Duties & Parish Implementation


Duties of All Catholics

  • A permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation; such renewal is the driving-force of the movement toward unity.
  • Conversion of heart, as the faithful try to live holier lives according to the Gospel, for it is unfaithfulness of the members to Christ's gift which causes divisions.
  • Prayer in common, because "change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical movement, and merits the name "spiritual ecumenism."
  • Fraternal knowledge of each other.
  • Ecumenical formation, of the faithful and especially of priests.
  • Dialogue… and meetings among Christians of the different churches and communities.
  • Collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind - 'human service' is the idiomatic phrase".

Ecumenical Duties of Parishes

  • "Within the dioceses, parishes should be encouraged to participate in ecumenical initiatives on their own level and, where possible to set up groups which are responsible to carry out these activities."
  • "They should remain in close contact with the diocesan authorities, exchanging information and experience with them and with other parishes and other groups."

Ecumenism in the Life of Catholic Laity

  • Where ecumenical work is not being done, or not being done effectively, Catholics will seek to promote it. Where it is being opposed or hampered by sectarian attitudes and activities that lead to even greater divisions among those who confess the name of Christ, they should be patient and persevering."
  • "Concern for restoring unity pertains to the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike. It extends to everyone, according to the potential of each, whether it be exercised in daily living or in theological and historical studies."
  • "The Second Vatican Council teaches that the restoration of full visible communion among all Christians is the will of Christ and essential to the life of the Catholic Church..."
  • "…It is the task of all, of lay people as well as ordained: "all the faithful are called upon to make a personal commitment towards promoting increasing communion with other Christians."
  • "The Second Vatican Council clearly asked Catholics to reach out in love to all other Christians with a charity that desires and works actively to overcome in truth whatever divides them from one another."

Parish Implementation