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N. 101 (1999/II-III)



A Tribute to Johannes Cardinal willebrands on the Occasion of his Ninetieth Birthday


Letter of Pope John Paul II to Cardinal Willebrands


I. Some Aspects of the Catholic Church’s Involvement in Ecumenism, 1951-1999:
The Ecumenical Ministry of Johannes Cardinal Willebrands

A. 1951-1963 Johannes Willebrands and the Catholic Conference for Ecumenical Questions

B. 1960-1968 Cardinal Willebrands’ tribute to Augustin Cardinal Bea:
“Cardinal Augustin Bea: His Contribution to the Ecumenical Movement and to Religious Liberty”, Opening Address at the Bea Symposium, 1981

C. 1969-1989 Steps Towards Unity: Some Addresses of Cardinal Willebrands as President of the SPCU

1. Fostering the Ecumenical Spirit Within the Catholic Church

a. Presentation of the Second Part of the Ecumenical Directory, May 15, 1970
Preface to Reflections and Suggestions Concerning Ecumenical Dialogue, August 15, 1970
 Opening Address, Meeting of Delegates of National Ecumenical Commissions, April 22, 1985

2. Promoting Christian Unity With Other Churches, Ecclesial Communities and Ecumenical Organizations

a. Relations with Orthodox Churches

  • Address at the Phanar during his First Visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Cardinal President of SPCU, November 30, 1969, Istanbul-Constantinople
  • Address to the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece during Official Visit, May 17-20, 1971, Athens
  • Address to Clergy and Theologians of Archdiocese of Heraklion, Orthodox Church of Crete May 20, 1971, Heraklion
  • Address at Enthronement of Rumanian Orthodox Patriarch His Beatitude Justin June 19, 1977, Bucharest
  • Address to the Catholicos Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Georgia March 11, 1979, Tbilisi
  • Address during Doxology at the First Meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue, May 29, 1980, Patmos
  • Address to the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Celebration of the Millennium of the Rus, June 6, 1988, Zagorsk

b. Relations with Oriental Orthodox Churches

i. Coptic Orthodox Church
ii. Armenian Apostolic Church
iii. Syrian Orthodox Church

c. Relations with Christian World Communions

i. Anglican Communion

1. Address at Lambeth Palace, 1972
2. Cardinal’s Prolusio, Plenary of SPCU, January 31-February 5, 1983

ii. Lutheran World Federation

1. “Sent into the World”. Address at the Assembly of the LWF, Evian, France, 1970
2. Address on the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of Martin Luther

iii. World Alliance of Reformed Churches
Letter on the 450th Anniversary of John Calvin’s Arrival in Geneva, May 13, 1986

iv. World Methodist Council
Address to Assembly of World Methodist Conference, August 23, 1971

v. Disciples of Christ
“The Significance of the Roman Catholic-Disciples of Christ International Dialogue”
October 18, 1982

vi. Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Baptists
Excerpt of Address to SPCU Plenary, November 1969

d. Relations with World Council of Churches

i. “Twenty Five Years of the World Council of Churches, 1848-1973”
Article – L’Osservatore Romano, September 6, 1973

ii. The Role of Faith and Order: Excerpt from the Cardinal President’s Opening Address at Plenary Meeting of the Secretariat, January 31-February 5, 1983

e. Cooperation with United Bible Societies

New revised “Guidelines for Interconfessional Cooperation in Translating Bible”, November 1987
Address of Cardinal Willebrands

3. Theology at the Service of Ecumenism

a. The Notion of “Typos” within the One Church,
Sermon at Great St. Mary’s, Cambridge, 1970

b. Koinonia Ecclesiology,

“The Future of Ecumenism”, 1975,
Address on the 10th Anniversary of Pro Oriente Foundation

c. Ecumenical Reception
Address at the Assembly of the Lutheran Church in America, Toronto, 1984

d. “Subsistit in”
“Vatican II’s Ecclesiology of Communion”,
Address at the National Workshop on Christian Unity, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 1987

e. The Role of Theology in Ecumenism,
“The Place of Theology in the Ecumenical Movement: contributions and its limits”, University of St Michael’s College, 1990


D. 1960-1999 “Ecumenical Advances: Towards the New Millennium” by Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy and Bishop Pierre Duprey


II. The Catholic Church and the Jewish People: Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews

A. Addresses of Cardinal Willebrands

  • “Cardinal Bea’s Attitude to Relations with the Jews” – Rome, 1981
  • “Faithful Minister of the Wisdom of God” Cardinal Bea Memorial Lecture at Westminster Cathedral Conference Centre, London, March 10 1985
  • “Commemoration of Nostra aetate”, Vatican City, 1985
  • “Salvation and Redemption: Themes of a Common Faith”. Address at Second International Catholic/Jewish Theological Colloquium, Rome, 1986
  • “Are the New Testament and Christianity Antisemitic?” – Oxford, 1985 and Rome
  • “The Church and Modern Antisemitism”. Aberdeen and London, 1988

B. An Appreciation of Cardinal Willebrands’ Involvement in Jewish-Catholic Relations by Archbishop Jorge Mejia