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Some friends of mine recently undertook a little renovation project in their home: nothing major – just a couple of bathrooms, a laundry room and a fresh coat of paint on some walls.

The plan looked simple enough on paper, but the reality of the renos soon became a bit more complicated – and costly – than initially anticipated. Removing old walls disclosed some surprises, newer building codes required adjustments to plumbing and electrical works, old appliances didn’t quite fit into new spaces, and a few unforeseen wall repairs were needed before the simple step of applying new paint.

I think about this in the context of the upcoming Lenten season, and the renovation project that Lent invites into all of our lives: individually and communally, and particularly as churches journeying together on the path of Christian unity.
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Posted: Feb. 2, 2024 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=14043
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenism, Lent, spiritual ecumenism
Transmis : 2 févr. 2024 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=14043
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenism, Lent, spiritual ecumenism

Praying together with other Christians and even with members of other faiths has become so common over the past half century, it’s easy to forget earlier practice.

Archbishop Gilles Ouellet, a former chair of the CCCB’s Ecumenism Commission, talked about his experience in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. His father was a town councillor, and in this capacity took the young Gilles with him to attend the funeral of a prominent Protestant citizen. As they were entering the church, he recalled his father saying that they were attending the funeral “because it’s the right thing to do.” However, Archbishop Gilles was to remember that he was not to pray in that church.
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Posted: Jan. 4, 2024 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=14040
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: WPCU
Transmis : 4 janv. 2024 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=14040
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : WPCU

Synods are ecclesial gatherings, intense moments of reflection on the Word of God symbolized by the presence of the Book of the Gospels enthroned in the midst of the assembly. The month-long General Assembly of the 16th Synod, which met in Rome from October 4 to 29, was an experience of prayerful listening. It began with an Ecumenical Prayer Vigil organized by the Taizé community on September 30, where young people from many countries led a series of meditations and intercessions for the world. Their words and gestures recalled the purpose of the synodal process: to help us become a church more responsive to the call to mission and service of the poor and those who suffer.
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Posted: Dec. 7, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=14003
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Catholic, synodality
Transmis : 7 déc. 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=14003
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, synodality

The great damage inflicted among Indigenous Peoples by the colonizing projects in North America/Turtle Island, including the far too frequent complicity of the churches with them, is something that can hardly be overstated. Most Canadian Christians are, I hope, relatively aware of the large-scale physical, cultural, and spiritual harms that were perpetrated by things like the reserve system, residential schools, and bans on traditional ceremonies and rites. Less widely considered, however, are the impacts that also came from the importing of inter-Christian hostilities from Europe to the Peoples of this land. Although less urgent than the direct and tangible abuses, here too there are harmful marks that must be reckoned with.
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Posted: Nov. 2, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13996
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Canadian Council of Churches, ecumenism, Faith & Witness, Indigenous church
Transmis : 2 nov. 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13996
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Canadian Council of Churches, ecumenism, Faith & Witness, Indigenous church

“There is no synodality without ecumenism and no ecumenism without synodality.” These words were spoken at the “Together: Gathering of the People of God” ecumenical service on Saturday, September 30, in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. When I heard these words from the podium, I took notice. Ecumenism and synodality are both reform movements in the church. The integral connection between the two seemed self-evident to me, but it’s a good reminder.
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Posted: Oct. 5, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13930
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: synodality
Transmis : 5 oct. 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13930
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : synodality

The recently concluded World Youth Day in Portugal (August 1-6, 2023) included a number of ecumenical and interreligious experiences, opportunities, and lessons that garnered praise and criticism in Catholic and non-Catholic circles alike.

  • In addition to visiting and participating in events held within Catholic venues, WYD pilgrims were invited to visit significant Protestant and Orthodox churches and other houses of worship (synagogues, mosques, temples) in Lisbon and throughout the country, to “observe” how each religious denomination has its own history, content, ritual, and societal outreach.
  • With fellow Christians, WYD pilgrims were invited also to participate in prayers, lectures, and bible studies offered by Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox Church leaders, and ecumenical communities (such as Taizé and Chemin Neuf), and to “look for signs of unity” (of faith, sacrament, and mission) between these Christian communities.
  • On the interfaith side, organizers highlighted that “leaders of other faiths will be present at various events of the WYD Lisbon 2023 presided over by the Pope,” and indeed Pope Francis met with a number of ecumenical and interreligious leaders at significant events held throughout the week.
  • Groups from various religious backgrounds participated in a Youth Festival program that featured “music and singing as a universal language that facilitates encounters between religions, cultures and peoples.”

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Posted: Sept. 14, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13970
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenism, next gen, youth
Transmis : 14 sept. 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13970
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenism, next gen, youth

In 2024, The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) celebrates the 80th anniversary of its founding. Anniversaries are an opportunity to review the past and look to the future, to celebrate what has been accomplished and to learn from past experience, with a view to developing a clearer self-understanding in the present and identifying a vision for the future.
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Posted: Aug. 24, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13974
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Canadian Council of Churches
Transmis : 24 aoüt 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13974
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Canadian Council of Churches

“Though they differ from one another in essence and not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood are nonetheless interrelated: each of them in its own special way is a participation in the one priesthood of Christ” (Lumen Gentium, #10).

The reports issued during the diocesan and continental phases of the Synod on Synodality 2021-2024 offer a consistent call for a renewed understanding of the universal or baptismal priesthood. These reports frequently refer to the Vatican II quotation above, reminding us that 60 years ago, the church began to chart a new path in which the laity are not passive observers of the clergy’s active ministry. At times over the intervening years, lay ministry has been deemed a collaboration in what was typically understood as clerical ministry. The very word “ministry” has been frequently denied to lay people, who were instead meant to have an apostolate in the world. Pope Francis’ call to end clericalism has not meant an end to ordained ministry. He has cautioned against moves to clericalize lay ministry, pointing instead to the baptismal dignity of all. The Synod participants have noted the scriptural foundations for a baptismal priesthood.
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Posted: July 5, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13734
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: baptism, synodality, universal priesthood
Transmis : 5 juil. 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13734
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : baptism, synodality, universal priesthood

At the root of Christian agreements and disagreements about Mary are matters that are at the same time biblical, doctrinal, historical, liturgical, theological, sociological, soteriological, ecclesiological, and so on. What does the Bible say or not say about Mary, and how is this to be interpreted? How much of what is professed about Mary belongs to the Tradition of the Church rather than directly found in Scripture? How much is from historical, cultural, or sentimental expressions developed within specific churches? Does Marian doctrine or devotion enhance or take away anything from the central focus on Christ? What is the relationship between God’s grace present and active in Mary’s life, and her own (and our own) human actions or belief? What is meant by the veneration of Mary (or of the saints) as distinct from worshipping God? When and by whose authority did Marian titles, feasts, and dogmas come to be assigned within the Christian Church? Are all such titles, feasts, and dogmas essential, obligatory, and/or intended to be marked with equal solemnity? How is Mary’s life and faith presented as a model for female Christian discipleship, or as exemplary for Christian life in general?
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Posted: May 30, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13708
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Anglican, dialogue, Evangelicals, Groupe des Dombes, Mary, Methodist
Transmis : 30 mai 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13708
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, dialogue, Evangelicals, Groupe des Dombes, Mary, Methodist

Have you ever greeted a neighbour with a “Happy Easter,” only to learn that they are still in the season of Lent and won’t be celebrating the Feast for another couple of weeks? In areas where Christians of different denominations live closely together, especially Eastern and Western churches, the search for a common date to celebrate Christ’s resurrection has become an urgent concern. As St. Paul makes clear (1 Corinthians 15:12-14), belief in the resurrection is a fundamental aspect of the apostolic faith. By celebrating this event on different days, Christians compromise their credibility and effectiveness in bringing the Gospel to an increasingly secular world.
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Posted: Apr. 27, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13572
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Date of Easter, dialogue, WCC
Transmis : 27 avril 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13572
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Date of Easter, dialogue, WCC

I was recently asked how we know if a dialogue is successful. Even in the church, there is a temptation to assess projects and ministries by worldly standards. How much did it cost? How many people attended? How many people watched the video? These practical concerns should be considered, but other questions might be more critical. Did the experience transform people? Did this deepen or strengthen relationships between people or between the churches? What were the fruits of this project? What is the Spirit saying to the churches?
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Posted: Mar. 31, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13641
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Canada, CCCB, dialogue
Transmis : 31 mars 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13641
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Canada, CCCB, dialogue

This year marks the 25th anniversary of We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, issued on 16 March 1998 by the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.
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Posted: Feb. 28, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13639
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: anti-semitism, Catholic, Judaism, Shoah
Transmis : 28 févr. 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13639
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : anti-semitism, Catholic, Judaism, Shoah

One day after his election to the papacy on April 19, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the College of Cardinals. He affirmed his commitment to the ecumenical agenda of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, and identified his primary task as the impelling duty “to work tirelessly to rebuild the full and visible unity of all Christ’s followers.” He stated his readiness “to do everything in his power to promote the fundamental cause of ecumenism,” as well as his determination “to encourage every initiative that seems appropriate for promoting contacts and understanding with the representatives of the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities.” At the time of his death on December 31, 2022, tributes from ecumenical partners around the world testified to his fidelity to these commitments made at beginning of his papacy.
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Posted: Jan. 31, 2023 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13637
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Benedict XVI, Catholic, dialogue, Joseph Ratzinger, justification by faith, Lutheran
Transmis : 31 janv. 2023 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13637
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Benedict XVI, Catholic, dialogue, Joseph Ratzinger, justification by faith, Lutheran

As the Minnesota Council of Churches began work on the 2023 theme materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, they reflected on the murder of George Floyd and the history of racism directed at people of colour in the United States. They also recalled the day in 1862 when 38 members of the Dakota tribe were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota, following the U.S.-Dakota War. As they were led to their deaths, the warriors sang the hymn Wakantanka taku nitawa (Many and Great).

The prophet Isaiah lived in Judah in the 8th century BCE, a time of prosperity in the two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Yet, like other societies with wealth and power, great inequities existed. The rich and the powerful made offerings in the temple, and gained influence in the spiritual and ritual life of the kingdom. But the poor, who could not afford to offer sacrifices, were excluded from civil and religious life. The injustices of the time were not the result of specific choices of the religious or civil leaders but were the outcome of the structure of the society itself. In response, Isaiah called out for God’s justice. He denounced political, social, and religious structures that created and sustained inequity and oppression. He called upon the people to “learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” (Isaiah 1:17)
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Posted: Dec. 27, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13635
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: anti-racism, racism, WPCU
Transmis : 27 déc. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13635
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : anti-racism, racism, WPCU

I can recall the day exactly in March 2020 when all of the busyness of my life – all my appointments, activities, events and plans – were simply wiped from my calendar: my coworkers and I were told to go home and to stay there until further notice, and everyone was asked to quarantine or at least to limit interpersonal contacts, until more information could be obtained as to the real threat that a new strain of coronavirus represented to our individual lives and indeed for all humankind.

It was a scary time as I recall, as little by little we learned details about this new plague that had set upon the world: hospitals were being overrun, death tolls were rising and there was no known cure for the virus. Places of communal gathering – churches among them – were asked to restrict access and if possible, to shutter their doors completely, which, of course, many did, to the rejoicing of some and the chagrin of others.
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Posted: Nov. 29, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13633
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: COVID, eucharist, pandemic
Transmis : 29 nov. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13633
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : COVID, eucharist, pandemic

On two occasions this past year, Pope Francis has expressed his deep sorrow for the pain and trauma suffered by former students of residential schools and their descendants. At the end of March, he met with delegations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples in Rome where he stated: “Listening to your voices, I was able to enter into and be deeply grieved by the stories of the suffering, hardship, discrimination and various forms of abuse that some of you experienced, particularly in the residential schools. … I ask for God’s forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”

Following this initial meeting, he travelled to Canada in July where he re-iterated his heartfelt apology for Catholic involvement in residential schools and again joined with the Canadian Bishops in asking pardon. He stated: “Today I am here, in this land that, along with its ancient memories, preserves the scars of still open wounds. I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness, of telling you once more that I am deeply sorry…. I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools.”
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Posted: Oct. 27, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13631
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: apologies, Indigenous peoples, Pope Francis, Residential Schools
Transmis : 27 oct. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13631
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : apologies, Indigenous peoples, Pope Francis, Residential Schools

“The WCC puts unity before justice!” This was the complaint of one Canadian participant in the World Council of Churches’ 11th Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany. The 65 Canadian participants gathered recently to debrief their experience of the August 31st to September 8th gathering of churches from around the world. The theme of the Assembly was “Christ’s love moves the world to reconciliation and unity.”

Back in May, Sr. Donna Geernaert wrote about the Assembly theme in her blog post “An Ecumenism of the Heart.” Over 3,750 church delegates, observers, advisors, visitors, and media came from around the world to Karlsruhe. WCC assemblies are only held every 7 or 8 years, so it was an excellent opportunity for me to attend along with my wife, Rev. Amanda Currie, one of the delegates from the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
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Posted: Oct. 5, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13629
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, social justice, WCC Assembly
Transmis : 5 oct. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13629
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, social justice, WCC Assembly

Heat waves, rivers drying up, wild fires, floods, disappearing glaciers… Recent events in our own context and around the world leave no doubt that the daily life of our communities, our global partners, and the mission and ministries of our churches will increasingly be impacted by climate-related disasters, the trauma of those directly affected, and the fear and despair experienced by so many in the face of our destruction of creation.
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Posted: Aug. 30, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13627
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: climate change, environment, Laudato Si'
Transmis : 30 aoüt 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13627
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : climate change, environment, Laudato Si'

The church is called to be anti-racist. Recently, I heard this quote from Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want To Talk About Race:

The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.

I find this quote provocative because I struggle to live in actively anti-racist ways. I find it provocative because I continue to detect in myself a desire to avoid admitting the racism in me and in my faith communities. Based on several recent experiences, which were simultaneously painful, frustrating, and holy, I have no doubt about the truth of the words it’s the only way forward.
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Posted: July 19, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13625
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: anti-racism, racism
Transmis : 19 juil. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13625
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : anti-racism, racism

One of the most beautiful and striking images that has stayed with me from the funeral mass of Pope John Paul II in 2005, was an ensemble of very ornately vested bishops gathered around the Holy Father’s coffin after communion, lifting up prayers and incense amidst a chorus of Greek and Arabic chanting.

The appearance of these bishops seemed to catch certain news announcers (even Catholic ones) off-guard, who referred to them variously as Greek Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental bishops, and so on. Many Orthodox bishops did attend the funeral, of course, but these were seated in a separate section among Lutheran, Anglican, Evangelical, and other churches not in full communion with Rome.
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Posted: June 28, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13623
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Catholic, Eastern churches
Transmis : 28 juin 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13623
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, Eastern churches

At the invitation of the churches in Germany, Alsace–Lorraine, and Switzerland, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will hold its 11th General Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany, from August 31 to September 8, 2022. Usually held every eight years, this assembly comes after a year’s delay because of the COVID pandemic which has taken many lives and highlighted the profound inequalities that exist in contemporary society. Bringing together more than 4000 participants from all over the world, a WCC Assembly is a special event in the lives of its 350 member churches, ecumenical partners, and other churches. With a membership including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed churches as well as many charismatic, independent, united, and uniting churches, a WCC Assembly is the most diverse Christian gathering of its size in the world. It is a unique opportunity for the churches to deepen their commitment to visible unity and common witness.
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Posted: May 31, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13621
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Karlsruhe, WCC Assembly
Transmis : 31 mai 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13621
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Karlsruhe, WCC Assembly

When I first encountered interchurch families in my early ecumenical work, I had no idea that I would eventually marry someone from another church and become an interchurch family. I am now married to the Rev. Amanda Currie, a Presbyterian minister. Yet, at the time, I had little experience with theological or pastoral questions of marriage and family and no clue about how these would be significant in ecumenical relations in Canada.

Various surveys of Canadian dioceses since the 1980s have confirmed that 60% or more of marriages in Catholic parishes are what we used to call “mixed marriages”. This catch-all term includes marriages of a Catholic with anyone who is not Catholic, including other Christians, people of various other religions, and people with nominal or no religion. Most couples come to marriage with differing religious experiences or commitment levels, so most churches have historically cautioned against “inter-marriage” on practical grounds and sometimes with rather peculiar preconceptions about the other.
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Posted: Apr. 28, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13619
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: interchurch families, marriage
Transmis : 28 avril 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13619
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : interchurch families, marriage

In more than one of our One Body articles, my fellow bloggers and I have emphasized the importance of deep, prayerful, heartfelt listening as essential to ecumenical ministry and engagement.

Such listening orients us to the voices of sisters and brothers from other churches and ecclesial communities; it invites us to consider the real (not our perceived or imagined) situation of their lives and calls us to be attentive to the ways in which the Lord may be speaking and working through them, for our sake (and theirs), and for the sake of the world.
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Posted: Mar. 29, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13617
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: dialogue, listening, love, truth
Transmis : 29 mars 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13617
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : dialogue, listening, love, truth

A recent blog by Nick Jesson identifies “six signs of an ecumenical springtime” as a cause for renewed hope in the search for Christian unity. Not mentioned by Nick but perhaps a seventh sign of an ecumenical springtime is a growing appreciation for Saint John Paul II’s reference to dialogue as an ecumenical gift exchange. Pope Francis offers clear encouragement: “If we really believe in the abundantly free working of Holy Spirit, we can learn so much from one another!” (Evangelii Gaudium 246). With this in mind, the Catholic Ecumenical Officers of Western Canada saw Pope Francis’ invitation to the whole church, Catholic and ecumenical, to reflect together on synodality as an invitation to host an ecumenical panel on the topic.
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Posted: Mar. 1, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13615
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: dialogue, synodality
Transmis : 1 mars 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13615
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : dialogue, synodality

When Wiarton Willie or his furry cousins poke their heads out to see if spring has come, there is just one sign that counts. Does he see his shadow? Of course, it’s all just fun; there is no causal relationship between a cloudy sky on February 2nd and an early spring. It is a lot more complicated when it comes to the signs of an ecumenical springtime, but there is much more cause for hope.

Since the mid-1980s, it has become commonplace to forecast an ecumenical winter in contrast to the enthusiasm of the 1960s and 70s. After the early achievements of post-Vatican II ecumenism, with key agreements on the Eucharist, ministry, authority, and various other controverted questions, progress slowed as ecumenists took up questions of ecclesiology, authority, and ethics. Yet after every winter comes spring. This blog post will explore six signs of an ecumenical springtime.
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Posted: Feb. 2, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13613
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenism, hope
Transmis : 2 févr. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13613
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenism, hope

For Christians following the Byzantine lectionary, these words from the Gospel of Matthew are read on Christmas day. Indeed, for us Eastern Catholics who follow the Julian calendar, we heard those words just last week! While most of our neighbours have already finished their Christmas celebrations and moved past Epiphany, for some of us the party is just getting started. The accounting of the journey of the wise men provides lessons for us Christians: we see how Herod and the religious establishment wanted to harm the newborn King of Kings, while those who worshipped stars were among the first to recognize the coming of the Christ.

This year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25) has taken these same words from the Gospel of Matthew and incorporated them as its theme. It is a reminder for us in the West to look towards the ancestral Churches of the East in solidarity. Many of the faithful of these Churches today experience political, economic, and social turmoil in their everyday lives. Unity is needed more than ever.
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Posted: Jan. 11, 2022 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13611
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Eastern churches, spiritual ecumenism, WPCU
Transmis : 11 janv. 2022 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13611
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Eastern churches, spiritual ecumenism, WPCU

In his homily at the Mass to open the two-year synod on synodality, Pope Francis reflected on the meeting recorded in the Gospel of Mark between Jesus and a rich man who asks him, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10.17-22) In this encounter, Pope Francis identifies Jesus as one who listens “with his heart and not just with his ears.”
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Posted: Nov. 30, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13609
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Catholic, Pope Francis, synodality
Transmis : 30 nov. 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13609
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, Pope Francis, synodality

On November 16, 2021, the Canadian Anglican–Roman Catholic Dialogue (ARC–Canada) marks its 50th anniversary. In an increasingly divided world where relationships are more often defined by conflict than cooperation, this is indeed an occasion to celebrate! An ongoing dialogue where words are used not to dominate or control but to seek understanding is a critical counter-cultural witness in today’s world. In addition to celebration, a 50th anniversary is an invitation to reflect on the past and to consider what may be learned for the future.
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Posted: Oct. 26, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13607
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Anglican, Canada, Catholic, dialogue
Transmis : 26 oct. 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13607
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, Canada, Catholic, dialogue

Synod comes from the Greek syn and odos (meaning “with” and “path”) and refers to a way of living or working together. My favourite biblical passage for synodality is that of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, where Cleopas and his companion are joined by the resurrected Jesus, who walks with them and explains the scriptures to them. The biblical passage ends with a meal in which they finally recognize him in the breaking of the bread. Synodality is about walking together in a shared search for Christ in scripture, prayer, and common life.
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Posted: Sept. 29, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13605
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Catholic, synodality
Transmis : 29 sept. 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13605
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, synodality

As any long-standing married couple will tell you, living relationships are changing relationships. So after some 55 years of bilateral dialogue, it’s not surprising to see that the Anglican–Roman Catholic international dialogue (ARCIC) has adopted a new approach. Where the first two phases of the dialogue, ARCIC I and II, sought to identify points of agreement, ARCIC III has focused on mutual support and possibilities for learning from one another through use of a methodology called receptive ecumenism. Its first agreed statement, Walking Together on the Way: Learning to be the Church – Local, Regional, Universal (WTW), was published in 2017.
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Posted: Aug. 31, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13603
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Anglican, Catholic, dialogue, receptive ecumenism
Transmis : 31 aoüt 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13603
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Anglican, Catholic, dialogue, receptive ecumenism

Like many Canadians, I really like to garden. There’s something about mucking around in the dirt, planting seeds and tending plants, that restores the soul after a long winter or even just at the end of a busy work week. And how rewarding it feels to see your own flowers in bloom or to harvest tasty vegetables from your own garden plot. It represents the fruits, literally, of a lot of hard work, from clearing and tilling soil, to watering and weeding, to pruning and fending off critters – all for the joy of tasting your own tomatoes or savouring the blissful fragrance of your own roses in bloom.
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Posted: June 29, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13601
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenical spring
Transmis : 29 juin 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13601
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenical spring

After 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the churches of Canada have begun to take stock of their experiences and make plans for re-opening in the coming months. In some ways, the shared experience of our churches has drawn us together in ways that have significance for the work of Christian unity. In this blog post, I gather a few insights about the churches’ experience in the pandemic.

Many people have noted that the pandemic has revealed to us the inequities of society. Even with a first-class public health system in Canada, we have discovered that some people have greater difficulties accessing health care than others. Poverty, race, age, disability, gender, culture, education, and immigration status are all factors inhibiting the ability of people to access social support or receive the care they need. Of course, this is not a recent discovery but one that, until it was revealed to us by the stark reality of the pandemic, was rarely heard outside the confines of social services and health care policy. Churches have recognized our social capital in forming public opinion and influencing governments, and we are increasingly working together in these areas. During the pandemic, ecumenical and interfaith groups have begun to engage government on policy related to public health, long-term care, vaccination programs, mental health, and spiritual care.
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Posted: May 25, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13599
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: COVID, pandemic
Transmis : 25 mai 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13599
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : COVID, pandemic

We’re all familiar with Gospel accounts of the apostles’ very human seeking for positions of power and greatness and also of Jesus’ clear response: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you” (Matthew 20: 25-26). In fact, Jesus so reverses concepts of power and greatness that “whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all” (Mark 10: 44-45; cf. Luke 22: 26-27). A similar view of this reversal of secular models of power is found in Paul’s image of the Christian community as the body of Christ, where those that seem to be the weaker are recognized as indispensable and the inferior member is given greater honour (1 Corinthians 12: 12-27). Over time, this new way of being together in the church would find expression in an understanding of authority exercised through structures of synodality.
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Posted: Apr. 27, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13597
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: authority, ecclesiology, synodality
Transmis : 27 avril 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13597
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : authority, ecclesiology, synodality

The recent (June 2020) ecumenical handbook for Catholic bishops, entitled The Bishop & Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Vademecum, (hereafter Vademecum), presents a brief but important section (paragraphs 11-14) on “ecumenical formation”, i.e., the kind of formation that is needed by anyone who wishes to contribute to the healing ministry of ecumenism in the church.
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Posted: Mar. 30, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13595
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenical formation
Transmis : 30 mars 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13595
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenical formation

Sometimes people ask me, “How did you become an ecumenist?” I try to answer their curiosity with some honesty, but like most people, my own vocational path was only apparent looking back. Once in a while, someone asks, “How can I become an ecumenist?” The simple answer is that all Christians are called to work for the unity of Christ’s church, so becoming an ecumenist is as simple as saying “Amen” to God’s call. Becoming an ecumenist does not require extensive education or credentials. It doesn’t require ordination or commissioning in a particular ministry. To be an ecumenist is to pray and work for the unity that Christ wills in his church.
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Posted: Feb. 23, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13593
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenism, spiritual ecumenism
Transmis : 23 févr. 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13593
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenism, spiritual ecumenism

Introduced into religious language by the Apostle Paul, the Greek word charisma means free gift, favour. In everyday English usage, “gifted” people may be tempted to think of themselves as a cut above others. For Paul, however, this cannot be valid because “gifted” means receiving a gift. A charism is a gift that has its
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Posted: Jan. 26, 2021 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13591
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenism, religious life
Transmis : 26 janv. 2021 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13591
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenism, religious life

Each year different Christian communities from around the world are invited to prepare resources for our common celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at the invitation of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. This year, the task fell to an ecumenical monastic community, the Sisters of Grandchamp, which brings together women from diverse churches and cultures in French-speaking Switzerland. The theme they have chosen – inspired by chapter 15 of John’s Gospel – is born from a lived experience of unity in faith and prayer, and of the oneness at the heart of the monastic journey: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.”
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Posted: Dec. 29, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13589
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: spiritual ecumenism, WPCU
Transmis : 29 déc. 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13589
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : spiritual ecumenism, WPCU

A passage that I have returned to repeatedly in my vocational life as an ecumenist comes from Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical letter Ut Unum Sint (1995). It reads:

Praying for unity is not a matter reserved only to those who actually experience the lack of unity among Christians. In the deep personal dialogue, which each of us must carry on with the Lord in prayer, concern for unity cannot be absent. Only in this way, in fact, will that concern fully become part of the reality of our life and of the commitments we have taken on in the Church. It was in order to reaffirm this duty that I set before the faithful of the Catholic Church a model which I consider exemplary, the model of a Trappistine Sister, Blessed Maria Gabriella of Unity, whom I beatified on 25 January 1983. Sister Maria Gabriella, called by her vocation to be apart from the world, devoted her life to meditation and prayer centered on chapter seventeen of Saint John’s Gospel, and offered her life for Christian unity. This is truly the cornerstone of all prayer: the total and unconditional offering of one’s life to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. The example of Sister Maria Gabriella is instructive; it helps us to understand that there are no special times, situations or places of prayer for unity. Christ’s prayer to the Father is offered as a model for everyone, always and everywhere (Ut Unum Sint, 27).

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Posted: Nov. 24, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13587
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: prayer, spiritual ecumenism, WPCU
Transmis : 24 nov. 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13587
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : prayer, spiritual ecumenism, WPCU

Introduction In some ways, dialogue, which is essentially talking, seems a very simple thing to do. Yet, we all know there are various ways of talking. There are words that hurt and words that heal. The Epistle of James (3:1-12) clearly names the challenge. The tongue, he says, is “like a fire” and no one
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Posted: Oct. 27, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13585
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: conversion, dialogue, ecumenism
Transmis : 27 oct. 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13585
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : conversion, dialogue, ecumenism

It is quite common in ordinary Catholic parlance to hear someone refer to him or herself, or to another in the Church, as a “convert.” Typically, this word is used to signify a person initiated (baptized) in one tradition of the Christian family, which they subsequently left before being received into full communion in the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The implication is that the person “converted” away from their old (erroneous/incomplete) way of living the Christian faith to a new (true/fuller) Christian life in our Church.
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Posted: Sept. 29, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13583
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: conversion, ecumenism
Transmis : 29 sept. 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13583
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : conversion, ecumenism

“Doctrine divides, service unites!”

This was a slogan heard regularly in the early ecumenical movement of the 20th century. The polemics of the Reformation and intervening years had left their toll. For ecumenically-minded Christians, the way forward was not through doctrinal debate but working together in care for the poor, orphans, widows, and prisoners. The earliest ecumenical stirrings led to the World Conference on Evangelism in 1910 where the great mission agencies agreed to coordinate their work in world mission. In 1925, the same year that the United Church of Canada was formed as a union of the Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches in Canada as a commitment to the Social Gospel, the “World Conference on Life and Work” in Stockholm gathered churches to work towards further unity in both the life of the churches and in Christ’s work. This stood in some contrast to the 1927 “World Conference on Faith and Order” which was committed to the unity of the church based on a common faith and a reconciled church order.

The division within the ecumenical movement between these three streams – Evangelism, Life and Work, and Faith and Order – continually threatens the faithfulness of this enterprise. In 1952, the newly-formed World Council of Churches (WCC) asked the churches “whether they should not act together in all matters except those in which deep differences of conviction compel them to act separately?”
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Posted: Aug. 25, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13581
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: ecumenism, WCC
Transmis : 25 aoüt 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13581
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : ecumenism, WCC

“May they all be one . . . that the world may believe that you sent me” (John 17:21). These words from Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper define the goal of the ecumenical effort among Christians around the world. Insofar as unity among the followers of Jesus witnesses to the credibility of the Gospel, it is not surprising that the 1910 Missionary Conference in Edinburgh is usually identified as the beginning of the 20th century ecumenical movement. Although the Catholic Church did not take part in the 1910 conference, the ecumenical landscape has changed so much over the past 100 years that the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) was actively involved with the World Council of Churches (WCC) in preparing to celebrate the anniversary and in exploring ways of undertaking mission together.
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Posted: July 28, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13579
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Catholic, Christian unity
Transmis : 28 juil. 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13579
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Catholic, Christian unity

Quite often in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry, we are given glimpses into his prayer life. In many instances, we read simply that Jesus went away (by himself or with others) to pray. More rarely we discover the content of Jesus’ prayers, that is, the “what” of his prayers or the actual words that he used in prayer.

One place where the content of Jesus’ prayer is shared with us directly is in the 17th chapter of the Gospel of John. At the end of a rather lengthy section (typically called Jesus’ Farewell or Last Supper Discourse – beginning in chapter 14), Jesus turns his eyes toward heaven and offers his so-called “priestly prayer” for the protection, sanctification, and unity of his disciples. He prays first for those who are his followers at that time, and then he prays for those who will follow him in the future.
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Posted: June 30, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13577
Categories: One Body, OpinionIn this article: Christian unity, ecumenism, John 17
Transmis : 30 juin 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13577
Catégorie : One Body, OpinionDans cet article : Christian unity, ecumenism, John 17

I remember one year when the lectionary texts included 1 Corinthians 12, we sang a processional song by Canadian church composer Andrew Donaldson with the words: “the body is one with many parts, the parts are many the body is one.” The youth of the church had built huge papier-mâché bodies that danced on stilts at the front of the procession. The image of the whole church gathered to sing, worship, and even dance reflects the dynamic character of the church as a living body. This image of the church as a human body comes to us from the Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians to help them overcome their own divisions. “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many” (v. 14). We are one body because, in baptism, the Spirit has gathered us into the one body of Christ.
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Posted: May 26, 2020 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=13575
Categories: One Body, Opinion, ResourcesIn this article: Christian unity, ecumenism
Transmis : 26 mai 2020 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=13575
Catégorie : One Body, Opinion, ResourcesDans cet article : Christian unity, ecumenism