Rome, Italy, September 2-9, 1989


The fifth meeting of the third quinquennium of International Pentecostal/Roman Catholic Dialogue took place September 2-9, 1989 in Rome. This marked the end of the third phase of dialogue (1985-1989) sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and some Classical Pentecostal Churches and leaders. Two previous phases took place during 1972-1977 and 1977-1982, each time issuing a report of the findings of the particular phase.

This meeting in Rome worked to complete a report of the five years of work that had taken place under the co-chairmanship of the Rev. Kilian McDonnell, OSB (Roman Catholic) and Pastor Justus du Plessis (Pentecostal). This series of discussions centered on the notion of koinonia (communion). The report which is full of surprising insights and strong exchanges, will be presented to the sponsoring bodies. Its contents cover (1) koinonia and the Word of God; (2) the Holy Spirit and the New Testament Vision of koinonia; (3) koinonia, Church and Sacraments; (4) koinonia and Baptism; (5) koinonia and the Communion of Saints.

A highlight of the meeting was an audience with Pope John Paul II during which the Commission explained the work of this phase of dialogue in the context of the whole relationship which has developed since the first steps toward dialogue were taken in 1969. The Pope in turn, encouraged the participants in this work, saying: “I express the hope that your discussions have contributed not only to an increase of mutual understanding about our life and spiritual experiences as Christians, but also to the interior conversion and change of heart which are so fundamental to the ecumenical movement” (cf. Unitatis Redintegratio, 7-8).

On the Pentecostal side official delegates included Pastor du Plessis (Apostolic Faith Mission, South Africa) and Dr. Coleman Phillips (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, USA). Other participants of the meeting included Dr. Howard M. Ervin (Oral Roberts University, USA); Reverend Bernice Gerard (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada); Dr Cecil M. Robeck (Assemblies of God, USA) who is the Treasurer for the Pentecostal team; Dr. Jerry L. Sandidge (Assemblies of God, USA), Secretary; Dr Del Tarr (Assemblies of God, USA);

and Dr Miroslav Volf (Biblical Theological Institute, Yugoslavia). During this phase of dialogue Official Delegates have also been sent from the Church of God of Prophecy, USA; the Apostolic Church of Mexico; the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee, USA); the Independent Assemblies of God International, USA; and the International Communion of Charismatic Churches.

Other Catholic participants, besides Fr. Kilian McDonnell (USA), included Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM, Cap. (Italy): Rev. John C. Haughey, S. J. (USA); Professor Hervé Legrand, OP (France); Rev. John Redford (United Kingdom); Sister Helen Rolfson, OSF (USA); and Msgr. John A. Radano (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City), Secretary.


[Information Service 72 (1989/I) 1-2]