Christ is Risen! Le Christ est resuscitate!
The Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue of Canada (ARC Canada) has been meeting regularly for 50 years, with a mandate to serve the cause of visible Christianity unity and common witness between the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Roman Catholic Church in Canada. Having continued the Dialogue online from 2020-2021, members rejoiced to be able to convene in person on May 2-5 at the Manoir D’Youville in Châteauguay, QC.
These days were the source of a renewed beginning in several ways: ARC Canada welcomed a few new members into its ranks, continuing a long tradition of gifted and dedicated ecumenical leaders who have contributed to its work over the decades. A new proposed terms of reference was reviewed that would, among other things, expand the participation of representatives from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) from a role as observers to full membership, as full communion partners within the ACC delegation. There was also a chance to engage with recent discussions of synodality in the Roman Catholic Church, and to review aspects of some of the latest ecumenical study on the subject of Anglican ordinations.
In addition, this meeting saw the start of a new focus for ARC Canada: the theological bases for churches issuing corporate ecclesial apologies for past and present sins. Such a discussion naturally includes particular reference to the work of healing and right relations with the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. This major topic is expected to occupy the agenda for the next several meetings. Because this year’s gathering was held adjacent to the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory it also provided an occasion to visit some historic sites in the area – including the shrine of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, along with its museum and interpretive centre – to learn more about the history and traditions of the Mohawk People and their relations with Christian settlers and missions.
These times of conversation were complemented and enhanced by regular times of prayer, drawing on the gifts of different rites and forms from the Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Ukrainian Catholic traditions. The shared meals and social times enjoyed at the Manoir were also essential parts of the work of the dialogue, which always depends greatly on the nurturing of trust and friendship. Opportunities to welcome as guests Bishop Alain Faubert and Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson, from the Roman Catholic and Anglican Dioceses of Montreal respectively, further enriched these occasions.
Typically meeting twice a year, ARC Canada intends to hold its next meeting virtually, in November 2022 with a subsequent in-person encounter again in spring 2023.
The current members of the dialogue are:
Bishop Bruce Myers (Co-Chair)
The Rev. Dr. Iain Luke
The Rev. Marie-Louise Ternier
The Rev. Canon Dr. Scott Sharman (Staff)
Bishop Cindy Halmarson
Archbishop Brian Dunn (Co-Chair)
Sr. Donna Geernaert, SC
Dr. Nicholas Olkovich
Subdeacon Dr. Brian Butcher (Staff)
To explore past work of ARC Canada visit: