Archive for 2014

Archive pour 2014

Bottoms Up: Future of ecumenism is local, not ‘macro,’ Cuban professor says

The Rev. Daniel Montoya, longtime professor at Seminario Evangelico Teologia (Evangelical Theological Seminary, or SET) here, calls his core class “Practical Theological Ecumenism.”

“In Cuba, Christians are a tiny minority, so they try to get together to know each other,” Montoya explains. “They are not so keen on institutional or ‘macro’ ecumenism, but on local or “base” ecumenism.”

In Cuba, as most everyplace else in the world, ecumenism at the national or interdenominational level is in crisis. “These institutional groups forget location,” Montoya says. “They forget the base.”

For example, he says, “people are neighbours, their children attend the same schools, they ride the same buses, they walk in the same streets ― they are friends. On the ground they don’t see any differences, just on Sundays when they go to different churches.”

Practical ecumenism for Montoya, then, means teaching seminary students how to involve people locally “so they have better understanding and don’t have prejudice.” His classes focus on ecumenical cooperation in local communities, not on the dogmatic or doctrinal differences between churches.

Practical ecumenism must also be theological “because all of our hope ― what it means to be the church ― is based on faith and confidence in God.”
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Posted: February 3, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7290
Categories: PCUSA NewsIn this article: ecumenism, Presbyterian
Transmis : 3 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7290
Catégorie : PCUSA NewsDans cet article : ecumenism, Presbyterian


Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic dialogue held in India

Coptic icon of St. MarkPope Francis’ attitude of hospitality and humility towards Oriental Orthodox leaders has had a positive impact on the dialogue between Catholics and these ancient Orthodox Churches.

That‘s according to Fr Gabriel Quicke, who’s in charge of relations with the Oriental Orthodox Churches at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He came back this week from Kerala in India where he took part in the 11th meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between Catholics and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

The two delegations at the meeting continued their ongoing discussions on the ways in which full communion was expressed in the first five centuries, before the divisions between the different Churches. Since the 5th century, these ancient communities of Christians have not been in communion with either the Roman Catholic Church or the Eastern Orthodox world, with the result that very little is known about their rich heritage and traditions outside the countries where they are based – Egypt, Armenia, Syria, India and Ethiopia.
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Posted: February 7, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7256
Categories: NewsIn this article: Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, Oriental Orthodox
Transmis : 7 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7256
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Catholic, dialogue, ecumenism, Oriental Orthodox


Montréal Presbyterians respond to Québec Charter of Values

The Presbyterian Church in CanadaThe Presbyterian Church in Canada‘s Presbytery of Montreal has adopted a response to Bill 60 – the Québec Charter of Values.

“We acknowledge and celebrate the unique identity of Quebec as a Francophone nation and province within Canada, and acknowledge the particular religious and cultural history that has shaped its values, laws, and social fabric. We also acknowledge and celebrate the presence of other linguistic and cultural communities within Quebec – including a large Anglophone minority – and celebrate the contributions such communities have made to the history, identity, and success of Quebec as a liberal democratic polity. We believe that Quebec has been enriched by this diversity.”
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Posted: February 7, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7253
Categories: NewsIn this article: Presbyterian Church in Canada, Québec, religious freedom
Transmis : 7 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7253
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Presbyterian Church in Canada, Québec, religious freedom


Still work to do in Jewish relations

Sister Lucy Thorson snd, speaking at World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 5 at Scarboro MissionsContinuing to strengthen relationships with the Jewish community is essential for Catholics, Sr. Lucy Thorson believes.

“For us as Catholics it is really not a luxury, it is a necessity for us to be familiar with Judaism,” said the Sister of Sion. “It is the roots of our Christian faith. So many of our Christian practices are rooted in the Jewish tradition.”

Despite this connection which is grounded in “the Jewishness of Jesus,” a significant degree of tension has existed between the two faiths in the past.

“Our history has been very painful with our relationship with the Jewish people.”

Thorson blamed misunderstandings during the interpretation process of the New Testament resulting in negative portrayals of the Jews as one of the leading causes of this tension.

But things have been improving since Vatican II, she noted. During an evening lecture at Scarboro Missions on Feb. 5, Thorson reinforced this by highlighting some of the major milestones in Catholic-Jewish relations starting with the council.

The event, which was part of World Interfaith Harmony Week, drew about 35 people despite a winter storm blanketing much of the city earlier that day.
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Posted: February 11, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7347
Categories: Catholic RegisterIn this article: Catholic, Jewish-Christian relations
Transmis : 11 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7347
Catégorie : Catholic RegisterDans cet article : Catholic, Jewish-Christian relations


Anglican and United churches discuss differences

Members of the dialogue gathered at the Vancouver School of Theology in January. Front row (l to r): Gail Allan, Paula Sampson, Sandra Beardsall, Stephen Silverthorne. Back row (l to r): Andrew O'Neill, Gordon Jensen, Donald Koots, Bruce Myers, Elisabeth Jones, Lynne McNaughton, William Harrison. Photo: Glenn Sawatzky“Both friendly and intense”—that’s how the Rev. William Harrison describes the latest phase of the dialogue between representatives of the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada after the last of three annual meetings wrapped up at the Vancouver School of Theology on Jan. 16.

Harrison, the group’s Anglican co-chair, said the participants from both churches have prepared an interim report, which has to be submitted the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of General Synod (CoGS) for its next meeting in May before it can be discussed in detail. In the meanwhile, he answered a few questions from the Journal by email about the latest meetings and their progress.

In keeping with a resolution from the 2010 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, and with the agreement of the United Church’s Theology and Inter-Church Inter-Faith Committee, these most recent talks have focused on “the doctrinal identities of the two churches and the implications of this for the lives of the churches—including understandings of sacraments and orders of ministry.”

“Both sides have been willing to engage and ask tough questions,” Harrison wrote. “Where the previous phase focused on what we have in common, this phase has been more inclined to recognize differences. The result is that we have challenged one another and ourselves.” The previous dialogue took place over six years and ended in 2009. Those conversations were described in Drawing from the Same Well: The St. Brigid Report.

In spite of those differences, Harrison wrote, “We found that on core theological commitments (as expressed in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds, for example) we are really in much the same place, facing common challenges. Our differences on these matters tend to be more in the realm of how we do theology than in the things that we affirm.”
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Posted: February 14, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7352
Categories: Anglican JournalIn this article: Anglican Church of Canada, Christian unity, dialogue, United Church of Canada
Transmis : 14 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7352
Catégorie : Anglican JournalDans cet article : Anglican Church of Canada, Christian unity, dialogue, United Church of Canada


Our Unfolding Journey with Jesus Christ: new document reflects on the Global Christian Forum

Global Christian ForumAn important document, which is a theological reflection on the experience and life of the Global Christian Forum, has been approved by the GCF committee.

Titled, Our Unfolding Journey with Jesus Christ: Reflections on the Global Christian Forum Experience, the document is the work of a group of theologians drawn from across the church traditions and families that make up the GCF.

Rev Dr Wonsuk Ma, executive director of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, headed a panel of nine theologians, known as the Theological Working Group (TWG), who produced the document. [Full membership of TWG is listed below.]

The work, initiated by the GCF committee when in met in Rome in 2012, was received and approved by the committee at its recent meeting in Geneva in September.

The decision to undertake the task came after the second GCF global gathering at Manado, Indonesia, where it was felt that it was important to put down some theological markers so the wider Christian community could understand the story, practice and on-going life of the GCF.
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Posted: February 18, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7372
Categories: NewsIn this article: ecclesiology, Global Christian Forum, theology
Transmis : 18 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7372
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : ecclesiology, Global Christian Forum, theology


Pope records iPhone video greeting to Pentecostal leadership conference

Screen grab of Pope Francis' video greeting to a Kenneth Copeland Ministries leadership conferenceThis is a story that is classic Pope Francis: in late December he picked up the phone and called a Pentecostal bishop, Tony Palmer, to invite him to visit. By all accounts, they had been friends for a number of years already and this was just a social visit, so it wasn’t planned and facilitated by Vatican staff. When the Vatican’s daily news briefing on January 14 listed Bishop Palmer’s visit, the only detail given was that he is the ecumenical officer for the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a Pentecostal group that identifies as Anglican, but is not affiliated with the Anglican Communion.

That generated considerable curiosity, particularly in ecumenical circles. Until now, the Vatican has not had any formal contacts with non-Communion Anglicans. No further details were available until this week when a video was posted on YouTube. During their visit in January, Pope Francis and Bishop Palmer recorded a video message on the bishop’s iPhone. The message was for a conference of leaders from Kenneth Copeland Ministries, a Pentecostal mega-church ministry. Palmer was scheduled to address the conference a few days later, so Francis offered to send greetings. They recorded the video on the spot, and there is no indication that the Vatican staff were aware of its existence until it appeared on YouTube two days ago.
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Posted: February 20, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7381
Categories: NewsIn this article: Catholic, Christian unity, ecumenism, Francis, Pentecostal
Transmis : 20 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7381
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Catholic, Christian unity, ecumenism, Francis, Pentecostal


Bishops to release refugee statement

Fr Pierre Bisson, SJ, provincial superior of the Jesuits of English CanadaThe fate of refugees and the struggles of immigrants in general is on the agenda for Canada’s Catholic bishops, but the bishops are steering clear of a national campaign supported by several church and lay groups which has been critical of the government’s record on refugee rights. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is currently working on a statement concerning refugees, migrants and immigrants to be released at an unspecified date. “In general, the conference does not release preliminary information about the development and eventual timelines of its various projects,” said CCCB spokesman René Laprise in an e-mail. “This is in order to ensure that the bishops and their advisors, both internal and external, have full freedom in drafting, developing and approving any eventual texts. This also avoids raising expectations and risking disappointments about the topics, nature and publication schedules of possible future texts.” In December, the bishops declined to sign a Human Rights Day statement calling on Ottawa to change course on refugee rights. Co-ordinated by the Canadian Council for Refugees, the statement called for fairness, respect and compassion in the treatment of refugees. “Canada can and must do better,” said the Dec. 10 statement. Signatories to the open letter ranged from former solicitor general Warren Allmand to Blue Rodeo guitarist Jim Cuddy. They also included the provincial superiors of both the English and French Canadian provinces of the Jesuits, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the moderator of the United Church of Canada and the moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Canada.
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Posted: February 21, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=8533
Categories: Catholic RegisterIn this article: Canadian Council of Churches, migration, refugees
Transmis : 21 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=8533
Catégorie : Catholic RegisterDans cet article : Canadian Council of Churches, migration, refugees


Anglicans & Catholics in England launch joint Lenten prayer week

Archbishop Justin Welby and Cardinal Archbishop Vincent NicholsThe Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster have launched a joint initiative this Lent to encourage people to pray for the work churches do to support people in need in their parishes and beyond.

From Passion Sunday on 6 April to Palm Sunday on 13 April, Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Nichols will give thanks to God daily for this essential act of service, and pray for his blessing on the work of the churches.

They will also visit church projects to hear from participants and to see how communities are being transformed.

Their hope is that by joining together in prayer and encouraging others to join them they will foster the work of the church in strengthening communities and helping those in need across the country.
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Posted: February 26, 2014 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=7415
Categories: NewsIn this article: Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, poverty, prayer, Vincent Nichols
Transmis : 26 février 2014 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=7415
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, poverty, prayer, Vincent Nichols