Indice > Dialoghi Interconfessionali > DC-RC > Documentary Supp. 1981 | CONT. > VI
  (PREFACE) - selezionare
  I. (INTRODUCTION) - selezionare
  II. (OUR LIFE TOGETHER) - selez.
  IV. (BAPTISM) - selez.
VI. Affirmations About The Unity We Seek



   56. Through a convergence of doctrinal understanding and in the experience of the reality of our oneness in the fundamental assent to God, we are able to accept as a basic principle of ecumenism that there can be only one Church of God (unica Ecclesia) and that this Church already exists. It is the accomplishment of salvation, both individually and corporately, for all humanity. This salvation to which Scripture bears witness expresses God's purpose for the entire creation.

   57. The new humanity in Jesus Christ which God wills comes to exist in the one Church of God. The coming definitive form of the Church as God's eschatological people can be fully known only to God. Both Roman Catholics and Disciples believe that the Church takes visible shape in history and that one sign of this visibility is the common profession of the Gospel with reception of baptism. This visible community belongs to the very esse of the Church.

   58. Through their common life and fellowship (koinonia) the members of this community which is the Church witness to salvation as they pray and worship together, forgive, accept, and love one another, and stand together in time of trial. Such communion is made possible by a deeper communion, a communion in the good things that come from God who makes the people of the Church his own as a new creation in Christ.

   59. We become this new creation through the means of grace which God has given to his Church. Thus the Church is the visible form of God's grace. It opens the way to salvation through preaching, sacraments, and other institutions derived from apostolic authority. Participation in these means of grace constitutes the deeper communion that unites us together in true fellowship in the Spirit.

   60. To this one Church belong all those who are baptized in water and the Spirit with the authentic confession of faith in Jesus as the Son of God. These persons become members of the Body of Christ and receive the seal of the Holy Spirit, which cannot be removed even by schism. Divisions among Christians cannot destroy the one Church of God.

   61. As we look at differences between Roman Catholics and Disciples we often discover in them elements of complementarity. We see ourselves as having a communion in via. The unique unity of the one Church of God is the goal. We are already on the way; we have taken the first step in faith through baptism which is also the call to that final unity. Now we have the task of giving external expression to the communion in via. In the very process of our mutual discovery of certain ecclesial elements in each other, we are called in a renewed fidelity to actions that will make our relationship more intense and more profound


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