[April 23, 2020] The 82nd meeting of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the United States of America (ARCUSA) met remotely for three days from April 15-17, 2020, hosted by the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Episcopalians present were the Right Reverend Dr. John Bauerschmidt (co-chair, Bishop of Tennessee), the Reverend Dr. Michael Cover, the Reverend Dr. Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, Dr. John Kiess, the Right Reverend Catherine Waynick (retired, Indianapolis), Dr. Christopher Wells, the Reverend Dr. Denise Yarbrough, the Reverend Margaret Rose (staff) and Mr. Richard Mammana (staff).
Roman Catholics present were the Most Reverend John Michael Botean (Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St George in Canton, co-chair), Dr. Kimberly Belcher, the Reverend Dr. William O’Neill SJ (remotely from Nairobi), the Reverend Dr. Thomas Rausch SJ, and the Reverend Dr. Ron Roberson CSP (staff). Dr. Barbara Sain and Dr. Samuel Thomas sent regrets.
Against a background of Compline and Morning Prayer, participants continued the dialogue’s engagement with reconciliation in theology, scripture, and tradition. William O’Neill, John Kiess, Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, and Denise Yarbrough presented proposed sections of a document on reconciliation. Michael Cover presented his draft introduction to the document. Discussion followed about revisions to the document, which has moved into drafting stages to be received at future meetings.
ARCUSA is also preparing a response to the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) 2017 document Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal, the first international Anglican-Roman Catholic statement since 2004.
The Episcopal Church and Roman Catholic Church have been in local dialogue for more than 50 years through ARCUSA, and on the international level through the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). In a common declaration signed in 2006 by Rowan Williams, then Archbishop of Canterbury, and Pope Benedict XVI, the two leaders renewed the historic commitment to the goal of “full visible communion in the truth of Christ.” ARCUSA’s conversations maintain open communication between the two churches with this objective.
The consultation has previously produced documents on Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment(2014), a response to Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ (2007), and A Pastoral Guide for Understanding Our Two Churches (2007).
ARCUSA will meet next September 23-25, 2020 in Chicago.
The Communiqué was prepared by Richard Mammana for the Episcopal Church Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations.