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A Letter of Greeting from the Co-Chairs of the
International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission
for Unity and Mission

to the families gathered at Villa Mondo Migliori for the
Second World Gathering of Interchurch Families

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

To live and to grow in a loving family is probably one of the richest gifts that we can experience in human life and we salute everyone of you as each family represented at the Conference seeks to grow into the fullness of life that Christ wills for you as a family.

You have been called by God’s grace and through the commitment of individual men and women to marriage and family life into a special vocation to nurture and care for ach other. This is a task which in fact goes beyond the limits of your blood relations, to the relationships which you are renewing or making at this time with each other, and ultimately to the life of the whole Christian family.

One of the main duties of the Commission which we chair together is to translate the fruits of ecumenical conversations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion into practical action. When the Conference of Anglican and Roman Catholic Bishops, meeting in Mississauga in 2000, established the Commission, they included in its mandate a specific charge “to examine the range of possible ways, within current canon law provisions, to deal generously and pastorally with situations of interchurch marriages involving Anglicans and Roman Catholics”.

In our work, we have not taken this charge lightly, and we bear in the forefront of our thinking the concern in both our churches to offer a ministry of support and care to all who live out their Christian calling in a family life which contains different denominational allegiances.

There may be times when you feel disappointed about teachings which seem to get in the way of your shared discipleship, but we ask you to be patient. The path to the unity of Christians is not easy, and rushing the process will not help to create a firm and durable unity of life and mission in which we can fully respond to God’s call. For our part, we assure you that we will be working hard to attend to the spiritual need of nurturing your family lives in the best and highest ways possible, for in your commitments to each other as families, we see the foretaste of the unbreakable commitment that Christ has for his Church, and for the unity of the Church, for which we all pray.

Good wishes then to you from all the members of IARCCUM, and may your family lives be blessed and enriched by Christ’s presence and grace.

Signed by the Co-secretaries

on behalf of the Co-chairs:
John Bathersby, David Beetge
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane Anglican Bishop of the Highveld

July 2003



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