Index > Interconfessional Dialogues > M-RC > Dublin Rep. 1976 | CONT. > sec. 1
Introduction - sec. 1
  section 3 (SPIRITUALITY) - select
  section 5 (MORAL QUESTIONS-EUTHANASIA) - select
  section 6 (THE EUCHARIST) - select
  section 7 (MINISTRY) - select
  section 8 (AUTHORITY) - select
  section 9 (CHURCH UNION NEGOTIATIONS) - select


   1. The volume recording the Proceedings of the Twelfth World Methodist Conference at Denver, Colorado, August, 18-26, 1971 (ed. Lee F. Tuttle, Nashville & New York: Abingdon Press), was doubtless unique in the history of such reports in devoting a considerable number of its pages to Roman Catholic-Methodist matters. In addition to a personal report by Bishop William R. Cannon on the conversations which had taken place since 1967, and the text of a lengthy address given to the Conference by Cardinal J.G.M. Willebrands, President of the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, the book contained the full-scale "Report of the Joint Commission between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Methodist Council, 1967-70" (pp. 39-68).

   2. It is the nature of such a report both to reveal progress and achievement and to point to further areas of study and discussion which have been opened up and defined. The Denver Report1, as it has come to be known familiary among us, did this under six heads: Christianity and the Contemporary World Spirituality Christian Home and Family Eucharist Ministry Authority

   3. A final section entitled "The Way Ahead" embodied precise recommendations to the respective authorities about the next stage of the dialogue. A smaller joint Commission was proposed which should have a stimulating and facilitating function over the whole field of Roman Catholic/Methodist relations while its task "in regard to serious theological dialogue should be mainly one of organization, coordination and review".

   4. These recommendations were accepted in principle by the authorities and the new Commission met for the first time in Rome in December 1972. Two position papers were read, one from either side, which attempted to set out with some frankness our tasks, our problems and our awareness of our defects. The new style in which the reduced Commission set out to work involved some trial and error. It presupposed also an act of faith - of confidence in a response from Roman Catholics and Methodists in cooperation in many places at national and local levels. In this spirit "A Call to Action" was published at the end of our first meeting. This act of faith has proved only partly justified, but in some instances at least the response looked for has been generous enough to enable the Commission to tackle with varying degrees of thoroughness a good proportion of the list of desirable projects it drew up at its first meeting.

   5. The present report, taking the Denver Report as its point of departure, aims to show how this collaboration and the work the Commission has been able itself to do at its four meetings since 1972 have advanced our joint search and mutual understanding. To those whose help has made this advance possible - their names will appear in the course of the report - we are deeply grateful.


  1. A summary of the Report, edited with an introduction and some useful questions by Canon R. L. Stewart, has been published together with the "Call to Action" of 1972, as a Catholic Truth Society pamphlet, "Catholics and Methodists" (London, 1974, 20 pp.).

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