Remembering the Future: Church and Churches Toward Multifaceted Unity
This chapter considers the question of what the future will bring to the church(es) and how ecumenism will affect this future. It explores the role of the Church, which is described in the documents of Vatican II as effective and visible sign of unity with God, and sheds light on the embracing of ecumenism by the Church as one of the main goals set for the council. The essay also discusses some questions that remain open, such as the meaning of subsistit in, the view of the Church ad intra and ad extra, the meaning and rediscovering of catholicity, continuing divisions and their influence on mission, and Catholicism’s relationship with the churches of the Reformation as well as with evangelical and Pentecostal communities. The author then turns to reflect upon some new challenges that ecumenism has to face in our time such as neo-denominationalism and divergent models of unity, among others. Finally, the paper offers some gospel-oriented perspectives the future of ecumenism.