Project Canterbury

Recollections of Malines
by Walter Frere, C.R.

[London: The Centenary Press, 1935 119pp]

drawn up in view of the Colloquy on October 2, 1923.


Acceptance of the Scriptures as the Inspired Word of God; of Catholic tradition as guided by God; of the Creeds as expressing in brief the content of the Christian revelation; and of the general principle that neither party shall be called upon to renounce anything that they hold to be "de fide," i.e. to pertain to the essence of the Christian revelation.

Main problem

: to discover whether there is any sense in which the documents which the Churches in communion with Rome regard as de fide can be interpreted, so as to render them, without doing violence to the "plain meaning" of the statements therein contained, acceptable alike to all parties, notably in case of the decrees of the Council of Trent and the Council of the Vatican.


Acceptance of the general principle (i) that the liturgy and worship of the Church, its lex orandi, must adequately express its lex credendi; and (ii) that, in so far as it is possible, the rites of all countries should be such that members of any nation may join in and appreciate them.

Main problem

: to discover by what means the usage of the Church of England, inherited from the past but modified at the time of the Reformation, could be rendered acceptable to the Churches in communion with Rome, particularly

(a) with respect to the Eucharist
(b) with respect to the seven sacraments
(c) with respect to presence and worship of our Lord in the reserved sacrament
(d) with respect to communion in one or two kinds.


Acceptance of the principle enunciated at the Lambeth Conference that a way must be found whereby the ministrations of Church of England clergy may become acceptable to other Churches, so that "we may, without any doubtfulness of mind, offer to the one Lord our worship and service."

Main problem

: to discover a way of accomplishing this (i) with respect to Apostolic Succession, and (ii) with respect to the Ordinal.


Basis: acceptance of the hierarchic constitution of the Church with the Bishop of Rome as "Summus Pontifex "; and of the general principle that the communion of members with members and of members with the head must be as intimate and effective as possible. Problems:

(I) How far the present system of government, as exercised by the Roman Curia, would be acceptable to, and applicable in, England with special reference to

(a) Papal decrees.

(b) The decrees of Roman Congregations and Commissions.

(c) The appointment of bishops and other dignitaries.

(d) The control of public pronouncements in matters of faith and morals, and in the matter of Scripture.

(e) The control of teaching in seminaries.

(f) Dispensations and reservations.

(2) The relation of the Church to the State.

(3) The relation of the Church of England, in the event of reunion, to the Church in England which is already in communion with Rome.

(4) The applicability of the present Code of Canon Law, with special reference to

(a) the Celibacy of the Clergy
(b) the use of the Breviary
(c) the position of the religious orders
(d) Marriage: impediments, etc., divorce.

(5) The teaching of Moral Theology.

Project Canterbury