Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

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Official Statements and Documents - Ecumenical

CATHOLIC DOCUMENTS AND STATEMENTS ON ECUMENICAL RELATIONS (Relations among Christians)

Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio), November 21, 1964.

The seminal document that officially and irreversibly committed the Catholic Church to work for unity with and among all Christians.

That They May All Be One (Ut Unum Sint), Encyclical letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, May 25, 1995.

The Beginning of the New Millennium (Novo Millennio Ineunte), Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II at the close of the great Jubilee of the Year 2000, January 6, 2001.

See especially paragraph 48 on the commitment to ecumenism.

Message of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, November 4, 2003.

Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, Issued by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, March 25, 1993.

A practical guide for implementing the fruit of the past years of ecumenical dialogue and cooperation in all levels of the life of the Church.

The Ecumenical Dimension in the Formation of Those Engaged in Pastoral Work, Issued by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 1995.

A study document which gathers together what is in the Ecumenical Directory and makes it more explicit. It is addressed to all who have responsibility for theological and pastoral formation to help them ensure that those who in the future will be engaged in pastoral work, and also those who will be theology professors, receive adequate ecumenical formation. In this way they will better be able to respond to what is required by the life of the Church in our day.

Dominus Iesus (“The Lord Jesus”) On the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, Issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, August 6, 2000.

(See article by Fr. David Michael on Dominus Iesus and its significance for Catholic-Jewish relations) 

Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, Issued by the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation, October 31, 1999.

A landmark document in ecumenical dialogue, the Joint Declaration is intended to show that the subscribing Lutheran Churches and the Roman Catholic Church are now able to articulate a common understanding of our justification by God’s grace through faith in Christ. The document encompasses a consensus on basic truths of the doctrine of justification and shows that the remaining differences in its explication are no longer the occasion for doctrinal condemnations.

OTHER OFFICIAL TEXTS concerning the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification 

Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium 

The product of consultation between Evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic theologians, scholars, and religious leaders, this is a non-official statement of the fruits of their mutual discovery concerning areas of theological and pastoral consensus as well as the recognition of differences that remain unresolved.

Council Clearly Makes Ecumenism Binding as the Work of the Spirit,” A reflection by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

The Nature and Purposes of Ecumenical Dialogue,” A reflection by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

Current Problems in Ecumenical Theology,” by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

Present Situation and Future of the Ecumenical Movement,” by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity