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Forum lauds Catholic 'maturity'

Vatican Council 'paved way for more openness' towards Christian unity

Forum lauds Catholic 'maturity'
Reverend Chung Byung-joon is giving a keynote presentation at an ecumenical forum
Stephen Hong, Seoul

May 13, 2011

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A Christian forum held yesterday concluded that the Catholic Church has shown theological maturity in ecumenism since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). The Vatican council enabled the Catholic Church to accept the Christology of the World Council of Churches (WCC) while adhering to traditional Catholic ecclesiology, according to Reverend Chung Byung-joon, a Protestant professor of church history at Seoul's Jangsin University. He said ecumenism needs theological dialogue and maturity and through the Vatican council, the Catholic Church showed theological maturity in finding truth even in brother Churches beyond its fence. He told participants at the 11th Forum for Christian Unity in Korea that the Vatican and the WCC jointly established the Joint Working Group to cooperate in world ecumenism. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea and the National Council of Churches in Korea jointly organized the forum yesterday at the Changchun Methodist Church in Seoul. Reverend Chung, however, said theological discussion alone cannot unify churches. So Christians need to share their daily lives with each other to further enhance their ecumenism, he said. Father John Song Yong-min echoed this and suggested annual gatherings to enable pastors from both Churches to establish networks and friendships. "Networking and exchanges of real life experiences may break down the walls of mistrust and prejudice," the secretary of the Korean bishops' Committee for Promoting Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue insisted. The Korean ecumenical forums first began in 2000, and have been held annually since 2003 with themes to help promote Korean Christian unity. Related report 2013 WCC general assembly to be held in South Korea KO14216
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