Pope’s aim: unity not a superchurch

 — Dec. 3, 19853 déc. 1985

from the Orlando Sentinel

The director of the Vatican department that deals with other Christians said Monday that Pope John Paul II is working toward Christian unity but not a single superchurch.

Nevertheless, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the Dutch-born head of the Vatican secretariat for Christian unity, denied the pope is dragging his feet on forging closer ties with other churches.

“It is not just words, words, words,” Willebrands said of the church’s ecumenical efforts. There are deeds. There is action.”

He said the Vatican had made it clear since the end of Vatican II, the great world assembly that ended 20 years ago, that it was actively pursuing Christian unity. “But,” he said, “we understand that that other Christians must keep what is important to them in their own faiths.”

He held a press conference to report on latest developments at the extraordinary world synod of bishops, now in its ninth day. The bishops spent a second day in secret discussions, to refine and sharpen the language of various recommendations they will submit to the pope before they return home next weekend.

Willebrands said there were many ongoing contacts with other Christian leaders and bodies. He cited as one example the recent exchange of letters between the pope and the Rev. James Crumley, presiding bishop of the New York- based Lutheran Church in America. In the letters, the two men pledged to work to establish even closer relations.

“It would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, before Vatican II, that Protestants, Orthodox and so many other religious leaders would meet with the pope for serious discussions of their faiths,” said Willebrands.

But, he said, the Catholic Church is not ready to join the World Council of Churches, an interfaith coalition of Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox bodies. “For the moment,” he said, “both sides are not sure what is the best way to achieve Christian unity.”

Posted: Dec. 3, 1985 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=6392
Categories: News
Transmis : 3 déc. 1985 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=6392
Catégorie : News

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