Anglicans, Catholics find common ground on Mary

Role model and Christ's foremost disciple
Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders have announced newfound agreement on the Virgin Mary, seeing her as a role model and “Christ’s foremost disciple” while softening disagreements over dogma that had simmered for almost 500 years.

An 81-page booklet, released in Seattle May 16 by the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), said the churches now see eye-to-eye on the divisions that helped spark the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. Prayers directed to Mary, mother of Jesus, is not now the continuing divisive issue it once was, the report said.

Only two Catholic dogmas on Mary carry the weight of papal infallibility—that Jesus’ mother was born without “the stain of original sin” and that she was “assumed body and soul” into heaven at the end of her life—and those remain an obstacle for some Anglicans.

 

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