Thursday, February 02, 2006

"Profile-based ecumenism": Kasper

In an ENI subscriber article entitled "Kasper warns Rome meeting that search for Christian unity is in danger" (25/1/06), Stephen Brown reports Kasper the Friendly Kardinal as saying:

"A profile-based ecumenism, as it is called these days, leads to a certain disillusionment but also to greater honesty,” Kasper said at the opening event of the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly here Jan. 24-27. “It has nothing to do with the onset of an ecumenical ice age or the end of ecumenical dialogue,” he continued. “Only partners that have a clear identity that they know and appreciate can appreciate the stance of others and enter into a serious dialogue and exchange.”

I couldn't agree more. But I am surprised that German Lutheran Bishop Margot Kaessmann also agrees:

"“In an age when so many religious currents are flowing into Europe, from Islam to Buddhism, from the esoteric to patchwork religion, Christians’ common witness to their faith needs all the more to be recognizable,” said Kaessmann. She noted that “Particularly in facing the great ethical challenges of our time, we should seek common positions” highlighting issues such as biotechnology, assisted suicide, energy policy, and refugees. "

Now there's a challenge for you. How about highlighting issues such as contraception, abortion, same-sex "marriage" etc? That would be real "profile-based" ecumenism. Ah well, its a start... at least assisted suicide is in there with biotechnology. There doesn't seem to be a divided witness on refugees and environmental issues. (Even the Orthodox are quite keen on the latter--cf. "The Green Patriarch").

"Profile-based ecumenism" must be a German conception--it's the first time I have heard the term, but a Google search turned up a reference on the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland website.

Missouri Synod Lutheran Paul McCain also notes this ENI article, and approves of Kasper's comments on his blogsite "Cyberbrethren".

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