Press Release


Rome, 8-14 July 2022


The second session of the seventh phase of the Catholic - Pentecostal International Dialogue took place in Rome, Italy, from 8 to 14 July 2022.  Participants in the Dialogue include Catholics appointed by the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, and Pentecostals appointed by some Classical Pentecostal churches affiliated with the Pentecostal World Fellowship.  The general theme for the present phase, which started in 2018, is “Lex orandi, lex credendi” (“law of prayer is the law of faith”). While the pandemic interrupted regular in-person meetings, contacts continued. In fact, the participants met twice online to prepare for the second session on the topic “Kerygma/Proclamation and the Christian Life.”

The session in Rome marked the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of the Dialogue, which started in 1972. Since its inception the goal of the Dialogue is to promote mutual respect and understanding in matters of faith and practice. Genuine exchange and frank discussion concerning the positions and practices of the two traditions have been guiding principles of these conversations.

The Catholic Co-Chair of the Dialogue is the Most Reverend Joseph Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, PA, USA. The Pentecostal Co-Chair of the Dialogue is Rev. Cecil M. Robeck Jr., Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA (Assemblies of God). Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, hosted a dinner in the Vatican, to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Dialogue and read the message that Pope Francis sent to the members of the Dialogue for the golden jubilee, which was received with gratitude.

During this second session of the seventh phase, Rev. Cecil M. Robeck Jr. presented the paper “Pentecostal Preaching.” The Catholic paper entitled “Kerygma: A Catholic Perspective” was prepared by Fr. Lawrence Iwuamadi. Each day included prayer services that were led alternately by Catholics and Pentecostals.

On Sunday the members of the Dialogue attended the Holy Mass at St Peter’s Basilica, presided by Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, who greeted them. They also celebrated Vespers at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls together with the Benedictine Community. The members were also given the opportunity to visit the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican and to get acquainted with the activities of the Holy See accompanied by Msgr. Christopher Washington of the Secretariat of State. They also received a guided tour to the Catacombs of St Callixtus.

According to Bishop Bambera: “As one of the newest members of the Dialogue, I have been touched by the genuine sense of mutual respect, fraternity and shared faith in Christ that has so permeated our time together. It is clearly the presence of Christ’s love that has given this Dialogue life for the past 50 years. The words of Pope Francis have resonated in my heart during these blessed days of dialogue: ‘When we walk together and when we collaborate together in the proclamation of the Gospel … we are already united.’"

Rev. Robeck noted, "With my new colleague, Bishop Bambera, I rejoice that this dialogue has now celebrated its golden jubilee.  In its earliest years, some called its value into question.  Yet, it has become clear that this dialogue is a work of our common Lord Jesus Christ.  While we continue to identify differences between us, we also continue to gain greater understanding of one another that demonstrates our true relationship as sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ.  We pray that the Lord will continue to bless this dialogue over the next 50 years.”

The members from the Classical Pentecostal churches are:  Rev. Cecil M. Robeck Jr., Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, USA (Assemblies of God), Co-Chair; Rev. David Cole, Liaison to the Greater Christian Community for the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America, Professor of Historical Theology, The King’s University, Southlake, TX, USA (Open Bible Churches), Co-Secretary; Rev. Marcia Clarke, Pastor, Faculty, Vanguard University, London School of Theology, Los Angeles, USA/UK (Church of God); Rev. Dale M. Coulter, Professor of Historical Theology, Pentecostal Theological Seminary (Church of God); Rev. Jacqueline Grey, Professor of Biblical Studies, Alphacrucis University College, Australia (Australian Christian Churches); Rev. Pedro Manuel López Castillo, Co-Coordinator, Pentecostal Fraternity (Assemblies of God of Peru); Rev. Opoku Onyinah, Co-Chair, Scholars Consultation Empowered21, Ghana (Church of Pentecost); Rev. David Wells, Vice-Chair of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, (General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) and Rev. S. David Moore, Professor of Pneumatology, The King’s University, South Lake, TX, USA (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel), unable to attend.

The members of the Catholic team are: Most Reverend Joseph Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, PA, USA, Co-Chair; Rev. Msgr. Juan Usma Gómez, Bureau Chief of Western Section, Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City/Colombia, Co-Secretary; Dr. Mary Healy, Professor, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, MI, USA; Rev. Lawrence Iwuamadi, Catholic Professor, Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switzerland/Nigeria; Sr. Maria Ha Fong KO, F.M.A., Professor, Pontifical Faculty Auxilium, Rome and Holy Spirit Seminary, Hong Kong, China; Rev. Marcial Maçaneiro, S.C.J., Professor, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Brazil; and Dr. Teresa Francesca Rossi, Associate Director, Centro Pro Unione and Professor, Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rome, Italy.