By Richard Shaw
THE CATHOLIC Church and the Anglican Communion have created a new joint committee in an effort to improve ecumenical relations.
The Anglican-Catholic Working Group will monitor the implementation of the most recent agreement between the two communions, signed in Mississauga, Canada, in May last year.
The agreement, entitled
Communion in Mission, said that Catholics and Anglicans had so many beliefs in common that "that greater co-operation and mission is possible than is currently the case".
The agreement called for a joint commission to "oversee the next steps" towards unity. It said that the commission's first task would be to prepare a joint affirmation of faith. This would formally express "the degree of agreement that already exists between Anglicans and Catholics".
The new group will meet for the first time later this year under the chairmanship of Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane, Australia and David Beetge, the Anglican bishop of the Highveld, South Africa.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Carey, welcomed the new working group.
He said: "I look forward to the fruits of the AnglicanCatholic Working Group
deliberations as they unfold."
The announcement comes a week after Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster predicted the unity of all Christians under the Pope in his lifetime.
"I think that under the next Pope there will be an ecumenical council of all Christians and the Pope will preside not with jurisdiction but with love," the cardinaldesignate said during the annual De Lubac Lecture at the University of Salford.