Churches urged toward visible unity

Overcoming longtime obstacles
The appeals for visible church unity made at the recent World Council of Churches assembly in Brazil were not new, but the longtime obstacles remain a sore point for many—especially limits on celebrating communion in each other’s churches and the lack of a common date for Easter.

The Geneva-based WCC is urging its member churches to consider a new statement, “Called to Be the One Church,” that deals with sensitive issues of ecclesiology, or the doctrine of the church, including mutual recognition of each other’s clergy and baptism.

“Our continuing divisions are real wounds to the body of Christ, and God’s mission in the world suffers,” says the document issued at the February 14-23 assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The text encourages churches “to continue on this arduous yet joyous path.”


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