A deeper sense of unity between Catholics and Methodists has emerged from a meeting which ended in Rome last week.
A joint statement issued by the two chairmen of the Joint International Commission of Roman Catholics and Methodists said that their talks on the work of the Holy Spirit had shown that "differing traditional emphases and forms of expression are complementary and mutually enriching rather than divisive or a cause of dissension."
"More unifies us than divides us in our mutual understanding of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual Christian and in the shared life of the community of faith," they said.
The group also affirmed that the Spirit empowered Christians in their efforts to bring justice and freedom for the poor.
Evidence of fresh interest in the work of the Spirit was seen in particular in the renewed commitment to a life of prayer, particularly in the revised liturgies and the charismatic movement and in the growing desire for shared fellowship and mission.
Among the participants at the talks were Canon Richard Stewart, former secretary of the Ecumenical Commission in Britain and now attached to the Secretariat for Christian Unity in Rome, and Fr Cuthbert Rand from Ushaw College in Durham. They also included the Rev Raymond George, former President of the Methodist Conference in Britain.
At its next meeting in November the Commission will discuss the work of the Spirit in the Church and the Sacraments. A more complete statement of common faith in the Holy Spirit is scheduled to be completed before 1981.