Monday, 20 February 2006

Ecumenical colloquium in Durham

Last week an international colloquium of 140 senior church leaders and theologians from the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox and Methodist churches met for six days at Durham University.

In the keynote address, the Roman Catholic Cardinal Walter Kaspar (pictured) stressed that “unity is symphonic”; unity in the New Testament is “unity in the diversity of charisms, offices, local churches, and cultures.” It is “communio sanctorum, that is, shared participation in the holy, in the life of God, in the Holy Spirit, in the Gospel, in the one baptism, and in the one eucharistic body of the Lord.”

On the first full day of the colloquium, N. T. Wright presided and Cardinal Kasper preached at an Anglican eucharist, and then Wright preached at a Roman Catholic eucharist the following day.

Catholic theologian Eamon Duffy described the colloquium as the most remarkable event in living memory. And N. T. Wright described it as theologically “jaw-dropping.” He remarked: “There are very serious voices within the Roman Catholic Church saying we are not three or four different Churches; we are all part of the one single Church which has some serious internal problems to be addressed. That’s a very different way of stating the ecumenical jigsaw than we have been used to.”

Other participants of the colloquium included Mario Conti, Terence Brain, Kevin Dunn, Michael Evans, Joseph Famerée, David F. Ford, Bernd Hilberath, Linda Hogan, Fergus Kerr, Nicholas Lash, Hervé Legrand, Andrew Louth, Paul McPartlan, Paul Murray, Brian Noble, Patrick O’Donoghue, Ladislas Örsy, James Puglisi, Thomas J. Reese, Stephen Sykes and Mary Tanner.

For further details of the colloquium, see the reports here and here.

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