Revd Bruce Johnson, Moderator of the Uniting Church’s Queensland Synod, presented a paper, Ordination and Eucharistic Hospitality to an Ecumenical Leaders’ Retreat on 5-7 February at James ByrneCentre, Toowoomba.  Read it here…

Two other presenters at the Retreat were Revd Associate Professor David Pascoe, from Australian Catholic University, Brisbane and Revd Russell Briese, Acting Chaplaincy Coordinator at Griffith University, Brisbane, and Lecturer in Theology at the Australian Catholic University.Speaking from the Roman Catholic perspective, David Pascoe began his paper“…The invitation to the retreat noted that the two issues of, first, the combination of Order and Church leadership, which are named together as, episcopé, and, second, Eucharistic hospitality are difficult ecumenical matters. I certainly don’t challenge this assessment of the ecumenical significance of either issue and both of them together. Rather, as I hope to take up with you, from the Roman Catholic perspective, even if briefly, is how the extent of the ecumenical difficulty for our Churches is a consequence of the interrelationship between episcopé and Eucharistic hospitality. There is an intimate relationship between these matters, especially when they are considered through the lens of the apostolic nature of the Church. The connection between how one Church perceives and  understands how another Church has held to continuity in the apostolic nature of the one Christian faith, matters. It matters to our Churches, particularly with regard to how ourchurches acknowledge a reciprocal fullness of communion, or otherwise, with each other, and so, the possibility of their common sharing in the Eucharist…”  Read it.. 

Speaking from the Lutheran perspective, Russell Briese began his paper:

“Although the existence of subgroups within any society gives a sense of
breadth and diversity, there may well be a similar diversity within the subgroups themselves.

This is certainly the case for ecumenical relationships.

The four majorecumenical partners in Australia, the Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, andUniting Churches
carry a certain amount of diversity and even tension within their organisations.

Yet the diversity and tension is probably not much greater between thefour individual churches.

Members of these could hardly fail to recognise each other as ecclesiastical cousins if not siblings. Even diversity in liturgy, biblical interpretation, and resulting ethical attitudes within these
traditions is uncanny in its similarity…”    Read on…