Paris, France July 24-31, 1993


The 4th meeting of the fourth phase of the International Catholic - Pentecostal Dialogue was held in Paris, Accueil Nicolas Barré, July 24-31, 1993. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and several Classical Pentecostal Churches and leaders.

Rev. Cecil M. Robeck, Jr. (Assemblies of God, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.) served as co-chairman and Rev. Ronald Kydd (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, Keene, Ontario, Canada), as co-secretary, on the Pentecostal side. Fr. Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B. (St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, U.S.A.) was co-chair and Rev. Heinz-Albert Raem, (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City), co-secretary on the Catholic side. Other members of the steering committee were: Rev. James D. Jenkins (Church of God, Cleveland, TN, U.S.A.); Msgr. John A. Radano, (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City).

The general topic chosen for this meeting was: Evangelization and Social Justice. Two position papers were prepared and presented: Fr. John C. Haughey, SJ, (Loyola University, Chicago , Illinois, U.S.A.) dealt with the relationship between evangelization and social justice from a Catholic perspective, while Murl O. Dirksen, Ph.D. (Church of God, Cleveland, TN, U.S.A.) and Karen C. Mundy, Ph.D. (Church of God, Cleveland, TN, U.S.A.) presented a Pentecostal view of the same subject.

The goal of the dialogue is not organic or structural unity, but the achievement of mutual understanding and respect. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of this dialogue in order to discover areas of agreement, convergence, disagreement and areas where further study is needed.

Both sides acknowledge that the "Great Commission " (Mt 28:19-20) and the "Great Commandment " (Mt 22:36-39) summon them to respond to both spiritual and social needs. Although the two sides prioritize structural social change in regard to evangelization differently, they agree that striving for social justice is an important challenge in our times. The discussions were conducted in a spirit of candor, mutual trust and appreciation. The formal dialogue sessions were preceded and followed by devotional services, led alternatively by members of the two teams.

The group was received by the Auxiliary Bishop of Paris, Most Reverend Claude Frikart. He brought greetings from the Archbishop of Paris, His Eminence Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, who was absent from the diocese. The Secretary of the Commission for Ecumenism of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of France, Fr. Guy Lourmande, was also welcomed by the group.

Pentecostal participants included: Rev. Cheryl Bridges-Johns (Church of God, Cleveland, TN, V.S.A.); Rev. François Moller, (Apostolic Faith Mission, Sandton, Republic of South Africa); Rev. Steve Overman (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.); Marta Palma (Misiόn Iglesia Pentecostal, Santiago, Chile); Rev. Del Tarr (Assemblies of God, Springfield, MO, U.S.A.) and Rev. Miroslav Volf (Evangelical Church of Croatia, Osijek, Croatia).

Pentecostals attending as observers were: Rev. David Cole (Open Bible Standard Churches, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.), Rev. Steve Land (Church of God, Cleveland, TN, V.S.A.), and Rev. Huibert Zegwaart (Broederschap van Pinkstergemeenten, The Netherlands).

Roman Catholic participants also included Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., (Milan, Italy); Fr. Hervé Legrand, O.P. (Institut Catholique, Paris, France); Fr. Karl Muller, S.V.D. (St. Augustin, Germany); Sr. Helen Rolfson, O.S.F. (St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, U.S.A.); Fr. Norbert Baumert, SJ (Frankfurt/M, Germany).


[Information Service 84 (1993/III-IV) 153-154]