The Methodist head of the World Council of Churches, the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, has expressed his support for full communion among all denominations by the middle of the 21st century. Step on for Rev Kobia inter-communion among all Christians.
“My vision for the ecumenical movement is that by the mid-21st century we will have reached a level of unity such that Christians everywhere regardless of their confessional affiliations, can pray and worship together and feel welcome to share in the Lord’s Table at every church,” said Kobia.
The Rev. Dr. Kobia is most certainly putting the cart before the horse, and in my mind that does not bode well for ecumenical dialogue. It is clear to me that Dr. Kobia and others of the same mind do little or nothing to contribute to genuine ecumenism when they display such staggering ignorance or willful blindness of the things that really divide us.
At present, the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches do not permit members of other denominations to join in their celebrations of the Eucharist. Intercommunion would be a significant symbol of unity among Christians.
Here is the problem, Communion is not a symbol for Catholics and Orthodox. It is the Body and Blood of Jesus. Not a whole lot of wiggle room here. Sticking your head in the sand over this issue is not ecumenism, it is syncretism.
In the realm of ecumenism, I believe that real progress is being made in particular between Catholics and the Orthodox. This progress is being made because we are openly and frankly discussing the things which divide us, not by pretending they don’t exist. Pope Benedict’s brand of ecumenism thus far has tended to the candid. Here is what we believe. Understand it. Then we can discuss it. Real progress with will only occur when then this Dr. Kobia’s brand of kumbayah ecumenism meets its well deserved fate in the trash bin.