REGINA — Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen was at Seton Hall University in New Jersey March 16 as the book Towards Unity: Ecumenical Dialogue 500 Years after the Reformation was officially launched.
This festschrift, a celebratory publication of essays, honours the lifetime achievements of Msgr. John Radano, who served as head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity’s (PCPCU) Western Section for nearly 25 years, from 1984 to 2008. He was Bolen’s immediate superior during his years working at the PCPCU from 2001 to 2009. The 500th anniversary of the Reformation was chosen as a theme for the book. The anniversary is time to take stock, look at what we have accomplished, on the road we have travelled, and on what lies ahead.
Cardinals Walter Kasper and Edward Cassidy both contributed to the volume, testifying to Radano’s commitment, competence, and wide knowledge of the dialogues in which he was involved over many years.
As Kasper’s preface notes, Radano has an encyclopedic knowledge of the ecumenical movement and texts, not the least because during his years at the PCPCU he served as the editor of Information Service, the Pontifical Council’s journal documenting the Catholic Church’s involvement in the ecumenical movement on an international level.
Towards Unity is a collection of texts of reconciliation, written by 22 artisans of the fine and demanding art of ecumenical dialogue. It is edited by Bolen; Sister Donna Geernaert, SC, who served as director of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for 18 years; and Nicholas Jesson, former director of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism.
The volume’s contributions examine the ecumenical dialogues of the Western Section of the PCPCU and reflect on what ecumenical changes have been achieved over the past 50 years. Included are reflections on ecumenical methods and ways in which Christian churches have learned from each other, how conflicts have been addressed and, in many instances, divisions healed.
Towards Unity: Ecumenical Dialogue 500 Years after the Reformation reminds us of the importance of ecumenical friendship in advancing the cause of Christian unity inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
There will also be a Canadian launch of the volume on April 7 at the offices of the Canadian Council of Churches in Toronto.