Over the centuries divisions have arisen within Christianity which has given rise to a number of different denominations. Ecumenism seeks to overcome these divisions. The Catholic Church is fully committed to the Ecumenical movement. The decree on Ecumenism issued by the Second Vatican Council in 1964 is the charter for the Catholic Church’s approach to Ecumenism. Since then, much progress has been made through dialogue between Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches and there has been a growth in mutual understanding and respect.
Ecumenism is important at a local level. The Diocese of Waterford and Lismore is fortunate in that there is a long history of good relations between Christians of different traditions in the area. In recent years Christians from eastern Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa have been welcomed to the Diocese.
Christians come together to pray particularly during the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity ( January 18th – 25th ) each year, and also on special community occasions such as Harvest Thanksgiving and preparation for Christmas and Pentecost. The Churches also help each other by sharing resources.
The Diocesan director of Ecumenism is Very Rev. Dr. Edmond Cullinan P.P. He maintains contact with Christians of other traditions, helps organise the annual Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18th-25th) and is available to advise on inter church issues.
Dr. Cullinan may be contacted at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Waterford or The Presbytery, Luke Wadding Street, Waterford on 051-350023