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Document Details :
Title: Towards a Common Understanding of the Sacraments
Author(s): BRINKMAN, Martien E.
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 23 Issue: 1 Date: spring 1998
Robert Hotz, the author of a renowned study on the meaning of the sacraments in the Western and Eastern church, begins his article on the sacraments in the Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement in a striking way. He states that the differences in the meaning and practice of the sacraments can be 'the cause of some of the deepest and most stubborn divisions among churches.' Similarly, the Church of England, in its official response to the Lima Text on baptism, eucharist and ministry, states that 'only an explicit common understanding of the nature of the church and its role as a credible and effective sign, instrument and sacrament of salvation will provide a secure foundation for the reconciliation of the churches. It is within such an ecclesiological framework that the doctrinal convergences on baptism, eucharist and ministry will have to be set.'