Page 1, 15th September 1961

15th September 1961
Page 1
Page 1, 15th September 1961 — New move by Holy See

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FIVE official Catholic observers will attend the meeting in New Delhi this November of the non-Catholic World Council of Churches. By permission of the Holy See, priests and Catholic laymen have privately attended as observers on previous occasions, but this is the first time that the Church is sending them officially.

The five observers picked by the Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity are Fr. Edward J. Duff. Si.. of the United States; Jan Groot. of the Netherlands; Fr. M. J. Le Guillou, O.P. of France; and two priests from India whose names will be announced later.


A Vatican spokesman has explained that the appointments were made because the results of the World Council general assembly sessions in New Dehli could be of interest to the various commissions preparing for the Second Vatican Council.

He stressed that the Catholic observers would stay on the sidelines and "not be entitled to speak or to vote".

Fr. Duff is director of the Institute of Social Order at St. Louis University and editor of "Social Order". His study of the World Council of Churches in the social field at its Geneva headquarters resulted in his book, "Social Thought of the World Council of Churches." He is a contributor to the review "Christian Order", published in this country by Fr. Paul Crane, S.J.

Jan Groot is the official delegate of the Dutch Hierarchy for ecumenical work in the Netherlands. As such he is president of the Association of St. Willebrord. He is also president of the Dutch Catholic Bible Society and has won recognition for his studies of the Protestant theologian Karl Barth.

Fr. Le Guillou is a professor at Le Saulchoir, the Dominican Institute of Theology near Paris. lie has written a study of the growing

missionary consciousness within the ecumenical movement.

The spokesman of the Vatican Secretariat also said that "it is only logical to follow up the sending of Catholic observers to several meetings of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and also to the meeting of its Central Committee at St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1960."

This year's general assembly of the World Council will consider a proposal to integrate the International Missionary Council with the World Council of Churches; a revised "basic formula" for acceptance of constituent members into the World Council; questions of proselytism and religious liberty (with special reference to Latin America); and the Russian Orthodox Church's application for Council membership.

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