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In the decade before Vatican II, Catholic ecumenists like Johannes Willebrands were often more familiar with the ‘apostolate of conversions’ and had to familiarize themselves with the new paradigm of ecumenism. In the paper which Louvain professor Gustave Thils wrote, in 1961, entitled De oecumenismo catholico et de opere conversionum, on behalf of the Secretariat for Christian Unity, we notice how the guidance of ‘converts’ figures prominently on the list of priorities. We will try to establish why in the conciliar decree on ecumenism, only one line is dedicated to the apostolate of conversions even if it is said, just like ecumenism, to proceed “from the marvellous providence of God” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 4). This raises questions as to whether the measures to ‘welcome’ former Anglicans in the Catholic Church described according to 2009 document Anglicanorum Coetibus do not constitute a reversal of the order of priorities set out by the Council. Our paper ends with some reflections on the 2012 book by M. Mattox and A.G. Roeber, ‘Changing Churches: An Orthodox, Catholic, and Lutheran Theological Conversation’.

In: Conversion and Church
Author:

Abstract

In the decade before Vatican II, Catholic ecumenists like Johannes Willebrands were often more familiar with the ‘apostolate of conversions’ and had to familiarize themselves with the new paradigm of ecumenism. In the paper which Louvain professor Gustave Thils wrote, in 1961, entitled De oecumenismo catholico et de opere conversionum, on behalf of the Secretariat for Christian Unity, we notice how the guidance of ‘converts’ figures prominently on the list of priorities. We will try to establish why in the conciliar decree on ecumenism, only one line is dedicated to the apostolate of conversions even if it is said, just like ecumenism, to proceed “from the marvellous providence of God” (Unitatis Redintegratio, 4). This raises questions as to whether the measures to ‘welcome’ former Anglicans in the Catholic Church described according to 2009 document Anglicanorum Coetibus do not constitute a reversal of the order of priorities set out by the Council. Our paper ends with some reflections on the 2012 book by M. Mattox and A.G. Roeber, ‘Changing Churches: An Orthodox, Catholic, and Lutheran Theological Conversation’.

In: Conversion and Church
In: Holding fast to the Mystery of the Faith
In: Charting Churches in a Changing Europe
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In recent years a discussion has been taking place on whether it would make sense to work towards a Joint Declaration on Church, Eucharist and Ministry between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant Churches. The invitation was made by Cardinal Koch who, however, set a preliminary condition that the twofold Grunddifferenz both with regard to their understanding of the Church and their model of unity would first be overcome. After introducing Cardinal Koch’s views on the matter, this article discusses a number of recent documents by ecumenical bodies and contributions by individual theologians – all written on the occasion of the 2017 commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the symbolic start of the Reformation – that, explicitly or implicitly, comment on aspects of Cardinal Koch’s proposal.

In: Ecclesiology
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Abstract

In this assessment of The Local and the Universal Dimensions of the Church ecclesiological issues such as the relation between Church and Trinity, the sacramentality and the catholicity of the Church, the threefold ministry and the appeal to divine right are treated. The plea for an adequate parallelism in Church structures is investigated in dialogue with The Church as Konionia of Salvation (2005). The decision of this document to opt for the term 'intermediate level' because of its unclarity is positively welcomed.

In: Exchange
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This article is an attempt to reconstruct part of the redaction history of the 2013 convergence document, The Church: Towards a Common Vision (ctcv). Within Faith & Order one attaches great importance to the reception process of the interim drafts of important multilateral ecumenical documents. It is my contention that ctcv not only had to cope with a late Inter-Orthodox reaction, but also took the 2008 reaction of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity very seriously. My assessment of the impact of this reaction is at the same time a benevolent commentary on ctcv from a Roman Catholic perspective.

In: Exchange
Festschrift for Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church
In this volume, distinguished theologians and servants of the Church present their contributions as a sign of appreciation for His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, on the occasion of his 70th anniversary.
A prominent personality, professor of Pastoral and Dogmatic Theology, honorary member of the Romanian Academy, a tireless servant of the Church, His Beatitude Daniel is well known worldwide as a vivid witness for a vibrant, dynamic and open theology, one that is profound and accessible, faithful and renovative, mystical and missionary. His extensive theological work deals with most of the fundamental aspects of theology and is grounded on the living connection between theology and spirituality, the liturgical and missionary life of the Church.