Methodist-Roman Catholic Dialogue Report Launched at World Methodist Conference
The Methodist-Roman Catholic Dialogue Report was recently presented at the 21st World Methodist Conference during the workshop The Call to Holiness: Methodists and Roman Catholics in Dialogue. The report, titled The Call to Holiness: From Glory to Glory is the culmination of nearly 50 years of dialogue between the Methodist and Catholic Church, marking a major milestone in the ecumenical relationships of the World Methodist Council.
Ecumenical Workshops at the World Methodist Conference
Two well-attended workshops during the Conference were offered on successive days, one of the Roman Catholic dialogue, the second on the Anglican. The recent reports were available (and are on the Council website) and after an introduction, opened to discussion. Fr Tony Currer from the Vatican and Co-Secretary of the Roman Catholic dialogue was able to contribute to the first in conversation with Dr David Chapman, Methodist Co-Chair of the dialogue, to discuss the report The Call to Holiness. After an introduction to the AMICUM report by Professor Robert Gribben, Ms Gillian Kingston and the Rev. Tony Franklin Ross were able to explain how a covenant based on the report Into All The World was being implemented in Ireland and studied in New Zealand respectively. Both groups expressed concern that the results of our dialogues were not well known at the congregational level – yet the Council lacks resources to produce study guides. Nevertheless, there are real results, and many ways in which there can be cooperation and common worship between local churches.
Ecumenical guests at the World Methodist Conference
We welcomed five international ecumenical guests to the Conference: the Rev. Dr Olav Fyske Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, who also addressed the Ecumenical Dinner; Dr Larry Miller, Secretary of the Global Christian Forum, himself a Mennonite; the Rt Rev. Howard Gregory, Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, representing the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; Dr Jerry Carlisle, Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance, and Mgr Tony Currer, from the Anglican and Methodist desk of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome. These represent churches with whom our Council is in dialogue, or world bodies with whom we work in significant ways.
Ecumenical Relationships Committee Meets
Under the chairmanship of the Rev. Dr Tim Macquiban from Rome, the committee met for the first time in the new quinquennium with 35 members present. After introductions and hearing the experience of working ecumenically from around the world, the committee agreed to work in a more collaborative way, identifying persons who could help the Chair share developments in the regions to assist in the more global dialogues with Anglicans, Baptists and Catholics presently in place. We noted the need to address the question of reception of reports and to attend also to intra Wesleyan/Methodist conversations and the need to share information more effectively. Rev Tony Franklin-Ross of New Zealand agreed to act as Secretary.
Dr Macquiban shared with the Council these plans and also the video made of the work of the Methodist Ecumenical Office Rome which can be found on YouTube putting in those words in a word search. A leaflet about its work is also available on the Ponte Sant`Angelo Methodist Church Rome website on www.methodistchurchrome.com.
The Council noted the forthcoming commemoration of the Reformation 500 and commended its activities, particularly in Europe starting on 31st October at Lund, Sweden, a significant place in the history of the ecumenical movement. It also commended the period from 1st September to 4th October (St. Francis` Day) as Creationtide, when Christians around the world are encourage to pray for the care of creation.