- A delegation from the World Methodist Council (WMC) met Pope
Benedict XVI recently at the Vatican.
The visit took place on Dec 9, 2005, the day following the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council at which time the Catholic Church emphasised its commitment to ecumenical dialogue.
The WMC was one of the first Christian World Communions to enter into dialogue with the Catholic Church following Vatican II, and has continued the dialogue uninterrupted since 1967.
The delegation was led by His Eminence Sunday Mbang, Chairman of the WMC, and included the Rev Dr George Freeman, General Secretary; the Rev Dr Geoffrey Wainwright, Co-chairman of the Dialogue Commission; Bishop Walter Klaiber (retired) of Germany who co-chaired The United Methodist Church dialogue with the Catholic Church in the US; Mrs Gillian Kingston, member of The Irish Methodist Church and member of the Dialogue Commission; and Bishop William Oden, Ecumenical Officer of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Michael Putney, Catholic Bishop of the Townsville Diocese in Australia and Co-chairman of the Dialogue Commission, and Father Don Bolen form the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity were also included in the delegation.
His Eminence Mbang congratulated Pope Benedict on his election to the Papacy on behalf of World Methodists, and thanked him for renewing the commitment which his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, made to ecumenism.
Citing the progress that has been made in Methodist/Catholic relations through the International Dialogue Commission, His Eminence Mbang spoke of the "significant theological convergence that has been realised on such fundamental themes as revelation, faith, scripture and tradition". - United Methodist News Service.