In stating that the Vatican's initiative represents a new and unexpected level in bilateral dialogue, we mean that it is not directly related to the process that has been ongoing for the past 40 years, as related above, but rather a unilateral initiative that will certainly require deeper analysis. Below are just two elements that merit close attention:
1. The most recent official documents of the Roman Catholic Church have successively reaffirmed not only its identity as a universal church but its singularity as the true and original sign of the presence of Christ among peoples. This implies a self-understanding of ecclesiological and organizational exclusivity that hinders the advancement of dialogue between both our churches.
2. The theological underpinnings for the Vatican's initiative are based on the understanding that the unity of the Church is grounded in the claim of Petrine ministry. This postulate must be seen through the lens of its theological dimension and the historical reality of the See of Rome and to this day has not been satisfactorily resolved in Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue.
Clearly, these issues must be faced with honesty and open dialogue, to which we have always been committed in a respectful manner.
We express our concern over the initiative unleashed by Rome, considering the way in which it took place and its content.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Commentary Anglican Provinces Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI
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