National Directory



the poor and indeed for working to put into effect the full range of the social teaching of the Church. Formation programs should help the participant to grow in an understanding of the Church’s teaching and tradition of social justice. Deacons should become familiar with the social encyclicals of the popes and the relevant documents issued by the USCCB on matters such as the integrity of human life from con ception to death, the economy, racism, immigration, and peace. For mation programs should impart the skills needed to promote Catholic social teaching in the marketplace, parish, and diocese. 159. The Second Vatican Council taught that the restoration of full visible communion among all Christians is the will of Christ and is essen tial to the life of the Catholic Church. 68 An ecumenical spirit should be integrated into all aspects of formation. Those who are or will be engaged in pastoral ministry must acquire “an authentically ecumeni cal disposition” 69 in their lives and ministry. The purpose of formation in ecumenism is to educate hearts and minds in the necessary human and religious dispositions that favor the search for Christian unity. A genuine ecumenism should be thoroughly incorporated into all aspects of diaconal formation, 70 remembering that “genuine ecumenical for mation must not remain solely academic; it should also include ecu menical experience.” 71 160. The Second Vatican Council also urged “its sons and daughters to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions.” 72 Such a spirit must imbue a desire for ecumenical and interreligious cooperation with Jews, Muslims, and members of other religions. The formation program must assist the participant in achieving a spirit of welcome, respect, and collaboration among people of good will. “The world, looking to us believers, exhorts us to cooperate amongst ourselves and with the men and women of good will who profess no religion, asking us for effective responses A Spirit of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue

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