RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) — Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh said the latest session of the international Catholic-Pentecostal dialogue allowed leaders of the two religions “to renew our common faith in the healing power of Jesus,” who “continues to demonstrate his love and miracles in our midst.”
Seven Catholics and four Pentecostals gathered July 14-19 in Baltimore for the third session of the sixth phase of the dialogue.
It opened with Mass July 14 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. Discussions were held through July 19 at St. Mary’s Seminary and University.
The general theme for the current phase of the dialogue is “Charisms in the Church: Their Spiritual Significance, Discernment and Pastoral Implications.” Healing was the topic of this year’s discussion. Last year it was discernment and in 2011 charisms.
Bishop Burbidge is the Catholic co-chairman of the dialogue. The Pentecostal co-chairman is the Rev. Cecil M. Robeck Jr., professor of church history and ecumenics and director of the David du Plessis Center for Christian Spirituality School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.
“The dialogue has helped us to focus on how the charism of healing is understood, expressed and celebrated in our churches and faith communities,” Bishop Burbidge said in a statement released at the conclusion of the dialogue. “We have acknowledged that our theological understanding of the charism of healing requires further exploration.”
“Our conversations,” he added, “were carried out with great respect and were always rooted in prayer asking the Lord to bring the completion the work we have carried out in his name.”
Rev. Robeck in a statement said Catholics and Pentecostals have much in common with regard to the subject of healing.
“While many people may view the healing ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ with skepticism, or dismiss it altogether, Catholics and Pentecostals believe that God continues to heal and perform miracles,” he added.
Together Catholics and Pentecostals affirm that “‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.’ … With such common ground, we are optimistic that we will be able to produce a document that will prove to be useful within our communities.”
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