The Second Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission met for the first time in 1982.


  • Bishop Pierre Dupres warned the 1988 Lambeth Conference that the Pope saw the ordination of women as a ‘grave new obstacle’

  • After the Lambeth the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to the Pope informing him of the Lambeth Resolution on the consecration of women.

  • The Pope wrote back ‘the ordination of women to the priesthood in some provinces of the Anglican Communion, together with the recognition of the right of individual provinces to proceed with the ordination of women to the episcopate appears effectively to block the way to mutual recognition of ministries”.

  • In May 1994 Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was issued in which the Pope said the Roman Catholic Church had ‘no authority to change Church tradition’. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said ‘this is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith and is to be definitively held’.

  • The Commentary on the response of the CDF, a semi-official document, said that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was an instance of ‘ordinary magisterium and the tradition is irreformable.


The first task was to respond to the points the Vatican had raised about the work of ARCIC I. ARCIC II produced Clarifications for the Vatican on the points raised about the Eucharist and the Ministry statements. When the Clarifications were studied by some Anglicans they concluded that this new reflection high- jacked the original agreed statements in an unacceptably ‘Roman direction’. Anglicans have made no official response to Clarifications.

The documents
Salvation and the Church    1986
Church as Communion    1990
Life in Christ: Morals Communion and the Church   1993
The Gift of Authority: Authority III   1999

Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ   2004

The Rt Revd Mark Santer (Anglican) Bishop of Birmingham, England (1982-1999)
Rt Revd Frank Griswold (Anglican) Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (1999-2003)
Most Revd Peter Carnley (Anglican) Archbishop of Perth and Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia (from 2003)
Rt Revd Cormac Murphy O'Connor (Catholic) Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, England (1982-1999)
Most Revd Alexander J. Brunett (Catholic) Archbishop of Seattle, USA (from 1999)