Catholic-Lutheran Document on Apostolicity Is Nearer

BARI, Italy, SEPT. 26, 2005 ( The Holy See and the Lutheran World Federation are in the final stages of the writing of a joint document “on the Church’s apostolicity and apostolic succession.”

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The work is being done at a meeting of members of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is the host of the meeting, which ends Thursday.

The commission members are discussing a comprehensive draft report, with the aim of making the document ready for publication in 2006.

The dialogue, which began in 1967, is held by the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity under the auspices of the Lutheran World Federation and the pontifical council on Christian unity.

This is the last meeting in the present phase of the dialogue. Published reports of the international Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue include “The Eucharist” (1978); “Ways to Community” (1980); “The Ministry in the Church” (1981); and “Facing Unity” (1984).

In 1999 a joint document was published on the doctrine of justification, which resolved the principal disagreement with Martin Luther and to which the Methodists hope to adhere “next year,” said Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the pontifical council on Christian unity.

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