Celje (Slovenia), June 30-July 7, 2001


The fourth annual session of the fifth phase of the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue took place in Celje (Slovenia), June 30-JuIy 7, 2001. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and some Classical Pentecostal Churches and leaders. This year’s session was hosted by the Catholic team.

The goal of the Dialogue is a deepening of mutual understanding and respect between the two communities, and not structural unity. The discussions were typified by an attitude of candor and trust. A Joint Worship Service took place on Sunday, at the beginning of the Dialogue session. Each day was opened and closed with periods of devotions led alternatively by members of the two teams.

The topic of this year was Christian Experience in Community: Biblical and Patristic Perspectives. The papers were read by DJ: Ralph Del Colle, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA (Catholic) and Rev. Huibert Zegwaart, Netherlands (Broederschap van Pinkstergemeenten).

Much of the discussion on the paper focused on the relationship between such key terms as "experience", "conscìousness". "intentionality ", and "necessity ". More specifically, a crucial question is the relation between experience, on the one hand, and grace, faith and conversion, on the other. To what extent should experience be used as a criterion for discerning the presence of authentic faith and conversion? Among other points covered, Pentecostals and Catholics agree that while the experience is an important part of Christian life, it is secondary to faith. Our discussion demonstrates our need to continue to learn each other's language in order to find further convergence on a variety of issues.

Co-Chairs of this Dialogue session were Rev. Cecil Robeck Jr. (Assemblies of God, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA) and Msgr. John Radano (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican) USA.

Other Classical Pentecostal participants included: Rev. David Cole (Open Bible Standard Churches, Eugene Bible College, Eugene, OR) USA; Rev. Gary B. McGee (Assemblies of God, Springfield, MO) USA, Rev. Steve Overman (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Eugene, OR) USA; Rev. Raymond M. Pruitt (Church of God of Prophecy, Oxford, MS) USA. Rev. Clayton Endecott (Lager, Germany) USA, General Presbyter for Europe and the Middle East of the Church of God of Prophecy, attended the meeting as observer.

Other Catholic participants included: Mr. Hans Gasper (Deutsche Bischofskonferenz, Bonn) Germany, Rev. William Henn, O.F.M. Cap. (Gregorian University, Rome) USA; Sister Maria Ko, F.M.A. (Holy Spirit Seminary, Hong Kong) China; Rev. Patrick Lyons, O.S.B. (Glenstal Abbey, County Limerick) Ireland; Rev. Luis Ramos, O.P. (Escuela Dominicana de Teología, Mexico City) Mexico, and Rev. Juan Usma Gόmez (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican) Colombia, who served as co-secretary.


[Information Service 107 (2001/II-III) 88-89]