Greenbelt Interfaith News
    World Brief

    August 28, 1997

    International Reformed Group Proposes a Universal Church Council and Invites Back a Southern African Church

    Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal, and Protestant churches should hold a joint meeting in the year 2000, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches WARC declared on August 18. According to Ecumenical News International, the international Reformed organization passed a proposal that the world's main Christian traditions hold a universal church council in order to resolve divisive issues such as the primacy of the pope. WARC, which is composed of 211 member churches, was meeting in Debrecen, Hungary, for its 23rd General Council.

    According to the WARC Newsroom, the assembly also voted on August 18 to readmit a Southern African church which was suspended in 1982 after WARC declared its theological justification of apartheid to be "heresy." The assembly defined heresy as "the persistent and deliberate teaching of false doctrine after the error has been pointed out by the wider church." WARC said in 1982 that it would lift the suspension on condition that the DRC allow Christians of all races to attend its services, that the church aid victims of apartheid, and that the church reject apartheid as "wrong and sinful . . . in its fundamental nature." The DRC has fulfilled the first two requirements; WARC is requiring that it fulfill the third requirement before it is admitted back into the assembly.

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    ©1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson