- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2005

SEATTLE (AP) — A group of Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders studying the role of Mary said yesterday that they have agreed that Catholic teachings on the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary into heaven are consistent with Anglican interpretations of the Bible.

The two sides issued a joint document, “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ,” which now will be examined by the Vatican and the Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church of the United States.

If top church officials eventually accept the terms of the new accord — by no means a certainty — it would overcome one of the major doctrinal disagreements dividing the world’s 77 million Anglicans and more than 1 billion Roman Catholics.

The Anglican Communion historically has opposed the teachings because there is no account of them in the Bible.

Immaculate Conception refers to the Catholic dogma, pronounced in 1854, that Mary was born free of original sin. The Assumption refers to the belief, defined in 1950, that Mary was directly received body and soul into heaven without dying.

But Anglican Archbishop Peter Carnley of Perth, Australia, co-chairman of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, said the Catholic dogmas concerning Mary are “consonant” with biblical teachings about hope and grace.

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