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ARCIC

ARCIC (Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission). Created by Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey of Canterbury in consequence of the Second Vatican Council's positive decree on ecumenism (1965). From 1971 to 1981 ARCIC produced four agreed statements on eucharist, ministry, and ordination, and (in two stages) authority. Principles governing the conversations were (a) avoidance of polemical language inherited from late medieval and 16th-cent. formulas designed to exclude; (b) avoidance of statements on essential doctrines which could be interpreted in incompatible senses by the two parties.

Although Anglican official endorsement of the agreed statements came reasonably rapidly the Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Cardinal Ratzinger accompanied the publication of the four reports (Final Report, 1982) with predominantly negative ‘Observations’. The official Vatican verdict (December 1991) was in tone less negative than the 1982 Observations.

After 1982 ARCIC was continued with largely new members and was increased in size, from 18 to 24. The large agenda assigned to it began with the most intricate of all articles of faith, Justification. An agreed statement, Salvation and the Church, appeared (1987), followed by Church as Communion (1991), and, after further changes in membership, by a statement on moral issues, Life in Christ: Morals, Communion and the Church (1994), recognizing differences on divorce and contraception but denying that the issues are church-dividing.

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ARCIC

ARCIC Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission

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