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The Ecumenical Movement

The Ecumenical Movement

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Published by Francis Duero

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Francis Duero on Feb 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/27/2013

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THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENTQ and A
1.
What is the meaning of the term, ECUMENICAL? 
 The term is derived from the Greek and means,
 from the inhabited world,
or
worldwide
.
2. What is the ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT? 
 Also called
ecumenism
, it is a movement toward union among persons andchurches calling themselves Christian.
3. What are some of the principal facts concerning disunity among Christians? 
 There are approximately (2007) 2,199,817,400 Christians in the world. Of thisnumber, 1,121,516,000 are Catholics, 233,146,000 are Orthodox, and 381,811,000 areProtestants. (
http://www.wholesomewords.org
)Only Catholics belong to a single Church having unity of faith, worship, disciplineand government. The Orthodox, while sharing many points of belief and even practicewith Catholics. Belong to autonomous churches. Protestants belong to a great numberof denominations (some 33,000 according to
http://www.philvaz.com
) with essentialdifferences in matters of belief, discipline and government.The ecumenical problem involves the establishment of religious unity among allof these churches and persons.
4. When did the ecumenical movement start among Protestants? 
 The meeting of the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh in 1910 isregarded as its starting point although the ecumenical idea and purpose had beenstated before that time.
5. What were some of the reasons which induced Protestants to initiate ecumenical efforts? 
 Practical problems faced by missionaries of the various churches. Related to theconsideration of these common problems was the basic concern of churchmen andchurch members over disunity in matters of belief and practice among churches and
 
persons who, while professing themselves to be Christians, held widely divergentbeliefs.
6
. What have Protestants sought in their ecumenical endeavors? 
 Protestant unity of spirit has sought organizational expression in a fellowship of good works and intercommunion rather than in unity of faith, worship and structure.
The aim of the WCC is to pursue the goal of the visible unity of the Church. This involves a process of renewal and change in which member churches pray, worship, discuss and work together. 
 
www.oikoumene.org )
 
7. What are some of the results of their efforts? 
 Summarily, they have achieved cooperation among the various denominationsbut no essential unity; progress has been made in working and getting along together,but not in believing together.The World Council of Churches was established at Amsterdam in 1948Some bodies have made progress in mutual relations on the basis of suchcommon denominators as belief in Sacred Scripture, the rituals of baptism and theLords Supper, the operations of the ministry, and the fellowship of good works.There have been some church mergers and an increase in practices of intercommunion and participation in cooperative missionary enterprises.
8. What is the World Council of Churches? 
 It is a federation of 349 Christian denominations
www.oikoumene.org
 
 )
withmore than 300 million members.
The World Council of Churches is a Christian organization dedicated to the search for Christianunity. It is a voluntary fellowship (association) of churches which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour. The WCC has 349 member churches. Together, these churches represent some 5
60
millionChristians (though it is important to note that different churches have different ways of calculatingmembership). Today's member churches come from more than 11
0
countries on all continents and include Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant, United and other churches. A majority of member churches now come from the South. ( www.oikoumene.org
 
 )
 
9. What are some of the difficulties experienced by Protestants in their ecumenical endeavors? 
 They are hampered by several deficiencies: lack of a clear and commonagreement on the nature of religious unity and means for its attainment; lack of anobjective criterion or standard as the basis of unity, and of an authority competent to judge and speak for all Protestants; dedication for the search for religious unity on thebasis of the principle which has destroyed it  namely, private interpretation, byindividuals and individual church bodies, of the Scriptures as the rule of faith.
1
0
. When did the ecumenical movement start among Catholics? 
 The Catholic Church  which has from the beginning of its history had andpreserved the unity in faith, morality, worship, discipline and governmentcommunicated to it by Christ  has ever been anxious for the return to this unity of those who have separated themselves, or been separated, from it. The Church hasalways had an ecumenical interest of this nature, which has revealed itself in efforts toobtain the reunion of separated churches of the East (Orthodox) and to recall to reunionall the Christian churches which have been separated from Rome since the time of theReformation.Contemporary ecumenical activity among Catholics has increased considerablywithin the last 50 to 90 years, and is now greater than ever before.
11. Are there signs of interest among other Christians regarding ecumenical activity by Catholics? 
 Churchmen of many denominations applauded Pope John XXIIIs convocation of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, and some 40 observer-delegates of various churches attended its first session. One of the purposes of the Council is toexplore ways and means of promoting unity among all Christians.
12. What is the attitude of the Catholic Church regarding participation by non-Catholicsin such bodies as the World Council of Churches? 
 Such participation can be considered good if non-Catholic individuals andchurches participate without any violation of the principles of good conscience, and if the bodies are sincere in their efforts to work for Christian unity on the basis of theprinciples and conditions stated by Christ.

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