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Preface
  I. (INTRODUCTION) - selezionare
  II. (OUR LIFE TOGETHER) - selez.
  III. (SPIRITUAL ECUMENISM) - selez.
  IV. (BAPTISM) - selez.
  V. (FAITH AND TRADITION) - selez.
  VI. (AFFIRMATIONS ABOUT THE UNITY WE SEEK) - selez.
  VII. (LOOKING TO THE FUTURE) - selez.
FULL TEXT

PREFACE

   Only by the power of God and the guidance of the Spirit can Christians grow together toward unity. In a spirit of thankfulness, the theologians and pastors who have taken part in the RC/Disciples of Christ dialogue for the past five years now bring a report of their meetings.

Some bilateral theological dialogues have matured to the point of publishing reports of new convergences and agreements in the understanding of the Christian faith. The publication, dissemination and study of such reports is a necessary element in the process toward union. Thus the participating churches can grasp the significance of what is emerging and, with discernment, reach some decisions.

Along the way toward such maturation, the publication of accounts of significant progress can be enlightening. The present 1982 paper from the Disciples of Christ/Roman Catholic dialogue is of this kind. It contains not an agreed statement on points of doctrine, but an agreed account, written by those commissioned for the dialogue, to record promising developments. The paper describes some convergence in understanding as well as some of the problems which have yet to be faced.

Thus the paper will inform our churches and evoke from them interest and reactions. We desire that what has begun in good faith may end in a unity of faith given visible expression. May the Lord bring to completion the work of his grace.

Co-Chairmen:
Dr Paul A. Crow, Jr Bishop Stanley Ott

lst June, 1982



 

I. INTRODUCTION

    1. In September, 1977 a five year international dialogue between the Disciples of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church was launched on the theme: "Apostolicity and Catholicity in the Visible Unity of the Church." The eighteen-member Commission had been appointed jointly by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity in collaboration with the U.S. Bishops Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and the Disciples Ecumenical Consultative Council and the Council on Christian Unity of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada. Its membership included Roman Catholic theologians and pastors from Canada, France, Ireland, the United States, and the Vatican, and Disciples theologians and pastors from Canada, England, Puerto Rico, the United States, and Zaire. Dr. Paul A. Crow, j r. and the Most Reverend Stanley J. Ott were named as co-chairmen for the Commission.

    2. In developing the main theme of its work, the Commission selected four sub-themes to focus discussion at each annual meeting: "The Nature of the Church and Elements of its Unity" (Indianapolis, 1977); "Baptism: Gift and Call in the Search for Unity" (Rome, 1978); "Faith and Tradition in the Life of the Church" (Annapolis, 1979); "The Dynamics of Unity and of Division" (New Orleans, 1980). At its fifth session (Ardfert, Ireland, 1981), the Commission prepared a final report to be submitted to its authorizing bodies.

    3. Each annual meeting lasted five days and followed a regular pattern of work, of sharing in worship and prayer, and of worshiping with Disciples and Roman Catholics in local congregations and parishes. Four papers, two from each team, were presented and discussed with the tasks of identifying present agreements, convergences, new. insights and continuing tensions or problems for further consideration. An "agreed account" of each meeting was prepared to serve as a common memory for the Commission's work. The papers and agreed accounts were published in Mid-Stream: An Ecumenical Journal (Vol. XVIII, No. 4, October, 1979; Vol. XX, No. 3, July, 1981).

   4. This final report does not summarize the papers the agreed accounts from our previous meetings. Rather, it is a statement of shared insights and findings which the Commission identified out of its work, its discussion and debate, and its life together in fellowship and prayer during these five years.

 

 
 
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