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Chiesa Evangelica Valdese
UNION OF THE METHODIST AND WALDENSIAN CHURCHES
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RELATIONS WITH THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Relations between the Roman Catholic and the Waldensian churches have always been difficult, probably the most complex of Waldensian history. From its beginnings, the movement founded by Valdo suffered continual persecution by the Catholic hierarchy. On the other hand, the evangelization carried out by the Waldensian church during the second part of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, was not slow to take advantage of the anticlerical and antiCatholic feelings present in the Italian society. Ecumenical relations with Catholicism were intensified after the 2nd Vatican Council, which terminated in 1965. One of the most important signs of the new ecumenical spirit was the joint translation of the Bible into everyday language, promoted by the Bible Society in Italy. Many Waldensian and Methodist scholars helped with this particular edition of the Bible. The Waldensian church has taken an active part in the theological talks promoted by the World Council of Churches (WCC), which have involved the Roman Catholic church; of particular importance were the Lima documents of 1982 on baptism, Holy Communion and ministry.
The most important document of the ecumenical dialogue in Europe, is the Ecumenical Charter, endorsed by the 2001 Synod.

One of the most salient documents, fruit of the official dialogue with the Italian Episcopal Conference (C.E.I.),is the Joint Text for the Pastoral Care of Interchurch Families of Roman Catholic and Waldensian or Methodist churches in Italy, endorsed in 1997, followed by the Applicative Text in 2000.Despite cordial relations, remain those conflicting theological viewpoints and different attitudes towards society and its problems which all Protestant churches have in common in their dialogue with the Roman Catholic church. In Italy, the Waldensian church pays particular attention to the social and political aspects of interchurch discussion, advancing a secular vision of society as well as believing in complete freedom for all to express their religious and philosofical positions.

 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Giorgio GIRARDET, Protestanti e cattolici: le differenze, Torino, Claudiana, Collana "Le Spighe", n. 1
 
© 2005 Chiesa Evangelica Valdese