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A senior Vatican official called on Monday (Feb. 8) for “an ecumenical catechism” setting forth the common beliefs of the Catholic and major Protestant churches.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, announced the proposal at a Vatican symposium with representatives of the Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches.
Citing the need for an “ecumenism of basics that identifies, reinforces and deepens the common foundation” of Christianity, Kasper said that the proposed catechism would be written “in consultation with our partners,” according to a report by Catholic News Service.
Kasper noted that “we do not yet have any idea how such a catechism could be structured and written.”
The cardinal himself is unlikely to preside over such a project, since he turns 77 next month, placing him two years past the normal retirement age for the heads of Vatican offices.
As head of the council since 2001, the noted German theologian has led the Catholic church’s ecumenical dialogue with other Christian churches as well as with Jews.
In Monday’s address, Kasper warned that ecumenism “is perhaps in danger of becoming a matter for specialists and thus of moving away from the grass roots,” and appealed for “a people-centered ecumenism” to revitalize dialogue with other faith communities.
— Francis X. Rocca
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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