Katolska kyrkan har genom Påvliga rådet för främjande av kristen enhet dialog med samtliga andra kristna samfundsfamiljer i världen. Rådets ordförande kardinal Kurt Koch såg vi i Sverige bl.a. i samband med påvens besök i Lund hösten 2016.
Jag läser i fredagsupplagan av Världen idag att i dialogen med Evangeliska världsalliansen, WEA har just tagits fram ett dokument: ‘Scripture and Tradition’ and ‘the Church in Salvation’ Catholics and Evangelicals Explore Challenges and Opportunities .
Dokumentet är inte ämnat som en kompromissprodukt eller att ta fram minsta gemensamma nämnare, utan listar de områden där man skiljer sig åt och tar fram de områden där man kan och bör tala och agera gemensamt kring utmaningar som gäller för alla kristna idag. Det handlar t.ex. om sekulariseringen, förföljelsen av kristna som inte känner några samfundsgränser, abort, dödshjälp, det kristna äktenskapet och den gemensamma svårigheten att idag hävda exklusivt kristet sanningsanspråk.
Det är en sammanfattning av samtal som pågått mellan 2009 och 2016. Ledare för WEA´s delegation har varit prof Rolf Hille från Tyskland. Han säger att katoliker och evangeliskt kristna trots skiljaktligheter har ett gemensamt ansvar för att förkunna det frälsande evangeliet för alla människor.
Generalsekreteraren för WEA, biskop Efraim Tendero träffade påve Franciskus i en privat audiens 14 december och samtalade om hur man skall stärka och främja religionsfriheten i världen. Det uppskattas att kring 100 millioner kristna är utsatta för någon form av diskriminering eller förföljelse. Man diskuterade också samarbete kring distribution av biblar och att främja intresset för bibelläsning speciellt bland unga liksom sociala rättvisefrågor. ”Vi vill se en värld där fred, rättvisa och rättfärdighet råder och där alla har en dräglig levnadsstandard och där Jesus Kristus erkänns som Herre av alla, sade biskop Tendero efter mötet.
Jag klipper in några avsnitt från dokumentet (mina markeringar) och hoppas det skall ge smak för att läsa det i sin helhet. Man fördjupar sig speciellt i två områden där man skiljer sig åt: Skriftens och traditionens auktoritet samt Kyrkans roll i frälsningen. Man konstaterar att det visserligen finns fler skiljepunkter, men detta är två huvudområden som man vill fokusera på och som belyses i detalj.
Dokumentet inleds med att säga något om den gemensamma grunden:
The Biblical Foundations for this Consultation
1. The love of God has been poured out by the Holy Spirit into the hearts of believers (Rom 5:5). This love summons Christians to follow Christ, embracing the way of the cross in humble self-giving (Phil 2: 1-11). In this spirit of love all are called to strive for what makes for peace and for building up the body, with all concerned for the whole community, the strong caring for the weak (Rom 14:19-15:2). Being joined to Christ through faith, each person is personally associated with Christ and becomes a member of his body. But what is the Church, and who belongs to the Church, which is his body? We take consolation in knowing that the Lord knows his own and his own know him (Jn 10:14).
Det finns perspektivskillnader, men vi förtröstar på att vi alla är Guds barn och att i tidens fullbordan kommer allt att uppenbaras:
Evangelicals understand that through the power of the Holy Spirit, the very moment one enters into a relationship with Christ through a personal commitment in confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior (Mt 16: 16) and is baptized, one belongs to the Church, the community which he established (Mt 16:18). As a fruit of this faith, the Christian undertakes the path of life-long discipleship.
Catholics understand that a person is received into the Church at the moment of Baptism, whether as an infant or an adult, and it is expected that the person’s initiation into the church will be deepened through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is sealed through confirmation and participation in the Eucharist, as they seek to live as his disciples.
1. As stated in the document Evangelical-Roman Catholic Dialogue on Mission (ERCDOM): ”Conversion and baptism are the gateway into the new community of God, although Evangelicals distinguish between the visible and invisible aspects of this community. They see conversion as the means of entry into the invisible church and baptism as the consequently appropriate means of entry into the visible church” (4.3).
2. The unity of the body of Christ is founded on ”one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all” (Eph 4:5). The church celebrates unity with Christ and with one another in the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist in which his death and resurrection are proclaimed and ce1ebrated until he comes in glory. At his second coming it will then be revealed in the heavenly community who belongs to the unity of the body of Christ throughout the ages and from all countries and languages. Then, the whole creation will be incorporated into the eternal doxology of praise to God (Rev 5:11-14; Phil 2:10-11; Rom 8:19-23; 1 Cor 15:28). While we look forward to the final consummation of all things, we are called in the Church to be Christ’s body in the here and now.
10. We as Catholics and Evangelicals are in agreement that Christians believe: that God is triune, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons in one God (Gen 1:1-3; Mt 28:19; Jn 1:1; 10:30, etc.); that he created all things, both visible and invisible, by his Word (Gen l; Jn 1:3; Col l: 16-17); that human beings brought sin into this world, and as a result, all are born sinful and in need of forgiveness and reconciliation with God (Rom 3:20-23); that the Word, the second person of the Trinity, became flesh (Jn 1:14) as our Lord and Savior, true God and true man in one person (Col 1:19); that he came to earth as both God and man to save us from our sins (Phil 2:5-11; Col 2:9), that he was born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified for our sins, died, and was buried, he descended into hell (1 Pt 3:18-19) and rose again on the third day and ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of the Father and will judge the living and the dead on the last day. We believe in the Holy Spirit who leads us to repentance, calls us to faith, justifies us by grace through faith, and enlightens us with the Word of God as he inspired the Apostles and prophets; therefore we believe that all Christians of any community can have a living relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit which the Spirit himself enables; it is the responsibility and privilege of all Christians to proclaim the saving Gospel to all who have not repented, believed and committed their lives to Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:18); we also believe that the Spirit calls and gathers all believers into his one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church where we strengthen and build one another up in the body of Christ as we receive his gifts of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11:23-34; 1 Cor 12:12; Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16; Mt 26: 26-29). We look forward to the resurrection of the body and to the time when we will see God face to face and live with him forever (1 Cor 15; 1 Cor 13:12).
Man konstaterar också att Evangeliskt kristna består av många olika grupper med sinsemellan olika kyrkosyn:
12. Finally, in this introduction it is important to note that the Evangelical movement itself constitutes a highly differentiated ecumenical network. The World Evangelical Alliance brings together Evangelical Christians from Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist and Pentecostal traditions, This diversity has significant consequences particularly for ecclesiology – that is, questions pertaining to ministry, authority and ecclesial structures, sacraments, and the nature of the church. These Churches differ greatly in their relationship to the Catholic Church. In view of the doctrinal issues raised in our dialogue, such differences were clearly in evidence. The challenge is made more complex when considering that the Evangelical movement has chosen not to address ecclesiological differences among the members of the WEA, but rather, to focus on cooperation in common prayer, evangelism, and witness.
Därefter följer dokumentets två huvuddelar där man fördjupar sig i dessa två ämnesområden:
1: THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND ACTIVE: EVANGELICALS AND CATHOLICS REFLECT TOGETHER ON THE SCRIPTURES AND THE APOSTOLIC TRADITION
2: GOD’S GIFT OF SALVATION IN THE CHURCH: EVANGELICALS AND CATHOLICS REFLECT TOGETHER ON SALVATION AND THE CHURCH
Varje område behandlas utförligt, man konstaterar både vad man har gemensamt och var man skiljer sig åt och vad man uppskattar och kan lära sig av den andre. Dokumentet innehåller mycket referenser till bibeltexter och andra kyrkliga dokument och borde vara en guldgruva för var och en som vill fördjupa sig teologiskt i den ekumeniska dialogen.
Därefter följer sammanfattande slutsatser:
65. We are committed Christians – Catholics and Evangelicals – from Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, the Philippines, Ghana/Kenya, Spain, Italy, Germany, Canada and the USA. We come from places where there are very good relations and places where the relations are marred by tension and mistrust. But we were entrusted to represent our own ecclesial traditions faithfully and to reflect the realities of Catholic and Evangelical relations around the globe. It became clear early on that Evangelicals represent a wide diversity of Christian communities.
Each community had its own perspective to offer which, while challenging at times, also offered the opportunity to discover the rich and legitimate diversity of the people of God, as well as the bonds of communion.
66. …. During the consultation, we also had the opportunity to see the deep and committed faith of our partner even as we also were able to share our own faith experiences in an open and candid way. We also sought to address issues of doctrine and practice, always attentive to the perspective of the local communities.
67. Over the past six years, we have built up trust with our dialogue partners, allowing us to address difficult issues in a frank but gracious way. We invite our churches to take time to engage in a process of study and reflection on the issues, challenges, and questions they will encounter in this document. Our consultation has learned that it is when we respect and treat one another in a Christian manner that our communities are able to make progress in our relationships with one another in Christ. In humility, we have learned that we must put aside our own self-assurances and focus on Jesus Christ, ”the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6).
We have also learned that we need to understand the words of the other as they are intended. We each came with preconceptions of the other, but we have opened up to listen to and discover how the other views the doctrines chosen for discussion in this consultation: Scripture and Tradition, and the Church and salvation. We entered into new experiences and insights that we might not have had otherwise. Through these experiences, we have come to know one another and ourselves better.
68. Our consultation has confirmed that real differences remain between Evangelicals and Catholics about certain aspects of the life of faith, but also that we share convictions about Jesus that ground our call to mission. As well, our communities share similar convictions about the Christian life: Christ is forming us by the Holy Spirit into a faithful people called together and sent into the world to obey and serve Him by participating in his life and mission. The Lord calls us not only to enter into conversation but to live out the implications of that conversation. The unity he desires for his disciples is not a theoretical unity but a lived one, ”so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21).
69. In this concluding section, it is our intent to address local communities of Evangelicals and Catholics worldwide, mindful of very diverse contexts and states of relations. We would invite them to consider both the convergences noted in the text above and the areas of divergence and mutual questioning. Where there have points of agreement or convergence, we would invite local communities to ask: what does this then make possible for us? What can we appropriately and responsibly undertake together, without compromising our convictions, without overstating our current level of agreement? How is the Lord asking us to grow together at this moment in time?
71. In those areas where our conversation has noted convergences, we would invite you to ask the following questions:
- In light of those convergences, how is it possible to cooperate in building up the common good and strengthening the community? Are there things that are critical for our communities to do together now?
- In light of social and moral upheaval in the world around us, and of the world’s need to hear the Gospel of Christ, how can we responsibly witness together to our shared values, addressing some of the social and political questions in our world that we are facing today? Should we take the opportunity of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation to reflect together afresh on what the Gospel means for us and how it brings good news to our needy world?
- While for some Evangelicals and Catholics, praying together is not seen to be acceptable, many would want to ask: Are there any times and places where it would be appropriate for us to pray together? If yes, what ought to shape our common prayer?
Angående tredje punkten ovan: I Sverige är vi vana vid ett långtgående ekumeniskt samarbete, och t.ex. att be tillsammans gör vi ofta i samband med olika ekumeniska böneprojekt, men i andra delar av världen är det inte lika självklart.
Dokumentet avslutas med följande uppfordrande ord:
74. Finally, we invite you to view dialogue and consultation as a way of engaging your faith, and as a standing together before Christ. Christ is the truth and the fullness of truth can only be found in him. We invite you to consider joining us in pledging ourselves to mutual conversation, consolation, and continuation in admonishing and encouraging one another to remain faithful to the Word who gave us his word that he would be with us to the end of the age (Mt 28:20).
75. ”Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen” (Eph 3:20-21).
Här slutar jag denna redogörelse. Nedan några tidigare ekumeniska dialoger jag skrivit om: