PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN CHURCH AND WORLD
between the World Alliance of
Reformed Churches and the Secretariat for
Christian Unity: 1970-77
report was put into its final form and approved in March, 1977, by the joint commission
responsible for it, and it was presented to the authorities under whose auspices
the dialogue took place. The Executive Committee of the World Alliance of Reformed
Churches and the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity have accepted the proposal
put forward in the letter accompanying the report, signed by the co-Presidents
of the Commission (see below), and have arranged that the report be sent for study
by the Episcopal Conferences and by the Churches which are members of the World
Alliance. For that same purpose of study it is agreed that it may also be published.
The positions taken as a result of that study will be jointly evaluated by a new
mixed Commission that will be set up by mutual agreement.
is drawn to the status of this document: at this stage it remains exclusively
the responsibility of the Commission which prepared it and it does not constitute
a document of the authorities under whose auspices the dialogue took place.
the sponsoring authorities of the Roman Catholic/Reformed Joint Study Commission,
The Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church and
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
In writing this
letter, we the co-chairmen of the Joint Study Commission wish to set on record
on behalf of all the members of the Commission our deep sense of appreciation
for the privilege of having shared together in these years of study. Above all
we wish to testify to our sense of gratitude to our God, whom we seek to serve,
for all that has been given to us of his grace in this venture of learning together
in the things of the faith. While there are certainly remaining differences of
a substantial nature our work evidences a remarkable series of convergences and
In submitting this official report of the Reformed/Roman
Catholic dialogue, we would respectfully request that the following matters be
considered by our appropriate authorities.
We believe it to be very important that:
due reflection the respective authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and the
World Alliance of Reformed Churches submit this report for the widest possible
study, e.g., in episcopal conferences of the Roman Catholic Church and in member
churches of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and in theological seminaries
and faculties of both constituencies.
a due period for study and reflection within the respective constituencies reactions
be requested by a mutually agreed date.
be given to the appointment of a new Joint Commission, having some continuity
with that whose work is now ending, which new Commission would have the task of
evaluating together the reactions received from the partners in dialogue.
questions still require careful theological discussion which a reading of the
report will demonstrate. Along with these there will be issues arising from the
process of study and reaction to the report. All this material along with the
original theological mandate proposed by the preliminary meeting in Vogelenzang
(1969) will help to clarify the agenda for the next phase of the dialogue.
soon as this report has been received by the sponsoring bodies, consideration
be given to the eventual joint publication of this report in book form, including
a selected symposium of the position papers presented throughout the dialogue.
regard to those points mentioned above the undersigned indicate their availability
for consultation, if required.
We conclude this letter by
emphasizing the strongly expressed belief of the members of the Commission that
the growth in understanding registered in the years of dialogue behind us should
be further developed in continuing work. In the previous paragraphs we have therefore
outlined some of the steps which could serve as a part of the next phase of theological
conversations between the two partners.
behalf of the Joint Study Commission,