Unitatis Redintegratio 23

Unitatis Redintegratio 23 details other important stepping stones aside from the three we’ve covered in the last few posts, especially prayer and worship:

The daily Christian life of these (sisters and brothers) is nourished by their faith in Christ and strengthened by the grace of Baptism and by hearing the word of God. This shows itself in their private prayer, their meditation on the Bible, in their Christian family life, and in the worship of a community gathered together to praise God. Moreover, their form of worship sometimes displays notable features of the liturgy which they shared with us of old.

Don’t forget our shared commitment to justice and charity:

Their faith in Christ bears fruit in praise and thanksgiving for the blessings received from the hands of God. Among them, too, is a strong sense of justice and a true charity toward their neighbor. This active faith has been responsible for many organizations for the relief of spiritual and material distress, the furtherance of the education of youth, the improvement of the social conditions of life, and the promotion of peace throughout the world.

With the acknowledgement that moral understandings among Christians may differ, the root of moral teaching is acknowledged to be Christ. And that is a worthy starting point for dialogue as well:

While it is true that many Christians understand the moral teaching of the Gospel differently from Catholics, and do not accept the same solutions to the more difficult problems of modern society, nevertheless they share our desire to stand by the words of Christ as the source of Christian virtue, and to obey the command of the Apostle: “And whatever you do, in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him”.(Col. 3, 17.) For that reason an ecumenical dialogue might start with discussion of the application of the Gospel to moral conduct.

This concludes Vatican II’s look at ecumenism between Rome and the Reformation tradition. Tomorrow, we’ll hit the stirring conclusion of the decree on ecumenism. Any thoughts on the commonalities discussed here these last few posts?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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