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PERSPECTIVES ON KOINONIA

The report from the third quinquennium of the dialogue
between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church
and some classical Pentecostal Churches and Leaders 1985-1989

 

INTRODUCTION

1. This is a report of conversations held on the international level between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity[1] and some classical Pentecostal churches and leaders. It contains the results of the third phase of dialogue held 1985-1989.

2. Contacts for the dialogue were initiated in 1969 and 1970. Among the topics discussed during the first quinquennium (1972-1976) were Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Christian Initiation and the Charisms, Scripture and Tradition, and The Human Person and the Gifts. In the second quinquennium (1977-1982) consideration was given to Faith and Religious Experience, Speaking in Tongues, and Mary. The cochairpersons during this third quinquennium, 1985-1989, were the Rev. Kilian McDonnell, OSB, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA and the Rev. Justus T. du Plessis of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. The conversations dealt with the subject of the Church as Koinonia.

3. The Rev. David J. du Plessis chaired the Pentecostal delegation during the first two phases of the dialogue. Indeed, the origin of the international Pentecostal/Roman Catholic dialogue, almost twenty years ago, owes much to initiatives he took during and after the Second Vatican Council. David du Plessis continued to take part in the third phase of the dialogue, providing important insights to our deliberations, until his death in 1987. The dialogue commission acknowledges, with gratitude to God, David du Plessis’ important contribution to the origin and continuation of our work.

4. This particular series of discussions has been noted for the growing acceptance of the dialogue by the world-wide Pentecostal community. For the first time several Pentecostal churches authorized the participation of officially appointed representatives to the dialogue. These churches include: the Apostolic Church of Mexico (1986); the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (1985–1989); the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), USA (1985-1988); the Church of God of Prophecy, USA (1986-1988); the Independent Assemblies of God International, USA (1987); the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, USA (1985-1989); the International Communion of Charismatic Churches, USA (1986).

5. Although the unity of the Church is a concern of Pentecostals and Roman Catholics alike, the dialogue has not had as its goal or its subject, either organic or structural union. These discussions were meant to develop a climate of mutual understanding in matters of faith and practice; to find points of genuine agreement as well as to indicate areas in which further dialogue is required. We hope that further theological convergence will appear as we continue to explore issues together.

6. Building upon the groundwork laid in the previous two series of discussions, this phase of dialogue focused upon the theme of koinonia. At its 1985 meeting in Riano, Italy, discussion was directed to the subject of the “Communion of the Saints”. In Sierra Madre, California, USA, during 1986, the subject was “The Holy Spirit and the New Testament Vision of Koinonia”. Discussion was directed toward the relationship of sacraments to koinonia, in 1987 and 1988. At the meeting in Venice, Italy in 1987, the Dialogue focused upon “Koinonia, Church, and Sacraments”, emphasizing the place of the Eucharist, while in its 1988 meeting at Emmetten, Switzerland, the discussion was on “Koinonia and Baptism”. During the 1989 meeting in Rome we summarized our findings in this report. The presentation of the findings in this report follows a more systematic order than the chronological sequence in which the topics were discussed.

7. The theme of Koinonia was chosen for several reasons. First, the subject of “Communion of Saints” emerged from the portions of the discussions in the second phase of dialogue which had centered on Mary. Participants in the second phase believed that the topic of “communion” was pregnant with possibilities. Second, they also realized that the larger worldwide ecumenical dialogue was viewing the topic of “communion” with interest and expectation.

8. Koinonia has been an important topic for discussion in a number of international dialogues, for example, in the Orthodox-Roman Catholic dialogue; the second phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International dialogue; the Methodist-Roman Catholic dialogue; the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue; the Baptist-Roman Catholic dialogue; and the Disciples of Christ-Roman Catholic dialogue.

9. The theme of Koinonia is proving fruitful in the reflection about ecclesiological self–understanding in many Christian churches and communions, as for example in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran World Federation.[2]

10. During the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Catholic Church emphasized the ecclesiology of communion. The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, which met in 1985 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, recognized the importance given to the notion of communion by the Council. In Pentecostal teaching, koinonia is understood as an essential aspect of church life as it relates to the Church’s ministry to the world and to the relationships of Christians to one another. Both the Roman Catholics and Pentecostals therefore, have come to appreciate the biblical importance of koinonia as portrayed in Acts 2:42: “they [Christians] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship [koinonia], to the breaking of bread and the prayers”.[3]

11. One of the difficulties we faced in our discussions was the historical difference between the development of the doctrine of the Church in Roman Catholicism and in the various Pentecostal traditions. Roman Catholics have a centuries-long tradition of ecclesiological reflection; the Pentecostal Movement is less than a century old and has had little opportunity to engage in sustained theological reflection on ecclesiology. Although Pentecostals do not possess a developed ecclesiology, they do embrace a variety of ecclesiological polities, and they hold strongly to certain basic ecclesiological convictions (e.g. the importance of the local congregation). These convictions have been brought to bear on the various issues discussed.

12. While all dialogue participants have sought to represent their church’s positions faithfully, the views expressed in this document are those of the joint commission, which now offers its work to the sponsoring bodies.

I. KOINONIA AND THE WORD OF GOD

13. Though the focus of our dialogue was Church as koinonia, the question of Scripture and Tradition kept surfacing in all our discussions. We found that much of the agreement and also the disagreement stemmed from the similarities and differences in our understandings of the ultimate bases on which doctrine and practice of the Church should rest. Even though we discussed the topic of Scripture and Tradition more extensively in previous phases of the dialogue,[4] we offer the following brief summary of our respective views on Scripture and Tradition because of its link to the topic of this particular dialogue.

A) Jesus Christ the Perfect Word of God

14. After speaking in many places and in a variety of ways through the prophets, God has now “in these last days ... spoken to us by a Son” (Heb 1:1,2). He sent his Son, the Eternal Word of God, who became flesh (cf. Jn 1:14).

15. Together we believe that our Lord Jesus Christ revealed God in a perfect way through his whole ministry: through his words and deeds, his signs and wonders, but especially through his death and glorious resurrection from the dead, and finally by sending the Spirit of truth (cf. Jn 15:26; 16:7,12).

16. Jesus Christ is the ultimate and permanent Word of God. The Christian dispensation, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away, and we now await no further revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim 6:14; Tit 2:13).

B) The Written Word of God

17. We believe together that the books of both the Old and New Testaments have been written, in their entirety, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 20:31, 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:19,21; 3:15,16). Scripture is the Word of God written in human words in history.

18. Without suppressing the humanity of the biblical writers, God used them to express God’s perfect will to God’s people. The Scripture teaches faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for our salvation (cf. 2 Tim 3:16).

19. We disagree on the limits of the canon of Scriptures. Roman Catholics and Orthodox have the same canon. Pentecostals agree with the Reformation churches in their view of the canon as limited to the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. While Pentecostals do not deny that the books which Roman Catholics treat as deutero-canonical are valuable for the edification of God’s people, they do not consider them as normative for faith and practice.

20. Catholics argue that it is significant that the Church precedes chronologically the writings of the New Testament. These writings collectively bring together the message transmitted orally by the early apostolic Christian community, filled with the Holy Spirit, and constitute also the witness and response of the people of God to the truth of the Gospel.

21. The Roman Catholic Church sees in the texts of the New Testament - whose authors were inspired - the normative expression of revelation which closed with the death of the last apostle. The writings of the New Testament thus express, in a normative fashion, the Apostolic Tradition. The determination of the canon of Scripture by the Church is also an act of that Tradition. The proper interpretation of Scripture has to be made in the communion of the believers, within the living Tradition which is guided by the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who inspired the Scriptures also opens the sense of the Scripture to the People of God, so that it nourishes their faith.

22. Both Roman Catholics and Pentecostals recognize that the chosen vessels of God who wrote the New Testament belonged to the Church, and they stress that the New Testament biblical authors had a unique place in the history of revelation. Since the Church inherited the Scripture from the Old Testament People of God, Israel, and from Jesus himself, and since the Church rose out of the proclamation of Christ’s chosen apostles, it must be considered the creation of the Word of God. The Church can live in accordance with the will of God only as it submits itself to the prophetic and apostolic testimony contained in the Scriptures. By accepting the books of the New Testament into the canon of Scriptures, the Church recognized the New Testament writings as the Word of God addressed to humanity.

23. Pentecostals believe that some traditions express correctly the saving truth to which Scripture testifies (e.g., Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds), but they seek to evaluate all traditions in the light of the Word of God in Scripture, the ultimate norm of faith and practice in the Church.

24. Both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics agree that Scripture, inspired by the Spirit, can be properly interpreted only with the help of the Holy Spirit. “So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” because spiritual things “are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:11,14).

25. There is, however, a significant divergence as to the nature of interpretation which is necessary to understand Scripture accurately. In Roman Catholicism the interpretation of the Scripture goes on daily in the lives of the faithful at many levels, such as in the family, in the pulpit, and in the classroom. The whole body of the faithful who have an anointing that comes from the Holy One cannot err in matters of belief (cf. 1 Jn 2:20, 27). This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of the faith (sensus fidei) of the whole people, when “from the bishops to the last of the faithful” they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals” (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 12).[5] Roman Catholics hold that the teaching office of the Church “is not above the Word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously, and explaining it faithfully by divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit” (Dei Verbum, 10).

26. Pentecostals appreciate the work of interpretation of Scripture going on in the Catholic Church; however they look with skepticism on any claim that the whole body of faithful cannot err in matters of belief. Pentecostals also believe that God has given special gifts of teaching to the believing community (1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:12). But, because Pentecostals hold that Scripture is clear in all essential points, they believe that each Christian can interpret Scripture under the guidance of the Spirit and with the help of the discerning Christian community. Thus, Christians can make responsible judgments for themselves in matters of faith and practice through their use of Scripture.

27. Roman Catholics encourage Pentecostals to develop greater contact with the wider Christian community’s historical interpretation and biblical hermeneutics. Both Roman Catholics and Pentecostals are together growing in respect for the exegetical endeavour and its enriching findings.

28. Since the beginning of this century Roman Catholics have been according a greater place to Scripture in preaching, liturgy, personal reading and prayer. Pentecostals in recent years have come to appreciate the importance of the faithful teachers of the Word of God through church history. The aspiration of all parties in the dialogue is that, under the guidance of the one Holy Spirit, there will be an increasingly common insight into the meaning of Scripture, which would help overcome the divisions between Christians.

II. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT VISION OF KOINONIA

A) “Koinonia” with the Triune God

29. Both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics believe that the koinonia between Christians is rooted in the life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[6] Furthermore, they believe that this trinitarian life is the highest expression of the unity to which we together aspire: “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn 1 :3).

30. Both Roman Catholics and Pentecostals agree that the Holy Spirit is the source of koinonia or communion. The Church has been gathered in the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Cor 13:13). They differ, however, in their points of departure and in their emphases.

31. Roman Catholics, on the one hand, stress the God-givenness of the koinonia and its trinitarian character. Their point of departure is the baptismal initiation into the trinitarian koinonia by faith, through Christ in his Spirit. Their emphasis is also on the Spirit-given means to sustain this koinonia (e.g. Word, ministry, sacraments, charisms).

32. Pentecostals, on the other hand, stress that the Holy Spirit convicts people of sin, bringing them through repentance and personal faith into fellowship with Christ and one another (cf. 1 Cor 1:9). As believers continue to be filled with the Spirit (cf. Eph 5:18), they should be led to seek greater unity in the faith with other Christians. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity (cf. Acts 2:l ff.). Just as the Spirit fell on Gentiles and showed the Church to be a universal community, made of both Jews and Gentiles (cf. Acts 10), so also today God is bestowing his Spirit everywhere on Christians from different churches, promoting unity around our common Lord. The common experience of the Holy Spirit challenges us to strive for greater visible unity as we reflect on the shape God wants this unity to take.

33. Our dialogue has helped both partners to discover and appreciate each other’s specific emphases. On the one hand, by listening to the Roman Catholic participants, Pentecostals have been reminded of the importance of the communitarian dimension of the New Testament understanding of koinonia. Roman Catholics, on the other hand, have been reminded of the importance of the personal dimension of the same koinonia with God which comes from the Holy Spirit who convicts persons of sin and brings them to faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that these two emphases are not mutually exclusive but rather that they are complementary.

B) Oneness of the Church

34. Roman Catholics and Pentecostals believe that there is only “one holy catholic apostolic Church” made of all believers (cf. Eph 4:4-6). They differ, however, in their understanding of that one Church and of the way one belongs to it. Roman Catholics consider the establishment of denominations which result from the lack of love and/or divergence in matters of faith as departures away from the unity of the one Church, which in fulfillment of the command of the Lord always remains visibly one and subsists in the Roman Catholic Church (Lumen Gentium, 8). Pentecostals tend to view denominations as more or less legitimate manifestations of the one, universal Church. Their legitimacy depends on the degree of their faithfulness to the fundamental doctrines of the Scripture. We both agree that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of unity in diversity (cf. 1 Cor 12:13ff.) and not the Spirit of division.

35. By appealing to Jesus’ teaching on the wheat and tares (Mt 13:24-30) some Christians distinguish between an invisible Church (which is one) and a visible Church (which may be divided). While this distinction can be of use in distinguishing between sincere and insincere members of the Church, it can cause misunderstanding, since both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics affirm that the Church is both a visible and an invisible reality. Neither should the distinction between visible and invisible dimensions of the Church be used to justify and reinforce separation between Christians.

36. The essential unity of the Church neither implies nor mandates uniformity. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Cor 12:12). The diversity is due to the Spirit. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:4-7). The unity which the Spirit forges is resplendent with diversity. The basis of this unity is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. No one can confess this Lordship except in the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor 12:3). The unity which the Spirit gives must not be identified simply with likemindedness, sociological compatibility, or the felt need for togetherness.

C) “Koinonia” and Gospel Witness

37. The present state of visible separation in Christianity is a contradiction of the unity into which we are called by Christ. Fidelity to the concept of koinonia places upon all Christians the obligation of striving to overcome our divisions, especially through dialogue. We need to discern alertly, and in an on-going way, the character and shape of the visible unity demanded by koinonia.

38. Roman Catholics and Pentecostals lament the scandal of disunity between Christians. The lack of agreement on how koinonia should be lived out in the Church, and our resulting divisions, cloud the world’s perception of God’s work of reconciliation. Insofar as koinonia is obscured, the effectiveness of the witness is impaired. For the sake of giving an effective Gospel witness, the issue of Christian unity must be kept before us. For our Lord has prayed for his disciples “that they may all be one; even as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou has sent me” (Jn 17 :21; cf. Jn 13:34).

III. KOINONIA AND BAPTISM[7]

A) The Meaning of Baptism

39. Pentecostals and Roman Catholics agree that baptism is prefigured in Old Testament symbolism, e.g. in the salvation of Noah and his family (cf. 1 Pt 3:20-21); the Exodus through the Red Sea (cf. 1Cor 10:1-5); washing as a symbol of the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Ez 36:25).

40. They further agree that baptism was instituted by Christ, and that he commanded his disciples to go “and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 8:19). In accordance with the Lord’s commission, his disciples baptized those who were added to the fellowship of believers (cf. Acts 2:41).

41. Pentecostals and Roman Catholics differ in that Roman Catholics understand baptism to be a sacrament, while most Pentecostals understand it in terms of an ordinance i.e. a rite that the Lord has commanded his Church to perform). Some Pentecostals, however, do use the term sacrament to describe baptism. These differences illustrate the need for further discussion between Roman Catholics and Pentecostals on the meaning of the terms “sacrament” and “ordinance”.

42. Most Pentecostals hold that believers’ baptism is clearly taught in Scripture (cf. Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12, 36-39, Acts 10:34-38) and, therefore, believe that baptism of infants should not be practiced. Roman Catholics admit that there is no incontrovertible evidence for baptism of infants in the New Testament, although some texts (notably the so-called household baptism texts, e.g. Acts 16:15 and 16:31-33) are understood as having a reference in that direction. Roman Catholics note, however, that through a process of discernment during the early centuries of the Church, a development took place in which infant baptism became widely practiced within the Church; was seen as being of Apostolic origin; was approved by many of the Fathers of the Church; and was received by the Church as authentic.

B) Faith and Baptism

43. Pentecostals and Roman Catholics agree that faith precedes and is a precondition of baptism (cf. Mk 16:16), and that faith is necessary for baptism to be authentic. They also agree that the faith of the believing community, its prayer, its instruction, nurture the faith of the candidate.

44. Roman Catholics believe that the faith of an infant is a covenant gift of God given in the grace of baptism, cleansing the child from original sin, and introducing it to new life in the body of Christ. Infant baptism is the beginning of a process towards full maturity of faith in the life of the Spirit, which is nurtured by the believing community.

45. The majority of Pentecostals practice believers’ baptism exclusively, rather than infant baptism. They affirm that faith is the gift of God (cf. Eph 2:8), but at the same time stress that it is essentially a personal response of an individual. The Scripture says: “if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rm 10:9). Because they believe that faith must be personally expressed, Pentecostals maintain that an infant cannot receive the impartation of faith unto salvation (Eph 2:8), or the Holy Spirit. And because they believe that a conscious faith response to the proclamation of the Gospel on the part of the candidate is a necessary precondition for baptism, they do not baptize infants.

46. The general refusal of the Pentecostals to practice infant baptism notwithstanding, Roman Catholics and Pentecostal affirm that the grace of God is operative in the life of an infant. It is God who takes initiative for our salvation, and God does so not only in the life of adults but also in the life of infants. Scripture tells us, for instance, that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb (cf. Lk 1:15; cf. also Jer 1:5).

47. Pentecostals and Roman Catholics differ over when one “comes to Christ” and about the significance of baptism itself. For all Pentecostals there is no coming to Christ apart from a person’s turning away from sin in repentance and toward God in faith (cf. 1 Thess 1:9), through which they become a part of the believing community. Baptism is withheld until after a person’s conscious conversion. Most Pentecostals regard the act of baptism as a visible symbol of regeneration. Other Pentecostals have a sacramental understanding of baptism.

48. Roman Catholics describe conversion as a process incorporating the individual in the Church by baptism. Even in infant baptism, a later personal appropriation, or acceptance, of one’s baptism is an absolute necessity.

49. Roman Catholics and Pentecostals agree that a deep personal relationship to Christ is essential to Christian life. They also see how conversion is not only a personal or individual act, but an act that presupposes a proclaiming community before conversion and requires a nurturing community for growth after conversion. Further discussion is needed, however, on the nature of faith, the sense in which faith precedes baptism, and the meaning of corporate faith in Roman Catholic teaching. What is the nature of the gift of faith given to the infant born into the covenant community by baptism?

50. In the Roman Catholic understanding, one is incorporated into the death and resurrection of Christ through baptism thereby also entering into the koinonia of those saved by Christ. Pentecostals affirm a relationship between baptism and incorporation into the death and resurrection of Christ (Rm 6:3ff). Even if Pentecostals do not consider baptism, which makes possible incorporation into the koinonia, as a sacrament, most of them would not see baptism as an empty church ritual. It serves to strengthen the faith of those who have repented and believed in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Often a person will have a deep spiritual experience at baptism (manifested, sometimes, for instance by speaking in tongues). Provided that the person who is being baptized has experienced conversion, some Pentecostals would even speak of baptism as a “means of grace”. Without denying the salvation of the unbaptized, all Pentecostals would consider baptism to be an integral part of the whole experience of becoming Christian.

51. Roman Catholics and Pentecostals agree that faith is indispensible to salvation. Pentecostals disagree with the Roman Catholic teaching that baptism is a constitutive means of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Nevertheless, Pentecostals do feel the need to investigate further the relationship between baptism and salvation in light of specific passages which appear to make a direct link between baptism and salvation (e.g. Jn 3:5; Mk 16:16; Acts 22:16; 1 Pt 3:21). Further discussion is also needed on the effect of baptism.

C) Baptism and the Church

52. For Roman Catholics, baptism is the sacrament of entry into the Church, the koinonia of those saved in Christ and incorporated into his death and resurrection. For Pentecostals baptism publicy demonstrates their personal identification with the death and resurrection of Christ (cf. Rm 6:3ff), and their incorporation into the Body of Christ. In keeping with the long tradition of the catechumenate, some Pentecostals believe that baptism is a precondition for full church membership to the extent that unbaptized converts are not, strictly speaking, called “brothers and sisters in Christ” but “friends”.

53. For both Roman Catholics and Pentecostals, the believing community is important in the preparation for baptism, in the celebration of baptism, and in nurturing the faith of the one baptized. It is essential for the newly baptized believer to continue to grow in faith and love and to participate in the full life of the Church.

54. For the Roman Catholic Church, the basis of ecumenical dialogue with Pentecostals, properly speaking, is found in the Catholic recognition of the baptism performed by Pentecostals in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This implies a common faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. This recognition by Roman Catholics of Pentecostal baptism means, in consequence, that Roman Catholics believe that they share with Pentecostals a certain, though imperfect koinonia (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 3). The unity of baptism constitutes and requires the unity of the baptized (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 22). Our agreement on the trinitarian basis of baptism draws and impels us to unity.

55. Pentecostals do not see the unity between Christians as being based in a common water baptism, mainly because they believe that the New Testament does not base it in baptism. Instead, the foundation of unity is a common faith and experience of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through the Holy Spirit. This implies that to the extent that Pentecostals recognize that Roman Catholics have this common faith in and experience of Jesus as Lord, they share a real though imperfect koinonia with them. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:12, 13 - a passage Pentecostals tend to interpret as not referring to water baptism). Insofar as baptism is related to this experience of Christ through the Spirit it is also significant for the question of unity between Christians.

D) Baptismal Practice

56. Roman Catholics and most Pentecostals agree that a person is to be baptized in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Roman Catholics and most Pentecostals disagree with those Pentecostals who do not baptize according to the trinitarian formula, especially if in baptizing only in Jesus name (e.g. Acts 2:38) they deny the orthodox understanding of the Trinity.[8]

57. Baptism by immersion is the most effective visible sign to convey the meaning of baptism. Most Pentecostals hold that immersion in water is the only biblical way to baptise. Roman Catholics permit immersion and pouring as legitimate modes of baptism.

58. Pentecostals and Roman Catholics agree that baptism, when it is discerned as properly administered, is not to be repeated.

59. In addition to theological difficulties, Pentecostals perceive certain pastoral difficulties with the practice of infant baptism. These difficulties commonly associated with the practice of infant baptism are significant enough for Pentecostals to suggest that Roman Catholics continue to examine this practice.

60. Roman Catholics freely acknowledge the possible pastoral difficulties (e.g. creation of a body of baptized but unchurched people) inherent in the misuse of the practice of infant baptism. But infant baptism often provides a pastoral opportunity to help those parents weak in faith and practice, and is the beginning of a whole process of Christian life for the child. “Conversion” in this sense becomes a series of grace-events throughout life, resulting in a commitment equally as firm as that stemming from a sudden conversion in adulthood.

61. Roman Catholics point out that there is a new emphasis upon adult initiation among Roman Catholics in the post-Vatican II rites, without denying the value of infant baptism. Indeed, because adult baptism is now expressed as the primary theological model, the theology and practice of infant baptism is itself enriched. Not only is faith given to the infant through the sacrament, but the parents themselves are fortified as the ones responsible for the infant’s future growth, and so are caught up in the grace-giving event, frequently having their own faith strengthened.

62. Roman Catholics and Pentecostals agree that instruction in the faith necessarily follows upon baptism in order that the life of grace may come to fruition. In this connection a pastor should delay or refuse to baptize an infant if the parents (or guardians) clearly have no intention of bringing up the infant in the practice of faith. To baptize under those circumstances would be to act in manner contrary to the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church.

63. There are some parallels between the Roman Catholic practice of infant baptism and the common practice of infant dedication in Pentecostal churches in terms of the activity of grace and the role of the Christian community in the life of an infant. In infant dedication, as in infant baptism, the parents of the infant and the believing community publicy covenant together with God to bring the infant up so that he or she will come into a personal relationship with Christ. Though Pentecostals do not believe that dedication mediates salvation to an infant or makes him/her a member of the Christian Church, they do believe that because of the prayer and the faith of the

believing community, a blessing of God rests upon the dedicated infant. Both practices acknowledge in their own way the presence of the grace of God in the infant and are concerned with creating an atmosphere in which the child may grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

E) Baptism and the Experience of the Spirit

64. Roman Catholics and Pentecostals agree that all of those who belong to Christ “were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:13). We agree that God intends that each follower of Jesus enjoy the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Rm 8:9). This indwelling of the Spirit is not the fruit or product of human works, but is due to the unmerited, efficacious action of grace by which each person responds to the special initiative of God.

65. We acknowledge that Roman Catholics and Pentecostals have different understandings of the role of the Spirit in Christian initiation and life, but may nonetheless, enjoy a similar experience of the Spirit. Our experience of the Holy Spirit, furthermore, heightens our mutual awareness of the need for unity.

66. We agree that the experience of the Holy Spirit belongs to the life of the Church. Wherever the Spirit is genuinely present in the Christian community its fruit will also become evident (cf. Gal 5:22-23). Genuine charismata mentioned in Scripture (e.g. 1 Cor 12:8-10, 28-30; Rm 12:6-8; etc.) also indicate the presence of the Spirit. All such manifestations, however, call for discernment by the community (cf. 1 Thess 5:19-22; 1 Cor 14: 1 Jn 4).

67. Generally, Roman Catholics have tended to be cautious about accepting the more spectacular manifestations of the Spirit such as speaking in tongues and prophecy, although the Charismatic Renewal has helped them to rediscover ways in which such gifts are rooted in their oldest tradition.

68. Roman Catholics fear that Pentecostals limit the Spirit to specific manifestations. Pentecostals fear that Roman Catholics confine the Spirit’s workings to sacraments and church order. Therefore, we share a mutual concern not to confine or to limit the Holy Spirit whom Jesus described by the imagery of the freely blowing wind (cf. Jn 3:8). Each of us seems more worried about the other limiting the Spirit than ourselves. Still, we have learned through our discussions together that there is greater freedom for the Holy Spirit in both of our traditions than we expected to find, and our fears once shared, have made us more aware of our shortcomings in this regard.

69. Our discussions, too, have made us more aware about the ways in which we use language related to the Holy Spirit. We agree that such ideas as what it means to be “baptised in the Spirit” or “filled with the Spirit” would be fruitful fields for mutual exploration.

IV. KOINONIA IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH

A) “Koinonia” in the Life of God

70. Both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics recognize that believers have a share in the eternal life which is koinonia with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Jn 1:2-3), and a communion in the Holy Spirit whom God’s Son, Jesus Christ, has given to them (cf. 1 Jn 3:24; 2 Cor 13:14). This, the deepest meaning of the koinonia, is actualized at various levels. Those who believe and have been baptized into Christ’s death (cf. Mk 16:16; Rm 6:3-4) have koinonia in his sufferings and become like him in his death and resurrection (cf. Phil 3:10). The next step is the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation [koinonia] in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation [koinonia] in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16) All believers, furthermore, who have koinonia in the eternal life of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and who have koinonia in Christ’s death and resurrection are bound together in a koinonia too deep for words. We look forward to the day when we will also have koinonia in his body and blood (1 Cor 10:16).

71. While both Roman Catholics and Pentecostals teach the indwelling of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit in the believer (cf. Jn 17:21; Rom 8:9), the emphasis on the indwelling of the Trinity in believers is more explicitly articulated in the Roman Catholic faith than in that of the Pentecostals. The nature of the language used to describe it is in need of further exploration together.

72. Together with Roman Catholics, most Pentecostals have a strong commitment to the trinitarian understanding of God. They believe, for instance, that at baptism the trinitarian formula should be used because of Jesus’ mandate: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).[9] The Pentecostals do, however, feel challenged by Roman Catholics to develop all the implications for faith and piety which their full trinitarian commitment implies.

B) Church as “koinonia”

73. The importance of an active response to the gifts of God in the service of koinonia requires mutuality in its many dimensions. Some of these dimensions are the assumption and sharing of responsibility, and a fuller participation in the life of the local congregation. When Church members of whatever rank act arbitrarily, without taking into account this sharing, their actions obscure the expressions of communion. For Roman Catholics and Pentecostals koinonia in the Church is a dynamic concept, implying a dialogical structure of both God-givenness and human response. Mutuality has to exist on every level of the Church, its source being the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit.

74. Roman Catholics must often confess to a lack of mutuality at the local and universal levels, even though mutuality is recognized as a criterion for fellowship. Difficulties surrounding lay participation in decision making processes, and the lack of sufficient involvement of women in leadership, were examples cited by participants in this dialogue. Roman Catholics, however, would insist that order and hierarchy do not in themselves imply such a defect in mutuality.

75. At the same time Pentecostals acknowledge both the reluctance that many of their members have in submitting to ecclesial authority and the difficulty which their charismatic leaders have in working through existing ecclesial institutional channels which could protect them from acting irresponsibly or in an authoritarian manner.

76. The difficulties of some Pentecostals with their ecclesial institutions stem in part from frequent emphasis on their direct relation to the Spirit. They forget that the Spirit is given not only to individual Christians, but also to the whole community. An individual Christian is not the only “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 6:19). Roman Catholics have rightly challenged Pentecostals to think of the whole community, too, as a “temple of God” in which the Spirit dwells (1 Cor 3:16). If Pentecostals were to take the indwelling of the Spirit in the community more seriously they would be less inclined to follow the personal “leadings of the Spirit” in disregard of the community. Rather they would strive to imitate the Apostles who, at the first church council, justified their decision with the following words: “... it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us ... (Acts 15:28).

77. In their theology, both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics see themselves standing in a dependent relationship to the Spirit. They acknowledge the need to invoke the Holy Spirit. In accordance with this invocation they believe in the presence of God whenever two or three are gathered in Christ’s name (cf. Mt 18:20).

78. Pentecostals recognize that while there is an emphasis on holiness in the Roman Catholic Church, they observe that it seems possible for some Roman Catholics to live continuously in a state of sin, and yet be considered members in the Church. This seems to the Pentecostals to undermine the concept of Christian discipleship. Though they are mindful of John’s words that if “we say we have not sinned, we make him (God) a liar” (1 Jn 1: 10), Pentecostals want to take seriously the warning of the same apostle concerning the unrepentant sinner, namely that “no one who sins has either seen him [the Father] or known him” (1 Jn 3:6).

79. Roman Catholics wonder how Pentecostals deal with the sins of their own members. Do they Have an adequate tradition of bringing those who have fallen into sin into a process of repentance and a sense of God’s forgiveness? Without such a tradition how can they avoid harshness when a sinner fails to live up to the congregation’s ideal of holiness?

80. Both bodies would do well to recall the scriptural warnings that we must try to see the log in our own eye rather than the speck in our brother’s or sister’s eye (cf. Mt 7:4). We should reflect too, on the Lord’s caution against trying to have a wheat field from which all tares have been removed (cf. Mt 13:24ff.).

C) “Koinonia”, Sacraments, and Church Order

81. Roman Catholics hold that a basic aspect of koinonia between local churches is expressed in the celebration of the sacraments of initiation, namely, by the same baptism, the same confirmation, the same Eucharist. Moreover, the celebration of these sacraments requires ordained ministers to preside,[10] ordination being also a sacrament, i.e., an act of Christ in the Spirit celebrated in the communion and for the communion of the Church. Furthermore, according to the Catholic tradition, only ordained ministers, principally the bishop, can preside over a local church or diocese.

82. According to Catholic understanding, koinonia is rooted in the bonds of faith and sacramental life shared by congregations united in dioceses pastored by bishops. Through their bishops, the local churches are in communion with one another by reason of the common faith, the common sacramental life, and the common episcopacy. Among the fellowship of bishops, the Bishop of Rome is recognized as the successor of Peter and presides over the whole Catholic communion. Through their day to day teaching, and more specifically through local and universal councils, bishops have responsibility to articulate clearly the faith and discipline of the Church. Church order is thus grounded in the koinonia of faith and the sacraments; church order is at the same time an active expression of koinonia.

83. Roman Catholics hold that some existing ecclesiastical structures (such as the office of a bishop) are “God given” and that they belong to the very essence of church order rather than serving only its well being.

84. While Pentecostals disagree among themselves concerning how the Church should best be ordered (the views range from congregational to episcopal), they accept the full ecclesial status of the churches ordered in various ways. Observing the diversity of the church structures in the New Testament, they believe that the contemporary Church should not be narrower in its understanding of the church order than the sacred Scriptures themselves.

85. Although Pentecostals do not limit celebration of the sacraments and leadership in the Church to the ordained ministers, they do recognize the need for and the value of ordination for the life of the Church. Pentecostals do not consider ordination to be a sacrament. Ordinarily Pentecostals recognize that a charism of teacher/pastor is recognized or can be given to a person at the laying on of hands, but they do not consider that at ordination the power of the Holy Spirit is bestowed to the person being ordained. Instead, ordination is a public acknowledgment of a God-given charism which a person has received prior to the act of ordination.

86. Some Pentecostals observe what appears to be a “mechanical” or “magical” understanding of the sacraments, especially among Roman Catholic laity, and do not accept the grace-conveying role of the sacraments distinct from their function as a visible Word of God. Roman Catholic theology, however, maintains that the sacraments are not “mechanical” or “magical” since they require openness and faith on the part of the recipient. In Catholic understanding, the grace of the sacraments is not bestowed automatically or unconditionally, irrespective of the dispositions of the recipient. What Paul says in 1 Cor 11:27 (“profaning the body and blood of the Lord”) is common teaching in the Roman Catholic Church. Sacramental actions can produce “shriveled fruit” as Augustine describes it, when the recipients are not in right relation to the Lord.[11] Furthermore, the efficacy of the sacraments is not dependent upon the personal piety of those who minister them, but rather, is ultimately dependent upon the grace of God.

87. Pentecostals believe that church order demanded by koinonia is not satisfactorily expressed in some important aspects of Roman Catholic ecclesiology. Even within the context of collegiality, examples which seem to bear this out include those passages where it is stated that “the episcopal order is the subject of the supreme and full power over the universal Church”, and even more importantly, when it is stated that “the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme, and universal power over the Church” which “he can always exercise ... freely” (Lumen Gentium, 22). On the whole, Pentecostals propose that presbyterial and/or congregational ecclesial models express better the mutuality or reciprocity demanded by koinonia.

88. Roman Catholics are more inclined to see the Spirit operating through certain ecclesial structures, although Pentecostals, too, recognize that the Spirit may work through ecclesial structures and processes.

89. Both Roman Catholics and Pentecostals are troubled by the discrepancy between the theology and the practice of their own parishes or congregations.

D) The Church and Salvation

90. According to Roman Catholic ecclesiology, the Church can be considered both a sign and an instrument of God’s work in the world. This formulation from the nineteenth century is still very useful for understanding the role of the Church in the world.

91. The Church is a sign of the presence of God’s saving power in the world. It is also a sign of the eschatological unity to which all peoples are called by God. It is to be this sign both through its individual members and its gathered communities. Insofar as Christians are divided from one another, they are a counter sign, a sign of contradiction to God’s reconciling purpose in the world.

92. The Church is also an instrument of God for announcing the saving news of grace and the coming of God’s kingdom. The Church is God’s instrument in making disciples of all nations by preaching the Good News of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and baptizing them (cf. Mt 28:19).

93. In recent years, Roman Catholics have come to describe the Church as “a kind of a sacrament” (Lumen Gentium, 1). This new insight is consistent with its past understanding of the sacraments as signs and instruments of God’s saving power.

94. Though Pentecostals do not accept the Roman Catholic understanding of sacraments and the Roman Catholic view of the Church as “a kind of sacrament”, in their own way they do affirm that the Church is both a sign and an instrument of salvation. As the new people of God, the Church is called both to reflect the reality of God’s eschatological kingdom in history and to announce its coming into the world, insofar as people open their lives to the in-breaking of the Holy Spirit. In Pentecostal understanding the Church as a community is an instrument of salvation in the same sense in which each one of its members is both a sign and instrument of salvation. In their own way, both the community as a whole and the individual members that comprise it, give witness to God’s redeeming grace.

V. KOINONIA AND THE COMMUNION OF THE SAINTS

A) The Church as “Communio Sanctorum”

95. God calls us into communion with Himself (communio with the Holy One), into communion in the Body and Blood of Christ (communio in sanctis), and into communion between Christians (fellowship of the saints: communio sanctorum). In the Nicene Creed, the phrase communio sanctorum has eschatological significance: the saints on earth and those in heaven, marked by the same Spirit, are a single Body.

96. In terms of the sharing in holy things (communio in sanctis), for Roman Catholics participation in baptism, confirmation and Eucharist is constitutive of the Church. For Pentecostals, the central element of worship is the preaching of the Word. As persons respond to the proclamation of the Word, the Spirit gives them a new birth, which is a pre-sacramental experience, thereby making them Christians and in this sense creating the Church. Of secondary importance are participation in baptism and the Lord’s Supper, spontaneous exercise of the charismata and the sharing of personal testimonies.

97. Pentecostals would like Catholics to share more among themselves the private devotional reading of the Scriptures. Pentecostals ask Roman Catholics whether they could not deepen the experiential dimension of koinonia through spontaneous exercise of the gifts and the sharing of personal testimonies. Convinced that Word and Sacrament cannot be separated in worship, Catholics ask Pentecostal to re-examine the dynamic relationship between these two in the celebration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

98. The relation between koinonia, sacraments and church order (see above 81-89) explains why both the sharing in the same eucharistic faith, and also in full communion are normal prerequisites for receiving the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church. Since for Catholics the Eucharist is essential and central in the life of the Church, participation in the eucharist means and requires unity of faith. Catholics would like to see Pentecostals express clearly what is required for full communion in their churches.

99. According to the Roman Catholic view, the communio sanctorum includes a relationship to all the holy ones of God, the saints on earth and also the saints in heaven. Members of the Church are given koinonia in the very holiness of God. As a result, they form “a great cloud of witnesses”, (Heb 12:1) a “great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues” (Rev 7:9).

100. In Roman Catholic faith and practice, God alone is the object of worship (latria). However, veneration (doulia) is given to saints who have “run the race”, “finished the course”, and have received “a crown of life”. It is also important to realize that no Catholic has an obligation jure divino of venerating either relics, icons, or saints. While this kind of devotion is not necessary for salvation, the Church recognizes the usefulness of such forms of devotion, recommends them to its members, and resists any condemnation or contempt of such practices (cf. Council of Trent, Session 25).

101. Pentecostals find reassuring the stress in Roman Catholic theology that worship belongs only to God. It is, however, the Pentecostal teaching that the unique mediatorial role of Christ positively excludes veneration of relics, icons, and saints. Pentecostals do, however, affirm that in their worship the earthly saints join in worship with saints in heaven and with them comprise the one holy catholic and apostolic Church. As the Scripture says: “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12: 1) who have lived in history from the beginning of God’s dealing with the human race.

B) Holiness, Repentance and Ministry in History

102. All the baptised are called to be “saints “, and indeed, according to Scripture, they called themselves such in the early church (Acts 9:13; 26:10; Rom 15:25-26; 2 Cor 8:4; 9:1. etc.).

103. We agree that because of sin, the Church is always in need of repentance. It is at once holy and in need of purification. The Church is a “holy penitent”, and is ever in need of renewal both in its persons and in its structures. Both Catholics and Pentecostals recognize the fact that their respective theologies of koinonia are all too seldom reflected in the empirical reality of the life in their respective communities.

104. Both sides of this dialogue agree on the fundamental demands for holiness in the minister and agree that the unworthiness of a minister does not invalidate the work of the Holy Spirit. For Roman Catholics, God’s acts in the sacraments are effective because they are based on God’s faithfulness. They believe that the Holy Spirit works with consistency in ministering to those who come in faith. The Church gives serious attention to Church discipline because human weakness and sin can become obstacles to the effectiveness of ministry. Pentecostals, too, believe that God can work through the ministers of the Word of God in spite of their grave failures and sin in their lives. “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will ... What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretence or in truth, Christ is proclaimed: in that I rejoice” (Phil 1:15, 18). Pentecostals also believe that the ordinances administered by an unworthy minister are valid (in the sense that, for instance, baptism need not be repeated). Together we believe, however, that the unworthiness of ministers is often a stumblingblock which prevents non-believers from coming to faith in a true and living God, and it frequently hinders the work of the Spirit in the believing community.

105. Although Pentecostals stress the freedom of the Spirit to act in the community and emphasize the need for active participation of all members of the Church, they do acknowledge the necessity of church order. They affirm church order (which can legitimately take different forms) as the will of the Lord for his Church, since they observe from the New Testament that the earliest Church has not “been without persons holding specific authority and responsibility” (BEM, Ministry, 9) (cf. Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil 1:1). Since Pentecostals do not reject ecclesial institutions, they recognize that the Spirit operates not only through charismatic individuals, but also through the permanent ministries of the Church.

106. There is agreement that the offices and structures of the Church, as indeed every aspect of the Church, are in a continual need of renewal insofar as they are institutions of men and women here on earth. This presumes that the Spirit can breathe new life into the Church’s offices and structures when these become “dry bones” (Ez 37). This on-going effort at renewal has important ecumenical implications. This is an essential dynamism of “the movement toward unity” of the People of God (Unitatis redintegratio, 6).

107. Pentecostals and Roman Catholics appear to view the history of the Church quite differently. The members of this dialogue believe that the differences in these perspectives deserve further mutual exploration. Both Pentecostals and Roman Catholics recognize that continuity in history by itself is no guarantee of spiritual maturity or of doctrinal soundness. Increasingly both traditions are coming to share a genuine appreciation for the value which church history reveals to them today.

108. Roman Catholics believe that the contemporary Church is in continuity with the Church in the New Testament. Pentecostals, influenced by restorationist perspectives, have claimed continuity with the Church in the New Testament by arguing for discontinuity with much of the historical Church. By adopting these two positions, one of continuity, the other of discontinuity, each tradition has attempted to demonstrate its faithfulness to the apostolic faith “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The significance of this for the welfare of the whole Church urges upon us the need of further common theological reflection on the history of the Church.

CONCLUSION

109. It is hoped that this dialogue might inspire dialogues on national or local levels between Roman Catholics and classical Pentecostals. The participants recommend to their parent bodies that the dialogue continue into a fourth round of discussions.

110. The members of the dialogue, during this quinquennium, visited worship services representing both traditions. Learning was not confined only to the dialogue table, but also took place in local Catholic parishes and Pentecostal congregations visited during this series of discussions and at informal conversations between sessions.

111. We have explored the subject of koinonia and have been richly rewarded as together we affirmed the Lordship of Jesus. We felt his pain as we understood our part in the on-going brokenness of this Body. Nonetheless, that we could spend day after day together sharing in great detail and depth our most dearly held Christian convictions, and come away closer to our Risen Lord and to each other, we understand is possible only by the grace and mercy of God.

112. The prayer of Jesus, “That they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) has become increasingly important to us, and the cause for much prayer and repentance still. Nevertheless, we are heartened by the realization that fresh winds of the Spirit are blowing in the Church universal, and we are waiting expectantly to see what in the providence of God is yet to come. Our prayer continues to be “Come, Holy Spirit!”.


APPENDIX[12]

Roman Catholic Participants

* Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM, Cap
Milano, Italy
1987, 1988, 1989

* Rev. John C. Haughey, SJ
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

* Prof. Hervé Legrand, OP
Paris, France
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

s * Fr. Kilian McDonnell, OSB (co-chair)
Collegeville, Minnesota, USA 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

s Most Rev. Basil Meeking
Bishop of Christchurch
New Zealand
1985, 1986

Prof. Heribert Mühlen
Paderborn, W. Germany
1985, 1986

s* Msgr. John A.Radano (co-secretary)
Vatican City
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

* Rev. John Redford
Kent, England
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

* Sr. Helen Rolfson, OSF
Collegeville, Minnesota, USA
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

Classical Pentecostal Participants

Dr. John L. Amstutz
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Los Angeles, California USA
1986

Rev. Mitchell Belobaba
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1985, 1987, 1988

Rev. Rose Belobaba
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1985

Dr. Omar Cabrera
Vision de Futuro
Santa Fe, Argentina
1988

Mr. Dan Crotty
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Ventura, California, USA
1985

Rev. Edward Czajko
Pentecostal Church
Warsaw, Poland
1988

Rev. Olof Djurfeldt
Swedish Pentecostal Movement
Stockholm, Sweden
1986

s Rev. David J. du Plessis (co-chair emeritus) Assemblies of God
Pasadena, California, USA
1985, 1986 (+ 1987)

s * Rev. Justus du Plessis (co-chair)
Apostolic Faith Mission
Faerie Glen, South Africa
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

Dr. Hugh Edwards
Church of God of Prophecy
Cleveland, Tennessee, USA 1986, 1987, 1988

* Dr. Howard M. Ervin
American Baptist
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

Dr. James A. Forbes
Original United Holy Church International
New York, New York, USA
1986

Rev. Manuel J. Gaxiola-Gaxiola
Apostolic Church
Mexico City, Mexico
1986

* Rev. Bernice Gerard
Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

Rev. Allan Hamilton
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Portland, Oregon, USA
1986

Dr. James D. Jenkins
Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) Cleveland, Tennessee, USA
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Dr. Veroni Krüger
Apostolic Faith Mission
White River, South Africa
1986

Dr. Peter Kuzmič
Christ's Pentecostal Church
Osijek, Yugoslavia
1985

Rev. Silvano Lilli
International Evangelical Church
Rome, Italy
1985

Rev. Alfred F. Missen
Assemblies of God
Birmingham, England
1985

Dr. François Möller
Apostolic Faith Mission
Auckland Park, South Africa
1988

Dr. Robert Mueller
Independent Assemblies of God International
El Toro, California, USA
1987

Bishop Earl Paulk
International Communion of Charismatic Churches
Decatur, Georgia, USA
1986

* Dr. Coleman Phillips
International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Escondido, California, USA
1988, 1989

s* Dr. Cecil M. Robeck, Jr.
Assemblies of God
Pasadena, California, USA
1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

s * Dr. Jerry L. Sandidge (co-secretary) Assemblies of God
Springfield, Missouri, USA
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

Dr. Vinson Synan
Pentecostal Holiness Church
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA 1986

* Dr. Del Tarr
Assemblies of God
Fresno, California USA 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989

Rev. H. N. van Amerom
Broedershap van Pinkstengemeenten
Houten, The Netherlands
1987

* Dr. Miroslav Volf
Christ's Pentecostal Church
Osijek, Yugoslavia
1985, 1986, 1988, 1989



[1]. Until 1989 the Pontifical Council was known as the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity.

[2]. At its Eighth General Assembly in February, 1990, the Lutheran World Federation voted to change its constitution. It now describes itself as a “communion of churches”.

[3]. Scripture quotations in this publication are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrighted 1946, 1957, 1971, 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

[4]. Final Report (1972-1976) paras., 28-30; Final Report (1977-1982) paras., 18-21; 49-57. These reports are published in Information Service. Secretariat For Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City, N°. 32 (1976/111) pp. 32-37 and N°. 55 (1984/11-111) pp. 72-80. The 1977-1982 reports are also published in Kilian McDonnell, ed. Presence, Power, Praise (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1980) 3:373-395 and in Arnold Bittlinger, Papst und Pfingstler, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1978. For the report of the 1977-1982 discussions, see Jerry L. Sandidge, Roman Catholic Pentecostal Dialogue (1977-1982): A Study in Developing Ecumenism, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1987.

[5]. All quotations from the Second Vatican Council are from WaIter M. Abbott, ed. The Documents of Vatican Il, New York: Guild Press, America Press, Association Press, 1966.

[6]. A segment of Pentecostals known as “Oneness” or “Jesus Name” Pentecostals are opposed to the trinitarian formulation of the faith. Their view of God tends toward modalism and the baptismal formula which they pronounce is “in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38) instead of the traditional trinitarian appeal to Matthew 28:19. Most Pentecostals, however, strongly disagree with this position.

[7]. We devote a special section to baptism because of the difficulty which baptism and the practice of baptism have in our dialogue.

[8]. See footnote 6.

[9]. See footnote 6.

[10]. This relationship between church order and ordained ministry presiding over a community is well illustrated in the celebration of water baptism, although in cases of necessity every Christian is requested to baptize. Until 1923 even the deacons were not allowed to be the ordinary ministers of baptism. Presently bishops retain for themselves the baptism of adults and parish priests must have their bishop’s permission to perform such a baptism.

[11]. The later distinction made between “fruitful” and “unfruitful” sacraments is another way by which the Roman Catholic teaching asserts the same understanding.

[12] Only those who attended the Dialogue in 1989 had a part in the drafting and editing of this Final Report. They are indicated with an asterisk (*). Steering committee members during this quinquennium are indicated with an “s”.

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