Address by Cardinal Daly for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

23 Jan 2001

Address by Cardinal Cahal Daly for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

23 January 2001

“About this date in 1998 we had heated debate about the document, One Bread One Body. In this year 2001 we have new controversy about the Declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called Dominus Jesus. I suggest that the challenge for us in this year’s Church Unity Week, the first of the third millennium, is to see what lessons we can draw from these controversies, and how we can turn them from set-backs into incentives for new ecumenical effort”;  said Cardinal Cahal Daly, speaking at an ecumenical service at St Mary and St Peter’s Church, Arklow, for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

He continued: “The speed of communication in our age is a great achievement of modern information technology and can be an immense factor for good. At the same time it places great problems on the shoulders of conscientious journalists. A declaration about Church doctrine… is released to the public at a press conference in Rome and then transmitted through the world press. The resultant headlines are predictable and it is these which create the first impressions the general public receive about the text in question.”

“First reports and early headlines, followed by first reactions, can given the document a label which is very hard to detatch and give the debate a direction which is nearly impossible later to change. Dominus Jesus suffered even more than most documents of its kind in this process. I am not suggesting that there is any malice in this process at any level; but clearly theological dialogue is extremely difficult in this kind of context. More thought needs to be given to the method of publication and distribution of Roman documents.”, he says.

Concluding his introduction Cardinal Daly comments:  “I believe that it is now possible and timely to pause and read the document more calmly and make a balanced appraisal of it.”

Cardinal Daly’s address goes on to explore four main points:

Inter-Church Dialogue.
Inter-Church Relations.
Harmony with Council and Pope.
“Excess” and “Defect” in Churches.

The full text of Cardinal Daly’s address entitled “The Lord Jesus: The Peace Between Us” is available on request.


Further information:

Fr Martin Clarke     087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm     087 233 7797