Bishops' Advisory Commission on Doctrine
Launch of first report from Bishops' Advisory Commission on Doctrine
The Bishops' Advisory Committee on Doctrine launched its first report, The Authority of Scripture, on Tuesday 20 June in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. This book comprises a series of five essays examining the authority of scripture and published by Church of Ireland Publishing.
The report was launched by the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Dr Robin Eames, who, in welcoming its timeliness, said, "I believe it is a most opportune time in the history of Anglicanism for an in-depth analysis of the authority of scripture. At the centre of the problems within our Communion at present is the place of scripture. I feel it has become a 'religious football' between sharply divided opinions and this study seeks to bring us back to markers in the interpretation and appreciation of scripture which is so badly needed at this time."
Fr Bernard Treacy, OP, member of the Dominican community and Editor of Doctrine and Life, had been invited to be the respondent. Among his comments Fr Treacy remarked that 'a careful, clear-sighted and respectful examination of what we regard as mandatory for grasping the essence of Christianity is a form of renewal which benefits every part of the Christian family.'He commended the book as a 'remarkable exercise in critical questing', and particularly highlighted a point from one of the essays that 'before we use Scripture we must allow Scripture to form us', as a worth pondering and exploring.
As Chairman of the Commission the Bishop of Meath, the Most Revd Richard Clarke, said, "What we on the Commission have tried to do is to find a common ground - a 'shared space' - where people of different traditions and approaches to scripture may be able to hold a mutually respectful conversation." He continued, "This is a challenge not only for Anglicans but for all Christians."
The Bishops' Advisory Commission on Doctrine was set up two years ago to give guidance, as requested, to the bishops on matters relating to the Church doctrine, with the Bishop of Meath as Chairman. The other members of the Commission are Canon Dr Nigel Biggar (Professor of Theology and Ethics Trinity College Dublin), Revd Dr Maurice Elliott (Rector of Shankill Parish Lurgan), Very Revd Dr Susan Patterson (Dean of Killala), Dr Andrew Pierce (Lecturer in Ecumenical studies, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin) and Very Revd Dr Stephen White (Dean of Killaloe).
The report has been presented to the House of Bishops, which now commends it for study throughout the Church of Ireland.
The Authority of Scripture is published by Church of Ireland Publishing.
ISBN: 1-904884-12-1 Price £5 / E7.25