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Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) has a double role. First of all, it is entrusted with the promotion, within the Catholic Church, of an authentic ecumenical spirit according to the conciliar decree Unitatis Redintegratio. For this reason, an Ecumenical Directory was published in 1967-1970 and a revised edition issued in 1993 entitled Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism. These documents can be accessed via the PCPCU’s website. See below.

At the same time, the Pontifical Council is active in all areas that can contribute to promoting Christian unity by strengthening relationships with other Churches and Ecclesial Communities. It organizes and oversees dialogue and collaboration with the other Churches and World Communions. Since its creation on June 5, 1960, it has also cooperated closely with the World Council of Churches (WCC) based in Geneva.

Similarly, it is the task of the PCPCU to name Catholic observers at various ecumenical gatherings and in turn to invite observers or “fraternal delegates” of other Churches or Ecclesial Communities to major events of the Catholic Church.

On October 22, 1974, Pope Paul VI established a Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews as an office distinct from but closely linked with the PCPCU, charged with the responsibility of implementing the teachings of the Second Vatican Council regarding the Jews. The Cardinal President of the PCPCU presides over this Commission as well.

The PCPCU also publishes Acta Œcumenica, which is an annual volume that gathers documents on the engagement of the Holy See with regard to Christian unity: the ecumenical events and declarations of the Holy Father, information on the various activities of the Pontifical Council as well as the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. Acta Œcumenica can be downloaded for free via the PCPCU’s website.

The website also provides the latest news on the work of the PCPCU and the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, as well as Pope Francis’ ecumenical journeys and encounters.

Website: christianunity.va (available in English, French and Italian)

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