New York Times, November 18, 2004

Cited and quoted by the late Wm. H. Grotheer in Watchman, What of the Night? March, 2005

(Edited and expanded June 4, 2016)

U.S. Catholic Bishops Agree to Join New Ecumenical Group:

The top hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States decided yesterday to join the broadest alliance of Christian churches in the country so far, a new ecumenical group that would bring the church to the same table as conservative evangelicals and liberal Protestants.

Members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have played a central role in the formation of the group, Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., since discussions began with leaders of other denominations in fall 2001. . .

The organization has about 23 members, Father Kennedy said, including Eastern Orthodox churches; the historic Protestant denominations, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; evangelical churches; ethnic churches; and religiously oriented groups, like the Salvation Army and World Vision. The decision by the bishops' conference to join Christian Churches Together was seen from the outset as essential to the group's existence.

Although most churches engage in ecumenical dialogue with other Christians, those talks are usually bilateral. Moreover, evangelicals and Pentecostals have often not participated regularly in such talks. Through this new group, they can be brought into greater contact with the more traditional churches. . .

The National Council of Churches helped create this new group but is not joining, although many of its member churches are. And the Rev. Bob Edgar, the general secretary of the council, said he did not expect Christian Churches Together to function like his group.

"My sense is that this group is less interested in action items than in building bridges," Mr. Edgar said, "and having a forum where we can talk together on issues that concern everyone, for example, how do we model interfaith ties with our Muslim and Jewish brethren?"

A question - Has the SDA Church joined? Documentation one way or the other would be welcomed by this editor.