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Vatican stance “nothing new” say church leader

A UMNS Report
By Linda Bloom
July 20, 2007

The United Methodist Council of Bishops, in a response released on July 18, said United Methodists affirm "the one true Church, Apostolic and Universal."

"We believe that apostolicity is based on the faithfulness of the Church through the ages rather than on historical succession," the bishops wrote.

The bishops acknowledged that the Vatican does not consider The United Methodist Church to be a church "in the full sense, because we lack from their viewpoint the mark of oneness and sacramental priesthood and the fullness of the Eucharist. We understand ourselves, by God's grace, to share in the fullness of the Church through faithful ministry and mission, and the Table of the Lord. That is a difference we can continue to explore. Someday we pray that this difference will be overcome."

The council's response was signed by Bishop Janice Huie, president; Bishop William Oden, ecumenical officer; Bishop Ernest Lyght, secretary; and Bishop Roy Sano, executive secretary.

"As United Methodists, we share in the pain of the brokenness of Christ's Body and prayerfully long for unity around the Table of the Lord," the bishops concluded.

The United Methodist Council of Bishops, in a response released on July 18, said United Methodists affirm "the one true Church, Apostolic and Universal."

"We believe that apostolicity is based on the faithfulness of the Church through the ages rather than on historical succession," the bishops wrote.

The bishops acknowledged that the Vatican does not consider The United Methodist Church to be a church "in the full sense, because we lack from their viewpoint the mark of oneness and sacramental priesthood and the fullness of the Eucharist. We understand ourselves, by God's grace, to share in the fullness of the Church through faithful ministry and mission, and the Table of the Lord. That is a difference we can continue to explore. Someday we pray that this difference will be overcome."

The council's response was signed by Bishop Janice Huie, president; Bishop William Oden, ecumenical officer; Bishop Ernest Lyght, secretary; and Bishop Roy Sano, executive secretary.

"As United Methodists, we share in the pain of the brokenness of Christ's Body and prayerfully long for unity around the Table of the Lord," the bishops concluded.

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