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Saturday, August 19, 2017
Date Posted:

New Book: 'Mary Grace and Hope in Christ'

Anglican Leaders Converted To The Worship Of Mary – Official

British Church Newspaper

The Pope allowed the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) to unveil its much awaited work, Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, in Seattle’s RC Cathedral on May 16.  A second rather belated unveiling took place in Westminster Abbey on May 19.

ARCIC’s main finding, it claims, is that the Roman doctrine of Mary is “consonant with the teaching of Scripture” and tradition, and is no longer a stumbling block to the union of the two churches.  Or, as Pope Ratzinger would prefer us to say the agreement opens the way for a return to the fold of the Church by the Anglican ‘ecclesial community’.


The stumbling block to reconciliation between the churches have been the worship offered to Mary and the papal dogmas of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and Bodily Assumption (1950).

ARCIC has sought to carry out a dialogue ‘founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions’.

The gulf between the two sides has been bridged, we are told, by the Anglican learning to look at the papal dogmas through the eyes of Romans 8:28-30.  There is no sign of any movement on the side of Rome, merely a surrender of objections by the Anglicans, who have been persuaded that though the Roman dogmas may not actually be found in Scripture, they are not contradictory to Scripture.  So the two sides have agreed, “that the practice of asking Mary and the saints to pray for us is not communion-dividing”.

Rome is still not entirely happy with the Anglican’s position because it claims to be based on Scripture not the authority of the Pope.

Roman Catholics for their part are told that they may need to exercise more care in their devotions.

Reactions to the statement

RC Bishops McMahon, a member of the Commission, said, rather condescendingly, “The Anglican members of Commission were helped in their understanding of Mary’s role in our salvation by looking at the modern doctrines through the eyes of St Paul, using his language of Call, Conversion, Justification and Glorification”.  He added, for good measure: “We believe that Mary, as the Queen of Heaven, has a continuing salvific (‘saving’) function in the Church.”

The Rev Rod Thomas, of the Evangelical, Anglican ‘Reform’ group, has accused ARCIC of trying to “shoehorn” the dogmas into Scripture and dismissed the document as “fudge”.

On the other hand, the Rev Joel Edwards of the Evangelical Alliance said on Thought for the Day: “The extensive study recognises that despite the huge differences between the two churches there is potential progress in aligning their views on Mary and her right to intercede on our behalf”.

The co-chairmen of ARCIC are Anglican Archbishop Carnley of Perth, Australia, who is a gross liberal, and the RC Archbishop Brunett of Seattle.

Officially the statement has no authority except that of its authors and must now be studied by both churches.  Nevertheless Rome is delighted and believes that this is a major ecumenical advance.

Immaculate Conception

As regards the dogmas of immaculate conception the two parties agree: “In view of her vocation to be the mother of the Holy One (Luke 1:35), we can affirm together that Christ’s redeeming work reached back in Mary to the depths of her being, and to her earliest beginnings.  This is not contrary to the teaching of Scripture, and can only be understood in the light of Scripture.  Roman Catholics can recognise in this what is affirmed by the dogma – namely ‘preserved from all stain of original sin’ and ‘from the first moment of her conception’.”

Bodily assumption

As regards the bodily assumption the two parties agree: “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 and that it can, indeed, only be understood in the light of Scripture.  Roman Catholics can recognize that this teaching about Mary is contained in the dogma”

Invocation of Mary

As regards the invocation of Mary the two parties say: “Affirming together unambiguously Christ’s unique mediation, which bears fruit in the life of the Church, we do not consider the practice of asking Mary and the saints to pray for us as communion dividing … we believe that there is no continuing theological reason for ecclesial division on these matters.”

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