Sierra Madre CA (USA), July 12-19, 2002


The fifth annual session of the fifth phase of the International Catholic-Pentecostal Dialague took place in Sierra Madre, CA (USA), July 12-19, 2002. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and some Classical Pentecostal Churches and leaders. The Pentecostal team hosted this year's session.

The goal of the Dialogue is a deepening of mutual understanding and respect between the two communities, and not structural unity. The discussions were typified by an attitude of candor and trust. Each day was opened and closed with periods of devotions led alternatively by members of the two teams.

The topic of this year was Christian Formation and Discipleship: Biblical and Patristic Perspectives. The papers were read by Sister Maria Ko Ha Fong, F.M.A. (Pontificia Facoltà Auxilium, Rome), China and the Rev. Jackie David Johns (Church of God Theological Seminary), Cleveland, TN, USA.

In light of the presentations made from the biblical and patristic perspectives it became clear that Catholics and Pentecostals accept that Christian formation and discipleship involve both crisis and process. During the subsequent discussions it emerged that divergence remains on how each com- munity understands and appropriates tradition. The way in which each of us relates to the heritage of the past is crucial for discerning possible future convergence.

The Dialogue group took the opportunity, presented by the location of the meeting in the Los Angeles area, to visit places associated with the origins of the Pentecostal Movement, in particular the site of the Azusa Street Mission and Bonnie Brae House. They also attended Sunday Worship in the West Angeles Cathedral of the Church of God in Christ.

Co-Chairs of this Dialogue session were the 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) USA.

Other Catholic participants included: Dr. Ralph Del Colle, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA; Mr. Hans Gasper (Deutsche Bischofskonferenz, Bonn) Germany; the Rev. William Henn, O.F.M. Cap. (Gregorian University, Rome) USA; the Rev. Patrick Lyons, O.S.E. (Glenstal Abbey, County Limerick) Ireland; the Rev. Luis Ramos, O.P. (Convento Santa Sabina, Rome) Mexico; and the Rev. Juan Usma Gόmez (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Vatican) Colombia, who served as co-secretary.

Other Classical Pentecostal participants included: the Rev. David Cole (Open Bible Standard Churches), Eugene Bible College, Eugene, OR (USA); the Rev. Stephen Parker (Church of God of Prophecy), Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA (USA); the Rev. Russell P. Spittler (Assemblies of God), Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA (USA); the Rev. Steve Overman (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel), International Faith Center, Eugene, OR (USA), who served as co-secretary. The Rev. Phil Hilliard, (Assemblies of God) Pastor of Bethany Church of Alhambra, CA (USA), attended the meeting as an observer.


[Information Service 110 (2002/III) 179-180]