To provide theological support for the Common Ground Initiative, the author explores an ancient practice, active participation by the faithful in the process of ecclesial discernment. Cyprian of Carthage consulted broadly and sought communal consensus on such matters as the election of bishops, the readmission of the lapsed, and the deposition of unworthy bishops. Such consultation was considered an essential element in the Church's own fidelity to God.
Fitzgerald, Paul J. S.J., "A Model for Dialogue: Cyprian of Carthage on Ecclesial Discernment" (1998). Religious Studies Faculty Publications. 4.
Fitzgerald, Paul. "A Model for Dialogue: Cyprian of Carthage on Ecclesial Discernment." Theological Studies 59.2 (1998): 236-253.