Three meetings stress hopes for Council
wall less than six months to go to
. the opening of the Second Vatican Council, three new beacons of hope for Christian Unity flashed out last week —from Rome itself, from the interfaith talks at Dowanhill, Glasgow, and from a congress of 200 priests at Beaumont College.
IN ROME, a slight shift of emphasis came from Cardinal Bea, head of the Vatican's Secretariat for Christian Unity. Hitherto, stress has rested on unity hopes as a by-product of the Council. Now the Cardinal sounds a more positive note. The Council, he says, "is not intended to confine itself to being an internal affair of the Catholic Church." It is to "aim at preparing—even though only on a long-range basis—the union of all baptised, of all Christians."
IN GLASGOW, Catholic, Presbyterian and Episcopalian clergy and laity, 80 strong, met, in the words of the Abbot of Nunraw, to "extinguish the psychological differences between them as a first step towards closer unity", AT BEAUMONT, 200 priests met, as guests of the Jesuit Fathers, in a conference organised by the Catholic Missionary Society. The subject: Ecumenism and Conversion. Two of the most challenging talking points: the Protestant attitude to the Bible, and the need for a missionary spirit in parishes. No such gathering of this size has ever met in this country before.