From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Tenth round of U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue

Date 01 Oct 1998 11:05:24

Renewal of talks follows a five-year pause

CHICAGO, Illinois, U.S.A./GENEVA, 28 September 1998 (elca/lwi) - The
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the National Conference
of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) began the tenth round of the Lutheran-Roman
Catholic Dialogue in the United States in Chicago from September 3 to 5.
The title of this round is "The Church as Koinonia of Salvation: Its
Structures and Ministries".

The dialogue will take up issues of koinonia as they relate to "ordained
ministry and structures of church unity", according to a press release from
the dialogue.

The NCCB and the U.S.A. National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF) initiated the first round of the "bilateral" in 1965. The dialogue
has produced a number of common statements on such topics as scriptures,
saints and justification by faith.

There was a five-year break between the ninth and tenth rounds while the
churches studied the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,
which declares that certain 16th century condemnations of each others'
teachings no longer apply. The LWF and the Vatican approved the Joint
Declaration in June, but there are as yet no plans for a formal signing of
the document.

"There was an extended discussion of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine
of Justification, said the dialogue's statement. "The U.S. dialogue
welcomed the degree of positive response from the churches thus far and
showed a hope that everything possible will be done to move forward to an
unreserved affirmation and signing of the Joint Declaration."

A new booklet summarizing the results of the U.S. and international
dialogues was presented at the meeting. Entitled The Lutheran-Catholic
Quest for Visible Unity: Harvesting Thirty Years of Dialogue, it is an
educational paper prepared by the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Coordinating
Committee and published by the ELCA and NCCB.

The Lutheran co-chair of the dialogue is the Rev. Charles H. Maahs, bishop
of the ELCA's Central States Synod. The Roman Catholic co-chair is the Most
Rev. Richard J. Sklba, auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee.

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Lutheran World Information
Editorial Assistant: Janet Bond-Nash

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