On the plane returning to Rome from Romania, Pope Francis made an extraordinary statement on the role of theology in ecumenical relations at his press conference Sunday (June 2).
In the past, Church officials have stressed the need for theological agreement before Christian unity or Eucharistic sharing could be possible. As a result, the Catholic Church is involved in extensive and complex theological dialogues with other Christian churches. These dialogues have made great progress in dealing with issues raised by the Reformation, but new issues (women’s ordination, gay marriage, abortion) have arisen that divide the churches. During the press conference Francis went further. As he explained on the plane, “there is already Christian unity,” “Let’s not wait for the theologians to come to agreement on the Eucharist.”
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