Index > Interconfessional Dialogues > M-RC > Nairobi Rep. 1986 | CONT. > Preface
  section 1 (THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH) - select
  section 2 (CHURCH AND SACRAMENTS) - select
  section 3 (CALLED TO UNITY) - select
  section 4 (WAYS OF BEING ONE CHURCH) - select
  section 5 (STRUCTURES OF MINISTRY) - select
  section 6 (THE PETRINE OFFICE) - select


   Over the past twenty years, successive Joint Commissions between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Methodist Council have reported to their respective churches at five-year intervals through the Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Methodist Council. A significant body of material has been considered by Methodists and Roman Catholics meeting annually since the commencement of these bilateral discussions in 1967.
   The first report issued by a joint commission was known as The Denver Report (so named for the city where the World Methodist Council met in 1971). Covering the period 1967-1970, the report addressed the following subjects: Christianity and the contemporary world, spirituality, Christian home and family, eucharist, ministry and authority.
   As will be readily understood, some of these areas were only examined in a cursory way and were taken up by The Dublin Report (1972-1975). Taking the Denver document as a point of departure, the Commission advanced joint exploration in the areas of spirituality and some moral issues, while pressing on to consider in greater depth the doctrines of the eucharist and the ordained ministry.
   During the next quinquennium, a significant agreed statement on The Holy Spirit was issued in The Honolulu Report (1977-1981). This was written in a more popular style. It was during this time that another change was introduced the periodic publication of parts of the report, for study and comment, as they were developed in the course of the five years. Sections on Christian experience and Christian moral decisions covered new ground and discussions begun on authority were reported as requiring fuller development.
   The text of The Nairobi Report, which follows, represents the work of the present 1982-1985 Joint Commission, which met on four occasions. The first session at Reuti-Hasliberg, Switzerland in 1982 established The Nature of the Church as the theme for the quinquennium. Building upon a careful outline, preparations were made for research and the writing of papers to explore the various sub-themes. Subsequent meetings in Milan, Lake Junaluska, and Venice explored the nature of the Church, sacraments, episcopacy and "ways of being one Church", Peter in the New Testament and the Petrine ministry; and authority in the Church, under the heads of jurisdiction and the teaching office. In the light of the work done at the final meeting in Venice, a proposal at the conclusion of the text suggests that the next Commission proceed to address the general theme of The Apostolic Tradition.
   In Venice tribute was paid to the late Monsignor Richard Stewart for his faithful and effective service as the Roman Catholic co-secretary of the Commission for the past seven years. Monsignor Stewart died unexpectedly at age 58 in July of 1985, while on holiday in England. He was for seven years a member of the Vatican Secretariat. The Joint Commission, recognizing his theological acumen, his careful concern for every detail of the work, his boundless energy and profound commitment to the cause of Christian unity, wishes to dedicate this report to him.
   The Nairobi Report deals with some of the most difficult questions Roman Catholics and Methodists have faced together. Although there are similarities in the order and structure of the two churches, Methodists and Catholics at present differ in their doctrine of the ministry and of the teaching office. The Commission has started to address these divergences, exploring their origins in history and seeking perspectives for agreement. It has reaffirmed those things already held in common with regard to the role of leadership in the Church and the quest for Christian unity.
   We now make this report available in the hope that it will stimulate wide study, discussion and reactions among both Catholics and Methodists. Such discussion and reaction at this stage of our dialogue will be invaluable for our continued progress on the path towards that fulness of fellowship and communion which is our aim and objective.

World Methodist Council Roman Catholic Church


Participants in the Dialogue


Bishop William R. CANNON, Atlanta, GA, USA, Chairman, World Methodist Council (Co-Chairman).
Sister Cynthia A. CLARE, United Theological College of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.
Rev. Dr Ira GALLAWAY, First United Methodist Church, Peoria, IL, USA.
Rev. A. Raymond GEORGE, Bristol, England.
Dr Thomas HOYT, Hartford Seminary, Hartford, CT, USA (1982 meeting).
Rev. Professor Geoffrey WAINWRIGHT, Duke University, Durham, N.C., USA.
Rev. Professor Norman YOUNG, Queen's College, Melbourne, Australia.
Rev. Dr Joe HALE, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council (Secretary).


Bishop Michael Bowen, Arundel & Brighton, England
Mons. C. Moeller, Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity
Most Rev. J. Francis STAFFORD, Bishop of Memphis, USA (Co-Chairman).
Rt. Rev. Peter CULLINANE, Bishop of Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Most Rev. John ONAIYEKAN, Bishop of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Rev. Professor Raymond E. BROWN, Union Theological Seminary, New York, USA.
Rev. Basil MEEKING, Under-Secretary, Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (1985 meeting).
Rev. Dr Cuthbert RAND, Ushaw College, Durham, England.
Rev. George TAVARD, A.A., Methodist Theological School, Delaware, Ohio, USA.
Very Rev. Mgr Richard STEWART, Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (Secretary 1982-1984).
Rev. Kevin MCDONALD, Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (Secretary, 1985).


Index | Centro Activities | Course | Publications | Conferences
Week of Prayer | Library | Interconfessional Dialogues
Directory of Ecumenical Study Centers | Society of the Atonement
Guest Book | Credits | Site Map

1999-2004 © - Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Inc.
Remarks to Webmaster at webmaster@pro.urbe.it