“WHATEVER THE REASONS and whatever the motives, the fact is that in the ecumenical movement the Sacrament of Unity has become more obviously than ever before the Sign of Disunity. We may be able to do very little to remedy that tragic and scandalous situation. But we may be able to do something. And to do something is radically different from doing nothing at all.” These words of Dr. Keith R. Bridston appear in the December issue of Many Churches, One Table, One Church published by the Youth Department of the World Council of Churches. They symbolize the growing impatience of the younger (and many older) members of the ecumenical movement. This impatience was not allayed by the New Delhi assembly of the WCC held last year. “The more one reflects on the present ecumenical situation in regard to intercommunion,” says Dr. Bridston, “particularly as it is reflected in the New Delhi Report, the more one has the uneasy feeling of being transported into an ecclesiastical Wonderland.… And if one attempts to inject some sense into the chaotic proceedings—for example, by trying to find a rational and generally acceptable plan for communion services—it seems to end up in something even more ludicrous and grotesque: the stupidest tea-party I ever was at in all my life.’ ”
Spurred on by, as much as anything else, this impatience, which erupted into independent action at the European Ecumenical Youth Assembly held at Lausanne in 1960, the fourth world Faith and Order Conference, convened in Montreal two months ago, drafted a number of recommendations for the holding of communion services at ecumenical gatherings. The intention of these recommendations is “to find that arrangement of communion services which, while respecting the teaching ...1
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