By Philippa Hitchen of Vatican Radio
The third phase of ARCIC, or Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, started on Tuesday at the monastery of Bose in northern Italy.
Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, the monastery, founded on the closing day of the Second Vatican Council in December 1965, is a haven of peaceful reflection and prayer, but also a place of important ecumenical encounters.
Within its secluded walls, the two teams of Catholic and Anglican experts are gathered from May 17th to 27th focusing on the theme ‘Church as Communion – local and universal.’ The discussions will look back at achievements of the previous ARCIC,dialogues and explore pressing ethical issues that are challenging the teaching of both Churches.
To find out more, Philippa Hitchen spoke to the two co-secretaries of the meeting - Msgr. Mark Langham of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, head of the Unity, Faith and Order office of the Anglican Communion.
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"It's a theme that arose out of the discussions of the Holy Father and Archbishop Rowan Williams when they met in Rome and very much relates to issues that are affecting the Anglican Commuion at the moment...
We've always said that the path of traditional ecumenical dialogue is different from that of individual or group conversion - the Second Vatican Council made that clear in its document on ecumenism - so we don't see our work lying within that framework of the Ordinariate."
"I think expectations are quite high, because there's been a lot of talk over the past year about Anglican-Catholic relations in the meda and this is a chance for the official theological dialogue to get to work on the important questions that are between us at the moment.
We're not afraid of sharing with Roman Catholics the fact that there are lively and divisive questions among us..."