Inaugral Meeting of Evangelicals and Pentecostals with Catholics in Melbourne (18 November, 2005)
Thomas Carr Centre, 18th November 2005
On the 18th November 2005, the Commission held its first meeting over lunch in the Thomas Carr Centre with Christians from churches commonly identified as “Pentecostal” or “Evangelical”.
These two Christian groupings are similar in many ways, but are not represented by any one institutional church and are rarely involved in mainstream ecumenical dialogue. In fact, the Catholic Church has no national dialogue with these groups, as it does with Anglicans, Lutherans and Uniting Christians.
It is also acknowledged that historically these Christians have made negative judgments about “the Church of Rome”, as we have of them. Nevertheless, international dialogues between the Vatican and these Protestant groups have shown that there is common ground between us. We share common ethical concerns on issues of life, family and marriage; common doctrinal convictions such as the authority of Scripture, the Virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Jesus; and common concern for evangelisation.
The purposes of these meetings will be to build bridges of understanding and cooperation, and to open doors for future relationships. Three more meetings are planned over the next 12 months.
The first meeting was a very congenial (and at times jovial) lunch in which we planned for the future engagements. The topics for the next two meetings are to be: 1) Prayer and our relationship with Jesus, and 2) Evangelisation and our impact on society.