III. THE LAITY
the second official report of the Joint Working Group was published,
the Third World Congress of the Laity was held in Rome in 1967.
Its preparation occasioned several joint consultations and cooperation
with a view to giving the Congress as ecumenical a character as
possible. The churches and Christian confessions, as well as the
World Council of Churches, were invited to send consultants. These
were in sufficient numbers to have some influence on the discussions
of the Congress. The World Council of Churches was consulted in
the planning of the program. One of the closing addresses was entrusted
to a consultant and it has already been suggested that in future
the Congress might be made into a joint enterprise.
Relations between the Division of Ecumenical Action and the Laity
the Laity Council was constituted in Rome in 1967, the Joint Working
Group suggested that its partner in the World Council of Churches
should be the Division of Ecumenical Action. This proposed collaboration
was approved by the Fourth Assembly of the World Council of Churches
in Uppsala and by the Laity Council at its first meeting. Several
joint consultations followed and the Laity Council sent representatives
to meetings of the Committee of the Division of Ecumenical Action.
is mainly in the field of studies that this collaboration has been
developed. The Laity Council was associated with the study "Towards
A New Style of Living," drafted in preparation for the Uppsala
Assembly, and has also collaborated in the present program of the
Division of Ecumenical Action on "Participation in Change,"
which is a follow-up to the Uppsala Section VI report "Towards
New Styles of Living." The Division of Ecumenical Action will
likewise be participating in the symposium which the Laity Council
is planning on " Dialogue within the Church." Other fields
of joint study have still to be explored.
its meeting in May 1970, the Joint Working Group invited the Division
of Ecumenical Action and the Laity Council to look together at the
possible areas of ecumenical collaboration between lay people and
also at the problems and concerns of young people. The information
obtained in this way will be valuable for current studies on possible
forms of cooperation between the Roman Catholic Church and the World
Council of Churches.
Division of Ecumenical Action sent observer consultants to the preparatory
meetings planning the Pan-African-Madagascan Laity Congress which
is to be held in Yaoundé in August 1971.
Women's Ecumenical Work
establishment of the Laity Council made it possible to put ecumenical
cooperation between women on a more permanent basis. In 1968 the
small, and more or less unofficial, group formed to continue the
work of the 1967 Taizé Conference was replaced by the Women's
Ecumenical Liaison Group. This group has a provisional mandate to
operate experimentally until 1972. So for it has met three times.
One of its decisions has been to undertake a study on "The
Image of Woman in the Mass Media."