Monday, March 23, 2009

Reformed-Catholic Dialogue Presents Papers on Eucharist

I haven't followed this story, but usually, any dialog with Rome turns out one of four ways (or a mixture thereof) if any sort of agreement is reached:

1) Using the same the language, but meaning different things

2) Using language ambiguous enough to allow for multiple interpretations

3) Using language lacking necessary qualifiers

4) Giving in to Rome, because Rome will never give anything in an ecumenical dialogue.

Of course, all that goes by the name "Reformed" isn't necessarily so, some of the larger bodies of the "Reformed" are liberal enough to give away the store.

Reformed-Catholic Dialogue Presents Papers on Eucharist

WASHINGTON—The seventh round of the Reformed-Catholic Dialogue continued its discussion on the Eucharist during its February 10-13 meeting at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Participants presented drafts of a document addressing the following five areas: Action of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Eucharist; Remembrance in the Eucharist; Presence of Christ in the Eucharist; Eucharist as sacrifice and offering; and Discipleship in relation to the Eucharist.

Reformed co-chair, Rev. Richard Mouw of Fuller Theological Seminary, noted that the doctrine of the Church (ecclesiology) "looms large in any discussion of Eucharist" and can help Catholics and Reformed Christians clarify their positions and avoid polemical statements.

Rev. John Riggs, a United Church of Christ theologian, said "the original Reformed tradition wanted Eucharist to be a means of grace by which the union among believers in Christ is enacted" and so the manner of Christ's presence in the bread and wine was of subordinate concern. Today, Reformed Christians are more willing than were previous generations to affirm that they encounter the presence of Christ in a distinctive way in the Eucharist. However, Reformed Christians refrain from the language of offering the Eucharist as a sacrifice to the Father and do not localize Christ's presence to the elements of bread and wine, in contrast to Catholic practice.

Significantly, the dialogue continued to explore the ways in which contemporary forms of Eucharistic worship open up new avenues of mutual understanding between Catholic and Reformed Christians.

Progress on the design of a common document on the Eucharist focused on insuring that both convergences and divergences are understandable to potential readers. Two working group meetings are planned for the Fall of 2009 and the Spring of 2010. A common text will be approved by all participants by e-mail and discussed at the final meeting of the Round in the Fall of 2010, with the hope that it will be accepted as a document representative of this concluding phase of the Seventh Round of dialogue.

Catholic dialogue participants included Bishop Patrick R. Cooney of Gaylord, Michigan, co-chair, Ralph Del Colle, Ph.D., Missionary of the Precious Blood Joyce A. Zimmerman, Franciscan Father Dennis E. Tamburello, Father Dennis McManus, Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, Father Francis V. Tiso, and Father James Massa.

Reformed Church in America participants included Rev. Renee House and Rev. John Paarlberg. Christian Reformed Church participants included Sue Rozeboom and Rev. Dr. Lyle Bierma and Rev. Dr. Ronald Feenstra. Presbyterian Church USA participants included Rev. Dr. Mouw (co-chair), Rev. Dr. Martha Moore-Keish and Rev. Robina Winbush. United Church of Christ participants included Rev. Dr. Sidney D. Fowler and Rev. Dr. Riggs.
Rev. Dr. Scott Ickert was an observer from the Lutheran Evangelical Church of America.


bkaycee said...

" explore the ways in which contemporary forms of Eucharistic worship open up new avenues of mutual understanding between Catholic and Reformed Christians.

Who doesn't understand Rome's so-called eucharist?

James Swan said...

Who doesn't understand Rome's so-called eucharist?

Yeah well, if you want to "mutually understand" it, you've got to come up with some way to make it sound less like Roman Catholicism.

bkaycee said...

Mutual understanding? Rome does not want mutual understanding.

"You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile." Romish Borg

Gaetano said...

bkaycee does not understand how ecumenism is viewed by its very leaders in Rome:

And the idea that Rome has never "compromised" in any substantive way has been shown to be false by scholars like Anthony N. S. Lane and this essay in the Journal of Evangelical Theology (towards the end):

Some extremely conservative Catholics say about Church leaders the same thing that you guys say about people like Mouw and Reformed "leadership" in the USA. Referring to the Vatican as an assimilating borg goes beyond uncharitable to being simply ridiculous.