Magazine article Anglican Journal

Document on Mary 'Gives Hope'

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Document on Mary 'Gives Hope'

Article excerpt

A document released recently by an international group of Anglican and Roman Catholic church leaders, which established some common ground about teachings on the Virgin Mary, is a "positive sign" that relations between the two denominations--strained by disagreements over the ordination of women and human sexuality--are on the mend, said an official at the Anglican Church of Canada.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), the official instrument of dialogue between Rome and the Anglican Communion, released a document in May, which concluded that their theological differences over Mary should no longer divide them. Anglicans disagree with Catholic church doctrine of Mary's Immaculate Conception and her assumption into heaven.

"What they've tried to do is to say that the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church about those two matters was defined in a particular way, in a particular time ... and that has to be understood in itself as a contextual issue so that both Roman Catholics and Anglicans can look at what's behind those doctrines and find that there's truth in them," said Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, director of the Anglican Church of Canada's faith, worship and ministry department. "This is saying if you look at the Scriptural passages behind these things, if you look at the received traditions of the church there are ways in which they could be affirmed by Anglicans without getting into the controversies of the early 20th century . …

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