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Disciples/Roman Catholic Dialogue Report Highlights

From "Communication Ministries" <>
Date Thu, 20 Jun 2002 14:59:18 -0400

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 14:13:0 -0500
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Faith and
Date: June 20, 2002
Disciples News Service
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Contact: Melinda Mains
Phone: 317-713-2496
on the Web:

Council on Christian Unity 
Contact: Robert Welsh
(317) 713-2585


INDIANAPOLIS, June 20, 2002 -- The International Commission
for Dialogue
between the Disciples of Christ and the Roman Catholic
Church, meeting at the Monastery of Bose (outside Magnano,
Italy) on May 17-23, 2002, produced an official report
summarizing its work over the past decade on the theme,
"Receiving and Handing on the Faith: the Mission and
Responsibility of the Church."  This agreed statement will
now be presented to authorizing bodies of the Commission:
the Pontificial Council for Promoting Christian Unity for
the Roman Catholic Church and the Disciples Ecumenical
Consultative Council for the Disciples.  

In releasing the document, the co-chairs of Commission, the
Most Rev. Daniel Buechlein, Archbishop of Indianapolis, and
the Rev. Dr. Paul A. Crow, Jr., retired president of the
Council on Christian Unity of the Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ), noted several important agreements
in the text that lead us to continue into a fourth phase of

The Agreed Statement begins with the common affirmation
that "the Church is essentially a missionary community, a
community of those sent into the world to proclaim the
offer of God's gifts to all persons."   It addresses the
topics of the Word of God, proclaimed and received; holding
to the faith, in the formation of the Canon, the Councils,
and discerning the Gospel in every age; receiving the
faith: conscience and teaching authority; and handing on
the faith as the mission of the whole church.

The conclusion of the agreed text, while focusing upon
technical understandings of teaching authority in the
church and the role of scripture, confessions and
individual conscience, identified that both communions
understand the tasks of teaching and handing on the faith
as essential to the evangelization of the world.  

Dr. Crow stated that, "In this dialogue, Disciples have
been able to articulate in a new way our catholicity as we
have been challenged to expand our historical memory as a

Dr. Margaret O'Gara, a member of the Roman Catholic team to
the dialogue,
identified "one of the most important insights from this
phrase of our dialogue (1994-2003) has been in coming to
understand the relation between the tradition and
structures of the church to the individual in the task of
evangelization and mission."

The Commission participated in the daily prayers and
worship of the Bose
Community.  Bible studies on the Gospel of John were
offered by the Rev. Dr. Eugene Boring, professor at Brite
Seminary in Ft. Worth (TX) and Msgr. John Meier, professor
at the University of Notre Dame (IN).

The proposed theme for the next phase of dialogue was on
the theme, "The
presence of Christ in the Church, with special reference to
the Eucharist."

Greetings were sent to the dialogue commission from the
Bishop of Biella, the
Most Rev. Gabrieli Mana, for the work of the Commission and
offering prayers for a fruitful session. 

On the last day of the meeting, the Commission traveled to
Rome to present the Agreed Statement to the Most Rev. Marc
Ouellet, Secretary for the Pontificial Council for
Promoting Christian Unity.  The Commission was hosted in
Rome by the Vatican, and shared in a joint celebration of
the 25 years of this dialogue and the service of Dr. Crow
as co-chair for the Disciples team.  

Msgr. John Mutiso-Mbinda, on the staff of the PCPCU, and
the Rev. Dr. Robert K. Welsh, president of the CCU, serve
as co-secretaries to the Commission.  

                                                   -- end --

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