Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry(Faith and Order Paper no. 111; Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1982; also available online) is the product of a fifty-year process of ecumenical study and consultation sponsored by the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches addressing the three most significant ecclesiological barriers to full communion between the churches. The text was recommended unanimously by over 100 theologians representing virtually all major church traditions at a plenary meeting of the WCC Faith and Order Commission in Lima, Peru in 1982. Along with the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran World Federation, and World Methodist Council), BEM is one of the two most significant advances attained in ecumenical dialogue thus far and is easily the most widely distributed and studied of all ecumenical documents. It has served as the basis for several “mutual recognition” agreements between communions.
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