Index > Interconfessional Dialogues > M-RC > Seoul Rep. 2006 | CONT. > Chapter 1
Chapter 1 - Mutual Reassessment
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Chapter One


A New Context for Mutual Reassessment

11. Reconciliation between Methodists and Catholics involves a mutual reassessment of each other, which includes a new understanding of the past. Since the beginnings of Methodism in the eighteenth century, Methodists and Catholics have formed assessments of each other. Some of these evaluations were based on genuine understandings of each other’s faith and life. More often, however, they were coloured by the religious, social and political conflicts which have generally characterized relationships between Protestants and Catholics, and they were fed by mutual ignorance, defective understandings or partial views of the other. The current phase of this dialogue has been guided by historical research that places the developments of the last three centuries in their proper context.

12. Forty years of dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Catholic Church have strengthened both the Methodist intention as “part of the church universal . . . to strive toward unity” at all levels of church life2 and the Catholic desire, expressed in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, to bring about an increase in “ecumenical spirit and mutual esteem” among all people and to seek “the restoration of unity among all Christians”.3 The ultimate goal remains nothing less than “full communion in faith, mission and sacramental life”.4 We rejoice today that the Holy Spirit has created the conditions for better informed and friendlier relationships than obtained in the past and has opened up new possibilities for the future.

13. Neither Methodists nor Catholics should regard their separation as acceptable. Some may believe that certain separations were necessary in the past for the sake of the Gospel. Others may view all separations as failures by one party or the other, or indeed both, which have obscured the unity of Christ’s Church. In 2003, the Archbishop of Canterbury said of the divided histories of the Church of England and the Methodist Church of Great Britain: “Wesley came to the point where he believed that he and his followers could only be fully obedient to Jesus Christ if they took the risk of separation. No-one can easily pass judgement on this costly decision, and no-one is seeking to do so; what we can be sure of is that by God’s direction it bore fruit in witness and transforming service to the Kingdom of God in this nation and far beyond.”5 Similarly, the separate histories of Methodism and the Roman Catholic Church can show how God has worked in both of them for the fulfilment of the divine purpose. Learning more about each other has confirmed the conviction that “in all things God works for good” among those who love him (Romans 8:28). Each of our communities has embodied features of the Christian life that are not as prominent in the other. It is incumbent upon each to recognise these good things in the life of the other, to be open to receive them as gifts for itself, and to be ready to share them in a common future. There is ample scope for a mutually fruitful “exchange of gifts” between us.6

14. The separations of the last five hundred years cannot simply be condoned even if they cannot simply be condemned and blame apportioned. Reflecting on why the Holy Spirit had permitted all the divisions between Christians, Pope John Paul II noted: “Could it not be that these divisions have been a path continually leading the Church to discover the untold wealth contained in Christ’s Gospel and in the redemption accomplished by Christ? Perhaps all this wealth would not have come to light otherwise....”7 A review of past history suggests that God has led each of our churches in new ways that came through the separations. Catholics can recognise that God has used Methodism, both in its beginning and throughout its history, to develop gifts which eventually ought to bless all Christians everywhere. Similarly, Methodists can recognise that God has been at work in the Catholic Church’s preservation of important traditions and in its pursuit of fresh presentations of the Gospel for the benefit of all Christian believers. The Spirit of God has been renewing both of our churches, and this, in the mystery of divine providence, has opened new opportunities for witness to the reign of God. The present dialogue seeks to harvest such blessings, and thus to prepare the churches for the common future to which the Spirit of God is leading them.

The Emergence of Methodism

15. An historical factor in the mutual understanding of Catholics and Methodists is that the Methodist movement did not break from the Catholic Church. Methodism grew out of the established Church in England and Ireland, from which it separated in various ways in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. There being “no history of a formal separating between the two Churches”,8 there is between Catholics and Methodists no cloud of anathemas, as there was among Christians in the sixteenth century. Further, the origins of Methodism in the Church of England imply that it shares some of the features that are common to the faith and practice of historic Western Christianity. Since 1795, however, when the Methodist Conference took a significant step toward independence from the Church of England, some developments have brought Methodism closer to Catholicism, while others have had the opposite effect.

16. For the sake of relations between Methodists and Roman Catholics it is important to understand how and why Methodism became detached from the Church of England and how it perceived its particular contribution to the universal Church. Unlike the divisions resulting from the serious doctrinal disputes of the Reformation, Methodism grew apart from the Church of England without grave divergences over the Gospel and the faith. In North America, Methodism’s separation from the Church of England was a consequence of American independence. There the Methodist Conference in 1784 approved the founding of the Methodist Episcopal Church, seizing an opportunity and an historic mission in the American territories. In Britain and Ireland, Methodists increasingly relied upon their own itinerant preachers to lead worship, nurture spiritual growth and provide pastoral support. After John Wesley’s death, the Plan of Pacification (1795) made provision for itinerant preachers to celebrate Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, effectively giving Methodism in Britain an independent ecclesial life.

17. In its origins, Methodism was primarily a renewal movement, concerned to evangelise the people, and to foster social and personal holiness in response to the proclamation of the Gospel. Significantly, Methodists did not make sustained efforts at articulating their doctrine of the Church. John Wesley accepted the Church of England as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church in England. Efforts concentrated instead on Methodism’s calling to spread scriptural holiness. So important was this mission that it took precedence over questions relating to Church order, though Methodists were not indifferent to such matters. Holiness became the decisive mark of the Church in Methodist understanding, enabling Methodists to recognise others as belonging to the universal Church irrespective of their particular ecclesial allegiance. Thus the unity of the Church was viewed primarily in terms of unity in holiness and only secondarily in terms of structural relations. Holiness was the sign and criterion of catholicity, and the apostolicity of the Church was constituted by continuity in the apostolic mission to win people for Christ. For Methodism these were the emphases that had to be safeguarded at all costs.

Catholic Developments

18. Signs of renewal were also evident within the Catholic Church during the period when the Methodist movement was taking shape. The reform decrees of the Council of Trent (1545-1563) had inspired a spiritual renewal, largely through the formation of the diocesan clergy in seminaries. New religious communities and lay movements emerged, with charisms centred on education, health care, ministry to the poor, the cultivation of social responsibility and the pursuit of holiness. Several devotions or forms of piety gained popularity (to the Blessed Sacrament, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus), while spiritual writers such as Francis de Sales and Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle encouraged believers to deepen their personal relationship with Christ. Missionary initiatives were undertaken in the Americas, Asia and Africa, sometimes resulting in the martyrdom of those who sought to spread the Gospel. The key emphases of holiness and mission within Methodism were thus also dominant thrusts within the Catholic Church during this period.

19. This renewal was accompanied by theological controversies and internal tensions within the Catholic Church, most notably concerning grace (for example, rigid interpretations of St Augustine’s doctrine of grace, as in Jansenism). Papal authority was challenged by those arguing for a more conciliar understanding of church authority, while others sought a greater concentration of authority in the See of Rome. In response to the Reformation, Catholic theology emphasised a commitment to living continuity with the apostolic Church and the Church through the ages. Concern with the Church’s unity and apostolicity led the Catholic Church to define itself over against those who had separated from it, suggesting that Protestants had cut themselves off from the Church Christ had founded. In addition to the larger social and political contexts which made it difficult to establish any relations between the Catholic Church and the emerging Methodist movement, these factors militated against any attempt of Methodists and Catholics to view each other positively.

Early Methodist Views of the Roman Catholic Church

20. Broadly speaking, before the middle of the twentieth century Methodism shared in the habitual anti-Catholic attitude of English and American Protestantism. This was true of John Wesley’s view of Catholicism. As an eighteenth-century Anglican priest with a mixed theological heritage, he was convinced that some of the dogmas, e.g., transubstantiation and purgatory, and some of the practices of the Catholic Church, were contrary to Scripture. He believed that Catholics worshipped the saints and holy pictures and practised several false sacraments. He was opposed to withholding the cup in holy communion and to the use of a liturgical language that most laity could not understand. He regarded the Catholic reliance on tradition as a threat to the authority of the Word of God in Scripture, and the power of the Pope as an abuse.

21. Wesley had an ambivalent attitude toward the tradition of the Church. Whereas he had a high regard for the patristic period, his view of the medieval period was mostly negative, though he did draw upon some writings of that time. He appealed to the early Church, and he intended Methodism to effect a renewal of the Church of England in line with primitive Christianity. Wesley accepted the doctrinal decisions of the first four ecumenical councils; however, he felt that a moral decline in Christian life and teaching, which he considered had already begun in the Church’s first centuries, characterised the long period from Constantine to Martin Luther.

22. Though loyal to the English Reformation, John Wesley was prepared to reach out to Catholics in significant ways. His Letter to a Roman Catholic, written in 1749 in Ireland, is marked by a conciliatory tone and a frank acknowledgment of a common faith and doctrine with Catholics. Wesley pleaded for Catholics and Protestants to “reason together” rather than engage in “endless jangling about opinions”. He recognised Catholics as Christians despite what he saw as the errors and superstitions of their church. He was himself deeply indebted to the Imitation of Christ of Thomas à Kempis, which he recommended to Methodist readers, along with the early Fathers of the Church. He also referred to other Catholic writers such as Francis de Sales as models of Christian perfection or spiritual guides.

23. The most eminent eighteenth-century Roman Catholic to comment on Methodism was Richard Challoner (1691-1781), Vicar-Apostolic of the London District from 1758. In A Caveat against the Methodists (1760), Challoner cited numerous biblical references to show that the Church founded by Christ is universal, one, holy, and orthodox in doctrine, with an unfailing succession of pastors and teachers under the direction of the Holy Spirit. In Challoner’s estimation, “The Methodists are not the People of God: they are not true Gospel Christians: nor is their new raised Society the true Church of Christ, or any Part of it.”9

24. Responding to Challoner’s Caveat, Wesley agreed that the Church is universal, one, holy and orthodox, but then found it difficult to recognise these same marks of the Church in “the Church of Rome, in its present form”. For him, the catholic Church founded by Christ is “the whole body of men endued with faith, working by love, dispersed over the whole earth, in Europe, Asia, Africa and America”.10 In all ages and nations the Church is the one body of Christ. This Church is holy “for no unholy man can possibly be a member of it”. It is orthodox in all things necessary to salvation, secured against error in things essential by the perpetual presence of Christ and ever directed by the Spirit of truth. Wesley judged that “not Methodists only” but “the whole body of Protestants” had better title to these marks than the Roman Catholic Church as such. He was willing to recognise individual Catholics as being included in the Church despite the shortcomings of their institution. In his 1785 sermon Of the Church he said of the Church of Rome: “Therein neither is ‘the pure Word of God’ preached nor (are) the sacraments ‘duly administered’.” Yet, he would include those congregations within the Church catholic, if they have “one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all”.11 At times, then, Wesley was dismissive of the Roman Catholic Church; nevertheless he was reluctant to unchurch Roman Catholic individuals or even entire congregations.

25. When the Methodist Episcopal Church was constituted in the United States in 1784, Wesley gave it an edited version of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. Several of the Articles repeated the Reformers’ attack on Catholic teaching, thus providing a basis for the Methodist critique of Catholicism in America. After Wesley’s death, his opposition to Catholicism was remembered among his followers in England. The Wesleyan Methodist Conference published tracts and books that extolled the Reformation and attacked popery. International relations further complicated matters. For most Methodists on both sides of the Atlantic, a perceived allegiance to the Pope as a foreign ruler made Roman Catholics potentially disloyal citizens, dangerous to the social order.

Early Roman Catholic Views of Methodism

26. Early Catholic reactions to Methodism were rare. When given, they largely reflected the principle that the Reformation had been an unmitigated evil. The Recusants, whose views were affected by the experience of the penal laws against Catholics and their priests, generally rejected the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England as heretical. In France, the influential writer Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet taught that the Reformation launched a course of endless self-divisions and multiplications because of the absence of a true doctrinal magisterium and uncontrolled interpretations of Scripture.12 Richard Challoner followed Bossuet and assimilated Methodism to the numerous enthusiastic sects that had broken off from the Church of England during the seventeenth century. He denounced Methodism as just another instance of the fissiparous process that many viewed as the essential heritage of the Reformation in regard to the structure of the Church.

27. In relation to doctrine, Challoner understood the Council of Trent as having defended the authentic apostolic tradition in opposition to the teaching of the Reformers. The Council having condemned “the vain trust of the heretics” (inanem haereticorum fiduciam) at its sixth session (1546),13 Challoner was critical of the Methodist doctrine of assurance, in which he detected “mere illusion and groundless presumption”. He thus fostered among Catholics a perception of Methodist societies as a late sectarian growth that promoted false doctrine and unhealthy practices in a church that was already schismatic and heretical. When the Methodist societies came to be separated from the Church of England, these hostile judgments were automatically transferred to Methodism. This negative view was reflected in theological dictionaries published in France in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One such depiction of Methodism concluded, “One sees here an image, an echo, not of the angelic hierarchies..., but of that empire of confusion and disorder where the evil spirits reign.”14

28. A few voices conveyed a different, though still mixed, understanding, even if they were not widely heard. In his Lenten lectures at the London Oratory in 1850, John Henry Newman could declare to his former fellow-Anglicans that “if you wish to find the shadow and the suggestion of the supernatural qualities which make up the notion of a Catholic Saint, to Wesley you must go, and such as him” (though “personally I do not like him, if it were merely for deep self-reliance and self-conceit”). Likewise, he went on, Wesley and his companions, “starting amid ridicule at Oxford, with fasting and praying in the cold night air, then going about preaching, reviled by the rich and educated, and pelted and dragged to prison by the populace, and converting thousands from sin to God’s service”, might evoke the great Catholic missionaries of former times – “were it not for their pride and eccentricity, their fanatical doctrine and untranquil devotion”.15

29. A more measured approach to Methodism from this period can be found in the work of Johann Adam Möhler (1796-1838). In a study of the major symbols and confessions of faith that had been formulated since the Reformation, he classified Methodism as “one of the smaller Protestant sects”, and recognised that John Wesley was distinguished “by great talents, classical acquirements and (what was still better) by a burning zeal for the kingdom of God”.
16 While he blamed Wesley for, as he saw it, assuming the office of bishop and ordaining priests, he was the first to suggest a similarity between the origin of the Methodist movement and the inspiration “which led to the origin of the monastic institutes” in the Catholic Church. In this perspective Methodism appeared primarily as a force for spiritual renewal. This positive reassessment, however, did not bear fruit in Catholic thought until the twentieth century.

Underlying Convictions

30. In this account of the history of our mutual assessment, wherein we can easily see uninformed and polemical judgements of each other, it is also possible to see a desire on both sides to preserve the Gospel and its proclamation. It can be seen that Methodism took steps to protect the holiness of the Church according to its insights. In the new context of industrialisation in England, mass emigration from Ireland, the development of the United States as a nation, and wide-spread colonisation, Methodism sought to bring scriptural holiness to ordinary people in the midst of great social upheaval. It adopted new forms of preaching and worship to convey the Gospel. The Holy Spirit was perceived by Methodists as raising up leaders for the newly formed churches in new structures of governance. They were passionate about transforming individual lives and shaping societies so that holiness might be more manifest.

31. With a centuries-long memory of Christian unity, the Catholic Church sought to preserve the unity of God’s people in every way it could. Catholics were deeply concerned about the fissiparous tendencies of Protestantism. The Catholic Church desired to protect the visible continuity of ministry and teaching in the Church, and saw catholicity as intimately connected with these. It reacted to the separations of the sixteenth century as losses to God’s Church and then saw other divisions within Protestant churches as movements further away from unity, apostolicity and catholicity.

Additional Factors Affecting the Relationship

32. While doctrine and theology are of major importance in the life of the churches, the religious experience of the faithful cannot be separated from their social setting. Majorities tend to restrict the freedom of minorities. When, in the past, Methodism was part of a Protestant majority or ascendancy, it tended to contribute to the marginalisation of Roman Catholics in society and to the imposition of measures against the free exercise of their faith. Likewise, where Roman Catholicism dominated, it tended to marginalise Protestants, including Methodists, to prevent them from full participation in society, and to limit the free practice of their faith and exercise of conscience.

33. Such political and social situations nurtured hostility rather than charity. Memories of oppression or discrimination were kept alive in the popular mind in both communities, fostering misunderstanding and mistrust. National rivalries between predominantly Protestant and Catholic countries were fed by the religious oppositions which in turn they nurtured. As the missionary movement established new churches around the world, many of these divisions and prejudices were passed on to the new Christians and their leaders.

The Ecumenical Movement and the Second Vatican Council

34. Methodists were prominent in the ecumenical movement that began in the late nineteenth century and gained momentum in the first half of the twentieth. Initially this activity was propelled by commitment to world-wide mission and evangelism, which led Methodists and others to join in the establishment of new collaborative organisations. They saw that cooperation among Christians was necessary for the effective pursuit of that mission. The mottoes ‘the evangelization of the world in this generation’ (Student Volunteer Movement) and ‘that they all may be one’ (World Student Christian Federation) motivated Methodists to forge strong working relationships with other Protestants. In so doing, they sought to live out John Wesley’s teaching about a person of “catholic spirit” as one who “gives his hand” to all whose “hearts are right with his heart”. Such a person regards “as friends”, “as brethren”, all who “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” and “love God and man”: “He assists them to the uttermost of his power in all things, spiritual and temporal. He is ready ‘to spend and be spent for them’; yea, ‘to lay down his life for’ their sake.” Looking outward, such a person’s heart is “enlarged toward all mankind”: “This is catholic or universal love. And he that has this is of catholic spirit.”17

35. This commitment to a “catholic spirit” progressively led Methodists to deepen their involvement in ecumenical organisations at the local, national and world levels. When the ecumenical movement began to take form in ecclesiastical structures after 1910, Methodist churches embraced it readily. After more than a century of independent existence, Methodist churches began to reflect upon their place in the larger Christian world. The British Methodist Church, while claiming for itself a place in “the Holy Catholic Church which is the Body of Christ”,18 considered that existing “denominations”, being “but a partial and imperfect embodiment of the New Testament ideal”, have a “duty to make common cause in the search for the perfect expression of that unity and holiness which in Christ are already theirs”.19

36. As the twentieth century progressed, Methodist attitudes toward Roman Catholics began to be transformed. The breakthrough came with the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the creation of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. The invitation extended by Pope John XXIII to Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant churches to send official observers to the Second Vatican Council was gladly received by Methodists. The relationships built between the Methodist observers and the Catholic participants at the Council contributed to a deeper mutual understanding between them. The Methodists gained a better understanding of Catholic teaching and welcomed the new articulations of traditional Catholic doctrine contained in the Council’s documents: in particular, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio), the Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (Ad Gentes), the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes).20

37. Unitatis Redintegratio launched the Catholic Church into the ecumenical movement and became the interpretive guide to govern its participation therein. The Decree expressed the conviction that the ecumenical movement was set in motion and led by the Holy Spirit, and that the search for Christian unity was intrinsically linked to the Church’s identity and mission. The Council recognised that elements of the Church founded by Jesus Christ were already present in other churches and ecclesial communities, and that their relationship to the Catholic Church was that of partial or imperfect communion, which contained an inner dynamic towards full communion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (LG §8; UR §3). The promotion of dialogue, joint collaboration for the common good and spiritual ecumenism were set forth as the principal means by which Christian unity is to be fostered. The conciliar teaching that ecumenical relations require interior conversion and repentance for sins against unity (UR §7), and that such conversion, along with “holiness of life”, is at the heart of the ecumenical movement (UR §8), is especially close to the Methodist conviction that the search for evangelical perfection should be at the centre of Christian living.

38. Beginning with Unitatis Redintegratio (1964) and building on the Council’s teaching, a body of texts has emerged which guides Roman Catholic participation in the search for Christian unity. This includes treatment of ecumenism within the revised Code of Canon Law (1983), a Directory of Norms governing Catholic involvement in the ecumenical movement (first edition, 1967-1970; revised edition 1993), the papal encyclical Ut Unum Sint (1995), and a large corpus of papal teaching and guidance from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Pope John XXIII (1958-63) identified the unity of Christians as one of the goals of the Council, and it has increasingly become a pastoral focus in successive pontificates. In Ut Unum Sint, Pope John Paul II insisted that the pursuit of Christian unity is not an addendum or an appendix but the way of the Church, an integral part of its essence and its pastoral activity.21

39. Both communions acknowledge the change in relations that came with the Second Vatican Council. Our dialogue has spent forty years building on that fresh opening. Immediately following the Council, steps were taken to establish a theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the World Methodist Council. This dialogue began its work in 1967. Catholics and Methodists have also been partners in the work of the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches. In various ways the two communions have engaged in joint prayer, common witness, common mission and local dialogue. Many new relationships have been built, and a spirit of mutual love has been nurtured, replacing the indifference or hostility that used to prevail between Catholics and Methodists. As a result, there has been a shift from polemics to dialogue, from accusation to respect, and from ignorance to trust. The desire for unity has grown at the same time stronger and more widespread. Appreciation of the ecclesial character of each other has increased and has found tangible expression in our closer relations.

New Hermeneutical Perspectives

40. Catholics and Methodists have viewed each other with a vision shaped by their respective understandings of the Reformation and of the blame which was attributed at that time and which continued to be attributed from then onwards. The Methodist view of the Catholic Church changed during the twentieth century as did the Catholic view of Methodism. Part of this reassessment concerns our interpretation of the phenomenon of separation itself.

41. Catholics are now able to see John and Charles Wesley and the Methodist movement as having been “characterized by a desire to make known the love of Christ, to reform the inner life of the Church, to encourage participation in the celebration of the Eucharist, to foster Christian education, to serve the poor, to impassion professed Christians into articulate witness for Christ’s sake”.22 Observing in Methodism many signs of the presence of the Holy Spirit, Catholics can see that it had the potential to renew the Church of England of that time. Whatever their attitudes in the past, Catholics can recognise that John Wesley valued greatly the unity of the Church but also felt obliged to be faithful to his mission to preach “scriptural holiness”. He and his followers pursued their mission with great dedication despite the tragic consequence of ecclesial division.

42. That the movement became separated from the Church of England is the result of many factors, both theological and non-theological. While the separation is regrettable, it is impossible at this distance to judge the parties involved and it would be undesirable to try. It was understandable that Catholics should see the separation of Methodists from the Church of England as one more example of the disintegrating impulse of the Reformation. The Christian world was already divided and the restoration of unity was not yet an obvious counter movement of the Holy Spirit. The renewal of the Church through the Methodist preaching of scriptural holiness would eventually serve the goal of Christian unity. Sadly, as this impulse gained a lasting foothold, Methodism’s pursuit of its mission resulted in a further division. Catholics can affirm with confidence that it is good that this Methodist gift of working for scriptural holiness in all the world is one which has survived for all to share.

43. Methodists have come to understand that the many divisions of the Church have weakened Christian witness. They recognise that Catholics have a valuable approach to unity in diversity from which Methodists can learn. Catholic appreciation for the past is something which Methodists share, and yet Catholics have taken more seriously their continuity with the Church in early and medieval times than have Methodists. John Wesley’s appreciation for Catholic understanding of sanctification can give Methodists an impetus to reassess Catholicism in this area, too. Methodists and Catholics are both committed to personal and social holiness and have developed an important sense of solidarity as they work together for social justice.

44. Separated Christian communities must eventually grow toward one another if they grow closer to Christ. They are formed by the Spirit to be one and not divided. Methodists and Catholics are kept from full communion by still unresolved doctrinal matters that the churches each believe are vital to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, we are conscious of the Holy Spirit drawing us towards deeper koinonia. All separations, therefore, are ever only temporary for those who seek to follow Christ, and can never be definitive. Christ alone knows the timing for the coming together of his followers. They only need to wait upon him and to respond whole-heartedly to the movements of the unifying Spirit.



  1. United Methodist Constitution, Article V, Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (2004), hereafter BD, p. 23.

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  2. Unitatis Redintegratio, §19; §1.

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  3. Towards a Statement on the Church, Report of the International Methodist-Catholic Dialogue (Nairobi, 1986), §20.

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  4. Rowan Williams, Address at the Signing of an Anglican-Methodist Covenant, Westminster, England, 1 November, 2003.

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  5. Cf. Ut Unum Sint (1995), hereafter UUS, §28.

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  6. Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope (London: Jonathan Cape, 1994), p. 153.

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  7. The Denver Report, Report of the International Methodist-Catholic Dialogue (1971), §6.

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  8. A Caveat against the Methodists, showing how unsafe it is for any Christian to join himself to their society, or to adhere to their teachers (1760).

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  9. Works of John Wesley, Bicentennial Ed., 21:304f (emphasis in original).

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  10. “Of the Church”, §19, Works of John Wesley, Bicentennial Ed., 3:52.

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  11. Essai sur les Variations des Églises Protestantes (1692).

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  12. Denzinger-Schönmetzer, Enchiridion Symbolorum, hereafter DS, §§1533, 1562-1566.

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  13. René Rohrbacher, Universal History of the Catholic Church (1849).

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  14. Certain Difficulties felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, vol. 1, pp. 88-91.

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  15. Möhler, Symbolism, New York: Crossroad Publishing Company (1997), p.436.

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  16. “Catholic Spirit” (1750), §III.4-5, Works of John Wesley, Bicentennial Ed., 2:94-95.

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  17. Methodist Church of Great Britain, Deed of Union (1932), “Doctrine”.

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  18. The Nature of the Christian Church according to the Teaching of the Methodists (1937), §III.3.

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  19. The Conciliar texts will be abbreviated in the text as follows: Lumen Gentium as LG; Unitatis Redintegratio as UR; Ad Gentes as AG; Dei Verbum as DV; Sacrosanctum Concilium as SC; and Gaudium et Spes as GS.

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  20. UUS §20.

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  21. Cardinal Walter Kasper, Homily at Ponte Sant’Angelo Methodist Church, Rome, June 22, 2003 (a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Wesley).

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