Rome, 10-16 June 2011


The International Dialogue between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Some Classical Pentecostal leaders and Churches has inaugurated the Sixth phase of its conversations in Rome, June 10-16, 2011. The general theme for this quinquennium is Charisms in the Church: Their Spiritual Significance, Discernment, and Pastoral Implications.

The dialogue, begun in 1972, is not seeking to establish structural unity. Its goal is to promote mutual respect and understanding in matters of faith and practice. Genuine exchange and frank dialogue concerning the positions and practices of the respective traditions have informed and guided the conversations, which include daily joint prayer services.

Co-Chairs of the dialogue are the Most Reverend Michael Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, NC, USA and Rev. Cecil M. Robeck, Professor of Church History and Ecumenics, Fuller Theological Seminary, Assemblies of God, Pasadena, CA, USA. Bishop Burbidge declared: "I am truly honored to have been appointed Co-Chair of the dialogue. Our work and conversations this week have led Catholics and Pentecostals to a deeper understanding and appreciation for some common ground we share regarding charisms of the Holy Spirit. As we continue the dialogue in future years, we are renewed in our commitment to discuss respectfully the challenges that face us as we seek and pray for unity as brothers and sisters in Christ ". Rev. Robeck affirmed: "The International Roman Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue has opened the way for many other conversations and dialogues involving Pentecostals. Ecumenism has moved from the level of fear and animosity to one of respect and openness among several Pentecostal groups. This round, focused upon various gifts or charisms of the Holy Spirit, should go far in pointing out our areas of common ground in life and ministry ".

The topic of this first session was: "Charisms in the Church: Our Common Ground ", A paper on the Catholic perspective was presented by Dr. Teresa Francesca Rossi, Associate Director of the Centro Pro Unione and Professor at the Pontifical University St. Thomas Aquinas (Rome). A Pentecostal perspective was offered by Rev. Keith Warrington, Vice-Principal and Director of Doctoral Studies, Regents Theological College (UK). Other topics on the agenda for the Sixth phase are: Discernment (2012), Healing (2013).


[Information Service 136 (2011/I) 21]