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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter considers key ecumenical developments in the period 1948–65, between the founding of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the closing of the Second Vatican Council, at which the Catholic Church finally embraced the ecumenical movement. Explaining how that period can be seen as pivotal in the history of the movement, it tracks the developing understanding of the ecumenical challenge reflected in successive assemblies of the WCC and conferences on Faith and Order, both at world level and in North America, and the growing desire for Catholic engagement in the ecumenical movement manifested particularly in the activities of the Catholic Conference for Ecumenical Questions. It then considers the teaching of Vatican II on ecumenism, for example, regarding degrees of communion, and the impact of Catholic participation on the ecumenical movement, notably in the practice of bilateral dialogues.

Keywords: World Council of Churches, assembly, conference, Vatican II, ecumenical movement, Catholic Church, pivotal, communion, fellowship

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