ULM, Germany (CNS): The Vatican’s top ecumenist told participants in a German Catholic Church assembly that Christians could not put up with what he called “the scandal of division”.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, spoke on “The Ecumenism of Life”, one of the assembly’s keynote addresses.
Cardinal Kasper, a German, defended ecumenical initiatives against “those who attack from the extreme right. And they are increasing in number”.
He said that within the ecumenical movement much had happened over the past 20 years with statements and documents, but “more important is what has happened in real life”.
Joint Bible study, joint services and joint charitable and social work represented the three main functions of the Church – the witness of faith, the celebration of the liturgy and service to others, he said.
The cardinal said joint Eucharist remains outside the range of ecumenical possibilities, but he pointed to exceptions in Church law.