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Differences on ordained ministry 'main obstacle' to ecumenism

Differing views of ordained ministry present the main obstacle to ecumenical progress between Catholics and Protestants, even following a breakthrough doctrinal accord in 1999, participants in a Rome conference said.

Sponsored by the Benedictine St Anselm University and the Waldensian theological school in Rome, this week's conference focused on how the sacraments are understood by Catholics and Protestants.

Attended by scholars from around the world, the conference coincided with the two-year anniversary of the signing of a joint declaration by Catholic and Lutheran leaders on the doctrine of justification, the theological understanding of how people are saved.