Christian leaders see new ‘momentum’ in search for unity

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Representatives from five denominations meet in Rome

Christian leaders see new ‘momentum’ in search for unity

la-croix.com

Protestant leaders and Vatican officials who met recently in Rome say there is now a new "momentum" in fostering ecumenical unity.

Leaders from five Christian denominations have met to discuss the ongoing implications of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) that is said to have resolved the major doctrinal dispute that sparked the Reformation.

This declaration was signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1999.

“We have now five signatories of this ecumenical declaration,” said Kaisamari Hintikka, the Lutheran World Federation’s Assistant General Secretary for Ecumenical Relations, according to Anglican News Service.

“We feel we are called to ask together what kind of spiritual and ecclesiastical consequences the JDDJ might have for our churches.

“We are witnessing momentum in our shared ecumenical journey. This consultation is meant to appreciate and to use that gift, which calls us to healing the wounds in the body of Christ,” Hintikka said.

“This consultation will be the beginning of a process that aims to respond to the aspirations of the people in the pews. We want to offer our churches recommendations in order to grow in communion,” Hintikka added.

In their recent meeting in Rome, representatives of the five churches agreed to hold a consultation in March next year, to include a public lecture or panel discussion about ecumenical relations.

The JDDJ is seen as the key that helps unlock the core doctrinal issue from the Reformation, and the Anglican Communion, the World Methodist Council, along with the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church.

Secretary General of the Anglican Communion at the time Canon John L. Peterson described it as “an event which encourages Christians of all traditions and is a cause of rejoicing for all who pray and work for the unity of Christ's Church.”

Since then, the World Methodist Council, the World Communion of Reformed Churches, and the Anglican Consultative Council have all formally adopted or otherwise associated themselves with the Declaration.

The signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification in Augsburg in 1999 was a milestone in Catholic-Lutheran dialogue and was built on 30 years of continuous ecumenical dialogue between the two Churches.

It was “affirmed and welcomed” by the Anglican Consultative Council at their meeting in Lusaka in 2016.

In October last year, on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby presented a signed copy by Anglican council to the General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, Martin Junge, and the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Bishop Brian Farrell, during a service in Westminster Abbey.

That event was attended by the General Secretaries of the World Methodist Council and the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:01
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