Written by Sherry
Sunday, 25 November 2007 20:56
From Catholic News Service regarding the conclave discussion of ecumenism:
"While the discussion about ecumenism was planned for only the morning session, the Vatican said so many cardinals asked to comment on the topic that the discussion extended into the evening session.
The Vatican said that "collaboration among Christians of different confessions for the defense of the family in society and in the juridical order," the importance of prayers for Christian unity and the central role of friendships for promoting ecumenism were among the points raised.
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles told CNS: "A big part of any dialogue is the personal relationship. We are not going to bring about Christian unity through theology, but through our personal relationships with Jesus Christ and with each other. That is what we will build unity on."
"Still, the cardinal (Kasper) said, looking at all the ecumenical dialogues under way there is a sense of "fragmentation and centrifugal forces at work" with progress coming in some areas and differences deepening in others.
"While on one hand we work to overcome old controversies, on the other hand there emerge new differences in the field of ethics," particularly regarding human life, the family and homosexuality, Cardinal Kasper said.
While differences on moral questions are pushing Catholics and some Anglican and mainline Protestant communities further apart, they also are providing new terrain for improved relations with some evangelical and Pentecostal communities, he said.
Taken together, the charismatic and Pentecostal groups have an estimated 400 million members around the world and, among Christian communities, are second in size only to the Catholic community, Cardinal Kasper said.
Some of the communities are open to dialogue with the Catholic Church, he said, while others are hostile to Catholicism and aggressive in trying to win Catholic members.
The Pentecostals, he said, are responding to a desire among modern men and women for a strong spiritual experience.
Rather than talk about what is wrong with the Pentecostals, "it is necessary to make a pastoral examination of conscience and ask ourselves in a self-critical way why so many Christians are leaving our church," Cardinal Kasper said."