Indice > Dialoghi Interconfessionali > JWG > 2nd Second Official Rep. | CONT. > Part II, 5
   I. GENERAL REMARKS - selezionare
   2. UNITY AND MISSION - selez.
   3. LAITY AND UNITY - selez.
   4. SERVICE TO HUMANITY - selez.
   5. Particular Problems
   6. BIBLE TRANSLATION - selez.


5. Particular Problems

a) The Study of Proselytism

The Joint Working Group concerned itself in the first place with the problems of Religious Liberty. A comparison of the Vatican Council's declaration on Religious Liberty and the various statements made by the World Council of Churches led to the conclusion that, though the theological justification may still differ from one church to the other, there is basic agreement on what the principle of Religious Liberty requires in practice. The texts on both sides give a sufficient basis for mutual understanding and possible common action when practical problems arise. Therefore though the problems of Religious Liberty must continue to be discussed in ecumenical dialogue, there is good reason to hope that in the course of time, on the basis of the agreement reached, still existing tensions may be overcome.

The Joint Working Group dealt with the question of proselytism at greater length than with the problems of Religious Liberty. Although the two problems are related to one another, the difference between them must not be overlooked. While the discussion of Religious Liberty concerns the freedom of witness in state and society, the study of proselytism raises the question of the nature of Christian witness in general and the relation between separated churches in particular. How are we to understand the relation between the obligation of each church to witness to the truth and the ecumenical responsibility they bear for each other? The Joint Working Group decided that a joint study on the subject of proselytism should be undertaken.

b) Mixed Marriages

The problem of mixed marriages was also examined. The World Council of Churches first called a consultation in order to analyze and survey the different positions of its member churches and to summarize the main problems in this field (June 20-24, 1966) [Published in Study Encounter, Vol. III, 1 (1967) ].

Later, a meeting was organized by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, and part of its participants met subsequently with representatives of the Secretariat on Faith and Order (March 1-4, 1967). This meeting gave the opportunity for a useful and promising exchange of views, but did not result in a joint report. If the difficulties which today still exist were to be reduced, the conversations among the churches will have to be continued on both international and national levels.

c) National and Local Councils

What relationship should be established between Roman Catholic dioceses or parishes and national or local councils? This question is increasingly being asked today. In many places close contacts have already been established. In some countries the Roman Catholic authorities are represented by observers or consultants. In some places Roman Catholic dioceses or parishes have even become member of councils. The answer to the question will be influenced by many factors, and will not be the same everywhere. But as the development of Christian Councils is of the highest importance for the future of the ecumenical movement, the Joint Working Group intends to deal with the question. It has started to gather information on the situation in the various countries.

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