The Western Section is composed of dialogues with various Christian communities which trace their roots to as early as the sixteenth century.  In addition to dialogues with mainline Protestants, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church, dialogues are also conducted with other Western Christians such as the Polish National Catholic Church, theologians from the Evangelical movement, and recent collaborations with Pentecostals and Baptists. These dialogues take on various forms,  and while some have as their explicit goal the pursuit of visible structural unity, depending upon the official structures and perspectives of our partners, others limit themselves to the exposition of theological convergences or collaborative efforts to promote peace and justice.

Dialogues of the Western Section

Polish National Catholic Church

The USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has engaged in dialogue with the Polish National Catholic Church since 1984. It addresses issues that have historically divided the churches and actively searches for visible unity. Discussions have ranged from the possibility of sacramental sharing to the role of the Petrine Ministry. In 2006, the dialogue produced a "Joint Declaration on Unity", which spells out the nature of the relationship between the two bodies and looks forward to the establishment of full communion between them.

It currently meets once each year, with Bishop John E. Mack of the Buffalo Pittsburgh Diocese serving as co-chairman for the Polish National Catholics and Most Reverend Mitchell Rozanski, Archbishop of St. Louis for the Roman Catholics. Fr. Walter Kedjierski currently staffs this dialogue for the SEIA.

Documents and News Releases Produced by the Dialogue


Link to our dialogue partner: The Polish National Catholic Church


The Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation USA began meeting in 1965 to address the theological issues that divided the churches. Since then, the consultation has issued statements on issues ranging from the Eucharist, to the ordination of women, church authority, and Christian ethics in ecumenical dialogue. Most recently, it produced a document exploring areas of agreement and disagreement in ethics and the Christian life through an ecclesiological lens. The 2014 result, "Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment: Seeking a Unified Witness", highlighted common features and similar concerns that were applied differently according to each group’s unique ecclesiology.

The dialogue currently meets twice a year and is addressing understandings of reconciliation in scripture and tradition. It meets under the leadership of Bishop John Bauerschmidt of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee and Most Reverend John Michael Botean, Bishop of the Eparchy of St. George of Canton [Romanian Greek-Catholic]. Fr. Walter Kedjierski currently staffs this consultation for the SEIA.

Documents and News Releases Produced by the Dialogue


Link to our dialogue partner: The Episcopal Church


The Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue in the United States first met in 1965, the first dialogue established by the Commission for Ecumenical Affairs (now called the BCEIA).

The dialogue has explored a wide range of theological topics, including koinonia ecclesiology, justification by faith, papal primacy, Eucharist, and Baptism. In 2010, the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue completed a common statement entitled "The Hope of Eternal Life" which explored in depth the common belief of Catholics and Lutherans in Jesus Christ's promise of eternal life.

In March 2017, BCEIA Chair Mitchell T. Rozanski signed "A Joint Statement on the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation" with Lutheran Bishop Donald P. Kreiss, chair for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations.

The dialogue currently meets twice a year. The current 12th Round explores the aspects of faith teaching with Reverend Lowell Almen, Bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Most Reverend Denis Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore serving as co-chairs. Fr. Walter Kedjierski currently staffs this consultation for the SEIA.

Documents and News Releases Produced by the Dialogue


Link to our dialogue partner: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The USCCB launched an official dialogue with four denominations of the Reformed family of churches in 1965: the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Presbyterian Church (U.S.), the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ. At points, other members of the Reformed family, such as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Hungarian Reformed Church, have joined in the process. Current partners include the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the Reformed Church in America (RCA), and the United Church of Christ (UCC).

Over its lifetime this consultation has produced eight important publications, including documents on Baptism, "These Living Waters: Common Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Baptism", and on the Eucharist, "This Bread of Life: Report of the U.S. Roman Catholic-Reformed Dialogue on the Eucharist/Lord’s Supper".

The dialogue currently meets twice a year. The current 8th Round addresses the nature of the Church and is co-chaired by Rev. Cynthia Campbell, Ph.D (PCUSA), senior pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and Most Reverend Tod Brown, Bishop Emeritus of Orange. Fr. Walter Kedjierski currently staffs this consultation for the SEIA.

Documents and News Releases produced by the Dialogue


Link to our dialogue partners: The Reformed Church in America, the Presbyterian Church in the USA, the United Church of Christ, and the Christian Reformed Church

United Methodist

The United Methodist-Catholic Dialogue was established in 1966. Over the years, it has discussed a wide range of issues from education and ordained ministry to the Eucharist. Most recently, in 2012, the dialogue produced "Heaven and Earth are Full of Your Glory", which examined concern for the environment in a Eucharistic perspective.

The most recent 8th Round explored areas of convergence and divergences through the lens of the mutual recognition of common Baptism and the contours of shared Baptismal life through examinations of the Lord’s Prayer and Apostles’ Creed, as well as the feasibility of creating shared rites and prayers thus expressing their shared Christian identity.

The dialogue with the United Methodist Church meets twice a year. The dialogue is set to begin its 9th Round under the chairmanship of Bishop Kenneth Carter of Florida and Most Reverend Jeffrey Monforton, Bishop of Steubenville. Fr. Walter Kedjierski currently staffs this consultation for the SEIA.

Documents and News Releases Produced by the Dialogue


Link to our dialogue partner: The United Methodist Church


Evangelicals and Catholics, two of the largest religious communities in the United States, are important voices in the public square. While we acknowledge important differences between our two communions, there should be no doubt that shared familial and societal concerns, such as criminal justice reform, environmental issues, marriage, religious liberty, family and life issues, help bring us together on both the local and national levels.

Past examples of collaboration include the 1994 document “Evangelicals and Catholics Toward a Common Mission” that helped forge a new relationship and new opportunities for dialogue, and the 2013 statement “A Christian Call for Immigration Reform” signed by more than 100 leaders of both communities, as well as the gathering at the Poverty Summit at Georgetown University in 2015.

A dialogue between the USCCB and the Evangelical Community met from 2003-2008 which evolved into a yearly meeting of Catholic and Evangelical pastors and scholars. The group studies theological questions and considers how both faith communities can collaborate in ways that will enrich the world around us. In January of 2017 the dialogue published the text, Justified in Jesus Christ (University of Mary Press), which highlights convergences about theological issues related to justification. The current round is considering various topics regarding Ethics and anticipates it will conclude with the publication of a second text in the next few years. Bishop David D. Kagan of the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, is the Catholic Co-Chair of this dialogue, and Fr. Walter Kedjierski staffs this dialogue on behalf of the SEIA. We are grateful for the support of the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Mn. which has agreed to underwrite the expenses for this dialogue.


Link to our collaborative partner: The National Association of Evangelicals


Baptists and Catholics have been working together for many years in different forms: congregational cooperation on local levels, efforts to support marriage and the family, joint educational projects in a variety of educational contexts, joint efforts in social service, and public policy concerns.

The USCCB began working with the Interfaith Evangelism Department of the Southern Baptist Convention (formerly, Interfaith Witness) in 1971, and initiated conversations in 1978. The final set of conversations, with the expressed purpose of honest clarification of differences and mutual understanding, began in 1994 and ended in 2001. Topics included the environment, poverty, racism, life, and sickness, disability, and healing. Its last round discussed issues pertaining to scripture and salvation.

Although no official dialogue exists at this time with Baptist groups, many avenues of communication and cooperation continue. The Conference is currently discerning possibilities for future dialogue with some Baptist groups.