Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry - download pdf or read online

By World Council Of Churches

The results of a fifty-year means of examine, this article represents the theological convergence that has been accomplished, via a long time of debate, below the information of the Holy Spirit.

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In recognition of the God-given charism of ministry, ordination to any one of the particular ordained ministries is never repeated. 49. The discipline with regard to the conditions for ordination in one church need not be seen as universally applicable and used as grounds for not recognizing ministry in others. 50. Churches which refuse to consider candidates for the ordained ministry on the ground of handicap or because they belong, for example, to one particular race or sociological group should re-evaluate their practices.

They may need to recover the sign of the episcopal succession. 54. Some churches ordain both men and women, others ordain only men. Differences on this issue raise obstacles to the mutual recognition of ministries. But those obstacles must not be regarded as substantive hindrance for further efforts towards mutual recognition. Openness to each other holds the possibility that the Spirit may well speak to one church through the insights of another. Ecumenical consideration, therefore, should encourage, not restrain, the facing of this question.

COMMENTARY (39) It is clear that churches have different practices of ordination, and that it would be wrong to single out one of those as exclusively valid. On the other hand, if churches are willing to recognize each other in the sign of apostolic succession, as described above, it would follow that the old tradition, according to which it is the bishop who ordains, with the participation of the community, will be recognized and respected as well. 40. Properly speaking, then, ordination denotes an action by God and the community by which the ordained are strengthened by the Spirit for their task and are upheld by the acknowledgment and prayers of the congregation.

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Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry by World Council Of Churches


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