“Let us join together in imploring our heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to grant us the gift of full visible unity among all Christians, so that the Church will ever more be a sign of hope to the world and an instrument of reconciliation for all peoples" - Pope Francis
Ecumenism seeks to promote greater cooperation and understanding between Christian denominations.
New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops have a Committee for Ecumenism. Members of the Committee are appointed by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference. It is chaired by Bishop Barry Jones.
The Catholic Church in New Zealand is actively involved in fostering unity between Christians. It does so in a variety of ways which flows from its concern for both charity and truth which is expressed in inter-church discussion groups, theological dialogue, joint prayer services and joint efforts to promote a just and compassionate society in New Zealand.
Ecumenism Committee members are often invited to attend major functions of other Churches. Committee members also organise ecumenical conferences and visits, develop ecumenism workshops for parishes, adapt the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity material for New Zealand use, and regularly familiarise themselves with the guidelines issued by the Holy See for ecumenical activities.
A major focus of the Committee is to develop bilateral theological dialogues. The Ecumenism Committee meets at least twice a year with representatives of the Anglican and Methodist Churches.
Common projects with other churches include ecumenical worship services, church leaders’ meetings, theological dialogues and events with other churches. The Ecumenism Committee supports Catholic representation on inter-denominational bodies and agencies, such as; Ministers’ associations and various local chaplaincies, groups and missions.
The Catholic Church believes that Christians should act together in certain areas, such as; praying together (spiritual ecumenism), Bible studies, and working together for just and compassionate social arrangements. The Catholic Church knows that the true path of ecumenism, the path of truth and charity, requires all Christians to be well grounded and loyal to their own distinctive identity and traditions. The authentic path of ecumenism will always respect the areas of doctrine and practice where there are different understandings and practices.