The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations (IASCER) met in Cairo, Egypt, from Wednesday, 5th to Monday, 10th December 2007, under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, Primate of the Church in the Province of the West Indies. The Commission is charged with reviewing current international ecumenical dialogues involving Anglicans, and provincial and regional initiatives towards unity with other Christians. IASCER consists of representatives from each international dialogue involving Anglicans, including the multilateral dialogue of Faith and Order, and of certain other commissions and networks, and consultants who bring particular regional or theological expertise.
Reports were received of all current bilateral theological dialogues of the Anglican Communion, as well as of developments from particular regions of the globe. In the course of reflections on the current life of the Anglican Communion, the commission also responded further to the proposals for an Anglican Covenant following the publication of the initial work of the Covenant Design Group, which presented a first draft for a covenant to the Primates’ Meeting in February 2007. The Commission gave consideration to issues relating to the practice of admitting the non-baptised to Holy Communion, to issues raised by the recent Responses on the Doctrine of the Church issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church, and received information on the ecumenical dimensions of the forthcoming Lambeth Conference.
The Commission is extremely grateful for the welcome given to them by the Most Revd Dr Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt and President Bishop of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Bishop Mouneer welcomed the commission at a Reception at Diocesan Church House, Zamalek, in the course of which Archbishop Drexel Gomez presented The Cross of Saint Augustine to Canon Professor Robert Wright, one of the Commission’s members, on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury in recognition of his scholarly ecumenical work on behalf of the Communion. The commission worshipped at All Saints’ Cathedral, Zamalek, on the Sunday morning, where they were welcomed by the Rt Revd Derek Eaton, an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Egypt. The Commission was also honoured to be received by His Holiness Pope Shenouda, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, His Beatitude Patriarch Antonious of the Coptic Catholic Church, and to meet with His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette, Co-Chair of the Anglican – Oriental Orthodox International Commission, together with its Co-Secretary Bishop Nareg Alemezian. The Commission warmly welcomed the appointment of one of its members, the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, as the new Director of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.
Present at the meeting in Cairo were: the Revd Prebendary Dr Paul Avis, the Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan, the Revd Canon Dr Gregory K Cameron (Secretary), the Revd Dr William Crockett, the Rt Revd Christopher Epting, the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, the Rt Revd Dr John Gladstone, the Most Revd Drexel W Gomez (Chair), the Revd Canon Jonathan Goodall, the Rt Revd John Hind, the Venerable Jane Namugenyi, the Revd Professor Renta Nishihara, the Revd Canon Luke Pato, the Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell (Vice-Chair), the Revd Sarah Rowland Jones, the Rt Revd James Tengatenga and the Revd Canon Professor J Robert Wright. The Revd Terrie Robinson and Mrs Gill Harris-Hogarth of the Anglican Communion Office provided administrative and logistical assistance for the meeting.
The last meeting of IASCER before it completes its mandate is scheduled for December 2008.
For further information contact
The Revd Canon Gregory K Cameron
Anglican Communion Office, London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7313 3900
Fax: +44 (0)20 7313 3999