The Eighth Report of the Joint Working Group between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches outlines the activities of the JWG between 1999-2005, and includes three completed study documents as well as some themes pursued and issues addressed.

A 17-19 November 2005 consultation held at Bossey, Switzerland, the site of the first JWG meeting in 1965, on the occasion of the Group's 40th anniversary, affirmed the JWG's Eighth Report, covering the period 1999-2005, and its recommendations.

First place among the recommendations is given to "the need to promote a return to the spiritual roots of ecumenism". What is needed, the report says, is "a renewed ecumenical spirituality based on the riches of our respective traditions," which should allow "enriching one another spiritually, through common prayer and other forms of spiritual sharing".

The second recommendation stresses that "greater effort is needed in the field of ecumenical formation". The report emphasizes the "importance of offering young people opportunities to be exposed to traditions other than their own, especially in shared programmes of formation, mission and service".

In the third place, and as an area of concern, the report stressed the need to follow closely the topic of "possibly church-dividing difficulties encountered in giving common witness in the field of personal and social moral issues". A list of those issues includes "bio-ethics, human, civil and religious rights, issues of peace, social justice, healing of memories, human sexuality and reproduction".

Finally, the report lists a number of "new challenges" that are demanding a response from Christians and "can be fruitfully examined by the next JWG". These are "inter-religious dialogue," "religious pluralism and, in some places, the increasing absence of God in cultural life," "the spread of modern technology and the power of the media," "the prevalence of injustice, different forms of violence and the fear induced by international terrorism".

Joint Working Group
between the Roman Catholic Church
and the World
Council of Churches

Eighth Report