By World Council Of Churches

The results of a fifty-year technique of examine, this article represents the theological convergence that has been completed, via a long time of debate, less than the suggestions of the Holy Spirit.

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They may need to recover the sign of the episcopal succession. 54. Some churches ordain both men and women, others ordain only men. Differences on this issue raise obstacles to the mutual recognition of ministries. But those obstacles must not be regarded as substantive hindrance for further efforts towards mutual recognition. Openness to each other holds the possibility that the Spirit may well speak to one church through the insights of another. Ecumenical consideration, therefore, should encourage, not restrain, the facing of this question.

The laying on of hands is the sign of the gift of the Spirit, rendering visible the fact that the ministry was instituted in the revelation accomplished in Christ, and reminding the Church to look to him as the source of its commission. This ordination, how-ever, can have different intentions according to the specific tasks of bishops, presbyters and deacons as indicated in the liturgies of ordination. COMMENTARY (39) It is clear that churches have different practices of ordination, and that it would be wrong to single out one of those as exclusively valid.

The Spirit is the giver of diverse gifts which enrich the life of the community. In order to enhance their effectiveness, the community will recognize publicly certain of these charisms. While some serve permanent needs in the life of the community, others will be temporary. Men and women in the communities of religious orders fulfil a service which is of particular importance for the life of the Church. The ordained ministry, which is itself a charism, must not become a hindrance for the variety of these charisms.

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