Pope offers good wishes to WCRC

 — June 18, 201018 juin 2010

By Chris Meehan, News Editor and Chris Dorn, Reformed Church in America

Pope Benedict XVI has been one of several church leaders who have acknowledged the newly organized World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC). The pope sent a letter to the new organization as well as a representative of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The message was read to delegates to the Uniting General Council who are attending the founding meeting of the WCRC in Grand Rapids, a city in the Midwest United States. Representatives of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council agreed on 18 June to merge to form a new organization representing 230 churches worldwide. The meeting concludes on 26 June.

Gregory Fairbanks, the pontifical representative, read the letter from the pope. “The theme of this gathering reflects the inspiration and spirit of unification. Out of two communions has come one,” Fairbanks said before reading the letter.

In the letter addressed to Clifton Kirkpatrick, president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and Peter Borgdorff, president of the Reformed Ecumenical Council, the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church expressed his “warm greetings” and “prayerful good wishes” to the delegates assembled at the Uniting General Council.

In his letter, Benedict XVI affirmed the theme of the council, “Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace,” words drawn from the Letter to the Ephesians attributed to the Apostle Paul (4:3). The Roman Pontiff assured the delegates that the “Lord will never abandon his disciples in the quest for unity,” and commended the Reformed churches for the “ecumenical progress” signaled by the emergence of their new communion.

He concluded his remarks with the prayer that the commitment to Christian unity expressed through the formation of WCRC would “serve as a sign of hope and encouragement to all those who strive for that full unity which the Lord wills for his followers.”

“This is really a welcome signal that the Vatican has taken interest in what we are doing,” said Borgdorff.

Jerry Pillay, the newly elected president of the WCRC, said that the letter and the fact that the Vatican sent it was an important gesture of unity “that speaks volumes” for the possibility of further interactions between the WCRC and the Vatican in the future.

Posted: June 18, 2010 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=629
Categories: Dialogue, NewsIn this article: Catholic, papacy, Reformed churches, Vatican, World Communion of Reformed Churches
Transmis : 18 juin 2010 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=629
Catégorie : Dialogue, NewsDans cet article : Catholic, papacy, Reformed churches, Vatican, World Communion of Reformed Churches

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