GMD 116: Ecumenism

Let’s wrap up this chapter devoted to goal number two (GMD 104-116). In the last few posts in this series, we’ve looked at inactive believers, other Christians, and multicultural situations. The final listed task under the invitation to everyone in America to explore Catholicism is a deeper “ecumenical involvement.”

Listed strategies include:

  • careful collaboration with local and state ecumenical agencies;
  • joint study of Roman Catholic and other Christian dialogues touching on evangelization, mission, and proselytism;
  • study of Roman Catholic understandings of and approaches to Judaism;
  • development of sensitivities to interreligious relationship and Roman Catholic teaching on dialogue and proclamation;
  • mutual dialogue and sharing;
  • joint scriptural study and social justice projects;
  • shared discussion groups and socials; and
  • joint services of prayer and devotion, where appropriate.

The difficulty and challenge is how to distinguish between actively seeking to switch more-or-less active believers to Catholicism–the pre-conciliar approach best described as proselytization–and genuine dialogue for the purpose of mutual enrichment.

My sense is that ecumenism isn’t exactly aligned with evangelization. But Catholics have been generally poor to average in either discipline, and the two decades since GMD hasn’t really changed that too much.

What do you think about these strategies?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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