Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Anglicans And Catholics Moving To An Accord On Mary

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
A joint commission of Roman Catholic and Anglican scholars recently raised the prospect that “Issues concerning doctrine and devotion to Mary need no longer be seen as communion-dividing.” The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission released a 57-page statement, Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, that is the first major Protestant-Catholic accord on Marian devotion and doctrine. Though official acceptance of proposals will require long-term consideration by the churches, the Vatican and the Anglican Communion headquarters appointed the 20 negotiators who worked out the agreement. “It’s an extraordinary document,” says Rev. Arthur Kennedy, the U.S. Catholic bishops’ ecumenical director. Key points in the accord: * Mary’s Immaculate Conception, her freedom from original sin and resulting sinlessness; *Mary’s Assumption into heaven at the end of her life … “we can affirm together the teaching that God has taken the Blessed Virgin Mary in the fullness of her person into His glory as consonant with Scripture;” *Mary’s and the saints’ intercession for the whole Church; *Mary’s perpetual virginity; *Mary’s role in the redemption of humanity. In 1854, Pope Pius IX said the Immaculate Conception must “be believed firmly and constantly by all” and any dissenter is “condemned” and “separated” from true Christianity. Similarly, Pope Pius XII in 1950 declared doubters “incur the wrath of Almighty God.” Finally, in 1995, Pope John Paul II declared that all differences of belief about Mary the mother of Jesus Christ would have to be resolved before Christianity could be reunited. (Gleaned from an article in the Hamilton Spectator)
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