Thursday, June 22, 2006

ARCIC & Episcopal Authority


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ARCIC on Authority and Episcopal Authority in the Church ofEngland

The Beginnings of Dialogue

Before discussions between Roman Catholic and Church of England theologians had been sporadic and unofficial. The most important having been the Malines Conversations which took place between 1922 and 1926 and consisted of a group mostly of Anglo Catholics and some Roman Catholic theologians under the chairmanship of Cardinal Mercier in Belgium. Archbishop Davidson was kept informed of the talks but he correctly informed Convocation that there had been no negotiations, 'they were private conversations about our respective history and doctrines and nothing more.'1 During the last of thesediscussions a plan for a Uniate Church of England in communion with Rome was explored. The English Roman Catholic hierarchy opposed the talks as they felt that Cardinal Mercier had an insufficient understanding of Anglicanism, Archbishop Davidson was apprehensive about them, and they ceased following Cardinal Mercier's death in January 1926. 2

The current Anglican Catholic dialogue began in 1967 with the work of the Preparatory Commission and was helped by discussion between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey. The Commission was composed of nine eminent scholars and bishops from each Church, the Anglican members representing the whole Anglican Communion and not just the Church of England. After dealing with the question of the Eucharist, Ministry and Ordination, the Commission published an agreed Statement on Authority in the Church in 1976. Elucidations on the Statements concerning Ministry and Ordination followed in 1979, and a further agreed statement on Authority in 19813 together with Elucidations on the First Statement on Authority.4

The intention of the Commission was, 'the restoration of complete communion in faith and sacramental life,5' but they never specified whether this was to come about by a completely integrated reunited Church, by the Anglican Churches taking on a form of Uniate status, or by some other means. The intentions were essentially expressed in terms of dogmatic exploration and a breaking down of barriers rather than the expectation of producing a blueprint for some kind of unity scheme6.

The following discussion on the Authority Statements is not meant to be a critique of the Statements as a whole, but rather an examination of their implications for episcopal authority within the Church of England. The question of Papal Primacy alone is a vast subject. Here the implications of its acceptance in any form in a reunited Church will be studied in relation to the potential relationship between such a primacy and the Church of England's episcopate, and especially with reference to the Evangelicals' doubts whether such a form of primatial episcopal authority could ever be accepted. Questions of Collegiality, Jurisdiction, Diocesan Discipline, Infallibility and Magisterium will be treated in a similar manner, reflecting their implications forChurch of England bishops especially in the light of the bishops' relationship with the State.

Papal Primacy

The Church of England, since the Reformation, had grown unused to primatial authority as little such could be exercised by the archbishop of Canterbury. Throughout this period there was growing realisation that this issue must be faced if ever there were to be a reunited Church. In fact Anglican theologians of the seventeenth century had been prepared to ascribe to the bishop of Rome a primacy of order and honour, among them Richard Field7, Archbishop Laud8, and John Cosin, Bishop of Durham9. The problems arose when a primacy which involved some form of authority and jurisdiction over the Church of England had to be contemplated.

A long line of Anglo Catholic theologians realised that the Pope would inevitably be the head of a reunited Church on historical grounds, but they envisaged his role as much more one of authority by influence rather than actual power, rather like an international archbishop of Canterbury figure. This can be seen in the following quotation from C.P.S. Clarke writing in 1937,

'we may freely grant that when reunion comes about the Bishop of Rome must be the head of a reunited Church. His primacy would at least be a primacy of honour. The very size and scale of the reunited Church, makes it difficult to assign any definite function for him to discharge. But as the occupant of the chief see of Christendom, which claims as its founders the two chief apostles, where both were martyred and their bones still lie; as the successor of a long line of Popes who during centuries have furnished some of the most distinguished figures in the West, men like Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Hildebrand, Innocent II, as the occupant of this see, the Pope has no rival, or competitor, in point of precedence. Though he might lose in Magisterium as compared with his present position, in dignity, in influence, in all that constitutes auctoritas in its fullest sense he would gain immeasurably.'10

He was clearly envisaging a reunion in which the Church of England would preserve a large degree of independent authority. A few Anglo Catholics went further and allowed the Bishop of Rome a primacy of leadership, more than a primacy of honour but less than a primacy of jurisdiction11. Although Kidd dismissed the basis of the Petrine texts as the basis of the primacy12.

Archbishop Ramsey referred to the issue on several occasions over the years. Writing in 1936 he maintained a primacy which expressed the Church's consensus of belief and acted in collegiality with the rest of the episcopacy might prove generally acceptable,

'A Papacy, which expresses the general mind of the Church in doctrine, and which focuses the organic unity of all the bishops and of the whole Church, might well claim to be a legitimate development in and through the Gospel,'

but he rejected a Papacy,

'which claims to be the source of truth over and above the general mind of the Church and which wields an authority such as depresses the due working of the other functions of the one body'13

This primacy in a reunited Church would be a primus inter paresas an organ of unity and authority14. Again the kind of primacy envisaged was very different from the current Roman primacy, the office would be shorn voluntarily of many of its powers. Ramsey's views did not change after Vatican II, for in a speech in New York in 1972 he stated a position entirely consonant with that of 1936,

'It seems to me entirely acceptable that the spirit of truth reigns in the Church, and that when the Church collectively is guided into a common mind, it is for the Pope, as the presiding genius, to declare what that mind is.'15

This would be consonant with his former statements accepting the Pope as primus inter pares, a presiding bishop but not infallible.

Generally it can be said that in the years which followed Vatican II the Church of England grew more accepting of the idea of future Papal Primacy. ?John Macquarrie suggested in 1966, that Papal Primacy within the episcopate was something which 'belonged to the fulness of the Church'16. This is an echo of E.L.Mascall who had earlier spoken of the Pope as of the bene esse of the Church, but not the esse. Mascall believed that if the Pope was of the esse of the Church, the Church would cease to exist as Popes died.17. A.M.Allchin, writing in the early days of ARCIC I, saw the Papal Primacy as essential, but again his conception was that of a primus inter pares among bishops, analogous to the role of Peter among the Apostles, functioning as an 'apostolic president' whose role was, 'to sustain, encourage, coordinate and unify,' the college of bishops, but definitely not a figure who was 'repressive' or showed 'anxious authoritarianism'.18 John Macquarrie insisted that the papal role would be vital in a united Church in providing 'dynamic leadership', but this leadership, 'can only come from a papacy truly integrated with the bishops and eventually with the whole people of God.19'

So the Anglican members of the Commission had a reasonable idea of what would be acceptable when they participated in the ARCIC discussions on Primacy. In the ARCIC I Statements on Authority the Papal Primacy was commended on three grounds - biblical, historical, and the need for a focus of leadership. The Roman Catholics participating had to try to form their statements on these three aspects in line with the 1870 Pastor Aeternus which stated,

'whoever asserts that blessed Peter's permanent successors do not have chief place in the whole Church, appointed by Christ the Lord, that is by divine right, or that the Bishop of Rome is not the successor of Peter in this Primacy, let him be anathema.'

The Commission encountered difficulties over the divine right of the Popes as Peter's successors when looking at the Petrine texts. Anglicans, and many Church of England examples can be cited, had traditionally refused to accept the much quoted Petrine biblical texts as indicating that Christ gave St.Peter a primacy of authority and jurisdiction over the apostles, not just of dignity and precedence; that this prerogative was intended for transmission by St.Peter to his successors; that St.Peter was Bishop of Rome and those who succeeded him in that office inherited this authority and jurisdiction over the whole Church.20 While some Anglo Catholics had accepted that Peter's role of leadership was transfered to the bishops in Apostolic Succession, had any members of the Church of England accepted the Roman interpretations it would have been difficult for them to remain in allegiance to the Church of England.

The Commission recognised that in the light of modern biblical exegesis, 'the New Testament contains no explicit record of a transmission of Peter's leadership'21, and that the New Testament texts do not offer a 'sufficient basis' for the claims of Roman Primacy22 although it is not contrary to the spirit of the New Testament. A view in fact accepted by many contemporary Roman Catholic biblical theologians23. The Observations of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith disputed this and reasserted a more definite statement of the transfer of primacy and jurisdiction from Christ to Peter24, and the Bishops' Conference for England and Wales criticised it for not giving enough importance to the universal primacy as intrinsic to the nature of the Church.25

This, of course, left the Church of England to decide like the rest of the Anglican Communion whether it could accept a Papal Primacy held by divine right from Christ via St.Peter. Once the issue of divine right is incontrovertibly asserted it is less easy to envisage the modified Papal Primacy of Church of England aspirations and inevitably concepts of jurisdiction and only limited collegiality at most form future expectations.

The second ground for Papal Primacy was based on the history of the Church, how from the second century onwards the bishopric of Rome had been held in increasing regard for its juridical primacy. It was suggested that Anglicans might be prepared to recognise,

'the development of the Roman primacy as a gift of divine providence - in other words, as an effect of the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Church'26.

While the historical evidence here is less disputable, certainly Evangelicals especially would be uncertain of accepting this development as the guidance of the Holy Spirit and therefore of accepting Papal Primacy. Rather they would be more inclined to assert the failings of Popes and the misuse of their authority in history as a counter argument.27.

The third argument is that, 'like any human community the Church requires a focus of leadership and unity'28, andtherefore, 'we... agree that a universal primacy will be needed in a reunited Church'29.

This appeared to agree with much that Church of England theologians had asserted over previous years. For Evangelicals among their number this layer of additional episcopal authority would not be acceptable. They refuted this by saying that the Church is not entirely a human community but rather, 'the divine society, a new international theocracy,' and although it may need pastors the New Testament does not show the necessity of a universal pastor30. It also regarded a marked episcopal authority as, 'a repudiation of the leadership of Jesus Christ'31. It is surprising that Evangelicals refused to accept the authority of a universal primate appointed from within the Church on such grounds, while never using similar arguments against the established status of the Church of England. This meant that they accepted the Sovereign as 'Supreme Governor' of the Church along with all the restrictions on its freedom imposed by Parliament, and the fact that until recently the Church had very little say in the appointment of its chief pastors.

Many members of the Church of England would be prepared however to accept the Statement of the Commission,

'a primacy of the Bishop of Rome is not contrary to the New Testament, and is part of God's purpose regarding the Church's unity and catholicity.'32

As will be shown subsequently, in the subsequent debate, their views on what should constitute this primacy were not substantially changed into a new willingness to accept the traditional Roman view of primacy still found in Observations. Instead they hoped for a future modification in the Roman conception of primacy considerably altering its nature. In fact Stephen Sykes described the ARCIC I description of Roman primacy as the adding of a, 'left wing interpretation of Roman doctrine... based on a minimal expression of the strong language of Vatican I,' together with a gloss from Vatican II', to 'a right wing Anglican interpretation,' while 'no attempt is made to argue from Anglican tradition as a whole.'33 Thus the whole exercise was unsatisfactory to almost all parties.

The semi-official Church of England response produced by the Board for Mission and Unity and composed of all shades of churchmanship, was fairly dismissive of the Petrine texts, and was not convinced by the ?historical arguments,

'some would feel that if the argument is to proceed on the basis of historical providence, more evidence must be provided that this development is in accordance with the inner and essential character of the Christian faith.'34

The basic principle of whether the universal primacy was the necessity claimed by the members of ARCIC has been questioned within the Church of England,

'the case for a universal primacy, and a primacy centered on Rome, has been assumed rather than made.'35

and the question of whether a,

'sign of universality and unity has, or has not, already beengiven to the Church in the Roman see,'36

was not at all decided by the ARCIC arguments. Even if this primacy was of a very different and much less juridical and authoritarian nature than the present Roman primacy and was,

'a presidency of love and an authority of service to unity'37... 'the question of what special responsibilities and duties such a person should have for keeping unity in truth and ordering all things in love is a more difficult matter'38

There was a constant fear that primatial authority could lead to an over centralisation of authority,

'where form and order may seem to be prized more than vitality, criticism and the risks of freedom; but it can often have the advantage that necessary and difficult decisions are easier to take and to implement.'39

The Evangelicals were more outspoken in their criticisms. The Church Society claimed that the acceptance of the bishop of Rome as a universal primate would, 'reverse the Reformation position because it put Scripture in a subordinate place of ?authority'40. The Church of England Evangelical Council, which also opposed almost any form of primacy on Scriptural grounds, believed that the ARCIC concepts if put into practice would lead to one of two results,

'The quasi-idealism suggested by the ARCIC ecclesiology will either bring about a neutered, ineffectual Roman primacy, or else it will produce an exclusivist, divisive, cruel, autocratic mode of primacy, the obverse of a fostering of koinonia.'41

They would be prepared only to accept a papacy that was equivalent to the position of the archbishop of Canterbury,

'not a legal jurisdiction but only a moral leadership born of history and affection'...'for the papacy to become acceptable to Anglicans, the Pope would have to renounce such titles as 'the Vicar of Jesus Christ, the successor of the Prince of the Apostles, the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church',

and, more important still,

'divest himself of monarchical authority and of the power and glory traditionally associated with his position'42.

The Church of England had one Conservative Evangelical member of ARCIC I, Julian Charley, who came under fire from his fellow Evangelicals and felt obliged to clarify his position. He insisted that the form of primacy he could accept would be heavily based on episcopal collegiality, and that in accepting the agreement he looked to a very different view of the primacy which he hoped would emerge at some future date43 when the Pope would be,

'a primus inter pares,' a first among equals, not the top of a pyramid. There is thus no rigid formula for the way that this primacy is to be exercised.'44

This was what he believed ARCIC envisaged and what he could support. He further expressed his dissent particular interpretations of from some of the ARCIC Statements concerning the role of St.Peter and the bishop of Rome as his successor45. He strongly attacked the comments in the Observations of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declaring that, 'if these were the official Roman attitude then ARCIC I had completely wasted its time.46.'

In anticipating the possible development of a new understanding of the primacy ARCIC I could look to the writings of contemporary Roman Catholic theologians who had also considered the future role of the Pope in the authority structure of the Church. Karl Rahner, writing in 1972, envisaged the problems of the acceptance of the 'Petrine ministry' by other Churches seeking unity with the Roman Catholic Church. He saw the solution in terms of all accepting certain functions for the papacy while,'allowing considerable autonomy to the constituent Churches.'47

Avery Dulles went further. He stressed the essential collegiality of the papal role, declaring that it should be expected for bishops to be summoned in time of crisis,

'The Pope, like a patriarch, is not a superbishop. He exercises a primacy not over bishops but rather among bishops and is, in that sense, a first among equals.'48

He even explored the possibility of a papacy not attached to the bishopric of Rome, maybe one that rotated among the major sees on an international basis.49

The Observations and the comments of the Bishops Council for England and Wales indicate that such ideas must be regarded very much as distant future possibilities, with no expectation of their reception at present.

Christopher Hill, who was secretary to the Anglican section of ARCIC I, seemed to believe that all the arguments over Petrine texts, the historical role of the Roman See, and the possible future changes in the Roman Conception of primacy advanced by many in the Church of England over the Authority Statements, were in fact evading the real issue. The Church of England was so unused to real authority in any form from its bishops, that it found it difficult to accept the possibility of accepting authority in a reunited Church. He spoke decisively when he pointed out,

'The big question which a universal primacy for the sake of faith and unity poses for Anglicanism is : 'where is our living and personal authority today?' It is all right looking at the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, the Articles of Religion, but where is the living voice of the Church today? This is a question on which most Anglicans have been rather cautious, for about the last 150 years. The crisis of authority was recognised by the Oxford Movement which said that ultimate authority in the Church could not be excercised by the Privy Council. But following the doctrinal and ritual court cases, Anglican authority simply gave up. Anarchy seemed preferable to litigation in the courts of the realm.'50

It could be argued that this attitude in the Church of England was behind the aspirations of many for a Papal Primacy that had only an authority of moral influence, like that of the archbishop of Canterbury, a bishop who was president of the college of bishops and who pronounced only in terms of agreements reached by his fellow bishops and whose authority was really theirs. It is probably fairer to the Church of England to accept that their uncertainty in accepting a juridical primacy with real authority was based on the fear that they would lose their sense of independence and be swallowed up in papal bureaucracy. There was also the fear that they might be forced to accept dogmas which were against the deeply held beliefs of many of their members who held them to be unscriptural, regarding the authority of Scripture as higher than that of any bishop, of the college of bishops, or any primatial figure. The dispersed authority of the Church of England could be regarded as largely moral and administrative and posed no threat to the varying theology of its members. Centralised authority based on a primatial figure with jurisdiction over his fellow bishops was quite another matter.


The Roman Catholic understanding of the jurisdiction of the Pope is his power of government, including the power of discipline and Magisterium, with its charism of infallibility, over every member of the Church clerical and lay. It was defined in the 1870 Pastor Aeternus and again stated in Lumen Gentium of Vatican II,

'For in virtue of his office, that is, as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme, and universal power over the Church. And he can always exercise this power freely.'51

The Observations of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith suggested that the Statements, while noting this power, did not state sufficiently clearly that the Pope had the power of jurisdiction not for historical or human reasons but as part of the divine law ("iure divino") which is intrinsic to the office of the Papacy.52

Authority I made only brief mention of Papal jurisdiction53, it was dealt with more fully in Authority II. It was clear from the Statements that it was an area of great concern to Anglicans and the members of the Commission tried to expound it in the most conciliatory fashion54. It was linked to the role of the primate as shepherd of the flock rather than as judge,

'It is not the arbitrary power of one man over the freedom of others, but a necessity if the bishop is to serve his flock as its shepherd.'


'the universal primate exercises the jurisdiction necessary for the fulfilment of his functions, the chief of which is to serve the faith and unity of the whole Church.'55

It was further stressed that the primate exercises his authority in collegial association with his brother bishops.56 It had moral limitations,

'Although the scope of universal jurisdiction cannot be precisely defined canonically, there are moral limits to its exercise'57

Church of England bishops have only been used to the occasional jurisdiction of Parliament, the archbishop of Canterbury has little primatial power or jurisdiction, only moral influence. The concept of jurisdiction in the papal sense was alien to their experience. Evangelicals have always rejected the concept of jurisdiction as legalism and a denial of the Gospel freedom. Anglo Catholics had traditionally regarded it as overwhelming and intrusive58. The statement about the moral limits on jurisdiction did not ?allay fears as it had little meaning, the only means of imposing moral limits on the jurisdiction of the Papal Primate was for that primate to impose limits on himself. If his jurisdiction were part of his divine right the college of bishops was powerless.

For the concept of Papal jurisdiction to be accepted at all in any form within the Church of England, there would need to be a change in the Thirty Nine Articles which Parliament had insisted on preserving as a basis of doctrine in the Worship and Doctrine Measure of 1974. Article 37 specifically denied any papal jurisdiction in England, 'The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.' Neither the bishops of the Church of England nor the General Synod have the authority by themselves to remove this clause.

The Statement that aroused greatest concern in its possible infringements of Church of England episcopal authority were those concerning the effect of jurisdiction over metropolitans and bishops,

'By virtue of his jurisdiction, given for the building up of the Church, the universal primate has the right in special cases to intervene in the affairs of a diocese and to receive appeals from the decision of a diocesan bishop.'59

Again attempts at reassurance were made, it was declared that there would be,

'a proper respect for their customs and traditions, provided these do not contradict the faith or disrupt communion'60

and it was further stated,

'Anglicans are entitled to assurance that acknowledgement of the universal primacy of the bishop of Rome would not involve the suppression of theological, liturgical and other traditions which they value or the imposition of wholly alien traditions.'61

These points were regarded as helpful but it was clearly felt from all sides that more concrete undertakings were needed. Lumen Gentium had shown that the faithful - bishops, clergy and laity - should respect and accept all Papal teaching even when that teaching was not given ex cathedra62. Such a pattern of behaviour was unknown in the Church of England where discussion and disagreement over matters of faith and morals was the norm. There was considerable anxiety that these freedoms would be lost in a reunited Church. The response of the Faith and Order Group was,

'we believe that consideration of universal oversight should be developed in closer connection with an emphasis on the right and sometimes duty of the community to engage in critical discussion of faith and morals.'63

The Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp, spoke for many in the General Synod when he said,

'here remains the issue of whether Anglican freedom, the potential for development in the Anglican tradition, would be eliminated in some future arrangements.'64

The ARCIC I Statements had left his opinion on this unaltered, for previously in a preparatory paper he wrote for ARCIC I in 1967, he had stated that Anglicans would not be able,

'to acknowledge that the Pope has by divine Commission the right to intervene with ordinary bishops in their pastoral office, or to supress local hierarchies.'65

Again the problem was not helped by the loose terminology of the Statement. It was said that customs and traditions would be respected if they did not contradict faith or disrupt Communion66, but it was not made clear who would be the judge of whether they did and who would take subsequent action, whether it would be the Pope, or more possibly the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. There would be the possibility that Church of England bishops would have to act in solidarity with Rome in attempting to suppress dissident theologians, as the German bishops had been pressurised to do over Hans K81ng in the 1980's. As has been shown 'dissident' theological opinions in the Church of England have been uttered by bishops on several occasions. The concern raised was whether the bishops would still have the discretion to let such views be promulgated freely by members of the Church of England, or would they be told by Roman authority to exercise their authority in suppression67. Nicholas Lash, a leading English Roman Catholic theologian, tried to reassure Anglicans on this issue, when he replied to Stephen Sykes' suggestion that Roman bureaucracy would predominate in any reunited and Anglican diversity would be stifled.68 He pointed out that though pressure might be put upon dissident theologians it was strongly resisted and people such as Gutierrez and K81ng had ?considerable influence on Roman Catholic thought and behaviour69.

This fear of Roman bureaucracy as a necessary adjunct of papal jurisdiction occurs time and time again among Church of England commentators on ARCIC. Archbishop Runcie acknowledged, that while he was prepared to accept the idea of 'a universal spokesman' but, 'day to day detailed dictation of the affairs of a particular Church from a centralised ecclesiastical bureaucracy' would not be acceptable.70 Runcie's predecessor at Canterbury, Donald Coggan, felt this even more strongly when he wrote,

'The freedom of the Church of England from a central authority, such as that of the Pope, is much to be treasured and guarded. It has its dangers, but they are far outweighed by its freedom. Lambeth is not the Vatican, nor should it ever become so!'71'

Practical authority in the Church of England was essentially of a diffuse nature, the majority of it being enshrined in Parliamentary statutes and some residing in General Synod and the bishops, but much residing in appeals to the interpretation of Scripture held by a particular group or in the individual's conscience. The acceptance of almost any form of juridical primacy would negate much of this. True the bishops would have more authority in their dioceses, but this authority would be essentially that of the chief bishop, the universal Papal Primate, unless radical changes in the primatial structure allowed far more responsibility for decision making to pass to the bishops acting collegially. Even in this circumstance those in the reunited Church would find it difficult not to accept the decisions of a universal episcopal authority. The nature of the Church of England would be conpletely transformed. The difficulties of those who could not accept the dogmas of a reunited Church for scriptural or intellectual reasons would be considerable.

A further issue raised by jurisdiction, though not mentioned in the Statements, was the appointment of bishops. In a reunited Church it would be hardly possible for the prime minister to continue to appoint bishops even with the aid of an advisory committee from the English Church. The choice of bishops almost certainly would be made by Rome onthe advice of the Apostolic Delegate, although possibly a disestablished Church with uniate status might be allowed to choose its own bishops. This area of difficulty seems to have featured little in subsequent debates on ARCIC I72.

Papal Jurisdiction seems to have aroused fears generally in the Church of England concerning centralised authority and the future loss of autonomy of its bishops73. Although the Church has its bureaucracy it has never been hierarchical in structure, the nominal figure of the Monarch and the reality of Parliamentary oversight have presided over a widely disseminated day to day authority and government. In a reunited Church where the Anglicans and Roman Catholics of England combined it is highly unlikely that former Church of England bishops would be able to act so much on their own discretion, but would be expected to become more figures of authority themselves as well as transmitters of Papal authority. This position might well be true, though possibly to a slightly lesser extent, if the position reached for the Church of England was that of a uniate Church.

There were, of course, the most Protestant members of the Church of England who would not be prepared to accept any form of Papal authority within the Church and have not hesitated to denounce the whole of the ARCIC discussions.74


The Church of England has long been used to a high degree of collegiality among its bishops, working together in the Convocations, the Church Assembly and the General Synod. The archbishop of Canterbury had very little practical authority over the other bishops. These had no sense of control over their activities except forthe limitations imposed on them by Parliament which meant they were circumscribed over worship, doctrine, and for practical reasons over discipline. The coming of the General Synod wrought some changes in that they could now be outvoted in the Church by clergy or laity. This really increased the collegiality of Church government to include all three groups. The bishops were also used to the larger collegiality of the Lambeth Conferences, a forum for discussion but whose decisions were not binding on any of its members.

Anglicans hoped that the ARCIC Authority Statements would assert the importance of collegiality in a reunited Church. In the years immediately preceding ARCIC D.W.Allen and A.M.Allchin made important contributions in this area. They saw the authority ?structure of the future as consisting of an episcopal college, corresponding to the college of the Apostles, with a primate corresponding to the role of Peter who would be the Bishop of Rome,

'the apostles of our Lord, however exactly we define that group, may fittingly be described as a "college", and that among them Peter had a position of pre-eminance. We accept too that the bishops form the college within the Church which corresponds today with the college of the apostles in the earliest days of the Church's history.... we accept wholeheartedly not only that the college of the apostles is in some sense continued in the college of the bishops, but that within the college there is and should be a primacy which will in some way correspond to the primacy of Peter; and that the primacy belongs by right to the bishop of Rome, who has been universally acknowledged in the history of the Church, as the first among bishops and the occupant of that see which has both Peter and Paul as its founders.'75

Such collegiality would contain necessary elements of diversity, 'of rites and customs, of theologies and interpretations'76. The primatial role would be essentially in the service of the bishops as Christ's authority was as one, 'who came as a servant'77

Such an exercise of collegiality would be far from current Roman Catholic practice. It would be difficult to see where concepts of Papal Jurisdiction and Infallibility would fit in, and the acceptance of different theologies would not be acceptable within the Roman concept of Magisterium. Allen and Allchin state that the primacy would have to be more charismatic and less hierarchical and juridical to encompass such collegiality78 so they clearly envisaged an idealised model for the future.

In a subsequent article A.M.Allchin described the Petrine ministry in the Church as shared by all the bishops, not just the Bishop of Rome,

'An apostolic and Petrine ministry exists in the Church. It is shared by the whole college of bishops. It is not the exclusive prerogative of any one See. To say anything else seems, from the Anglican point of view, to limit the universality of God's grace, and the freedom of the action of the Spirit.'79

The papal function is expressed as an 'apostolic president' of ?the college who would exercise,

'not a repressive or anxious authoritarianism, but the genuine authority of a father who causes and enables things to grow.'80

Although Vatican II had touched on the collegiality of bishops, it always spoke of them acting in unison with their head who holds juridical authority. Lumen Gentium speaks of the bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome as having, 'supreme and full authority over the universal Church', and the head the Pope who, 'by reason of his office...has full supreme and universal power over the whole Church.'81 As Jean Tillard, a Roman Catholic member of ARCIC I pointed out, Vatican II had not resolved the question of the relationship of Pope and bishops concerning authority,

'But Lumen Gentium never settled the difficult question of the boundaries in practice between the authority and power of the bishop of Rome and that of the other bishops : whether because of the 'minority's' influence, or from having too little time for its theology to ripen, or too little time generally, or from fear of provoking average Catholic opinion.'82

In the 1983 Code of Canon Law it was stated once again that only the Pope could decide if and when to call ecumenical councils, decide their business, preside over them personally or by deputy, decide when to suspend or dissolve them and promulgate their decrees.83 Though doubtless bishops could exert some moral pressure in certain circumstances. The whole issue of the relationship between the Papacy and the college of bishops in the Roman Catholic Church was discussed at length by Patrick Granfield in The Papacy in Transition.84 Vatican II did however express a higher doctrine of episcopal authority than would be accepted by many in the Church of England as hearing bishops or rejecting them was compared to hearing or rejecting Christ85, and their role as successors of the apostles was amply stated86.

Bishops within the Roman Catholic Church meet in episcopal conferences, usually comprising the bishops of each country. These may make decisions, by a two thirds majority, which must later be ratified by Rome. Such decisions, once ratified, are binding on the bishops, clergy and laity of that province. The Church of England has no comparable episcopal conference except possibly the House of Bishops in General Synod, whose resolutions can be vetoed by the clergy or laity, and which have no legal force without Parliamentary sanction, and whose Canons are not binding on the laity. Likewise the Lambeth Conferences cannot compare to the Vatican Councils in that their ?resolutions are not binding on any of their member Churches. Should the Church of England wish to adopt any Lambeth Conference resolutions, depending on the nature of the resolution, they might well find Parliamentary consent was again necessary. Cardinal Ratzinger was clearly uncertain about the potential authority of the LambethConferences, as he felt ARCIC should have explained, 'what sort of teaching authority and jurisdiction belongs or does not belong to the assembly of bishops'87.

The ARCIC Authority Statements did not really contribute greatly to the advance of a developed episcopal collegiality. They asserted that, 'A primate exercises his ministry not in isolation but in collegial association with his brother bishops.'88

The task of primacy is to express episcope and foster koinonia, 'by helping the bishops in their task of apostolic leadership.'89 Although Authority II stated of Church councils,

'In all these councils, whether of bishops only, or of bishops, clergy, and laity, decisions are authoritative when they express the common faith and mind of the Church.'90

It was clearly envisaging of councils presided over by the Papal Primate, or more local ones expressing the Magisterium in a relevant form, not expressing collegial authority over and above papal authority and thus not contradicting Lumen Gentium. The Elucidations did note the growing importance of regional primacies and presidencies, usually of an elective nature in both the Roman Catholic and Anglican Communions91. These could be taken as a sign of growing episcopal authority in collegiality on a small scale, but did not apply to the Church of England.

On the sharing of episcopal authority with the laity the Statements had little concrete to offer. It was indicated that,

'The perception of God's will for his Church does not only belong to the ordained ministry but is shared by all its members'92,

and that the consensus fidelium has a role in the preservation and declaration of the Magisterium,

'the bishops have a special responsibility for promoting truth and discerning error, and the interaction of bishop and people in its exercise is a safeguard of Christian life and fidelity'93

This did permit an increasing acceptance of the role of the laity in the authority structures of the Church. To this the Church of England response was,

'Such language implies that lay participation in the realm of authority is not simply confined to the participation of a few lay people in synodical bodies,'94

There was a little on Receptionism, the role of the faithful in doctrinal acceptance where it was suggested that their assent to doctrinal definitions was,

'the ultimate indication that the Church's authoritative decision in a matter of faith has been truly preserved from error by the Holy Spirit.'95.

This was however critised in the Observations of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who disputed that Receptionism had any part to play in the authority of dogma as being in direct contradiction of Pastor Aeternus and Lumen Gentium96.

Although the Statements carefully avoided terminology such as Ecclesia docens and Ecclesia discens, there was no mention of a role in authority sharing with the bishops for the laity such as they have contemporarily in General Synod where they can in practice veto the episcopal vote. For Roman Catholic theologians only foresaw an advisory role for the laity in the near future, as Karl Rahner envisaged in 1972,

'A more obvious participation of the laity is required, not only in the appointment or office holders, but also in other decision - making processes in the life of the Church. In such decisions it must be admitted that the bishop has a personal and inalienable right which is qualitatively different from any existing or conceivable right of other members of the Church to share in discussions, but this does not mean at all that priests and lay people can never have more than an advisory function in regard to these decisions. Such an assertion cannot really be deduced from the orthodox theology of the episcopal office and it also contradicts the actual practice of the Church throughout all the centuries up to the present time.'97

This echoes much of the teaching of Vatican II's Apostolicam Actuositem98 which spoke of the laity's increased participation in councils with the clergy and ?religious. Other Roman Catholic theologians were prepared to go much further. A committee of leading theologians, though of rather radical nature, including Yves Congar, Hans K81ng and Edward Schillebeeckx published a statement in 1978 shortly after the death of Paul VI in which they declared,

'A Pope of our time must be a true fellow bishop. He should be confident enough of his own office to risk sharing power with the other bishops, conducting himself not as a master over his servants but as a brother among his brethren.'99

Those of the Liberation Theology school were by 1981 looking for a radical reappraisal of the traditional Ecclesia docens versus Ecclesia discens. Leonardo Boff was asserting that the bishops, clergy and laity, the entire communitas fidelium, was both the Ecclesia docens and the Ecclesia discens which were both functions, rather than divisions, within the Church. This, he believed, was the true direction pointed to by Lumen Gentium (25,35)100. Although Boff's radicalism was not received without question in Rome his ideas have not been without influence in the Church.

Patrick Granfield likewise detailed ways in which the Papal Primate could endorse episcopal collegiality and authority by more frequent ecumenical councils, and by more authority for the Synods of bishops101. As he complained theology is one thing, practice is another, and showed that by 1981 little had been done to implement the collegiality nascent in the decrees of Vatican II,

'It is no secret that the collegial ideal taught by Vatican II has not yet been fully implemented.102 The adage "Authority never exercised is no authority at all", may apply in some sense to the present College of Bishops. Despite some efforts toward coresponsibility, Rome has been reluctant to share its power with the bishops... Without the support of the Holy See, collegiality will not be realised, for Roman traditions die slowly.'103

These comments from Roman Catholic theologians did little to encourage the Church of England that the hoped for reality of real collegial authority shared between Papal Primate and bishops was to be expected in a reunited Church at the present time. In fact these statements went some way to reasserting episcopal authority over its lay encroachments in Anglicanism by their reticence over the lay role in authority.

This would prove difficult in the Church of England for not only have the laity such a prominent role in General Synod, but through the Crown Appointments Committee they advise the prime minister (a lay person) on the choice of new bishops, they have an important role among the Church Commissioners who largely control the Church's finances, they are prominent on diocesan and deanery synods and in every aspect of the Church's life. Parliament, which has a veto on all Church legislation, is almost entirely composed of laity, in fact Anglican clergy are specifically excluded from the House of Commons. It would be difficult to envisage the laity willingly relinquishing these positions of power and influence to give the episcopate more authority.

In fact there is a positive theology of lay authority in the Church of England based on the 'Priesthood of all Believers' doctrine. These concepts were not only held by Evangelicals. Bishop John Robinson wrote in the 1960's,

'But the New Testament form of expression makes it quite clear that the priesthood and the royalty - the double authority, that is, of the Lord's anointed, the Christ - is vested in the people of God as a body. It is held only in solidum.',104

'I would suggest that any system of government that does not provide for proper representation of the laity is in fact defective. If it is true, as it obviously is, that the laity can err without the counsel of bishops and clergy, I think that it is also true that the bishops and clergy can err without the informed consent and understanding of the laity.'105

The Statements' teaching on such matters as Receptionism fell far short of Robinson's concepts.

As was indicated in the section on General Synod there has been a growing feeling among some bishops and theologians that too much authority has passed from bishops to clergy and laity.106 For some it could be suggested that General Synod itself is an obstacle to reunion with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as in this comment from D.W.Gundry,

'In practice the bishops have latterly become the servants of the General Synod. Roman Catholic and Orthodox observers are often amazed at this, and wonder how such bishops could fit easily into any reconciled Christendom.'107

The gap was enormous between a Church which practised restricted episcopal collegiality with one whose collegiality extended to clergy and laity and could be prepared to give them a dominating role.Diocesan Jurisdiction and Discipline

Authority I says of the juridical role of the bishop within his diocese,

'Since the bishop has general oversight of the community, he can require the compliance necessary to maintain faith and charity in its daily life'108

In the Elucidations it is said,

'those exercising episcope receive the grace appropriate to their calling and those for whom it is exercised must recognise and accept their God-given authority'109

Again in Authority II,

'decisions taken by the bishop in performing his task have an authority which the faithful in his diocese have a duty to accept'

Although this authority is described as not 'arbitrary power' but rather as the attitude of a shepherd to his flock110. Hugh Montefiore, commenting as Bishop of Birmingham, on these Statements, was unable to see how they could be implemented in the Church of England noting that he,

'does not know how compliance necessary to maintain charity can be exacted - those who attempt to restore charity in difficult pastoral situations know that it must be won and cannot be enforced... this is not Episcopacy as Anglicanism has received it.'111

He proceeded to give Anglican examples which designated the role of bishop as 'servant', 'leader' and 'teacher' rather than as an authority figure112.

Although the Statements avoided the terms 'hierarchical' authority, the Church of England regards the Roman Catholic episcopal system in this way and recent statements give credence to such a system of authority. Vatican II, referring to the respect due to bishops and especially to the Pope, declared,

'In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent of soul. This religious submission of will and of mind must be shown in a special way to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra. That is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme Magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgements made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.'113

Cardinal Ratzinger echoed this when commenting on ARCIC Statements. Ratzinger defined the office and authority of a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church as,

'someone who can express the voice of the universal Church in his teaching, or to put it another way; the episcopate is the supreme court in the Church as regards both teaching and decision, because it is the living voice of the universal Church. An individual bishop has full authority as pastor of a particular Church because, and in so far as, he represents the universal Church.'114

Such a style of bishops is unknown in the Church of England in the twentieth century. Bishops have a considerable moral influence in their diocese and, by being chairmen of many diocesan committees, can generally direct diocesan policy in the direction they wish it to go. However they face many restrictions on their diocesan authority, rights of patronage and Parson's Freehold mean that they cannot in all instances chose their clergy and once clergy have received a living their mobility is largely at their discretion rather than that of the bishop. In practical discipline they can do little to enforce doctrinal or ritual conformity, or even deal with clergy who carry out minimal duties, as the Church has exhibited a great reluctance to use ecclesiastical courts in such matters, with good reason. Many decisions are taken from the bishops' hands by acts of Parliament and the General Synod, even in the field of diocesan finance the Church Commissioners have much influence.

The Church of England has arrived at a position where decisions of major importance are arrived at by a consenus of bishops, clergy and laity with the possible restriction of refusal of Parliamentary endorsement. Its own Board for Mission and Unity indicated that the Church was,

'inclined to understand decision making by authority in terms of a developing dialogue, including criticism and response, rather than a monologue.'115

This is very different from the Roman Catholic position where the ordinary clergy and laity have very responsibility for in decision making in contrast to a Church where either the clergy or laity can outvote the bishops in General Synod.

Even though some bishops in the Church of England might believe they did not have enough authority in General Synod, indications are that few would wish to be in the position of their Roman counterparts. Kenneth Woolcombe, Bishop of Oxford 1971-78, felt that he could speak for his fellow bishops in saying,

'I can think of no bishop on the English bench who would covet the authority of a Roman Catholic bishop.'116

Lord Blanch, the former Archbishop of York, would go further and say,

'I would deeply regret "papalism" in the Church of England in so far as it would stifle honest discussion, threaten academic freedom and favour reactionary views.'117

It is difficult to see how the two concepts of the episcopal role could be reconciled in a reunited Church. Although General Synod has been criticised by some within the Church of England for usurping episcopal authority it would seem unlikely on present evidence that the Church of England clergy and laity would relinquish their authority entirely to the bishops and even if they did many legal Church and State barriers would have to removed to give bishops similar rights over their faithful to their Roman Catholic counterparts. Rather Anglican members of the Commission and others in both Churches seem to look to a future where clergy and laity have a big contribution to decision making118 and thus resolve the issue for a future reunited Church.


The question of Infallibility caused considerable problems in the ARCIC I discussions. The concept that the chief bishop of the Church could be preserved from fundamental error by the Holy Spirit when declaring a dogma which the whole Church would be expected to accept was totally alien to the whole Church of England approach to dogma and the role of episcopal authority.

The ARCIC Statements accepted that Anglicans found difficulty in accepting the Infallibility of Papal teaching authority especially because of its use for Marian dogmas119, and in referring to the Church's teaching authority and its preservation from fundamental error tries to avoid the use of the term as much as possible in an effort to eliminate misunderstandings120. They did maintain however that the universal primate can in certain circumstances take decisions apart from a synod and that these too will be preserved from error by the Holy Spirit,

'The Church's judgement is normally given through synodal decision, but at times a primate acting in communion with his fellow bishops may articulate the decision even apart from synod. Although responsibility for preserving the Church from fundamental error belongs to the whole Church, it may be exercised on its behalf by a universal primate.'121

This statement caused problems for the Evangelicals in the Church of England especially, but also for others, who questioned the grounds for believing any decision will be protected by the Holy Spirit. For those who see bishops as the bene esse of the Church supplying an historical continuity throughout the ages and an effective form of Church government, but little more, such a claim for an episcopal synod, let alone a universal primate, would be totally unacceptable.

Yet the ARCIC Statements were a mild restatement of Pastor Aeternus of Vatican I and its reassertion in Lumen Gentiumof Vatican II122. Lumen Gentium in fact showed that in some degree papal infallibility extended to the bishops in their authoritative proclamation of the Magisterium and that the Pope was sharing in a special way in the Infallibility of the Church,

'Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter's successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith and morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This ?authority is even more clearly defined when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith.'123

The Church of England had rejected the doctrine of Infallibility since its proclamation in 1870. It was unacceptable to them on many grounds such as, it appeared to leave out God's dealings with individuals through the Holy Spirit rather than by faith in the Roman Catholic Church, it meant Christian should accept the authority of the Church as the authority of God Himself, it was impossible to attach it to an office - the Papacy - irrespective of the character of the holder of that office, and it would be impossible to exercise it without error and lead to future irreformability124.

It also implied that Christ had conferred distinctive powers on St.Peter which could be handed down within the Church and that these were inherited by each Pope which was again rejected by the Church of England theologians who put a different interpretation on the Petrine biblical texts and early Church history. It would further necessitate that Communion with the See of Rome was essential to be in Communion with the Church.125

A.E.G.Rawlinson, Bishop of Derby, declared Infallibility to be against the whole nature of God's revelation,

'It would not be in accordance with the Divine method in revelation that God should issue from time to time "irreformable" statements of theological doctrine through the agency of anecclesiatic.'126

Those of a more Evangelical persuasion in the Church of England based their arguments against Infallibility on George Salmon's, The Infallibility of the Church127. Salmon was first answered by Roman Catholic theologians in The Irish Ecclesiastical Record of 1901-2, and when a revised and abridged edition of Salmon appeared in 1952 it was replied to by Christopher Butler128. Salmon's arguments consisted largely of listing the errors and failures in the Church from the earliest centuries, but particularly in the medieval and post Reformation Roman Catholic Church. More generally Evangelicals claimed that Infallibility was,

'a sign of weakness, a lack of confidence in the inherent cogency of what one has to say.'129

With such a background of theological utterance it was hardly suprising that the response to the ARCIC I Statement by Bishop Hugh Montefiore was that,

'The respect shown to bishops here, and in particular to the Roman Pontiff, is alien to the ethos of Anglicanism'130

and as the report of the Faith and Order Advisory Group also stated,

'The absence from Anglican experience for more than four hundred years of a universal primacy invested with even a qualified and conditional Sovereignty in teaching and in jurisdiction makes Anglicans inclined to understand decision making by authority in terms of developing dialogue, including criticism and response, rather than a monologue. We should have welcomed it if ARCIC had been able to say something about the openness of authority to constructive criticism.'131

This area is a real 'stumbling block' and it is difficult to see how a future ARCIC could do more than ARCIC I to resolve the difficulty. It is a concept of primatial and episcopal authority the acceptance of which would lead to a revolution in the Church of England which even those who are most enthusiastic for the reunion with Rome would almost certainly reject.

Church of England theologians have much preferred the term 'indefectible' to 'infallible', pointing out that the term 'indefectible' would be acceptable to most Anglicans. As John Macquarrie commented,

'By 'indefectibility' is meant the persistence of the Church in truth, the fact that it is constantly recalled to truth from whatever error may have overtaken it. It has this indefectibility because the truth of Jesus Christ persists in it and finally because God himself has called it into being for his own purposes. The indefectibility of the Church is really a corollary of belief in God. We could all come together in indefectability, but infallibility, in the narrow sense, remains a barrier.'132

It agreed with the Church of England concepts of episcopal authority that there should be freedom to explore doctrine unfettered by ?episcopal condemnation, in the belief that the Holy Spirit would preserve the Church long term from the errors into which it would inevitably wander during the course of its explorations.

The concept that indefectibility could actually replace Infallibility in ecclesiastical terminology has not met with much response from the Roman Catholic Church, only being espoused by such radical theologians as Hans K81ng133. It could not be accepted as a replacement term as indefectcbility implies the correction of the Church's errors in the long term, whereas Infallibility implies that the Church would be preserved from error in both the long and short term by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The ARCIC Statement at one point used the term 'indefectible'134 when it stated that, 'the Church, in spite of its failures, can be described as indefectible.' Here it was almost certainly referring to the many individual errors in day to day teaching and judgement of the bishops and clergy throughout the ages, rather than to the actual deposit of faith and papal pronouncements which would be covered by the term Infallibility. The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith were concerned however at its use of the word, lest it be misunderstood and given wider application135

Karl Rahner expressed the opinion in the early 1970's that he believed it to be unlikely that any really new definitions would be produced by the Church's teaching authority. He saw for Infallibility a continuing role for the future in the protection of the deposit of faith by papal and episcopal authority,

'The solemn delimitation of the ancient body of dogma to protect it against interpretations which would eliminate it, is still today an abiding task of the infallible teaching of the Church.'136

The ARCIC I Statements seemed to agree with this role for Infallibility but this did little to quiet the fears of the Church of England that episcopal authority would be forced to demand conformity to dogmatic pronouncement, which even in restricted forms, they would find unacceptable.

Magisterium of the Episcopate

The Statements envisaged bishops in a reunited Church having similar functions to those current in the Roman Catholic Church for upholding the traditional formulations of the Faith137. Although they agreed that the Church must restate its teaching to meet current needs, such restatements should not contradict original ?definitions138. The bishops had a direct charge laid upon them 'for promoting truth and discerning error139.'

A good definition of a Roman Catholic bishop's role vis-85-vis Magisterium was given by Engelbert Gutwenger in 1970,

'The primary role of the diocesan bishop is to bear witness to the gospel, and in the exercise of this role he shares in the ordinary Magisterium. For the rest his teaching office is analogous to the authentic teaching office of the Pope, though restricted to within the confines of his diocese. The norms that otherwise apply to the Magisterium authenticum are, mutatis mutandis, applicable also to official rulings made by a diocesan bishop.'140

This would mean that bishops were expected to uphold both the Magisterium ordinarium, the deposit of faith held universally within the Church, and the Magisterium authenticum which covers non-infallible but official instructions dealing with doctrine that effect the whole Church such as Papal Encyclicals. If Papal Supremacy were accepted then the acceptance of the Magisterium authenticum would logically follow, and with it a considerable body of moral teaching as well as other doctrine.

This could cause many difficulties for Church of England bishops. Although the Church of England has claimed Magisterium in the 20th Article of the Thirty Nine Articles, by which the Church was declared to have the power to decree rites and ceremonies, and authority in controversies of faith. Canon A5 of the revised Canon Law stated that the doctrine of the Church of England was based on Holy Scripture, the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church, the Thirty Nine Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. Bishops at their consecration were called on, 'to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine', and clergy making their oath of canonical obedience testified to the authority of their bishop in spiritual matters. Yet, as shown in the chapter on Magisterium, this authority has been little exercised over the period and wide divergencies of doctrine have developed which have been allowed to coexist even in the formulations of the Church's own Doctrine Commissions. The unity of the Church has made such comprehensive attitudes essential. Even the Declaration of Assent made by clergy at various stages in their professional life has been modified and contains, as Stephen Sykes has shown a considerable degree of ambiguity.141

The Church of England has not been free to formulate its Magisterium because of its establishment. Even as recently as the passing of the Worship and Doctrine Measure of 1974 Parliament insisted on the reassertion that the Book of Common Prayer, Thirty Nine Articles and the Ordinal be kept as doctrinal norms. General Synod operates under many restrictions as Graham Leonard, Bishop of London, pointed out quoting from Halsbury's Ecclesiastical ?Law,

'Synodical government is not to be interpreted as meaning that all the functions of Church government are concentrated in or subject to the General Synod; account must be taken not only of the royal supremacy, and the ultimate legislative authority of Parliament, but also of the authority and powers exercised independently of the General Synod by the bishops, the ecclesiastical Courts and the Church Commissioners.'142

Much of Roman Catholic moral teaching, reckoned as part of the Magisterium, would cause especial difficulties as Church of England Canon Law cannot contradict Statute Law. This would make it impossible to impose meaningful sanctions over such matters as divorce and remarriage, and abortion. Unless Canon Law were removed from State jurisdiction the situation would become untenable.143

Bishop John Moorman and Professor Howard Root in their paper presented to ARCIC I's preparatory Commission made it clear that they could only envisage unity betweeen the Churches if a large degree of diversity were to be permitted.144 This diversity would, for them, have to include the acceptance of considerable variance in the interpretation of Marian doctrine and of moral issues such as birth control145, to give but two examples.

So there would be two main difficulties. Firstly, some teachings of both Magisterium ordinarium and the Magisterium authenticum would be in direct conflict with what the Church of England is allowed by law to teach as its official doctrine. Secondly, that there is no recent precedent in the Church for the bishops to demand conformity to a basic collection of doctrinal and moral teaching. None of the presentations of the Doctrine Commissions has been declared official teaching, indeed this would be impossible as each has held within itself a diversity of concepts. The Church of England's own Board for Mission and Unity declared,

'We can freely acknowledge that Anglicans easily convey the impression that in their view nothing of fundamental dogma is ever really decided, and that comprehensiveness has no definable bounds.'146

The Statements refer to reformulations of doctrine in line with current needs, a concept upheld by the Lambeth Conference of 1968 in the midst of the Debate about God, and fully endorsed by ?English bishops,

'We recall that beneficial reformulations of the Christian faith have often arisen out of conflicts, and we are confident that out of this present travail new understanding of the Christian faith will similarly be born. We also remember that the Church and Christian tradition cannot be true to themselves if they are static.'147

The restatements or reformulations found in the Archbishops' Doctrinal Commission reports alone would not be acceptable as valid by the current Sacred Congregation of the Faith or any other body to which the Pope was likely to entrust any of the Church's Magisterium at the present time.

Within the Roman Catholic Church, contemporary with the ARCIC I discussions, there were movements which would encourage restatement of doctrine. In the 1973 declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Mysterium Ecclesiae there was a stated awareness that dogmas were dependent on historical conditioning and are influenced by presuppositions, concerned with solution of specific problems, contemporary thought and vocabulary. Such a recognition would help the process of restatement.

Avery Dulles said of Mysterium Ecclesiae that,

'By acknowledging the need for constant reinterpretation of the Church's dogmatic heritage, the situationist theory of dogma, in my judgement, liberates the present generation from undue servitude to the past. It allows the past formulations to function as guidelines while leaving ample room for creativity in the proposal of the Christian message for today.'148

This would lead to restatement of recognised beliefs but not to fundamental changes in the underlying nature of those beliefs, neither would it remove the need for a body of dogma which the bishops would be expected to uphold within the Church by their authority.

Edward Yarnold, a Roman Catholic member of ARCIC, discussed the problems of doctrinal diversity in his book In Search of Unity149. Although stressing the importance of doctrinal development and that doctrines which are held to be part of the Faith can differ in degree he was finally forced to the question, 'How can one distinguish between legitimate diversity and a fragmented indifferentism?' This he answered by listing the, 'cohesive factors which prevent the Church from disintegrating into a shapeless multiformity'. For Roman Catholic doctrine and belief this must include the, ?'worldwide body of those in communion with the Bishop of Rome',150 From which he drews the inevitable conclusion that in any form of reunited Church, bishops would be expected to uphold those beliefs which would be regarded as acceptable expressions of faith to all in communion with Rome. This would impose limits on the comprehensiveness of belief generally held to be acceptable within the Church of England.

On Roman attitudes to Magisterium within Anglicanism there has not been a great change within the period of this study. Congar, in the less ecumenical 1930's stated,

'They are proudly designated "the glorious comprehensiveness of the Church of England" and a virtue is made of what we can only regard as a failing which neither St.Augustine nor St.Leo nor St.Athanasius would have excused for one moment.'151

Cardinal Willebrands looked at Authority I in 1979 and questioned,

'Can the Anglican tradition today conceive its comprehensiveness in such a way that it does not deny the need for a Magisterium, and can it conceive the latter as other than a mere advisory function carrying a merely human authority?'152

Reactions from the Church of England have been expressed in two different ways. Over and again concern has been raised about authoritarian and autocratic attitudes felt to be shown by Rome in the treatment of such theologians as K81ng, Schillebeeckx and Boff. Stephen Sykes made a valid point when he argued that over the last 150 years the Church of England had been moving further and further in the direction of deconfessionalisation. The logical consequence of acceptance of the ARCIC Statements would be a reversal of the process as it would involve the acceptance by the Church of England of numerous Roman Catholic definitions and declarations.153

Both in the General Synod debates and in the numerous articles and pamphlets produced following the ARCIC statements on Authority concern has been repeatedly voiced lest the Church of England lose the freedom of expression of belief it has held for so many years.154

Without radical legal changes this reconfessionalisation would be impossible for the bishops of the Church of England to enforce, the State controls and the mechanism of General Synod have left them with insufficient authority even if they wished to do so.

The other reaction in the Church of England came from its Evangelical wing which has gained increasing support in the last twenty years. They felt unable to accept portions of the Statements especially concerning Papal Primacy and Infallibility and wished to uphold the doctrinal positions of the Book of Common Prayer, the Thirty Nine Articles and the Ordinal.155 Unless Parliament were to change the law which makes these formularies still the basis for the official doctrine of the Church of England, the bishops would be powerless to introduce the Authority Statements as official teaching even witha hundred per cent support from the clergy and laity of the General Synod.

The Observations on the final report of ARCIC of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith156 drew attention to the fact that the Statements in places contradicted the Thirty Nine Articles, Book of Common Prayer and Ordinal, yet the current status of these remained unclear157. No doubt the Commission as a whole was not greatly concerned about this difficulty as only for the Church of England do they have current legal status which the Church itself is powerless to alter.

Although the Statements showed a considerable agreement over points of doctrine there were still major areas such as Eucharistic Adoration, Infallibility and the Marian doctrines, where agreement could not be reached. The caution with which some sections of the Church of England greeted the findings of the Commission indicated that a common Magisterium must be a long way in the future. Even so it has focused attention on the problems of the bishops in their exercise of a definitive Magisterium in the Church.

Church and State

The unique position of the Church of England within the Anglican Communion because of its established status cannot be over emphasised. As each aspect of the ARCIC Statements on Authority has been considered it can be seen that episcopal willingness and authority, indeed General Synod willingness and authority, is restricted by past acts of Parliament, and by the need for continuing Parliamentary assent to all its members and Royal Assent to its Canons and choice of senior Church appointments. Its freedom in the fields of doctrine, worship and discipline is severely curtailed.

The members of the ARCIC Commission did not refer to these ?difficulties as they were preparing the Statements for the Anglican Communion as a whole, but the specific difficulties of the Church of England did not escape some Roman Catholic commentators. The Sacred Congregation of the Faith in its Observations limited its comments to the almost complete omission of any reference to the Book of Common Prayer, Thirty Nine Articles and Ordinal which are still legally binding as a base for Church of England teaching158. Cardinal Ratzinger went further and asked,

'Should one not also have gone into the question of the relation between political and ecclesiastical authority in the Church which first touches the nerve point of the question of the Catholicity of the Church or the relation between local and universal Church? In 1640 Parliament decided as follows : "Convocation has no power to enact canons or constitutions concerning matters of doctrine or discipline, or in any other way to bind clergy or religious without the consent of Parliament." That may be obsolete, but it came to mind again in 1927 when on two occasions a version of the Book of Common Prayer was rejected by Parliament. However that may be, these concrete questions should have been clarified and answered if a viable agreement about "Authority in the Church" was the aim in view. For it is of the essence of authority to be concrete, consequently one can only do justice to the theme by naming the actual authorities and clarifying their relative position on both sides instead of just theorising about authority.'159

Ratzinger pointed that the position of Church and State in the Church of England must be clarified and not evaded to bring real progress towards unity,

'In order to reach a viable unity, the form of authority in the Anglican Church must be spelt out with complete realism, and there must be no shirking the question of the relationship between episcopal and political authority'160

Likewise he noted that ARCIC defended itself against accusations of contradicting Article 21 of the Thirty Nine Articles, but nowhere did it explain, 'what force these Articles and the Book of Common Prayer actually have.'161

The members of ARCIC I did realise that their conclusions would bring about changes in the Church-State relationship should these conclusions be widely accepted and bring about real progress to reunion.162

Although the issue of the ordination of women increasingly clouded unity discussions in the 1980's, the problems concerning any reunification scheme between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church and its implications for the relationship of Church and State have not been totally ignored. In asignificant book by Peter Cornwell in 1983 (in a series to commemorate 150 years of the Oxford Movement and the issues for which it stood) entitled Church and Nation he suggested that, after the breakdown of the Anglican-Methodist Unity Scheme and the statements produced by ARCIC I, the Church of England should decide what kind of unity it wanted for the future. While ultimate authority over the Church lay with Parliament rather than with the bishops and General Synod only a federation with other Churches could be considered,

'We need to be clear with ourselves and with our ecumenicalpartners what sort of unity we are really after. If it is of a federalist type as suggested by a covenanting scheme, then establishment could be encompassed, but if it is organic unity, the marriage of Churches, then the Church-State ties will have to be broken. Nobody can imagine that Roman Catholics will accept the Sovereign as Supreme Governor of the Church or that Free Churchmen will acquiesce in even the lingering remnants of Parliamentary control of worship and doctrine, let alone the Crown appointment of chief pastors. Which path we choose will be decisive for establishment, but choose we must.'163

Shortly after publishing the book Peter Cornwell, who had engaged in the Church-State debate for many years, felt no solution to be forthcoming and left the Church of England for the Roman Catholic Church.

Other Church of England commentators on ARCIC I also raised the issue. The Board for Mission and Unity in its appraisal indicated that more consideration should be given to the authority of Parliament vis-85-vis the Convocations of Canterbury and York and the General Synod, and of royal authority over appointments and canonical legislation164. Their words were very cautious calling for consideration rather than change and there were no moves in General Synod to call for more freedom for the Church under Archbishop Runcie in the way there had been in the 1970's while Archbishop Ramsey's influence prevailed. Bishop Hugh Montefiore was almost unique among bishops in his comments that,

'The Parliamentary veto, originally intended as a safeguard for the laity, has become increasingly out of date with the advent of synodical government.'165

Yet he was prepared to tolerate Parliament's position vis-85-vis the Church unless its veto should,

'affect any vital part of the Church of England's life or doctrine, then the Church should demand disestablishment'166

The legal implications of the reunification with Rome were studied in the 1970's by a working party under Dr.Margaret Hewitt with particular reference to the Act of Settlement167.

Judge Quentin Edwards, the Chancellor of the dioceses of Blackburn and Chichester, published an important article in 1988 on, 'The Canon Law of the Church of England, its implications for unity'168 in which he detailed all the legal obstacles which would face the Church of England if it wanted to reunite with the Roman Catholic Church. He listed a formidable collection of major acts of the British Constitution which would need amendment or repeal169 and commented that,

'any amendment to the above Acts would inevitably involve Parliament in a complex and possibly hazardous legal process170'.171

Whereas in other areas of the Anglican Communion bishops have the authority together with their synods, in which they generally have considerable influence, to bring about the reunification of their Churches with the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of England bishops have no such authority. The Church of England bishops, if they thought it right, could try to get a measure for reunification through General Synod, where it could be vetoed by the House of Clergy or Laity. Such a measure would then have to be accepted by Parliament which would in turn have to commit itself to the subsequent major legislative changes that would follow.


When General Synod discussed the ARCIC I Statements on Authority in 1986, they responded not in terms that the findings were, 'consonant in substance with the faith of the Church of England as for the ARCIC Statements on the Eucharist and the Ministry', but rather that they,

'record sufficient convergence on the nature of authority for our communions together to explore further the structures of authority and the exercise of collegiality and primacy in the Church.172

They thereby recognised that here was an area of greater disunity. The motion was carried in all three Houses but the votes were far from being unanimous.173 They detailed three main areas where they were unsatisfied with the Statements and where there was believed to be a need for much future discussion,

1) 'a proper recognition of the place of the laity in the decision making processes and ministry of the whole body of the Church.'

2) 'a more adequate treatment of the Roman Catholic Marian and Infallibility dogmas'.

3) 'further attention to the case for a universal primacy necessarily based at Rome, including the official Roman Catholic claim that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth'174

None of these was a minor point, and the disquiet echoed in the debate suggested they felt the Church of England members of ARCIC I might have conceded too much for the bulk of the Church. It was interesting that the Statements received most support in the House of Bishops who gained most in status in the Statements. The Lambeth Conference of 1988 was to express similar areas of concern to General Synod and clearly regarded the Statements as a starting point and not a real basis for reunion discussions.175

The basic difficulty arose from the different approaches to the questions of Church unity, authority and Magisterium and other episcopal functions held by the two Churches. The Roman Catholics approached unity in terms of faith and order wanting the Anglican Church generally to embrace their teachings in a restated form and to reunite the Church under the authority of a Papal Primate and episcopate with real jurisdiction, albeit of strongly pastoral nature, over the clergy and laity. The Church of England saw reunification in terms of an organisational structure which could accomodate a wide range of beliefs and customs, where episcopal collegiate authority largely replaced papal authority, the Pope functioning as president of the college of bishops but not acting independently from them. They hoped too that in some degree their concepts of dispersed authority would be accepted so clergy and laity would share ?authority with the episcopate. In all the discussions on ARCIC I on Authority a real fear was expressed that in a reunited Church they would be pressurised to conform to Roman norms and be dominated by Roman bureaucracy and jurisdiction. This fear was recognised by senior Roman Catholic clergy and expressed by such figures as Cardinal Willebrands.176

From the Roman side too there were problems. The complexities of authority in Anglicanism were such a contrast to their hierarchical structure that they found them difficult to understand. Cardinal Ratzinger said of the Authority Statements that they, 'left one completely in the dark as to the concrete structure of authority in the Anglican Communion'177.

The Statements concentrated on the difficulties Anglicans had with Roman authority to the exclusion of the problems Rome had with Anglican authority. This added to Anglican fears that reunion would be almost entirely based on Roman systems.178

With the Church of England Rome had particular difficulties. Its relationship to the Sovereign and Parliament because of its established status detracted considerably from the authority of its bishops. Considerable legal changes would have to take place before any reunion and the bishops were limited in their power to bring these about. Even the most 'advanced' Roman theologians could scarcely envisage such a devolution of episcopal authority to the clergy and laity as had taken place in General Synod. Neither could a Church with a fairly rigid Magisterium, implemented by its bishops reconcile itself easily to a Church in which the Magisterium was very limited, and a considerable and contradictory range of beliefs and practices flourished not only among its theologians but in adjacent parishes all with the acceptance of its episcopate.

The final paragraph of the second Statement on Authority looked forward to changes in attitudes coming in future years within both Churches, especially in areas of controversy,

'contemporary discussions of conciliarity and primacy in both communions indicate that we are not dealing with positions destined to remain static.'179

Not just the 'dissident' voices, but theologians of the status of Karl Rahner had been looking forward to this in the years of ARCIC I. In 1972 Rahner had envisaged the Roman Catholic Church of the future where authority was the fruit of mutual assent of clergy and ?laity, not a hierarchical episcopal authority,

'this official authority will be really effective in future by virtue of the obedience of faith which believers give to Jesus Christ and his message. It will no longer be effective in virtue of powers over society belonging to office in advance of this obedience of faith, as it is today but to a constantly diminishing extent.

In this sense the authority of office will be an authority of freedom. In practice, in future, the office holders will have as much effective authority - not merely a theoretical claim to authority - as is conceded to them freely by believers through their faith.'180

Those in the Church of England could compare this vision to the role of a more representative General Synod in a disestablished Church of England.

Other Roman theologians could explore the possibility of clergy and laity having a large voice in the future election of their own bishops.181 Again this aspiration could be compared to the changes in the methods of choosing bishops in the Church of England since the 1970's.

ARCIC I Statements on Authority still showed a wide gulf between the position of the two Churches on all aspects of authority, on episcopal authority as embodied in the Bishop of Rome and episcopal authority at collegiate and diocesan levels. If the ideas of contemporary Roman Catholic theologians took root, and the Church of England could be released from the legal complexities of her established position, there are many positive concepts for the future including new mutually acceptable forms of episcopal authority.

Footnotes on the 1991 Vatican Statement on ARCIC I

In early December 1991 the official response of the Vatican to ARCIC I finally appeared182. On the subject of authority it was far less encouraging than on the subjects of Eucharist and Ministry. The ARCIC I Statement on Authority had not suggested that anything like full agreement had been reached. The Vatican Statement saw even this partial agreement only in terms of first steps, pointing especially to the Final Report's own statements on Papal Infallibility183. The Vatican too noted the Anglican reservations on the Petrine ministry184. Concerning the magisterial authority of the Church the Vatican felt that there had been too much emphasis on the "assent of the faithful" in recognising that the doctrinal decision of the Pope or an ecumenical council was immune from error.It stated rather that,

'For the Catholic Church, the certain knowledge of any defined truth is not guaranteed by the reception of the faithful that such is in conformity with Scripture and tradition, but by the authoritative definition itself on the part of the authentic teachers.185'

This suggests that the Vatican believed the Roman Catholic members of the Commission had erred somewhat in the direction of undermining the supreme authority of the Pope and the collective bishops of the Church.

Likewise the Vatican Statement indicated that insufficient care had been taken when referring to the role of Peter as already foreseenduring Christ's life on earth and its implications for the future role of the universal primacy186, reaffirming that,

'The Catholic Church sees rather in the primacy of the successors of Peter something positively intended by God and deriving from the will and institution of Jesus Christ.'

Further the Vatican statement critised the Final Report's words on the Apostolic Succession187 as aninsufficient affirmation that, 'the unbroken lines of episcopal succession and apostolic teaching stand in causal relationship to each other', as found in Lumen Gentium, 20188.

Reaction to the Vatican's comments within the Church of England were predictable. Rome's conservative attitude to doctrinal reformulation was not wholly unexpected. Given the history of authority, and especially episcopal authority, this century it would be almost impossible for the Church to assent fully to the Roman interpretations. Christopher Hill suggested that the response of some would be puzzlement and sadness, but for others there would be a degree of satisfaction that organic unity was clearly not possible in the near future189. He further critized the Vatican for 'testing' the ARCIC statements against formularies of the Roman Church made since it parted company with the Church of England, believing the original statements of Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey that the dialogue should be, 'founded upon the Gospels and on the ancient common tradition190' should be taken literally. Yet surely this is an unrealistic comment. It would be impossible for Rome to neglect the doctrinal development of the last four hundred and fifty years, the whole Roman Catholic teaching on Tradition would render this out of the question.

The Vatican made it clear that they were anxious for the dialogue ?to continue. Hill thought the way forward is a discussion on ecumenical method before further questions of authority can be discussed191. David Edwards's approach, which would surely be that of many in the Church of England, was to suggest that both Churches stop thinking in terms of organic unity, but rather in terms of 'reconciled diversity'192. It is hard to see what this would mean in practice, beyond a high degree of fraternalism and joint social action. With such widely opposing positions on authority, and such little expectation of Church of England conformity to Roman Catholic teaching, this would seem to be the best prospect.

The Roman Catholic response in England has also been predictable. The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales issued a statement recognising the need for clarity on the points which the Vatican had raised and maintaining its commitment to continuing dialogue. Edward Yarnold, a member of the ARCIC I, gave an early contribution to the debate,193 pointing out the positive aspects of the Vatican statement. However he also expressed doubts as to whether any formula of faith even within the Roman Catholic Church, let alone one agreed between the Roman Catholic Church and the various Anglican Churches, would ever be interpreted in the same way by all who subscribed to it. He implied that the Vatican was being rather over optimistic in what it hoped might be achieved in ecumenical dialogue. Yarnold's conclusions however are not those of Edwards, that the future must hold a growing together in action but an acceptance of the impossibility of the organic unity the Vatican seems to envisage. Rather Yarnold sees the growing together in this way as an essential prelude to that unity which will be attained by stages194.

If the differences in episcopal authority seemed overwhelming at the time of the Final Report of 1981, they must be even more so by the time of this Vatican statement of 1991 when the Church of England was even more clearly divided over the question of the ordination of women. If this is accepted by the General Synod in November 1992, episcopal authority in the sense of the influence of the voting dictates of the House of Bishops will be upheld, but at the cost of a considerable number of clergy completely rejecting the bishops' authority and refusing to accept the decision. The alternative is for the vote of the House of Bishops to be vetoed in practice by one or both of the Houses of Clergy and Laity, resulting in what the bishops believe to be an essential development in doctrine and Tradition being rejected by their confederates in the Church's decision making body.

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1) Chronicles of the Convocation of Canterbury, 5 & 6 Geo.V, p.19

2) See B.Pawley, Rome and Canterbury, (1974), p.281ff and G.Bell, Randall Davidson,(1935), p.1254ff

3) Anglican - Roman Catholic International Commission. The Final Report, Windsor, September 1981, (1982) pp.49-98. The Authority statements will hereafter be referred to as Authority I, Authority II and Elucidations.

4) J.C.H.Aveling, D.M.Loades and H.R.McAdoo, Rome and the Anglicans, Berlin and New York (1982), p.243ff gives a good account of the preparations and discussions.

5) Final Report, p.3

6) Henry Chadwick, in a private letter, expressed this clearly when he wrote 'The Commission's goal was to discover if Communion can be re-established, Communion with no qualifying epithet.... But it was not ARCIC I's task to propose a kind of ecclesiastical ?Treaty of Rome'.

7) Of the Church, 2nd edn. 1628, p.518

8) A Relation of the Conference between William Laud and Mr. Fisher the Jesuit, (1639), Section XX

9) Works, Vol.IV, pp.332-336

10) C.P.S.Clarke, The Via Media, (1937), p.122

11) e.g. B.J.Kidd, The Roman Primacy to A.D.461, (1936), p.155

12) Ibid.p.154f

13) A.M.Ramsey, The Gospel and the Catholic Church, 1st edn. (1936), p.65

14) Ibid.p.227

15) Pilgrim from Canterbury Visits Friars at Graymoor, Garrison : New York (1972), p.19

16) J.Macquarrie, Principles of Christian Theology, NewYork, (1966), pp.369-371

17) E.L.Mascall, The Recovery of Unity, (1958), p.520

18) A.M.Allchin, 'Can the Petrine Office be meaningful in the Church? An Anglican Reply', in Concilium, vol.4. no.7, April 1971, pp.130-131

19) John Macquarrie, Christian Unity and Christian Diversity, (1975), p.99

20) See the Anglo Catholics Eric Milner-White and Wilfred Knox, One God and Father of All, (1929), p.56ff See also such books as K.N.Ross, Why I am not a Roman Catholic, (1953), p.46ff. H.Benedict Green, The Gospel According to Matthew, OUP (1975) note C.p.242ff. For an Evangelical rendition see W.H.Griffith ?Thomas, The Principles of Theology, (1930), in its revised edn. by J.I.Packer (1978), p.274. Many Evangelical arguments are based on George Salmon, The Infallibility of the Church,(1888), rev.edn.(1952), Lecture XVIII

21) Authority II, 6

22) Authority II, 7

23) See Heinrich Fries and Karl Rahner's commentary on the Final Report in The Tablet, 6th November, 1982, p.1123

24) Observations, p.7

25) Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Response to the Final report of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, (1985),1540

26) Authority II, 1B

27) John Stott and the Church of England Evangelical Council, Evangelical Anglicans and the ARCIC Final Report, ?Bramcote, Notts (1982), p.12

28) Authority II, 7

29) Authority II, 9

30) John Stott and the Church of England Evangelical Council, Evangelical Anglicans and the ARCIC Final Report, Bramcote, Notts (1982) p.12

31) Ibid.p.13

32) Authority II, 7

33) Stephen Sykes, 'Authority in Anglicanism, Again', in The Future of Anglican Theology, ed.M.Darrol Bryant, New York and Toronto (1984), p.181

34) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.92

35) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC. A Report of the Board for Mission and Unity of the General Synod, (1985), p.92

36) Ibid.p.93

37) Ibid.p.92

38) Ibid. p.93

39) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC (1985), p.85

40) ARCIC and the Church of England, published by the Church Society (1985) p.3. A similar position had been expressed in An Open Letter on relations between the Anglican Churches and the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Old Catholic and Ancient Oriental Churches, published in conjunction with the Church of England Evangelical Council, Oxford (1977),p.3

41) Evangelical Anglicans and the ARCIC Final Report : An Assessment and Critique, Nottingham (1982), produced by John Stott and others for the Church of England Evangelical Council, p.30

42) Evangelical Anglicans and the ARCIC Final Report, p.133 A similar position was put forward by a group of 511 Evangelicals from 35 countries, including 36 bishops, to the 1988 Lambeth Conference which discussed the report see, ARCIC : An Open Letter to the Anglican Episcopate, (1988) Bramcote : Notts, pp.10-11. This position was clarified in correspondence with the author of this thesis.

43) Julian Charley, Rome, Canterbury and the Future, Bramcote, Notts, (1982), p.22

44) Ibid.p.24

45) Ibid.p.23

46) Charley, Rome, Canterbury and the Future,p.25

47) Karl Rahner, The Shape of the Church to Come, (1972), Eng. trans. (1974), p.105

48) Avery Dulles, The Resilient Church, Dublin (1978), p.123

49) Ibid, pp.113-131

50) Christopher Hill, Rome and Canterbury at crossroads', in Tracts for Our Times : 1833 to 1933, ed. Tom Sutcliffe (1983), p.108

51) Lumen Gentium, 22

52) Observations, p.8. For a description of divine law and the papacy as understood by contemporary theology, see Patrick Granfield,The Limits of the Papacy, (1987),p.65ff.

53) Authority I, 24d

54) Authority I, 24d, Authority II, 16-22

55) Authority II, 17

56) AuthorityII, 19. Jean Tillard, a Roman Catholic member of the Commission, was to write in a book on the Papacy, published in 1982, in a similar manner, that the jurisdiction of the Pope, 'is not the power of a Monarch on whom everything depends, but that of a Primus, truly first, inter pares.' J.Tillard, The Bishops of Rome, (1982),p.157

57) Authority II, 20

58) See E.L.Mascall, The Recovery of Unity, (1958), p.250

59) Authority II, 20

60) Authority II, 21

61) Authority II, 22

62) Lumen Gentium, 25

63) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.95

64) General Synod : Report of Proceedings, vol.17, no.3, p.835 12th November, 1986

65) Anglican/Roman Catholic Dialogue : The Work of the Preparatory Commission, ed.A.C.Clark and C.Davey (1974), p.18.

66) Authority II, 21

67) See Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.96

68) S.Sykes, 'ARCIC and the Papacy', in MC - The Modern Churchman, New Series Vol.XXV, No.1 (1982) p.13. See also Richard Harries, The Authority of Divine Love, Oxford (1983), p.100

69) Nicholas Lash, 'Stephen Sykes on ARCIC : A Reply', in MC-The Modern Churchman, New Series Vol XXV, No.2, (1982), pp.32-33

70) Adrian Hastings, Robert Runcie, (1991), pp.104-5

71) Private letter to the author of this thesis.

72) Although a concordat was made in 1801 between Pius VII and Napoleon I of France which consented to the canonical institution by the Pope of bishops whom the government should nominate, subsequent arrangements between Church and State via concordats has been less permissive. The many concordats made in the 1920's and ?1930's did often permit the governments to have the power of veto of a nominee if the cleric was politically unacceptable, such as those made with Bavaria (1925) Acta Apostolicae Sedis, Rome, vol.17 p.52; Poland (1925) ibid. vol.17, p.277; Czechoslovakia (1928) ibid. vol.20, p.68; Germany (1933) ibid. vol.25, p.397; Austria (1934) ibid. vol.26, p.252; Portugal (1940) ibid. vol.32, p.223. The present Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, Archbishop Luigi Barbarito, informs me that there is no convention in England, nor ever has been, when bishops are appointed for the Roman Catholic Church that the government is even officially notified, much less given any consultative role.

73) See Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.96

74) See particularly such works as David Samuel, Pope or Gospel?, (1982) p.108ff

75) D.W.Allen and A.M.Allchin, 'Primacy and Collegiality : An Anglican View', in Lambeth Essays in Unity, ed. A.M.Ramsey,(1969) p.7

76) Ibid.p.17

77) Ibid.p.21

78) Ibid.p.19-21

79) A.M.Allchin, 'Can the Petrine Office be Meaningful in the Church? An Anglican Reply', in Concilium Vol 4, No.7, April 1971, p.128

80) Ibid.p.131

81) Lumen Gentium, 22

82) Jean Tillard, The Bishopof Rome, (1982), Eng. Trans. (1983), p.41

83) Canons 338-341

84) Dublin (1981), p.62ff

85) Lumen Gentium, 20

86) e.g.Lumen Gentium, 18

87) J.Ratzinger, Church Ecumenism and Politics, pp.66-7

88) Authority I, 21 see also Authority II, 19

89) Authority I, 21

90) Authority I, 9

91) Elucidations,7

92) Authority I, 6

93) Authority I, 18

94) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.86

95) Authority II, 25 expanded in Elucidations, 3

96) Observations,p.10

97) Karl Rahner, The Shape of the Church to Come, Eng. Trans (1974), p.121

98) See especially sections 10 and 26

99) Time August 21st, 1978, p.71

100) Leonardo Boff, Church : Charism and Power, Brazil (1981), Eng.trans. (1985) p.138ff

101) Patrick Granfield, The Papacy in Transition, Dublin (1981) p.76ff. These concepts were further developed in his later work The Limits of the Papacy, (1987).

102) Granfield, op. cit. p.76

103) Ibid.p.76

104) J.A.T.Robinson, On Being the Church in the World (1960), p.75

105) J.A.T.Robinson, Layman's Church (1963), p.52

106) This has been voiced on several occasions in conversation or correspondence with Church of England members of ARCIC I.

107) D.W.Gundry, 'The Need for Revision', in The Synod of Westminster : Do we need it?, ed.Peter ?Moore, (1986), pp.54-55

108) Authority I, 5

109) Elucidations, 5

110) Authority II, 17

111) Hugh Montefiore, 'Authority in the Church, Theology, May 1977, vol 80, p.165

112) Ibid.pp.164-5

113) Lumen Gentium, 25

114) J.Ratzinger, Church Ecumenism and Politics, Eng.Trans (1988), p.74

115) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.89

116) Private letter to the author of this thesis.

117) Private letter to the author of this thesis.

118) This comment is based on conversations and correspondence with Anglican members of the Commission

119) Authority I,24

120) Authority II, 32

121) Authority II, 28

122) Lumen Gentium, 25

123) Lumen Gentium, 25

124) See for example H.L.Goudge, The Church of England and Reunion, (1938)

125) See for example Darwell Stone, Outlines of Christian Dogma, (1927), p.141ff, and N.P.Williams in Northern Catholicism, (1933), p.167ff. Their arguments are reproduced at least in part by many subsequent writers.

126) A.E.G.Rawlinson, Problems of Reunion, (1950), p.27.

127) First edn.1888, revised edn.1952

128) The Church and Infallibility, (1954)

129) John Goldingay, Authority and Ministry, Bramcote, Notts (1976), p.21

130) H.Montefiore, So Near and Yet so Far, (1986), p.49

131) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.89

132) John Macquarrie, Christian Unity and Christian Diversity, (1975), p.100

133) Infallible ? an Enquiry, (1970) English.trans.(1971)

134) Authority I, 18

135) Observations, p.8

136) Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations, vol.10 (1973), p.75

137) Authority I, 14

138) Authority I, 15

139) Authority I, 18

140) Englebert Gutwenger, 'The Role of Magisterium', Concilium, Vol.1, No.6, Jan.1970, p.54

141) Stephen Sykes, The Integrity of Anglicanism, (1978), p.37f

142) Quoted by G.Leonard, 'Christian Decision Making', The Synod of Westminster, ed.P.Moore (1986), p.106

143) Forclarification of this issue I am much indebted to Judge Quentin Edwards QC, Chancellor of Blackburn and Chichester dioceses

144) J.R.H.Moorman and H.E.Root, 'Unity and Comprehensiveness', in Anglican/Roman Catholic Dialogue, ed. A.C.Clark and C.Davey (1974), p.74ff

145) Ibid.p.83

146) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC, p.89

147) The Lambeth Conference 1968, (1968), p.69

148) Avery Dulles, The Resilient Church, Dublin (1978), p.54

149) Slough, 1989

150) Ibid.pp.59-60

151) M.J.Congar, Divided Christendom, Eng.edn. (1939), p.148

152) J.Willebrands, 'Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue', in One in Christ (1979), vol.15, no.4, p.303

153) S.Sykes, 'ARCIC and the Papacy', in MC-The Modern Churchman, New Series Vol.XXV, No.1, (1982), p.10

154) It has been interesting to note that a number of the English members of the ARCIC Commission to whom I have spoken or written have suggested that the wideness of interpretation of doctrine in the Church of England has possibly gone too far and is a real obstacle to reunion discussions.

155) See especially, Evangelical Anglicans and the ARCIC Final Report : An Assessment and Critique, drafted by John Stott on behalf of the Church of England Evangelical Council. Bramcote, Notts, (1982).

156) Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Observations on the Final report of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, (1982)

157) Ibid.p.3

158) Ibid.A2iii

159) Joseph Ratzinger, 'Anglican-Catholic dialogue : its Problems and Hopes', in Church, Ecumenism and Politics, (1988), p.67

160) Ibid.p.78

161) Ibid. p.81

162) Henry Chadwick, in a private letter, wrote, 'It is certain that a re-establishment of communion would affect Parliament's control' and suggested that the implications of Disestablishment would be very far reaching, 'Part of the problem of Disestablishment is a fear that it could bring down the ?Monarchy.' I feel Chadwick exaggerates the dangers to the Monarchy, but it is clear that a change in the authority structure might meet considerable opposition in Parliament.

163) Peter Cornwell, Church and Nation, Oxford (1983), p.95

164) Towards a Church of England Response to BEM and ARCIC (1985), p.97

165) So Near and Yet So Far (1986), p.33

166) Ibid.p.33

167) G.S. Misc. 159

168) Ecclesiastical Law Journal, no.3, July 1988 p.18ff

169) Ibid.p.21

170) Ibid.p.22

171) In correspondence with Judge Edwards I have asked whether European legislation on religious freedom and civil rights affect British legislation in these areas. He replied 'The point you raise is an interesting one which requires further thought. One would certainly have to consider the scope of the legislation you mention.' He has undertaken to conduct further investigation in this area.

172) General Synod: Report of the Proceedings, vol.17, no.3, 13th Nov.1986

173) The figures were Bishops : For 38, Against 5; Clergy : For 182, Against 83; Laity : For 124, Against 89. General Synod : Report of Proceedings Vol.17, No.3, 13th Nov. 1986, p.967

174) General Synod : Report of Proceedings, vol.17, no.3,p/997 13th November 1976

175) The Truth Shall Make You Free : The Lambeth Conference 1988, (1988), pp.211-212

176) J.Willebrands, 'Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Authority' in Authority in the Anglican Communion, ed.S.Sykes (1987) p.234

177) J.Ratzinger, Church Ecumenism and Politics, p.66

178) Ratzinger's difficulties were not new. As far back as the 1930's Congar indicated that the lack of homogeneity of Anglican authority would cause problems for any proposed reunion. See M.J.Congar, Divided Christendom Eng.edn. (1939), p.148

179) Authority II, 33

180) Karl Rahner, The Shape of the Church to Come, Eng.Trans.(1974), pp.57-58

181) See especially Electing our own Bishops ed. Peter Huizing and Knut Walf, Edinburgh and New York (1980)

182) Given in full in The Tablet, 7th December 1991, p.1521ff

183) Authority II, 29 & 31

184) Authority II, 13 & 31

185) The Tablet, ibid., p.1522

186) The Tablet, ibid., p.1523

187) Ministry and Ordination, 16

188) The Tablet, ibid., p.1523

189) The Tablet, 7 December 1991, Christopher Hill, 'Response to the Response:2', p.1525ff.

190) Ibid. p.1526

191) Ibid. p.1527

192) The Times, 9th December 1991, p.16

193) The Tablet, 7 December 1991, 'Response to the response: I', p.1524 ff

194) Ibid.p.1525