THE organic union of the
Catholic and Anglican Churches was the final goal of the Commission set up by the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury after their historic meeting in 1966.
This was reaffirmed in a statement issued in Venice after the most recent of a series of meetings, attended by 18 delegates from both churches. It appeared front the statement that both sides felt this to be the most profitable discussion held so far.
Co-chairman of this meeting were Bishop Alan Clark. Auxiliary of Northampton, and Anglican Bishop H. R. McAdoo, of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin. The members were appointed by the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The problems touched on at this meeting included the exercise of authority in the Church. the Eucharist, and the Ministry, and reports issued on these subjects indicate the lines of convergence suggested for consideration by Primate and Pope.
One document submitted to the Commission suggested that the Catholic view held prior to the Second Vatican Council, that the One Church of Christ was exclusively co-extensive with the Catholic Church, was no longer defensible. The existence of some of the essential elements of Christ's Church, in some form, must be recognised in other Christian churches.
The statement also deals with Anglican views on Papal Authority, and it was stated that the Church's views on Infallibility might be safeguarded in a united church if there was a focus of unity and final authority.
The problem of Holy Orders was also looked at, raising the question again of the arguments behind the Papal Bull A postolicat, Crime of 1896 which confirmed the Catholic view of the invalidity of Anglican Orders.