The Holy See
back up

“The Church as Community of Common Witness to
the Kingdom of God”


A Comment and Reflections by
Rev. Jos Vercruysse s.j.


“The Church as Community of Common Witness to the Kingdom of God” is the report of the third phase of the International Reformed-Catholic dialogue. The dialogue is sponsored officially by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC). Before looking at the history and the content of the document, we will introduce the partners in the conversations and stress thus the relevance of the dialogue and its results.

The dialogue was organised on the Roman-Catholic side by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which co-ordinates and supervises ecumenical work in the Catholic Church on the international level. Furthermore the Catholic theologians of the commission come from various parts of the world where the Reformed churches have long been present such as Scotland, Switzerland and Canada.

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches came into existence in 1970, with a merger of the Alliance of Reformed Churches throughout the World Holding the Presbyterian System(1875) and the International Congregational Council (1891). It forms a world-wide fellowship of Reformed, Presbyterian and Congregational churches. These churches retrace their origins to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century in Europe, especially in Switzerland, where first Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) in Zurich and afterwards John Calvin (1509-1564) in Geneva were prominent. Various historical and political circumstances helped this current of the Protestant Reformation spread world-wide through emigration and mission from the Netherlands, England and Scotland. The “Reformed” considered themselves more consistent with the original ideals of the reformation sparked by Martin Luther. Different from the Lutheran churches whose name is taken from their initiator, Martin Luther, and Anglicanism whose name refers to a nation, the English kingdom, the Reformed churches referred to their church order, whether Congregational or Presbyterian, and always with a strong synodal structure. Even “Puritan” did not have a moral meaning but an institutional one: by rejecting the episcopacy and adopting a congregational or presbyterian order these churches understood that they were adopting a purer church order, more consonant with the gospel. A specific church order thus became a constitutive part of the confessional identity of these churches. They stress the local aspect of the congregation gathered actually for worship and service. and favour a synodal structure, by which the church is constituted democratically at all levels. Reformed churches can be found all over world and even though sometimes quite small, they are numerous in the so-called Third World, in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific area, where they are sometimes divided among themselves. Not all Reformed churches are members of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. The alliance presents itself as “a family of churches” consisting of 75 million Christians in 216 churches in more than 100 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches rooted in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. Consequently, the WARC intends to represent this Reformation heritage in the ecumenical movement.[1] The majority of member-churches does not correspond to an equal proportion of church-members nor even of actual influence: in that sense the majority of Reformed Christians are still to be found in the areas where the Protestant Reformation started in the 16th century and in the United States of America. This universality explains the variety of concerns alive within the alliance, and the importance of a contextual approach to theology therein, especially regarding mission, social justice, human rights, poverty and even ecology. At the 24th General Council in August 2004 in Accra (Ghana), for example, the Council agreed to a “Covenant for Justice in the Economy and the Earth” and a “Confession of Faith in the Face of Economic Injustice and Ecological Destruction”.[2] These concerns are also predominant in the present report, since they are among the priorities of the WARC.

The History of the Document

During and after the Second Vatican Council a variety of bilateral conversations were organised. They became an outstanding feature in the ecumenical movement. In 1968, before the official foundation of the WARC in 1970, the alliance, still in formation, took up contact with the Roman-Catholic Church in view of bilateral conversations. Setting up such a dialogue was somewhat more difficult in the Reformed world because of the reserved role the Alliance wanted to play in relationship to its member churches, preferring to favour the appropriate local initiatives already on the way in various countries and the relations within the wider ecumenical movement. The preliminary meetings with Catholic representatives in Geneva (November 1968) and Vogelenzang (Nl) (April 1969) decided that the initiative was feasible and desirable. The official conversations  began in Rome in April 1970. The results of the first phase were published in 1977 under the title "The Presence of Christ in Church and World".[3] Its report deals mainly with ecclesiological issues. The leading concern of the sessions was to “discern together what they [the two communities] have to do in order to become more credible in the eyes of the world”.[4] The talks dealt with the relationship of Christ to the church, the teaching authority of the church, the presence of Christ in the world, the understanding of the Eucharist in both churches and, finally, the ministry. The second series started in 1984 and published its report in 1990. Again the commission dealt mainly with ecclesiological questions under the title, "Towards a Common Understanding of the Church".[5] The report explored an approach toward the reconciliation of the respective historical memories and self-understandings, the notion of a common confession of faith, the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Mediator, justification by grace and through faith, and finally of various ecclesiological aspects, such as the church we confess and our divisions in history, the continuity of the church, visibility and the ministerial order. The present report of the third phase is thus in full continuity with the previous two, taking up the same ecclesiological concerns. As a matter of fact, the second report mentioned as a next step on the way forward a reflection upon the link between christology, ecclesiology and the attitude of the Christian in the world today, as stated already at the very beginning of the dialogue in 1970 (2).[6]

“Living for each other” as churches must also mean “bearing common witness”. We take the view that the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformed Churches must take every effort to speak jointly to the men and women of today to whom God desires to communicate Christ’s message of salvation”.[7]

A third series of annual conversations, was held during 1998-2005,  co–chaired by the South-African Reformed Professor H. Russel Botman and the Catholic auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor (Northern-Ireland), Mgr. Anthony J. Farquhar. Sessions took place in Venice (1998), Oegstgeest (Nl) (1999), Castel Gandolfo (2000), Cape Town (2001), Dromantine, Newry, Northern Ireland (2002) and finally a drafting session in Toronto (Canada) (2003). The theme of the conversations and the title of final report, "Church as Community of Common Witness to the Kingdom of God" indicate roughly the content of the document.

Before looking at each chapter it seems appropriate to give an overview of the document. The final report is indeed quite copious, offering the agreed revision of the separate reports, that concluded each session. In its final form the official report represents the common mind of the participants (11). This method of working has the disadvantage of making the position paper somewhat repetitive without stressing sufficiently the common conclusions.

1. The Kingdom of God in Scripture and Tradition. As the title indicates the first chapter looks at the understanding of the kingdom of God, the leitmotif of the paper, particularly in the Scriptures, but also in the patristic heritage and in the Reformed and Catholic theology after the 16th century.

2. Witnessing to the Kingdom: Three Narratives from Different Contexts. The commission pays great attention to a so-called contextual theology. Therefore it tries to “find the most appropriate way of articulating the struggle to overcome Christian divisions in relation to the struggle to overcome what divides societies, nations, cultures and religions in today’s world” (7). Accordingly the commission presented three very interesting witness narratives describing the ecumenical response to the challenges of apartheid in South Africa, reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the struggle for justice of aboriginal peoples in Canada.

3. Discerning God's Will in the Service of the Kingdom. Discernment is important in order to discover God’s will in a particular context. In the third chapter the report focuses upon the common sources of discernment and their application among Reformed and Catholics. What are the possibilities of a common discernment and witness? (10).

4. The Kingdom of God and the Church. From these considerations regarding the kingdom of God, some implications follow in the fourth chapter for the common understanding of the nature and the mission of the church, its worship, witness and service. It was also possible to revise some of the agreements from the previous round in relation to the church as a creatura verbi and a sacramentum gratiae and its relation to the Holy Spirit and eschatology.

5. Conversation and Common Witness. The last chapter deals with the nature of ecumenical dialogue, which is already a fundamental act of common witness and a real reconciling experience, that will contribute to the renewal of both communions (198).

This third report of the dialogue between Catholics and Reformed is thus in full continuity with the previous ones and pursues also a theological and ecumenical reflection on the church which can be enriching for the whole ecumene. Ecclesiology and the responsibility for the proclamation of the kingdom of God in the world remain indeed a main multifaceted and burning issue in the ecumenical dialogue at large, and touches also the internal reflection and dialogue within the participating churches and communities themselves. There is no ecumenical dialogue without a boomerang-effect!

The Kingdom of God in Scripture and Tradition

Because the kingdom of God forms the general perspective of the whole document the first chapter starts with a study of the biblical meaning of that kingdom. Although the authors are well aware of the complexity of the term in modern biblical exegesis, they hold that it serves as a metaphor to represent a kingdom of “justice, peace and a fellowship (koinonia) that invites all to involve themselves, to participate fully, and to celebrate unity in diversity” (19). It is a symbol that intends,

“to convey something definite, albeit analogical, about God's relation to, and plan for, this world. It reveals God's faithful commitment to creation, including the everyday lives of human beings. The fullness of the kingdom is the great final grace of God for this world.” (20).

And indeed the close link between kingdom, justice, peace and fellowship will orient the whole exposition in the report.

[1] The first section summarises the views of the God of the Kingdom in the bible, especially in the New Testament. Paul sees God as creator and providence of the cosmos and just judge. In the synoptic gospels God is seen as compassionate, merciful, loving and forgiving. John emphasises God as Spirit, approachable through his intimate relation with the Son.

[2] Referring to the announcement by Jesus of the kingdom at the beginning of his ministry, among other texts, the report states that “the ethical content of the kingdom of God consists of justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (27). In the New Testament the kingdom is seen primarily as temporal within history (28).

“Jesus speaks of the kingdom not only as coming in the near future, but also as already present at least fragmentarily, as sign, anticipation, foretaste. The kingdom of God is already present in an incomplete, non-exhaustive way in this eon, in this world, and in the Christian community. (29).

[3] The New Testament speaks also of the cosmic and eschatological dimensions of the kingdom. All things will be subjected to God in a renewed creation. Jesus, though, mentions also the opposing forces of evil, Satan’s kingdom. But “the hope for the coming of God's kingdom represents one aspect of faith that in the end God's power will triumph, that his justice will prevail and overcome evil” (33). The fullness of eschatological life as “eternal life” is sometimes used in parallel to the kingdom.

[4] From the first beatitude (Matt 5:3; Luke 6:20) one gets the impression that the kingdom belongs in a special way to the poor (38). And indeed that connection exists both in the Old and New Testament. In the fourth section biblical evidence is given for a perspective that is central in the whole document. While wealth is regarded positively in the bible, it contains though a challenge: “Those who have much may be distracted from the priorities of the kingdom of God” (39). In short, “In other words, biblical concepts of poverty, while beginning with an economic situation that is regarded as evil, can also generate profound spiritual orientations to life lived under the providence of God” (40).

[5] Looking at the relation between the kingdom of God, the working of the Holy Spirit and the church the report says: “For Jesus, Paul and John, then, the Spirit is the presence already, as sign, instrument and foretaste, of the kingdom of God still to come in its fullness” (42). And so hope in the kingdom shapes a spirituality that includes sacraments and prayer, foremost the Lord’s prayer, “Your kingdom come” (43f.). The paragraphs on the link between the kingdom and the church are an important key to the understanding of the report, even if it may be difficult to formulate that link from an ecclesiological viewpoint (45-47). In this regard the commission states:

“The secrets of the kingdom are revealed to the disciples of Jesus. The church is the new community grafted into God's covenant relationship with Israel. In both Testaments the covenant formula runs as follows: "I will be your God, and you will be my people" or "I will be with you, and you will be with me. This formula finds its eschatological fulfilment in the new covenant in Christ, the people of God, the church. The church is the people of God who are called to live the values of the kingdom consistently, which may often bring them into conflict with the world. Paul, in a baptismal context, expresses this bold insight: "here is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus". The church as ambassador of reconciliation is the sign of God's new creation. If reconciliation is viewed from the perspective of the Pauline communities, then ethnic, economic and gender justice is very much a part of the experience of salvation. Breaking the chains of injustice, promoting reconciliation and forgiving love are signs of the presence of God's kingdom. The church as people of God manifests the hidden saving plan of God. The church has to be seen in the perspective of God's plan for salvation, which in principle extends to all human beings and to creation as a whole. (46).

The relation between kingdom and church is not to be seen only as a spiritual or theological tour de force, but on the contrary, has concrete social relevance: “The church as ambassador of reconciliation is the sign of God's new creation. […] Breaking the chains of injustice, promoting reconciliation and forgiving love are signs of the presence of God's kingdom” (46).

The later evolution of the idea of the kingdom of God in tradition and history is also quite complex and even ambiguous. And the treatment of the history since the patristic era until the twentieth century with special attention for the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Reformation in twelve paragraphs offers inevitably rather bleak panorama. Paragraph 52 summarises the view of John Calvin and the Reformed tradition but does not hint at the quite different approach of Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms. For Calvin,

“All of creation stands under the authority and providence of God, including the very mundane activities of everyday life: spiritual and religious commitment is not limited to a distinct and separate sphere while visible and social life belongs to another. Believers live out their vocation as Christians not only in the church but also in the secular realms of political and economic life” (52).

While this orientation is found also in the Catholic approach, it is particularly alive in the Reformed view and the emphasis can be seen as a Reformed contribution to the document. But Reformed theologians such as Johannes Weiss and Albert Schweitzer influenced modern thinking by stressing the eschatological dimension, that the kingdom of God is the work of God, in which ecclesial and moral collaboration should be seen in a more modest light (54). However, the context created by the second Vatican council and by the ecumenical movement “contributed to the emergence of a distinctive approach to doing theology that was particularly attentive to the kingdom” (56). In its survey of the twentieth century the report focuses on Vatican II, especially the constitution Gaudium et Spes, and on liberation theology, in which the kingdom of God is considered an hermeneutic key, “a principle for action that called for change and for engagement on the part of all who would let its power into their lives"(56).

“It is in celebrating the Word of God together and reflecting on it in prayer that they come to experience the kingdom present among them and to understand that the kingdom message of Jesus demands active engagement in the struggle for justice and freedom of one's fellow human beings” (56).

The report (58) shows how liberation theology found resonance in the Reformed churches. In the end, though, they admit that “the history of interpretation… reveals something of the diversity of understanding of the kingdom of God and its relation to the church and to the world within the Christian traditions”, and “at times, the idea of the kingdom of God has been distorted to serve aims contrary to the justice and peace that are inherent aspects of God’s reign” (59).

Finally the section indicates two more fundamental observations about the authority of the argumentation. The first relates to the authority of the use of post-biblical witnesses: the commission agrees that the witnesses have to be faithful to the inspired Word of God in Scripture, but they did not agree regarding the extent of that authority. Secondly, they “gave special attention to the way in which context serves as a conditioning factor for Christian thought and practice, especially in the realm of the church's action in serving the arrival of the kingdom in its fullness”. In fact “the historical and cultural setting in which the Christian community finds itself will play an important role in discerning the nature and demands of the kingdom at any given time or place” (60).

The third section indicates two converging theological perspectives. First, the kingdom of God is a multi-faceted reality, part of God’s mysterious design for the salvation of the world. It includes though a variety of tensions or polarities:

“The kingdom is both present and future; it dwells in the hearts of individuals and transforms society; it is religious and spiritual but has secular and political consequences; it gradually grows but may also break out suddenly in a particular event. It is the work of God, but is served by the actions of human-beings. The kingdom is present with a special force and power in the church, whose first members were those who believed Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom and were sent to proclaim the good news of its expansive reality through his death and resurrection. At the same time, the kingdom is broader than the church; it is present in a hidden manner whenever the Spirit of the risen Lord inspires individuals and communities to live according to the values of the Gospel. This depth and complexity is intrinsic to the mystery of God's plan of salvation” (62).

The kingdom, secondly, is at the same time a gift and a task.

“Our adoption and subsequent living as God's children are both a gift and a task, as are the creation and maintenance of profound human fellowship among us. A dynamic unity exists between gift and task. The gift is accepted precisely by undertaking the task entailed in it. The kingdom thus transforms human relationships. It grows gradually as people learn to love, forgive and serve one another…. It is not primarily a concept, but a call for real transformation of personal and social life in the contexts in which they live.” (63)

According to this report, the kingdom and the church are not identical. The kingdom is truly already present in the church and yet it is beyond the church as the destiny of the whole of creation. The church is meant to serve the establishment of the kingdom as a prophetic sign and an effective instrument in the hands of God (64). This perspective opens the way for a more creative dialogue and for collaboration with adherents of world religions, as well as with any persons who seek to further the values of God’s reign, such as in the promotion of justice, liberation of the oppressed, peace and the protection of the environment (65).

Witnessing to the Kingdom: Three Narratives from Different Contexts

The kingdom of God “is not primarily a concept, but a call for real transformation of personal and social life in the contexts in which they live” (63). In order to underline the importance of the actual, concrete context in which reflection occurs the commission introduced as an integral part of the report a chapter in which it offers three narratives from different political and social situations in which the Roman-Catholic and the Reformed communities were involved. These narratives tell in a detailed, objective and informative way the evolution of their relations in front of socially unjust situations, and their growth in solidarity, from hostility to collaboration. First the story of the coalition in Canada for advocating Aboriginal Rights (70-81). Then South Africa, where the churches had to face the injustice of the apartheid rule (82-101). And finally the struggle for peace in Northern Ireland (102-122). Because one of the sessions of the dialogue took place in each of these countries, the members in direct contact with the local communities could better realise the complexity of the problems and the results of the collaboration there. It is superfluous to give to give here a summary of these three highly instructive accounts. I restrict myself to the conclusions in which the authors highlight the relevance of the narrative for the theological questions treated.

The Canadian account concludes:

“From expressions of mutual hostility in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the churches moved to ecumenical co-operation. Their common effort to create a new covenant with the Aboriginal peoples of Canada reflects a commitment to koinonia, a recognition of restored relationships as integral to the coming of God's kingdom. The kingdom of God is invoked as a type of mirror of the transformation that God will work within human hearts: a new covenant, a new people who will live the covenant as God has intended from the beginning. In this context, it seems evident that the notion of the kingdom as an ideal society, characterised by equality, justice and freedom, has been accepted. For those involved in these coalitions, the kingdom of God is seen as a call toward world-transforming actions” (81).

“The struggle to live, in South Africa, in light of the kingdom of God has involved in a particular way the struggle against apartheid” (82), against inequality between the races and the structures it created in society and in the church, and the social injustice and oppression it caused. The second narrative gives thus an overview of that struggle involving the Dutch Reformed Church and the separate Dutch Reformed Mission Church, established in 1881 for coloured Christians. The Roman Catholic Church too was confronted with the tensions. The struggle was not only an internal South African one. It stimulated great international and  ecumenical interest and led to the declaration by WARC, and in the wider ecumenical world, that the unjust situation constituted for the churches a status confessionis: “Apartheid is a sin, and the moral and theological justification of it is a travesty of the gospel and, in its persistent disobedience to the Word of God, a theological heresy” (86).[8] The struggle against apartheid brought the Reformed and the Catholics closer together. In short, the report concludes:

“For both Reformed and Catholic, the local church in South Africa, in trying to live the gospel in a context which dealt with some of the major challenges facing humanity, bare witness to the universal church of some timeless truths, namely, that theology and ethos, doctrine and life, confession through words and action are impossible to separate. In this sincere common witness many were martyred, others incarcerated or tortured for choosing Christ and the values of the kingdom. A few words from the celebrated Belhar Confession can express what was involved for both the Reformed Church and the Catholic Church: "The church, as the possession of God, must stand where he stands, namely, against injustice and with the wronged; in following Christ the church must witness against all the powerful and privileged who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others" (101).

The third account overviews the struggle for peace in Northern Ireland. It shows that the churches did pioneering work for reconciliation in a political and religious conflict that is reduced too often to a merciless conflict between “Catholics” and ”Protestants”. The ideological foundations of the conflict were linked to “the existence of two mutually excluding ecclesiologies in which the proximity between the kingdom of God and visible structures of ecclesial life was presumed to translate, more or less directly, into self-contained and mutually exclusive ecclesial-political entities” (106). How could the churches become instruments of peace and witnesses of the peace message of God’s kingdom? A turning point was undoubtedly 1969 when a working group consisting of the four main church leaders was instituted and led to a first sign of official Roman Catholic-Protestant co-operation (109). In 1974, “while political leadership remained locked within traditional boundaries, church leaders were trying to build bridges among local communities” (110). Considering the evidence, the authors of the report can affirm that “the Catholic and Protestant churches have made a profound journey together, and have tried to live the values of God's kingdom in a truly difficult situation” (118). Concluding their narrative they write:

“Of course, as always, a new commitment to the kingdom mandates of justice and peace was far from easy for the people involved. It called for a compelling Christian witness in the face of terrible and terrifying evil. In embracing the values of the kingdom, many personally experienced the violent resistance that Christ himself endured when he proclaimed the kingdom of God. There have been martyrs on both sides. What sustains such heroic witness? For both Catholic and Protestant there remains the primacy of grace in the prayerful celebration of Word and Sacrament. In the liturgy, the church remains in touch with the risen Lord and is inspired by this contact to remain faithful, even if that includes the ultimate witness of giving one's life for the values of Christ’s kingdom” (121).

The three narratives clearly tell the story of the ecumenical commitment to peace, justice, human rights and liberation of the oppressed inspired by the message of the gospel in concrete, painful and crucial situations. The formal linking here, of an explicit reflection upon the kingdom of God, is maybe less evident than one could have expected. However, the considerations about the kingdom in these narratives illustrate the intention and the orientation of the report.

Discerning God' s Will in the Service of the Kingdom

“Test everything and hold on to what is good…” (1 Thes.5,21). Discernment and testing of God’s will has to be a delicate, but constant key concern in Christian life as well as in the ecumenical endeavour. Already in the first chapter the members had noted in regard to the criteria for such a discernment:

“We have chosen quite deliberately to examine not only the biblical witness pertinent to our theme but also writings from later periods, especially from the patristic era and from the time after our division. Both Reformed and Roman Catholics see the authority of post-biblical witnesses as related to their faithfulness to the inspired Word of God in Scripture, though we have not yet arrived at a common conviction about the extent of that authority” (60).

In the third chapter, however, the issue is taken up in a detailed way. In fact, the authority of the sources used in discernment continues to divide Reformed and Catholics. Prudent indications of convergence regarding the authority of the post-biblical tradition can hardly cover the more fundamental differences. But in spite of these disagreements a further common discernment will be needed. Thus, the report asks: “How can we discern together, in different situations, God’s will in the service of the kingdom?” (123). How can the churches further greater solidarity in collaboration for justice and peace (Fr. also 149-152)?

“Discernment –the report says- may be described as the process of listening to the Holy Spirit in order to discover the presence of God, the signs of God's activity in human history and God's will or call in any given situation” (125).

Discernment, as a “process of listening”, presupposes an active exchange, communication and dialogue – listening and talking – in order to test in the light of faith what God is saying to the churches through the circumstances and the signs of the time. This testing and discernment is entrusted to the living human community. A sound discernment in searching, amidst the complexity of daily life, how to love God, serve his kingdom, and further gospel values, requires faith, hope, charity and trust in the Holy Spirit, but also wisdom, creativity, discretion, expertise, humility, a sense of responsibility, a spirit of collaboration, solidarity and many other human gifts. In the process of “discernment”, the discerning person or community must remain in focus. They are the heart of the process. Only so “it [discernment] gives new insights into the Christ event and new perspectives to the wider community, inviting it to encounter God anew and to profess anew its faith” (125). Indeed, “The research and dialogue needed for discernment demand effort and can be a painful process” (129). The report underlines justly that the process of discernment has to be an open process, in time and space. It has to involve the remembrance of the past, but has to look at the implications for the future (126) and to try to read the sometimes quite discordant signs of the times, wherever they appear (129).

Discernment needs criteria and matter. What are the common sources for discernment?  For the commission there is no doubt: “The Word of God is the primary source by which the Holy Spirit guides the discernment of the church. […] Living with the Word of God is a necessary condition for discernment.[…] Both of our communities affirm the ultimate authority of the Word of God in discerning God' s will for the church.” (130). Listening to the voices of the past, the patristic era as well as the centuries after the division in Western Christianity, Christians shared a common heritage in treating the moral implications of discipleship and in interpreting the Word of God regarding Christian behaviour and conduct in society (131). The field of sources for discernment is larger than merely the Christian tradition. Even history and moral reflection outside Christianity has contributed to a growing awareness of social values and human rights. The report emphasises that the voice of the poor is an essential indicator for discerning God’s will for the church’s witness in society. The Old Testament and Jesus’ words and deeds are indeed “a guide for our interpretation of the way God is calling us to serve the kingdom today” (132). But the panorama of possible collaboration includes even peoples of other religions and of good will: “We see kingdom values in the life and work of those other faiths and can learn from them and collaborate with them to achieve common goals (133).

Next, the urgent question of the differences between Reformed and Roman Catholics in the use of sources is treated. The Reformed members refer to the insistence in their tradition upon the sole ultimate authority of the Scripture, as explained in the 135/136.

“In the last analysis, - they state - it is only Scripture, read and understood in specific times and places, by people and church assemblies marked by those times and places, that can be the final authority in the communal discernment process” (135).

By referring to the understanding “in specific times and places, by people and church assemblies marked by those times and places” the report raises a wider problem of biblical hermeneutics, namely the delicate but inevitable question of the authority of the interpreters, synods, preachers, exegetes and other persons who have to judge or are prominent in the church and even in society. This is the field of the discernment in which the Bible and the Christian tradition shed light and orient reflection. Paragraph 136 is particularly significant, because it describes how the Reformed commit themselves to new interpretations and expressions of the Christian faith, remaining however “conformed to the message of Scripture, communally interpreted in dialogue with the Reformed tradition":

“This Reformed position shows a clear awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the Reformed understanding, church assemblies play a decisive role in discerning, but Reformed Christians know that all ecclesial statements are subject to revision and all institutions are subject to reform, because of the continuing guidance of the Holy Spirit through history. This is precisely the reason why all believers, themselves prophets, priests and kings (servants), are called to become mature in their own faith and able to discern and judge for themselves in all spiritual matters. Ultimately, this is the rationale behind the conciliar system of church governance, widely spread through Reformed churches” (136).

But, must one not be careful not to refer too easily to the Holy Spirit – who certainly guides his church into the full truth - but could be introduced also as a Deus ex machina. Discernment consists properly in trying to discover where and how the Holy Spirit is acting in human situations. Indeed, the Reformed tradition holds a conciliar and synodal system in which it can be presumed that believers have become mature and responsible in their faith. Whether they are “able to discern and judge for themselves in all spiritual matters” I leave aside. Nevertheless, one should consider also the wider ecclesial context of all faith and church life.

In the paragraphs 137-139 the Roman Catholic approach is presented. Catholics too hold that the Scripture is "the supreme authority in matters of faith".[9] It is God’s Word, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit” (137). They affirm at the same time the necessity of Tradition:

“Therefore, in interpreting the Word of God, Catholics refer, as a matter of principle, to the Tradition and to the discernment of the church, especially as the latter is expressed in official teachings” (ibid.)

The discernment and the application of God’s Word to the circumstances of life happens in various ways:

“Catholics believe that the church has a duty to "test everything" (l Thess 5 :21), so as to discern what truly pertains to the Word. The process of discernment involves the whole prophetic people of God (laity and pastors, cf. Lumen gentium 12) who, along with the gift of faith, are endowed with that "sense of the faith" (sensus fidei), which enables them to recognise the Word of God for what it is, to grow in deeper knowledge of it and to apply it to their daily lives” (138).

However, the decisive role of the Bishop of Rome and the bishops in communion with him in the process of discernment remains an insuperable difference between both Catholics and Reformed (139). As to the discernment upon the concrete social questions it is stated in a somewhat over-simplified way:

“In discerning what witness is required regarding social questions, Catholics draw upon the teaching of the universal church, as reflected in the social doctrine of councils, bishops and popes. Ultimately, on the basis of such moral principles shared by the world-wide community, a precise course of action can be discerned locally, by a careful consideration of what the kingdom of God requires in each particular situation” (ibid.).

In concluding the section the members of the commission agree that “discipleship to Jesus Christ entails the discernment of God's will regarding ethical issues and moral behaviour”. But the complexities involved lead them to an aporia.

“The revelation of God's Word remains for us a lasting source of inspiration in this area, while we acknowledge that one cannot expect to find in Scripture a ready-made solution to the moral situations which human beings face today” (140).

The different patterns of discernment, examined briefly in the fourth section are conditioned by the distinctive ecclesiologies, and different understandings of authority, and of the role of experience (144). The Reformed churches take their own local situation very seriously and pay less attention to the wider context. The Catholic church on the contrary is moved more strongly by its characteristic sensitivity to the unity of the universal church and is more open for insights and guidance from other local churches and the church at the global level. Nonetheless, the authors conclude with an appeal to collaboration so that the churches can learn from each other’s discernment processes and thus enrich one another and ease tensions that may arise in the communities (147).

In the fifth section of this chapter they review the narratives again and examine how the patterns of discernment functioned in these examples of ecumenical collaboration. Summarising the findings the report writes: “The fundamental parallel between the approaches of our two communities to discernment lies in our common desire to know God's will and to respond to grace as disciples of Jesus Christ in specific situations” (148). Concluding the commission states:

 “Obviously these narratives illustrate, first of all, how Christians face very different situations as they seek to promote the kingdom in various parts of the world. This panorama of ways in which the one gospel inspires a plurality of responses according to the particular needs of time and place illustrates the catholicity of the church. Within such variety, some constant features are present, such as the strength that comes from working together for the kingdom; the participation of the entire people of God - leaders and ministers, theologians and the whole community; the use of public statements issued by churches either individually or together with others; the advocacy organised by committees and task forces; the presentation of programmes of formation in gospel values; the importance of friendship and mutual encouragement; and the role of mutual accountability. Our stories of common witness also show that the discernment of good and evil and of a plan of action in any given context is not, and cannot be isolated from the interest and contribution of the wider church. Especially when the gospel is at stake in local discernment and action, the community of all the other local churches and, thus, of the universal church as well, cannot remain indifferent, but has both a right and a responsibility to be involved and a duty of solidarity” (154).

The report recognises that Reformed and Catholics have distinctive habits of communal discernment and, thus, that the paths they take to arrive at conclusions about moral matters sometimes take different routes. Notwithstanding, they often arrive at similar or even identical moral positions (158). Since there are possibilities of common discernment and witness, they conclude in the sixth section:

“There is no disagreement between us regarding the basic affirmation that the church is and should be a community of common witness to the kingdom of God. Common witness evokes and enables the joint action of our churches in advocating the realisation of Jesus' message about the kingdom in different times and places. Our common understanding of the kingdom enables us to read together many of the signs of the times. […] Both of our communities are committed to listen to the voice of the poor as a privileged source of discerning the demands of God's kingdom in our world. In this sense, their voice can serve as a kind of "hermeneutical key" for interpreting the signs of the times and for engaging in common discernment based upon our ecclesial self-understanding as moral communities” (157).

The Kingdom of God and the Church

The relation between the kingdom of God and the church has been debated in Catholic and Reformed ecclesiology. What are the implications of the kingdom of God for the nature and the mission of the church? What are the distinct perspectives in each tradition, and on what issues could there be a fundamental agreement between them? These questions are considered in the light of the three fundamental ecclesial activities, viz. the celebration of the kingdom in worship, the witness to the kingdom in word and deed, and finally the service aimed at influencing the quality of human life here and now.

Reformed and Catholics fully agree that “Jesus’ central message was the kingdom of God”:

“Jesus' power, the secret of the effectiveness of his actions, lies in his total identification with the message he announces: he proclaims the  "good news" not just by what he says or does, but also by who he is.  (160)

The coming into existence of the community of disciples witnessing to Jesus and his kingdom must be understood in this context. This agreement does not exclude differences in the ways in which the church-kingdom relation has been interpreted in the Roman Catholic and Reformed tradition. After having mentioned some of them, the report formulates elements of a shared vision:

“Reformed and Catholics recognise a fundamentally shared vision of the church-kingdom relationship, even if we may continue to express ourselves theologically in different ways shaped by our traditions. Although the kingdom may not be identified with the church, that does not mean that signs of the kingdom are not present in it. They are also identifiable in creation, in history, in human society and in the world. The kingdom shows itself in society and is encountered in society, but no particular society should be identified with the kingdom. The word church does not appear often in Jesus’ teaching, which focused upon the kingdom of God. However, the concept of a messianic community is intrinsically bound up with it. Jesus gathered disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to be the care of a kingdom oriented community”(163).

It is significant, too, that the text speaks of the relationship between Christ, the Church and the Kingdom. “Whoever becomes involved with Jesus, becomes involved with the Kingdom of God. In this context we have to understand also the coming into being of the community of disciples, rooted in Israel as God’s people, that witnesses to Jesus and his Kingdom in a new way” (160).  What is said here is good. At the same time, from a Catholic perspective the relationship between Christ, the Church and the Kingdom is a very intimate and deep relationship. The language of the statement just mentioned seems almost hesitant (“In this context we have to understand also the coming into being of the community of disciples”). The Catholic reflection on this that follows (161) is better in conveying the intimate relationship of Christ, Church and Kingdom. This suggests that Reformed and Catholics should continue discussion on this and build on the common degree of convergence that they share when speaking about the relationship between Christ, the Church and the Kingdom. In recent Catholic experience, perceptions of one-sided presentations within the Catholic Church of the relationship of Church to the Kingdom have given rise to authoritative statements (e.g., such as Dominus Iesus) aimed at correcting such limited presentations.

The text draws the attention, also, to the link between the kingdom of God and the concept of “koinonia / communion”, as an expression of the reconciling presence of the love of God which is a gift and a task (164).

In the following sections the paper reflects upon the three fundamental ecclesial activities, worship, witness and service. First, Celebrating the Kingdom in Worship, particularly in the liturgy, as a celebration of thanksgiving (167), as an invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the community and the elements of bread and wine (epiklesis) (168), and as an expression of hope for a world renewed, is a foretaste now of the Kingdom’s definitive manifestation at the return of the Lord. Christian worship has “transforming potential” in which “diversity (e.g. in terms of race, social class and gender) is honoured and yet not taken as a ground for discrimination” (170). The reader, however, may be surprised to discover that, in this discussion, the Eucharist as a memorial of the Lord’s passion is hardly mentioned.

Another factor not mentioned here, but needs to be kept in mind, is the Catholic understanding of the way the sacraments build the Church. There is discussion of what takes place “after bread and wine have been prepared” and reflections from both the Reformed and Catholic perspectives. Then it is said that “the liturgical celebration allows us to enter afresh into God’s saving act in Jesus Christ, whose ultimate goal is the Kingdom” (167). Granted that the focus here is the Kingdom of God, still the Catholic understanding, recalling again the intimate relation of Christ, Church, and Kingdom, would look for wording which would indicate that the celebration of the sacrament does not just relate to the Kingdom, but also to building up the Church and the unity of the Church, which is a foretaste of the Kingdom. This too is an item for continuing dialogue.

“Holy Communion especially is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet in the kingdom to come” (171). Unfortunately, however, full communion has not yet been realised. Therefore, the existing agreements remain urgent challenges to continue our efforts to overcome this fundamental division and to strengthen our missionary witness at both the individual and corporate levels (172).

Secondly, concerning Witnessing to the Kingdom in Word and Deed, the report stresses that the risen Lord charged his apostles to witness to the kingdom and to bear witness (martyr) continually, not occasionally, to God’s will for the salvation and transformation of the world (173). The call to common witness to the kingdom can not remain without consequences for the activities of  the churches. It is a multifaceted witness. It happens primarily when the congregation gathers for the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments; it happens, furthermore, in the establishment of Christian communities that are called to demonstrate that the kingdom is already present as a foretaste when they try to realise in their own life, justice, peace, freedom and respect for human rights. It resounds likewise when the prophetic voice of the church “criticises and energises society to transform itself along the lines of the kingdom”. Finally, the intercession that, God’s kingdom come, is “a witness to the sovereignty of God in bringing about the transformation of the world” (175). This witness has to take into account the actual context in which concrete people live, but at the same time it has universal dimensions. The report inserts here a forceful ecumenical call for reciprocal accountability:

“Since it [the witness] also includes strong ecclesial implications for each Christian community, this challenges the autonomy of the separated churches. Costly witness calls for mutual accountability. Therefore an ecumenical approach to this mandate is a prerequisite of more effective witness. Common witness is a matter of obedience. Churches need each other, in specific local contexts as well as on a global level, to live according to God’s promises and to fulfil God’s commandments” (177).

The report touches here, also briefly, the relation between the kingdom and the church in regard to mission and the question of values of the kingdom outside the church and, therefore, co-operation with members of other religions: “If God intends the kingdom as the ultimate goal for all humanity, then one must ask not only how other religions relate to the church but also how they relate to the kingdom” (178).

The third section on service, The Kingdom of God as a Principle of Action, opens with a statement of principle:

“The kingdom aims at the transformation of the whole of creation into eternal glory, and the church must be understood in the context of this divine intentionality. Citizenship in the kingdom means an ongoing summons to solidarity with people, particularly with the excluded and oppressed. The kingdom will only mean something to the multitudes that suffer when it is experienced as a transforming power” (180).

The care for the kingdom of God however must not  be considered only as other-worldly. It is also a call for human co-operation in a wider context than the church. In this context the World Alliance of Reformed Churches affirms that it has always been committed to the unity and catholicity of the church, and since its beginning has favoured bringing about organic union, even with churches from other Christian families (183).

It may be unavoidable in a document that focuses on the responsibility of the churches in this world that it also draws the attention to the transcendent dimension:

“Together we want to emphasise –it states- that Jesus did not envision the kingdom as belonging totally and exclusively to the age to come. Yet the future kingdom cannot be deduced from the circumstances of present history; it will be qualitatively new and lies beyond human planning and capability, something we can only allow to be given to us. While the kingdom theme takes the world and human effort in history seriously, it does not surrender openness to a transcendent future in the fullness of God. Only God ultimately can fulfil humankind's deepest aspirations"(184).

However, the authors know that their work will have to take account of opposition, and with situations of utter oppression and exploitation. There are hostile forces at work:

“This anti-kingdom is not just the absence or the not-yet of the kingdom but is its direct contradiction. The kingdom stands, therefore, in combative relation to the anti-kingdom” (185).

As citizens of the world we share the suffering of humankind and creation and this requires openness towards others, patience, and the resolve and commitment to shaping a world that corresponds better with the characteristics of the kingdom of God (186).

The last section of this chapter deserves special attention in regard to progress in dialogue between the Catholic Church and Protestant churches, not only the Reformed but Lutherans as well. It continues discussion of the two concepts of the church, creatura verbi and sacramentum gratiae, “the first more ‘Reformed’, the second, more ‘Roman Catholic’ as described at length in the previous report. In Towards a Common Understanding of the Church[10] the participants arrived at an agreement by recognising the radical dependence of the church, in receiving the transcendent gift which God makes to it, as the basis of its activity of service for the salvation of humanity.

“The two conceptions, "the creation of the Word" and "sacrament of grace", - they said - can in fact be seen as expressing the same instrumental reality under different aspects, as complementary to each other or as two sides of the same coin. They can also become the poles of a creative tension between our churches”.[11]

They could not yet understand the nature of this salutary activity in the same way. Both seemed to be victims of a caricature, that draws attention to real underlying differences of perspective for which the terms creatura verbi and sacramentum gratiae serve as symbols. According to the Reformed opinion, Catholics “appropriate to the church the role proper to Christ”. Whereas the Catholics “commonly accuse the Reformed of holding the church apart from the work of salvation and of giving up the assurance that Christ is truly present and acting in his church”.[12] In the present report the commission affirms that the two conceptions are not simply complementary to each other, two sides of the same coin, but are rather intimately related to the Word as created by the Word of God, and called both to proclaim the Word of salvation (190) and to serve as an instrument intended by God as an instrument of grace in bringing about the kingdom. “As sacrament of the kingdom, the church is and must be both creation of the Word and sacrament of grace” (191). However, this significant agreement is to be understood in the light of the modern evolution of the theology of the Word and sacraments in the Catholic, as well as in Reformed theology. It could hardly serve as an interpretation of the original controversies about Word and sacrament in the 16th century and afterwards.

Two other items, treated in the previous report, viz. the relation of the church to the Holy Spirit and eschatology, are taken up again and given more reflection, drawing out further implications. With regard to the Holy Spirit the report affirms that the one-sided confessional emphasis on the freedom of the Spirit (Reformed) and the greater appreciation of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the historical existence of the Christian community (Catholics), must be considered as complementary and mutually informative rather than as in opposition (195). The previous report noted also an opposition between the “not-yet” in the relation of the church to the kingdom on the Reformed side, and the reality of the gift as an “already-there” on the Catholic side. These two perspectives must be held together, they now assert, “so that our earlier contrast needs to be seen more as a difference in accent than a church-dividing opposition”: “We fully agree that the church lives in an eschatological perspective and that it is not possible to grasp its identity except within the framework of a shared openness to the work of the Spirit in history, even in our own days” (196).

Dialogue and Common Witness

Dialogue itself can be a reconciling experience and a witness to communion. In the fifth chapter the commission reflects upon its own experience of dialogue. Could one not affirm even more strongly that dialogue is an effectively reconciling experience when it is performed in a truly ecumenical spirit as a witness of togetherness and even as a sign of real communion, searching by communicating to deepen what already exists? Referring to Saint Paul’s letter to the Philippians describing the self-emptying and exaltation of Christ (2:5-11) the report affirms that “any dialogue is an attitude of humility, a readiness to admit ignorance and failures, a desire for deeper knowledge, and openness to truth wherever it is found” (203). It is a pity – also in this text – that the citation of this hymn has omitted Saint Paul’s introduction, verses 1-5, which places the hymn in the context of the congregation and fits well with the ecumenical situation.

The report turns again to the need for the healing of memories, treated already explicitly in the previous report, and links it to the nature of dialogue and the reconciliation of communities. The past indeed is still felt in the present even in areas in which only the historical consequences have been inherited and divisions have been imported. We should speak with respect – the report argues – about the faith of other Christians, our sisters and brothers:

“A principal aim of dialogue should be to sift through our language to discern what assertions have been due to a failure in truth and charity, so as to ask pardon of one another for them. Equally important is the uncovering of any elements of truth from our past discourses which we must repeat to one another in love (cf. Eph 4:15) even today, in the hope of finding greater communion” (208).

The examination though of a common history and the effort to heal memories inevitably raised the question of sin in the church. The answer must be the humble confession of sinfulness as we find it already in the bible, in Daniel, Jeremiah and others. In contrast, the communion that arises from a common martyrdom, the giving up of one’s life unto dying for Christ in time of persecution, is really an experience of perfect unity in common witness.

In concluding this section the report recalls the appealing invitation of the last chapter of "Towards a Common Understanding of the Church", that indicated the way forward.[13]

“Rather than opposing each other or even simply living side by side, our two communions "should live for each other in order to be witnesses to Christ" (149). TCUC 157 explains that "living for each other" means "bearing common witness" and making every effort to speak jointly to our contemporaries about "Christ's message of salvation." In this invitation to live for each other, we sense a kingdom summons to pray for each other, and to receive as our own concern the wellbeing and faithfulness of the other. In undertaking such mutual care, our common witness might be a persuasive sign for other Christian communions. Perhaps the unbelieving around us would be compelled again to exclaim, "How these Christians love one another!" Dare we consider truly "living for each other?" (221).

“Orthopraxis” and “orthodoxy”, acting and believing rightly according to the gospel, go together. Orthopraxis is a test of orthodoxy. Our prayer: “Thy kingdom come" should be the hope for the arrival of concrete conditions in which human beings find right relationships with each other under the sovereignty of the loving God (cf. 224). Living for each other presupposes, in any case, great respect for one another.


In conclusion the report focuses briefly on its principal findings, adding thus somewhat relief to a quite lengthy account. The members are convinced that in spite of some painful signs of division a new relationship as come about between WARC and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and thus between the two traditions they represent. Accordingly they acknowledged each other unambiguously as brothers and sisters in Christ, even if there remain still serious disagreements in their understanding of faith and in related doctrinal issues (226-228). The recent evolution, particularly during the Jubilee year 2000, constitutes a positive development in the process of the healing of memories and in fostering mutual respect. The present theological dialogue is also a valid instrument to that end. Through dialogue, they have discovered converging theological perspectives regarding the relationship of the kingdom of God to the church. They found also a convergence between the church as the “creation of the Word” and as a “sacrament of grace”, and further that neither of these visions can exclude the other but they are rather mutually dependent and basic to an understanding of the nature of the church (230). The dialogue showed also that both traditions can describe the church as “sacrament of the kingdom of God” and made it thus possible to deepen its relation to the Holy Spirit and its eschatological dimension and to assert the radical dependence of human beings upon God, moving towards the fulfilment of the kingdom. It is one of the merits of the report to have reflected more in depth and at the same time concretely in the three narratives, on the processes of discernment (chapter III) and dialogue (chapter V) in the ecumenical movement at large. Indeed, discernment and dialogue go together and are daily bread where human beings meet. Next to this there is also a specific task when Christian communities meet in order to examine and discern together in dialogue what they have in common, what still divides and how to meet together the common challenges. In the ongoing process of discernment the two communities look confidently for ways to solve the disagreements with a view towards full communion. By speaking and listening together they are already in real communion on the way as fellow Christians, brothers and sisters. Rightly the report stresses the necessity of mutual accountability and respect and growth in reconciling love and common faith (208): this is the life-giving blood that circulates in the veins of communities that look for greater and deeper communion, visible in common witness and commitment to the values of the kingdom. Dialogue and discernment must continue even after having achieved decisive steps that express already a certain form of “full communion.” Even then there will be need for a further delicate phase of “convalescence” in the process towards full healing by further communication and communal life in diversity.

The present report might not be seen foremost as a profound theological exposition but, rather, as an urgent call. In reflecting upon the gospel, the kingdom of God and the church it offers an urgent call for an accountable collaboration between the two Christian families, for a common commitment to the values of the kingdom of God, peace and justice with a special predilection for the poor. The report wants to favour the dialogue and a common discernment in favour of this challenge. At the same time new perspectives which go beyond the borders of the individual churches and communities are opened up towards the whole of humanity and creation, in time and eternity – “already” and “not yet”. Meanwhile there is an agenda for further intensive dialogue. The report mentions especially the recognition of the ministries, a key issue in all ecumenical discussions on reconciliation. This issue is see not primarily in terms of formal questions of organisation, but rather in regard to the underlying questions about the nature of the church and of God’s working in the world, and touches also differences between the traditional Western-Catholic and the Reformed views on anthropology and theology.

The report raises the hope that by “speaking about the Church as ‘sacrament of the Kingdom of God’ past tensions regarding differing convictions about the continuity, ministry and order of the Church through the ages may prove to be complementary and even creative in shared reconstruction” (n.197). Acknowledging together the Church as “sacrament of the Kingdom of God” is indeed an important convergence. At the same time Catholics would need to see further dialogue on issues related to the sacramental nature of the Church, such as authority in the Church, ordained ministry of bishop, priest and deacon within the apostolic succession. It was not the intention in this phase of dialogue to take up these issues. But further progress towards reconciliation requires these questions which relate to fundamental aspects of the Catholic faith to be the subject of dialogue.

Emmaus was only twelve kilometres away from Jerusalem. The ecumenical road is decisively much longer. But while talking together our understanding grows, our hearts burn and the light dawns, preparing the abiding recognition of the risen Lord in the Eucharist. Luke speaks of only one meeting in Emmaus. But in a lifetime the “Emmauses of recognition” happen in succession until the definitive meeting in Jerusalem, the city of peace, where God himself will reconcile us and restore peace and communion.

[1] See: The common witness of WARC member churches today and tomorrow and the service of the Alliance. The WARC beyond 2004. A discussion document, Accra 2004, 39 (see Website:

[2] For the text see the website of the WARC (note 1).

[3] In: SPCU, Information Service 35 (1977), 18-34, Also: Growth in Agreement, ed. by H. Meyer and L. Vischer (Faith and Order Papers 108). Geneva: WCC: New-York, Paulist 1984. 433-463. Also on the website of the WARC (note 1), Ecumenical dialogues.

[4] Presence, 5.

[5] In: SPCU, Information Service 35 (1977), 74 (1990), 91-118; Also: Growth in Agreement II, ed. by Jeffrey Gros, Harding Meyer and William G. Rusch. Geneva: WCC / Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 2000. 780-818. Also on the website of the WARC (note 1), Ecumenical dialogues.

[6] Quoted in: “Church as Community of Common Witness to the Kingdom of God" 2. When we quote the third final report we refer to it by giving the number of the paragraph in the current text.

[7] Towards a Common Understanding of the Church, 157.

[8] J.W. de Gruchy and C. Villa-Vicencio (eds.), Apartheid is a Heresy (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1983) quoted in the report.

[9] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint, 79.

[10] See Towards a Common Understanding of the Church, 94-113.

[11] Ibid. 113.

[12] Ibid. 112

[13] In: SPCU, Information Service) (1990), n.74, 116-120; Growth in Agreement II, 813-818.