Receptive ecumenism and the charism of a partner church : the example of justification
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The notion of ecumenical receptivity is an invitation and a challenge to our churches. It proposes that the ecumenical encounter with another church tradition is an event of the Holy Spirit. In the otherness of the other tradition, the Spirit of God offers us a gift. In this understanding a central dimension of ecumenical action involves a stance of openness to the Spirit and the attempt to discern the Spirit. Paul Murray has pointed out that ‘receptive ecumenical awakening is properly a matter of the heart before it is a matter of the head; a matter of falling in love with the experienced presence of God in the people, practices, even structures of another tradition and being impelled thereby to search for ways in which all impediments to closer relationships will be overcome’. Ecumenical receptivity encourages a stance before the other tradition that expects to find this tradition a place of grace. And the gift of the Spirit is to be found not only in the personal, but also in the structural and institutional dimensions of the other tradition.