Correspondence with Centro Pro Unione

6th January 2004

Text of an E-mail from the editor to the Centro Pro Union Franciscan Friars of the Atonement Christian Unity website:

From: K.J. Petrie - (Instabook)


Subject: Request for Contact

Dear Brothers in Christ,

I am interested in ecumenical matters and run a small website aimed at promoting discussion on the issues which arise ( I have been introduced to your website by the Clifton Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, Revd. Michael Robertson, and am now adding a link from my site to yours.

For some time now I have been trying to raise questions with the Roman Catholic Church on the subject of ecclesiology, in order to understand the issues better and possibly to advance mutual understanding, even perhaps to inform the various dialogues which are in progress at the international level, should any perspectives which would be useful at that level emerge. However, I have been frustrated by the Church's apparent reluctance to engage in dialogue with an enquirer such as myself. So far, I have tried to make contact via the Vatican Information Service, my local Cathedral, the Diocesan Education Centre, and the Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, who did, at least, have the generosity to give me your URL.

I am puzzled by this. The Church (however that is understood) has been charged by our Lord with proclaiming the Gospel, making disciples and teaching them to obey all that he commands (c.f. Matt 28.19-20). Similarly, St Peter taught us to be always ready to answer anyone requiring an account of the hope within us (I Pet 3.15). A willingness to enter into such dialogue would therefore seem to be so essential to the nature and purpose of the Church that I simply cannot understand how to relate to a church which fails to respond to such enquiries.

Can you help in any way? Ideally, since this would not be an official dialogue so much as an exchange of ideas and a potential resource, I would like a discussion which could be published on the website, so others could become involved if they found it useful. However, if that is not felt to be possible or desirable, I would be happy to deal with my own questions in private. Accordingly, I shall publish this request but I shall not publish your response unless you are happy for me to do so.

I hope you will be able to help in some way and look forward to your response.

Yours in Christ,

Ken Petrie.

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