Fifth Dialogue of Faith Between the United Methodist and Roman Catholic Church

May 10, 2003 03:54 PM EDT

DALLAS, Tx -- Officials of the United Methodist Church and Roman Catholic Church will meet in the fifth round of dialogue to explore the operation of the two denominations in Dallas, April 24-26. Discussions between the two faiths began in 1966, and in 2001, the first formal dialogue was held by the two traditions.

"The Church in Each Place and in All Places," led by United Methodist Bishop Walter Klaiber of Germany and Roman Catholic Bishop Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino, Calif., will begin with theological discussions for the churches. Dialogue teams will be assigned by the United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sister Barbara Reid of Catholic Theological Union and the Rev. Elaine Robinson of Bright Divinity School presented papers outlining Catholic and United Methodist theological understandings of the church’s mission, as well as the relationship of mission to the understanding of the universal and local dimensions of church life. Different perspectives on sacramental life, such as baptism and the Eucharist, were presented by the Rev. Richard Gallarditz, University of Toledo, for the Catholics, and the Rev. Jarrett Gray, Saint Paul School of Theology, for the United Methodists.

During their gathering, the group members engaged regularly in prayer, celebrated a "love feast" on the model of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, and were joined one evening by two Dallas-area bishops, Catholic Bishop Charles Grahmann and United Methodist Bishop William Oden.

The Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University also sponsored a dinner to bring together the dialogue team with its faculty. The Rev. Scott Jones of Perkins, a member of the international dialogue between the World Methodist Council and Roman Catholic Church, was a dinner host and joined in meeting discussions.

By Pauline J.