The last few posts, we looked at people who have left the Catholic Church, and what the Aparecida bishops offer in terms of drawing them back. The situation is somewhat different for those born into other Christian traditions.
The fifth topic of Chapter Five involves “Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue. Paragraphs 227 through 234 address the matter of “Ecumenical dialogue so that the world may believe.”
227. The comprehension and practice of the ecclesiology of communion leads us to ecumenical dialogue. The relationship with baptized brothers and sisters of other churches and ecclesial communities is a path that the disciple and missionary cannot relinquish,(Ut Unum Sint 3) for lack of unity represents a scandal, a sin, and a setback in fulﬁlling Christ’s desire: “that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me” (Jn 17:21).
As it stands, Christian divisions, some dating back to the earliest centuries, offer a sad counter-witness to Christ and the Gospel mission. Many Catholics grievously misunderstand the relationship of various churches. The teachings of Christ point the way. Likewise also, the testimony of people like St John Paul II. We’ll take the coming week to explore this topic.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.