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International Conference of Interchurch Families - 2001

The 10th International Conference of Interchurch Families was held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, from August 1 to 6, 2001. The delegates to this conference produced the following communiqué.

The Christian family is the "domestic church". Interchurch families are special families, participating in the life of two church communities (usually one partner is Roman Catholic and the other a Christian from another communion). We are enriched by this experience and also suffer the consequences of churches divided.

Interchurch families need specific pastoral understanding, in order to more fully bring to fruition their gifts in both member churches and to better meet the challenges inherent in "double belonging". Such pastoral understanding requires comprehensive and ongoing education that focuses on the nurture of family life within a spirit of unity amongst the churches.

During this conference, interchurch families from various cultures have celebrated the ecumenical advances of recent years and have continued to lay a path to Christian unity that we pray may be reflected in our churches. We appreciated the participation of Bishop Marc Ouellet, Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. We pray that the Holy Spirit will direct the churches and other ecclesial bodies as they consider the position of interchurch families.

Interchurch families experience an urgent need for pastoral understanding.

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