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The Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers

The Work and Publications of the Colloquium (2008-)

The Ninth Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers was held in Malta, 3-6 April
2008. The five in the Anglican team consisted of four members of the Centre, and the Roman
Catholic team of five had three Centre members. The Colloquium discussed marriage law, with papers on the nature of marriage (including the right to marry), preparation and solemnisation of marriage, nullity, divorce and remarriage, interchurch and interfaith marriages, and civil partnerships. Papers from the Colloquium have now been published as: N Doe (ed), Marriage in Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Law (Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff 2009) ISBN 978-0-9558097-4-3.

The Tenth Colloquium met in Rome from 1–4 March 2009. The meeting reviewed the work of the first decade of the Colloquium and planned for the future. At the meeting a Report was drafted,A Decade of Ecumenical Dialogue on Canon Law. This 45 page report was published in the September 2009 edition of Ecclesiastical Law Journal.

The Eleventh Colloquium was held in 2010 while the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome played host to the twelfth meeting of the Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers on 3-6th March 2011. The Twelfth Colloquium fell into two parts. In the first, members contributed their experience and expertise to a detailed discussion of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, as a legal document and one which lies on a spectrum between a generous instrument of ecumenism at one extreme or an aggressive poaching expedition on the other. This led to an event organised at the Anglican Centre in Rome by its director Canon David Richardson. Presentations were made by Professor Norman Doe and Anthony Jeremy on the elusive concept of ‘Anglican patrimony’ as used (but neved defined) in Anglicanorum Coetibus and its norms. The invited audience included representatives of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and a vigorous discussion ensued. Further conversations are to take place on other aspects on Anglican patrimony including one on liturgy in November 2011 to be led by Bishop Stephen Platten.

For its second phase the Colloquium relocated to the General Curia of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) overlooking St Peter’s Basilica, hosted by Aidan McGrath OFM, Secretary General of the Order. Here the participants presented and dissected individual papers on particular practical aspects of ecumenism at a dynamic grass roots level. Consideration was given to the manner in which the canon law of the respective churches both facilitates and frustrates the process. For the first time, the Colloquium has become engaged in empirical and evaluative study, examining schools, universities, hospitals, military chaplaincies and schemes for the support of mixed marriages. This is very much work in progress to which the Colloquium will return in 2012 after which its provisional findings and recommendations are to be published.

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