Cardinal John Dew is to be one of New Zealand’s representatives at an event in Rome at which pairs of Anglican and Catholic bishops from different countries will meet Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

The event, which is scheduled for October 5-7, will reportedly involve pairs of Anglican and Catholic bishops from 36 countries.

According to a report on Vatican Radio, the pairs of bishops will pray with Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby at the church of St Gregorio al Celio in Rome.

The head of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Archbishop Sir David Moxon, KNZM, told Vatican Radio that the pairs of bishops will be mandated and blessed “to go out and demonstrate partnerships that are possible” in mission and common worship, to show that “no one of us
has got it all together, but together each one of us can share it all”.

This year marks 50 years since the historic meeting between Blessed Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey in Rome.

That was the first official meeting between a Roman pontiff and an archbishop of Canterbury since the Reformation.

This year is also 50 years since the opening of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

The 1966 meeting between Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey paved the way for an official dialogue, the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission.

Archbishop Moxon, who is from New Zealand, is co-chair of ARCIC III, the third phase of the dialogue, which met last month in Canada.

The commission is set to publish a book called Towards a Church Fully Reconciled, which Archbishop Moxon reportedly described as a series of essays that “will tackle the tough difficulties”.

According to a report on the Anglican Communion News Service website, ARCIC
has been practising what is known as the method of “receptive ecumenism”, wherein each group reveals its weaknesses to the other.

Archbishop Moxon was quoted as saying this method means having each partner say to the other, “You tell me your worst nightmare in mission and I’ll tell you mine. In other words, show me your wounds.”

This mutual vulnerability in ecumenical dialogue, the archbishop said, “leads to a mutual courage, a mutual partnership to assist each other in overcoming, and healing, and redeeming together”.

Archbishop Moxon is also the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative in Rome.