Ellen K. Wondra
In the Fall 2007 Editors Notes I commented on the recent Faith and Order Conference sponsored by the National Council of Churches of Christ. In passing, I mentioned a very important new document in the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues. Growing Together in Unity and Mission: Building on 40 Years of Anglican-Roman
Catholic Dialogue (from the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission) goes to great lengths in summarizing in very brief form the two churches shared affirmation of what is set out in the Apostles Creed (the fundamental affirmation of Christian faith), our shared understanding of the church and its mission, our common view of the Word of God as living and active, our common agreement on the theologies of baptism and Eucharist, our shared understandings of mission and ministry and of the theology and purpose of authority in the church, and of fundamental moral theology, and so on. Along the way Growing Together carefully notes significant divergences, differences, and disagreements. These are important, but even a quick glance through Growing Together makes it strikingly clear that our agreement is much greater in scope, in depth, in importance, in strength, and in promise than our differences.
This is welcome news at a time when the achievements of the long theological dialogue between Anglicans and Roman Catholics are often obscured by the practice of labeling a number of contentious issues related to human sexuality and procreation as potentially church-dividing. Various observers have noted that, historically,
schism has come about because of grave disagreements in matters of doctrine