The Bonn Agreement
The Bonn Agreement of 23nd July 1931 is a formal affirmation which established full communion between the Church of England and the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht, including the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, it does not require from either the acceptance of all doctrinal opinions. This communion has since been extended to all churches of the Anglican Communion through their synods.
The agreement expresses three principles:
1. Each communion recognizes the catholicity and independence of
All the other and maintains its own.
2. Each communion agrees to admit members of the other communion to participate in the sacraments.
3. Full communion does not require from either communion the acceptance of all doctrinal opinion, sacramental devotion or liturgical practice characteristic of the other, but implies that each believes the other to hold the essentials of the Christian faith.
To monitor the progressive growing together of the two communions, the Anglican-Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council was established by the International Bishops’ Conference and the Lambeth Conference. Its first official meeting took place in 1999.
The ACC upholds the spirit and general principles of the Bonn Agreement which although it does not give an extensive oversight of the theological principles on which participating Churches must agree and ascribe to, it does, however,describe a concise consensus by which each Church accepts the Catholicity and Autonomy of the other.
This is the foundation for full communion, but rests on the assumption that each Church maintain the essentials of the faith mainly, the three marks of the Church, but does not imply that each has to share all of each other churches beliefs, doctrines and sacramental practices.
Whilst the Bonn Agreement was not created for the ACC, it complements our spiritual philosophy and helps to foster ever closer our ecumenical relations with other Catholic bodies.