Monastery of Bose (Italy), 2-9 July 2006


The International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialogue met at the Monastery of Bose (Italy), from 2 to 9 July 2006. It was the ninth year of the fifth phase of the Dialogue, which is co-sponsored by some Classical Pentecostal Churches and leaders and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The dialogue, which began in 1972, is not seeking to establish structural unity. Its purpose is to promote a climate of mutual respect and understanding in matters of faith and practice by sharing aspects of each other's spiritual life and engaging in genuine, frank dialogue concerning the positions and practices of the respective communions.

The current phase of dialogue is dealing with matters related to how one becomes a Christian. In order to do so, participants have looked at Biblical and Patristic sources and shared their insights on the following topics: "Conversion and Christian Initiation", "Faith and Christian Initiation", "Christian Formation and Discipleship", "Christian Experience in Community", and "Christian Initiation and the Baptism in the Holy Spirit". Some contemporary reflections on the arguments discussed were also offered in the process.

This is the first phase of the Dialogue in which Catholics and Pentecostals explored Patristic sources together. It has been an enriching and challenging experience. Although they do not ascribe the same degree of authority to the Church Fathers, the members of the Dialogue hope that this initial exploration will encourage greater access to the Christian witness of the early centuries.

This meeting was dedicated to completing the final report of the Fifth phase. Reports of the previous phases of dialogue are available from the Information Service, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity or from Pneuma: Journal for the Society of Pentecostal Studies.

The Dialogue wishes to express a word of gratitude for the generous hospitality offered by the brothers and sisters of the Monastery of Bose. Brother Enzo Bianchi, the Prior, personally visited the participants and brought warm greetings. The members of the Dialogue took the opportunity to enrich their own spiritual lives by joining the Monastic Community at noon and evening prayers, and also during meals and for other occasions.

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

Delegates from the Classical Pentecostal churches included: Rev. David Cole (Open Bible Churches, Eugene Bible College, Eugene, OR, USA); Rev. Steve Overman (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, Eugene, OR, USA); Rev. Stephen Parker (Church of God of Prophecy, Regent University, Virginia Beach, CA, USA) and Rev. Huibert Zegwaart (Verenigde Pinkster - en Evangeliegemeenten, Azusa Theological Seminary, Amsterdarn, The Netherlands),

Delegates from the Catholic team included: Dr. Ralph Del Colle (Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wl, USA); Mr. Hans Gasper (German Bishops' Conference, Bonn, Germany); Rev. William Henn, O.F.M. Cap. (Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome/USA); Sr. Maria Ko, F.M.A. (Holy Spirit Seminary, Hong Kong, China); Rev. Patrick Lyons, O.S.B. (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland); Rev. Luis Ramos, O.P. (Centro de Estudios Filosóficos Tomás de Aquino, León, Mexico); and Msgr. Juan Usma Gómez, (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican City/ Colombia), who serves as Secretary to the Dialogue.


[Information Service 122 (2006/II) 67-68]