CATHOLIC-PENTECOSTAL DIALOGUE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Overview of the dialogue between representatives of de Broederschap van Pinkstergemeenten (BPG) [now called Verenigde Pinkster en Evangeligemeenten and affiliated with the Assemblies of God] and Roman-Catholics in the Netherlands.
A lot of text from this dialogue is published in Dutch on web site StuCom,http://home.hetnet.nl/~stucom
Some are in English on StuCom: 0002uk, 0004uk, 0023uk.
START OF THIS DIALOGUE
The appearance of the international dialogue-report Evangelisation, proselitism and common witness (StuCom0002 (English), 0004 (English), 0003) was one reason to start this dialogue also in the Netherlands. Other starting points were a book of dr. Paul van der Laan, including a chapter on Pentecostal dialogue with the established churches (StuCom0023 - English/Dutch), and a visit of dr. Peter Hocken to leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in 1997. The teaching of Hocken stimulated the CCR to sent a letter to the BPG (StuCom0013).
WHO ENTERED THIS DIALOGUE
The Broederschap van Pinkstergemeenten (in 2002 together with the Volle Evangeliegemeenten in the Netrelands in the Verenigde Pinkster en Evangeliegemeenten (VPE)) has an official committee for the dialogue with the churches. This committee entered the dialogue and asked other pentecostal participants. Catholics came from CCR and the Katholieke Vereniging voor Oecumene – the official advisory body of the Dutch Bishops-conference in ecumenical affairs. Also Catholics from the Dutch Missionary Council and the Focolaremovement took part.
FIRST DAY OF DIALOGUE
The first day of dialogue was announced in a press-release that caused several publications. (StuCom0005). It was on November 11th, 1999 in Lunteren. It began with praising the Lord together and three personal testimonies from both sides. (Praising together, personal prayer and witnesses became elements on all next days of dialogue.) In sharing-groups was discussed the view one has on the other. Drs. Huib Zegwaart, Pentecostal participant in the international dialogue, gave an overview (StuCom0044) of the international dialogue up till that moment.
Reports of this day of dialogue were published in EenTweeEen (the official magazine of the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands) and in other magazines (StuCom0006).
The second day of dialogue was On March 2nd in Amersfoort. Subject: The ministry of healing.
Papers from Pentecostal side were:
- the article of Donald Gee Trofimus I left sick: Our Problems of Divine Healing (Londen: Elim Publishing Co., 1952) / Trofimus heb ik ziek te Miléte achtergelaten (published in Parakleet 41 en 42 (winter 1992) and
- the article Wilde kolokwinten in de opwekkingstheologie of John van Enennaam. (Parakleet 70+71, 2e+3e kw 1999)
Speaker from the BPG was Klaas van Balen on Divine healing and suffering in the Church of Christ / Goddelijke genezing en het lijden in de Gemeente van Christus (StuCom0040) and from Catholic side father Leo van der Klaauw (StuCom0031).
Klaas van Balen presented also a study-guide (StuCom0041) with parts of his book Geboren uit de Geest / Born out of the Spirit (ISBN 90-73658-07-1).
Leo van der Klaauw presented also the brochure Met mensen bidden om genezing / Praying with people for healing, published by CCR, Helmond 1998 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Press-release on this day: StuCom0007. A report on this day and on this new dialogue appeared in the magazine of the Katholieke Vereniging voor Oecumene - de Willibrordkrant, spring 2000: StuCom0009.
The third meeting was Juni 14th, 2000 in Lunteren on The pastoral care for sick people/De pastorale omgang met de zieke medemens. Speaker from BPG: medical doctor Koos van der Geest (StuCom0029) from Catholic side: Karel Pouwels (StuCom0030). Press-release: StuCom0008.
In name of the Catholic participants the secretary of de Katholieke Vereniging voor Oecumene, Geert van Dartel, did sent a report to the Episcopal committee on Ecumenical affairs. This committee now started to study the international dialogue-report Evangelisation, proselytism and common witness (StuCom0002uk). The committee answered to Geert van Dartel: "maybe this dialogue, taking place on a level of experts, can lead in the future to dialogue on an official level. We follow this dialogue with attention. It can take away animosity and misunderstanding". (see StuCom0018).
The fourth meeting was of two days in a catholic monastery and included participation in the prayer-services of the monks. Meals were in silence. One monk explained the monastery-tradition and his personal calling. The dialogue was on The Word of God in words of men / Gods Woord in mensenwoorden. The Roman-Catholic Prof.dr.Jan Van der Veken from Leuven spoke (StuCom0076). Response from BPG was given by dr. Cees van der Laan, director of the Azusa Theologische Hogeschool te Lunteren (StuCom0077). Press-release: StuCom0018. Attention was also given to the international report on the dialogue 1977-1982 on Scripture and Tradition and on the Ministry of Healing in the Church.
OFFICIAL CHURCH-DOCUMENTS ON HEALING
Evaluating the subject healing was decided to bring also (more) official teaching of the Church into the dialogue and to work on a report of our dialogue on healing.
The following papers were studied:
1. The 12th Fundamental Truth, on Divine Healing (summarised in StuCom0027), of the Assemblies of God. A document from 1916. De BPG is affiliated with Assemblies of God (www.ag.org )
2. The "position paper" of the Assemblies of God on Divine Healing.http://www.ag.org/top/position_papers/4184_healing.cfm. (Summarised in StuCom0028)
3. The Instruction on prayers for healing of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Rome, 14th September 2000 signed by Cardinal Ratzinger en Archbishop Bertone. (StuCom0024)
4. paragraphs 1499-1510 of the World catechism (on anointing of the sick) and 1508 on the charismatic gift to heal.
During the fifth meeting of dialogue, June18th 2001 in Lunteren, was discussed a first try to make a report on the dialogue on healing. For the first time also representatives from the Volle-Evangelie Gemeenten in Nederland took part and an observer of the Episcopal committee on Ecumenical affairs secretary, D. Gudde. Press-release: StuCom 0049
CONFESSION OF SINS
In the Parakleet, the official magazine of BPG and the Volle Evangeliegemeenten in Nederland, was published the confession of sins by father Killian McDonnell, co-chairman of the international dialogue between the Papal Council for Unity of Christians an representatives of classical Pentecostal churches. Inspired by the Mea Culpa (March 12th 2000) of the pope, he confessed the sins of the Roman Catholics toward Pentecostals. He did sent this confession to the Parakleet. It was published in autumn 2000 (StuCom0045). Answering the confession of McDonnell the chairpersons of the BPG (Peter Sleebos) and of the Volle Evangeliegemeenten in Nederland (Bert Niehof) published a response in the following Parakleet. A part of this was published in some national newspapers.
Misunderstanding around the Vatican document Dominus Iesus led to the subject of the next meeting: What is the Church of Christ? What are needed structures? Is was in Amersfoort, November 29th, 2001. Speakers: dr. Ton van Eijk (StuCom0079) and drs. Huib Zegwaart (StuCom0080). Press-release: StuCom0082.
The 7th meeting was on evangelisation (StuCom0083). Attention was given to the international dialogue-report Evangelisation, proselytism and common witness (StuCom0002, 0004, 0003) but also to actual activities of evangelisation. From Pentecostal side was spoken by Steve Smith of the Impact World Tour (part of Youth with a Mission). Catholic speaker was dr. Jeroen Vis, director of Missio. There was a lot of unity. Differences were not discussed very deeply. It caused some co-operation between Impact World Tour and the Katholieke Vereniging voor Oecumene, published in the Catholic magazine of Missio (Missie inter Actie, September 2002).
In this first phase were the goals:
- come to know each other and to acknowledge each other as belonging to the same Lord;
- to foster respect and understanding;
- exchanging how the Holy Spirit is experienced in de different churches. This goals have been reached by the participants and for an important part by the readers of the many press-releases and articles on this dialogue.
This translation into English was made by Kees Slijkerman,
November 26th, 2002, revised January 9th, 2003 and approved by Huib Zegwaart.
This document is on web site StuCom, http://home.hetnet.nl/~stucom (document 0093uk)
The original Dutch edition is on StuCom document 0093.