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Ecumenical group affirms relationship with Vatican

One of the world's most recent ecumenical entities, the Global Christian Forum, has met in Rome with Vatican officials, affirming the journey together in the search for Christian unity.

In his first forum committee meeting since becoming secretary of the GCF at the start of the year, Larry Miller said the invitation to meet with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and hold subsequent conversations indicated "a consolidation of the shared commitment to build bridges between all churches."

After the late January meeting, Miller said, "Our relationship with the Catholic Church is of the highest order." The GCF brings together a broad range of Chris­tian communions, traditions and organizations, including the World Coun­cil of Churches, the World Evan­gelical Alli­ance, the Pentecostal World Fellow­ship and the Catholic Church through the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Pro­moting Chris­tian Unity.

During the Rome meeting, Pope Ben­e­dict XVI welcomed the GCF during the vespers service at St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica, marking the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Bishop Brian Farrell of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity told the GCF committee that he deeply appreciated the goodwill and the vision behind the Global Christian Forum, even if at first it was "not necessarily love at first sight."

Affirming the GCF's presence and progress, Farrell said it was important to articulate theologically and programmatically the movement's work. "The ecumenical task and the theological dialogue, while going on for so long, must continue to produce results," the bishop said.

In the wake of the previous two global gatherings—in Limuru, Kenya (2007), and Manado, Indonesia (2011)—Miller said, "we will now consider the journey so far, as well as continue our work to bring Christians from across the entire spectrum of churches together at global, regional, and national levels." —ENInews

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