01: A Conference for Faith and Order in North America is being planned that will seek to broaden ecumenical relationships to include Pentecostals, evangelicals and Catholics, who are not usually part of official ecumenism.
The conference, which is set for 2004, is sponsored by an independent foundation and will be unique in drawing churches from Canada as well as the U.S., and having a strong lay component. Members of the foundation’s board, still in completion, include Richard Mouw of evangelical Fuller Seminary, Edward Villafane, a Pentecostal from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore and Cheryl Bridges-Johns of the Church of God.
The effort seeks to rekindle enthusiasm and support for church unity in the churches that has been lost since World War II and the declining state of the National Council of Churches. A “Call to Churches” statement suggests new institutions may be needed to organize the movement resulting from the conference.
(Source: Christian Century, May 9)
02: Priests for Life is increasingly in the spotlight for its influential pro-life activism.
The organization, founded by Father Frank Pavone, has broadened its original mission of rallying priests to the prolife cause to turning voters out on issues involving abortion, as well as engaging in mass protests at abortion clinics. Pavone and his organization have been viewed by liberal critics and prolife allies as one of the top anti-abortion groups in the country (the National Right to Life Committee recently gave Pavone its annual “Proudly Prolife Award” at its recent dinner).
Priests for Life’s national crusade to bring in Catholic votes for the Republicans is said to be crucial in tilting the Florida race to George W. Bush — a fact that raises the ire of church-state separationists.
(Source: Catholic Eye, April 30).