despite recent setbacks, Growing Together in Unity and Mission may be a positive step towards the preparation of the “Joint Declaration of Agreement”, which would set out “our shared goal of visible unity; an acknowledgement of the consensus of faith that we have reached, and a fresh commitment to share together in common life and witness” as envisaged by the meeting of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops at Mississauga in May 2000
- welcomes the commentaries by Bishop Paul Richardson and Bishop Bernard Longley, officially commissioned by the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church respectively, noting that although officially commissioned these commentaries do not share the authority of the Agreed Statement.
- acknowledges with gratitude the work of the dialogue of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai and the Roman Catholic Church in Japan in preparing a Japanese translation of Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, and
- requests the Archbishop of Canterbury to send greetings to the churches as they celebrate the publication of this text in Tokyo on 2 February 2008.
Admission of the Non-baptised to Holy Communion
- affirms that Christian initiation leads us from incorporation into the Body of Christ through Baptism to full participation in the life of grace within the Church through Holy Communion
- notes again with grave concern instances in some parts of the Anglican Communion of inviting non-baptised persons, including members of non-Christian religious traditions, to receive Holy Communion
- reminds all Anglicans that this practice is contrary to Catholic order as reflected in principles of canon law common to all the Churches of the Anglican Communion
- believes that the invitation to Holy Communion of non-baptised persons undermines ecumenical agreements on Baptism and the Eucharist, current policies of offering eucharistic hospitality to “Christians duly baptised in the name of the Holy Trinity and qualified to receive Holy Communion in their own Churches”, and eucharistic sharing agreements between churches
- believes that the communion of the non-baptised undermines the very goal and direction of the ecumenical movement, namely the reconciliation of all things in Christ of which the Eucharistic Communion of the baptised is sign, instrument and foretaste.
The Global Christian Forum
- rejoices at the culmination of the Global Christian Forum process with the meeting in Limuru, Kenya, in November 2007, of an “unprecedentedly broad gathering” of Christian leaders under the theme of ‘Our Journey with Jesus Christ the Reconciler,’ and the issuing of their ‘Message to Brothers and Sisters in Christ throughout the World’
- congratulates the Continuation Committee on the success of their work, and thanks the Revd Sarah Rowland Jones for the significant contribution she has made to this
- endorses the ‘Proposals for the Future of the Global Christian Forum’ produced by the Limuru Meeting for evaluating and continuing the work of the Forum, particularly at the regional level
- affirms the Anglican Communion’s continuing support for the role of the Forum process in extending, strengthening and supplementing existing encounters between Christian communities, and in bringing affective and spiritual dimensions more fully alongside cognitive approaches to ecumenism
- encourages Anglicans to engage with future expressions of the Forum process
- commends the method of the Global Christian Forum which places at its heart the sharing of individuals’ accounts of their journeys of faith as a means of deepening our understanding of one another, “our ability to recognise how God is graciously at work among us”, and our fellowship in the gospel.
The continuation of the work of IASCER
- welcomes the proposals which are being developed for an Anglican Communion Commission on Faith and Order
- believes that, in the light of the experience of a decade of reflection on the ecumenical dialogues of the Communion, any such Commission must include the mandate given to IASCER by the 1998 Lambeth Conference building on the work of ACC-10
- therefore recommends that there should be an explicit reference to “Christian Unity” in the title of any such Commission.
Resolution on Episcopal Ministry and Jurisdiction in the Anglican Communion
IASCER, noting that the current tensions and difficulties in the Anglican Communion have raised serious questions, both for ourselves and for our ecumenical partners, some of which relate to episcopal ministry and jurisdiction, urges the Lambeth Conference to bear the ecumenical context in mind in its consideration of the ministry of bishops.
Resolution on the Covenant
- believes that an Anglican Covenant could lend greater coherence and credibility both to our life as a communion and to our ecumenical engagement
- urges the Covenant Design Group to use as a resource the agreed statements between Anglicans and their ecumenical partners
- urges that the Covenant Design Group invite ecumenical partners, especially those with whom churches of the Anglican Communion are in dialogue or in relationships of communion, to engage in the covenant process as soon as possible. This would most likely take the form of them being asked to comment on the next draft text when it is published. The Covenant Design Group may want to consider developing specific questions that would encourage other churches to address the issues identified in this paper
- believes that the covenant proposal needs to be undergirded by the work on ecclesiological principles project of the Anglican Communion Legal Advisers Network.
1. From the Preface of Growing Together in Unity and Mission: Building on 40 years of Anglican – Roman Catholic Dialogue (London: SPCK, 2007).
2. ‘Communion in Mission: Statement from Mississauga Meeting’, May 2000.
3. As expressed in Resolution 45 of the Lambeth Conference 1968
4. Quotations in this resolution are taken from the Message of the Global Christian Forum issued following the Limuru Meeting, November 2007.