The Anglican Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC) met at Canterbury Cathedral’s International Study Centre between 8 and 11 March 2004 under the co-chairmanship of the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Lichfield and the Rt Revd Dr Jan-Lambert Wirix-Speetjens, the Bishop of Haarlem. The Council was grateful for the warmth of hospitality at Canterbury and especially for the welcome by Canon Richard Marsh on behalf of the Cathedral’s Dean and Chapter and for the tour he conducted of the Cathedral on the evening of 9 March.
The Council reviewed its work over the last five years as it completes the current phase mandated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and Utrecht in 1998. It formulated recommendations on the shape of the next phase of co-operation to the archbishops and the Anglican Consultative Council and the International Bishops’ Conference of the Union of Utrecht.
The Council received reports on developments in the life of the Anglican Communion following the consecration of a priest in a committed same sex relationship as a bishop in the Episcopal Church (USA) from Canon Gregory Cameron, and on the Anglican European Provincial Consultation on Anglican jurisdictions in continental Europe from the Revd Jonathan Goodall, Chaplain to the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, who acts as secretary to the consultation process. Reports were also given on recent Old Catholic synodical meetings.
The Council was saddened by the fact that the Polish National Catholic Church in North America had become estranged from other churches of the Union of Utrecht, which has culminated in a break over the issue of the ordination of women to the priesthood.
The Council also discussed other ecumenical relationships and is recommending to its sponsors – the Anglican Consultative Council and the International Bishops’ Conference – ways in which the two Communions can move together in developing relationships with the Lutheran and Orthodox Churches.
The Council looked forward to the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Bonn Agreement, by which Anglican and Old Catholic Churches recognised one another’s catholicity and entered into “Inter-Communion” with each other. Initial plans to mark the anniversary of the agreement – which was signed in 1931 – include a major joint International Theological Conference in 2005, and a liturgical celebration and thanksgiving in the course of the 2006 International Old Catholic Congress in Freiburg, Germany.
The Council gives thanks to God for all that has been achieved in the co-operation between our two Communions on different levels, including the local level, and trusts that the on-going partnership of Anglican and Old Catholic Churches will continue to bear witness to the new life found in Christ.
10 March 2004
For further information, please contact the Revd Dr Angela Berlis (tel +31 26 4423 654) or the Revd Canon Gregory K Cameron (tel +44 (0)20 7313 3900).
The members of the Anglican Old Catholic International Co-ordination Council are:
The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill – Co-Chair
The Revd Canon Gregory K Cameron – Co-Secretary
The Revd Gabriel Amat
Mrs Gillian Ratcliff
The Revd Canon Dr J Robert Wright
Observer: The Revd Dr Charles Hill, Council of Christian Unity, Church of England
Administrative Support: The Revd Terrie Robinson
The Rt Revd Dr Jan-Lambert Wirix-Speetjens – Co-Chair
The Revd Dr Angela Berlis – Co-Secretary
The Revd Canon Wietse van der Velde
Professor Dr Urs von Arx