U.S. Catholic-Episcopal talks propose that bishops join each others meetings

Posted: Friday, April 04, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) A panel of U.S. Roman Catholic and Episcopal Church delegates proposed Tuesday that bishops from the two denominations attend each others' official meetings to foster Christian unity.

The idea is part of the Americans' response to a 1999 report on church authority produced in international talks between the Vatican and the Anglican Communion (in which the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch).

The American paper says Episcopal and Anglican bishops should accompany Roman Catholic colleagues when they make their periodic reports to the pope and attend Vatican synods, and participate in meetings of the U.S. bishops' conference with a voice but no vote.

Similarly, Catholic bishops would join regular meetings of Episcopal and Anglican bishops.

On the authority issue, the paper says a reformed understanding and practice'' of the papacy is needed for reunion, and that Anglicans have problems with Catholic views of infallible teaching and lay participation.

The U.S. talks are co-chaired by Episcopal Bishop Edwin Gulick of Louisville, Ky., and Catholic Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco.

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