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Two Trains Running

The Reception of the Understanding of Authority by ARCIC I- Related to the Debates on the Ordination of Women

Series:

Matthieu Wagemaker

Between 1966 and 1981 an enormous effort has been made by the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC I) to overcome differences in the understanding and practice of the Christian Faith. Four major theological texts, based on the idea of resourcement, were published together as the Final Report in 1981. Why were the high ecumenical expectations of the seventies not fulfilled? At the same time the Anglican churches began to discuss openly the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood. The Anglican discussion had clear repercussions for the Catholic Church. This study investigates the relations that existed between these debates and the reception of the Final Report. It pays particular attention to the developments of the understanding about authority in the Church. Authority in the Church comprises hermeneutical, foundation theological, christological and ecclesiological notions. ARCIC worked with its own conception of authority in matters of faith and order, and it proposed a certain understanding of episcopal collegiality as the corner stone for «organic union». The book infers that the debates on the ordination of women have led to developments in the understanding of authority in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Churches that diverge from what ARCIC did and proposed. The consequences for ecumenical relations between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church are explored.
Contents: 'Two Trains Running' investigates the relation between the reception of ARCIC's Final Report and the debates on the ordination of women. It is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the understanding of authority in the Church by ARCIC. The second part is dedicated to the history and synthesis of the debate on the ordination of women in the Anglican Communion, especially the Church of England. The third part discusses the developments of this issue in the Catholic Church. The book concludes with an exploration of the possible ecumenical future for Anglicans and Catholics.