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Civil rights leaders and Christians gathered this April 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.' The Christian leaders there presented a response to Dr. King's daughter, Rev. Bernice King.


Pictured: USCCB staff members and bishops represented the Catholic membership of Christian Churches Together at the event. 

Read the full text of some of the powerful speeches delivered and see news coverage on our 50th anniversary landing page.




pope-francis-and-patriarch-bartholomewThe Meaning and History of Ecumenism

Ecumenism, from the Greek word “oikoumene,” meaning “the whole inhabited world,” is the promotion of cooperation and unity among Christians. The Ecumenical movement today has been brought about by the conviction that a divided Christianity is a scandal to the world.

Underlying the Catholic Church’s pursuit of ecumenism is its recognition that elements of sanctification and truth are found in other churches (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 8). 

It can be said that the Ecumenicity of the Church is another way of expressing her radical catholicity or universality (See Guidelines for Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue 1967).

Since the 1960’s, following Vatican II, breakthrough agreements have been reached between Catholics and other communions including statements on Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry.

The USCCB’s Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs participates in more than a dozen ongoing ecumenical dialogues and consultations.

View specific dialogue pages on the left-hand sidebar or access our archival history below. We also invite you to take a few moments to sign up for our newsletter and bookmark our video playlist.

Read More

The USCCB's Ecumenical Mission: A History

Ecumenical Documents and News Releases


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