New Developments in Roman Catholic-Reformed Dialogue in the United States
The Roman Catholic-Reformed Ecumenical Dialogue in the United States has announced three important new developments in its ongoing ecumenical discussion. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), through its Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs is a participant along with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and the Christian Reformed Church in North America. The first round of this Reformed-Roman Catholic dialogue began soon after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), which opened the door for ecumenical discussions.
In this latest development the USCCB and each of the Reformed Churches participating in the dialogue are making the documents from the previous two rounds of dialogue publicly available. These documents focus on Baptism, the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, and the Church.
- These Living Waters (2003-07, focusing on Baptism)
- This Bread of Life (2007-10, focusing on the Eucharist/Lord’s Supper)
- The One Body of Christ (2012-19, focusing on ministry and authority in the Church).
Of particular note, These Living Waters resulted in a “Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism,” that Reformed Christians and Catholics recognize one another’s validly administered baptisms.
Two members of the previous two rounds of the dialogue, Fr. Dennis Tamburello of Siena College in Loudonville, New York, and Dr. Ronald J. Feenstra of Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are preparing a study guide based on the documents from those two rounds. This study guide, tentatively entitled Learning from One Another: A Study Guide for Reformed-Roman Catholic Dialogue, is intended for use in local ecumenical discussions.
The dialogue will begin a new round of discussion on the topic of justification and justice, commencing with a meeting to be held in Chicago in 2022.