- Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity origins are associated with the
Second Vatican Councilwhich met intermittently from 1962-1965. Blessed Pope John XXIIIwanted the Catholic Churchto engage in the contemporary ecumenical movement. He established a "Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity" on 5 June 1960 as one of the preparatory commissions for the Council, and appointed Augustin Cardinal Bea as its first president. The Secretariat invited other Churches and World Communions to send observers to the Council.
The Secretariat prepared and presented a number of documents to the Council:
*non-Christian religions (
*religious liberty (
*with the doctrinal commission, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (
The PCPCU has two sections dealing with :
*The Eastern Churches - Orthodox Churches and ancient Oriental Churches, and
*The Western Churches and Ecclesial Communities and for the
World Council of Churches.
Following the Second Vatican Council, in 1966 Pope Paul VI confirmed the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity as a permanent
dicasteryof the Holy See.
In the Apostolic Constitution
Pastor Bonus(28 June 1988), Pope John Paul II changed the Secretariat into the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU).
The Council has a twofold role:
*the promotion within the Catholic Church of an authentic ecumenical spirit according to the conciliar decree
*to develop dialogue and collaboration with the other Churches and World Communions.
Since its creation, it has also established a cordial cooperation with the
World Council of Churches(WCC). Twelve Catholic theologians have been members of the "Faith and Order Commission" since 1968.
The PCPCU is responsible for naming Catholic observers at various ecumenical gatherings and in its turn invites observers or "fraternal delegates" of other Churches or ecclesial Communities to major events of the Catholic Church.
At present, the PCPCU is engaged in an international theological dialogue with each of the following Churches and World Communions:
Eastern Orthodox Church
Coptic Orthodox Church
* The Malankara Orthodox Church
Lutheran World Federation
World Alliance of Reformed Churches
World Methodist Council
Baptist World Alliance
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
* Some Pentecostal groups.
The Council also seeks to promote meetings with Evangelicals.
Directed by a Cardinal President, assisted by a Secretary, a Joint Secretary and an Under-Secretary.
Relations with the Jews
Interestingly, whilst the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with Muslims comes under the direction of the
Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jewsis the responsibility of the PCPCU.
The Council is responsible for working with other Churches on ecumenical translations of Sacred Scripture, and promoted the establishment of the Catholic Biblical Federation.
Through the Catholic Committee for Cultural Collaboration, the PCPCU promotes the exchange of Orthodox and Catholic theology students wishing to follow courses at one another's universities and seminaries.
* [http://www.gcatholic.com/dioceses/romancuria/d16.htm Giga-Catholic Information]
* [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/ The Pontifical Council's website]
* [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_pro_20051996_chrstuni_pro_en.html The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity]
* [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/sub-index/index_relations-jews.htm Commission for Religious Relations with Jews]
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