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Indice > Dialoghi Interconfessionali > JWG > Third Official Rep. | CONT. > App. I - II

     INTRODUCTION - select
   APPENDIX I: REPORT ON ACTIVITIES
      (I. THE FAITH AND WORSHIP OF THE CHURCHES) - select
II. Mission and Unity
   III. THE LAITY - select
   IV. SOCIAL SERVICE AND SERVICE TO HUMANITY - select
   V. NATIONAL AND LOCAL COUNCILS OF CHURCHES - select
   APPENDIX II: COMMON WITNESS AND PROSELYTISM - select
   I. COMMON WITNESS - select
   II. PROSELYTISM AND RELATIONS BETWEEN CHURCHES - select
   CONCLUSION - select
   APPENDIX III: STUDY DOCUMENT ON CATHOLICITY ... - select
  PART ONE - select
  PART TWO - select
  Appendix I - select
  Appendix II - select
Appendix III - select
Appendix IV - select
Appendix V - select
Appendix VI - select
Appendix VII - select
   Contributors - select
FULL TEXT

II. MISSION AND UNITY

a) Common Problems

   Along the lines of the recommendations made in the second official report, an exchange of views took place between representatives of the World Council of Churches, the Secretariat for Christian Unity, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and other missionary bodies, in April 1963.

   This was followed up in 1969 when six representatives of the World Council of Churches visited a number of the Vatican offices in Rome, particularly those concerned with missions.

   Three Roman Catholics from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Secretariat for Christian Unity, and SEDOS (a working party of various missionary orders) were appointed as consultants to the WCC's Division of World Mission and Evangelism. Roman Catholics have also participated in the work of the Department on Studies in Mission and Evangelism.

   In its second official report, the Joint Working Group announced its decision to undertake "a joint study on the subject of proselytism," a question which it had been concerned with for some time. A document was sent to specialists by the World Council of Churches and the Secretariat for Christian Unity with a request for their comments. In May 1968, Roman Catholic experts considered the question from the standpoint of their Church. Next, a joint consultation was held at Arnoldshain, where the document was revised. The work of revision continued during 1969 until the September of that year when a consultation took place at Zagorsk. The document was then modified in the light of comments made at the consultation.

   In the course of this work the form in which the question was posed was changed. At first the emphasis had been on distorted forms of evangelism as contrasted with genuine Christian witness. The more the study proceeded the clearer it became that our real task was not simply to eliminate wrong methods of evangelism but rather to reach a position in which it would possible to bear joint witness, within the limits imposed by our condition as still divided churches.

   The final form of the document was submitted to the Joint Working Group at its meeting in May 1970. It was adopted not as a joint declaration but as a study paper for consideration by the churches in their respective local situations. The Joint Working Group recommended its publication as such4.

b) Dialogue with Men of Other Faiths and with Non-Believers

   Contacts with the Secretariat for Non-Believers, mainly in the form of the exchange of observers, became more frequent and regular from 1967 onwards.

   For its part, the World Council of Churches organized a consultation at Ajaltoun in the Lebanon in March 1970 which brought together scholars and others experienced in dialogue from the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim faiths. Of the twenty-eight Christian participants, six were Roman Catholic. Three Roman Catholics also participated in the consultation in Zurich arranged by the World Council of Churches in May 1970 to study the theological implications of the dialogue between men of living faiths.

c) Christian Medical Commission

   The second official report of the Joint Working Group in 1967 expressed the desire for the establishment of closer relationships between the various church bodies engaged in medical work. In fact the cooperation already existing in this area in many countries makes organized coordination at the world level a matter of some urgency.

   From its inception the Christian Medical Commission has worked closely with a number of Catholic hospitals, medical bodies and religious orders.

   Three Roman Catholic observers attended the first annual meeting of the Christian Medical Commission in 1968. In June 1969, on the invitation of the Commission, the Secretariat for Christian Unity appointed seven Roman Catholic representatives who were coopted by the Commission as consultants ad personam. These seven representatives were coopted not in virtue of their membership of a particular organization but because of their qualifications. They were present at the Commission's second annual meeting. One of the decisions taken at this meeting was to call for the establishment of a joint committee to study possible future forms of Roman Catholic participation in the Christian Medical Commission. This resolution was conveyed to the Division of World Service, the bodies responsible for the Christian Medical Commission on the World Council side It was also conveyed to the Secretariat for Christian Unity. The resolution was accepted and a joint committee duly set up, which met in Rome on March 23, 1970, in Geneva on June 9, and again in Rome of July 31, 1970. It considered a number of possible forms for cooperation between the Commission and the Roman, Catholic Church. It has submitted a report to the respective authorities and this is now under consideration.

d) World Christian Handbook

   The call to cooperation between the churches would be greatly helped by the existence of a joint statistical work of reference. Such a reference book is in fact now being compiled and it is hoped that a World Christian Handbook will be published jointly in 1972, giving details of all the churches throughout the world. Conservative evangelicals are cooperating in this project.
 


ENDNOTES



  1. "Common Witness and Proselytism." See Appendix II. The is published in the Ecumenical Review 23, 1 (1971) 9-20.

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