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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter describes the achievements of interconfessional theological dialogues on ordained ministry and considers various issues that remain. Achievements include the recovery of an understanding of ordained ministry within an ecclesiological context developed with a renewed pneumatological and eschatological emphasis and based on a balanced christological foundation. Greater convergence in understanding ordained ministry has led to clarification of the relationship between apostolic continuity in the church and apostolic succession in ministry. Other areas of growing consensus include forms of ordination, the relationship between the ministerial nature of the church and special or ordained ministry, the Trinitarian and diaconal nature of all ministry, and the threefold ministry. Remaining issues include the ordination of women, mutual recognition of ministry, the relationship between such recognition and the reciprocal recognition of baptism, and the role of the bishop of Rome with regard to the unity of the church.

Keywords: apostolic succession, bishop of Rome, ecclesiology, eschatology, mutual recognition of ministry, ordination of women, ordained ministry, pneumatology, threefold ministry

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