World

Europe celebrates twenty years of ecumenism

The Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the "Charta Œcumenica".

David Fernández Alonso-April 12, 2021-Reading time: 3 minutes
ecumenical letter

Photo: ©2021 Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae

The "Charta Œcumenica - Guidelines for increasing cooperation between the Churches in Europe."signed in 2001 by the presidents of the CCEE and the CEC, is a fundamental document that seeks to preserve and develop the fraternity between the European Churches.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Charter, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE), and Rev. Christian Krieger, president of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), have issued a joint statement in which they rejoice and thank God "for the peace we have experienced and for the achievements of the worldwide ecumenical movement."

Together in spirit

"As the Churches redefine their ministry in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic," the two presidents reaffirmed "together and in a spirit of unity our commitment to witness to Christ as our Savior and His promise of a life transformed in the power of the Holy Spirit," mindful that "old and new divisions in the Church need healing, social and economic inequalities require transformation of our attitudes and structures."

Continuing threats to democracy and the natural environment demand renewed attention to the totality of life. The resurgence of armed conflicts and terrorist attacks in some parts of the continent in recent years calls for repentance, forgiveness and justice."

May we be instruments of unity

Finally, they invite us to pray that all may be one: "we want to be instruments of this unity and commit ourselves anew to strengthening ecclesial communion through common prayer and action, while offering our service to the world for the promotion of justice and peace".

An ecumenical anniversary event

As part of the celebrations of this anniversary, CCEE and CEC have organized an online ecumenical meeting on April 22, 2021 from 19:00 to 20:30 (CEST).

All churches and ecumenical partners are invited to participate in the event, entitled: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer", inspired by the verse from St. Paul's letter to the Romans 12:12.

For the occasion, a booklet will be published with materials from the ecumenical gathering, as well as reflections on the Guidelines. The booklet, which can be downloaded free of charge from the CCEE and CEC websites in English, French, German and Italian, is intended for the churches and can be used throughout the year for local celebrations.

We publish below the Joint Declaration of the Presidents of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences and the Conference of European Churches:

Twentieth anniversary of the Charta Œcumenica

"In the last twenty years, the European continent has generally experienced a period of peace, along with an improvement in ecumenical relations. This has been demonstrated in areas of everyday life such as common witness, action in local ecumenism, as well as interfaith marriages. Several theological agreements have been reached and a new generation of theologians has been formed ecumenically. Various interfaith initiatives have flourished. Churches have strengthened their work for a just and peaceful world, not least because of the growing movement of people from other continents, and have increased their efforts to care for creation. The message of the Charta Oecumenica has contributed and reinvigorated all this growth and transformation. For the peace we have experienced and the achievements of the worldwide ecumenical movement, we rejoice and give thanks to God our Creator.

As we strive for the Kingdom of God, our societies and Churches continue to be challenged by our human sin and all kinds of division. Old and new divisions in the Church need healing, social and economic inequalities require transformation of our attitudes and structures. Continuing threats to democracy and the natural environment demand renewed attention to the totality of life. The resurgence of armed conflicts and terrorist attacks in some parts of the continent in recent years calls for repentance, forgiveness and justice. In the face of these realities, as churches redefine their ministry in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, let us reaffirm together and in a spirit of unity our commitment to witness to Christ as our Savior and to his promise of a life transformed in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Following the will of our Lord expressed in John 17 and in the Charta Oecumenica "that they may all be one," we are aware that Christian unity is not only the result of our human efforts. At the same time, this unity, for which Jesus prayed and suffered, must be perceptible in this world. In this sense, we want to be instruments of this unity and commit ourselves anew to strengthening ecclesial communion through common prayer and action, while at the same time offering our service to the world for the promotion of justice and peace."

In collaboration with
Do you want independent, truthful and relevant news?

Dear reader, Omnes reports with rigor and depth on religious news. We do a research work that allows the reader to acquire criteria on the events and stories that happen in the Catholic sphere and the Church. We have star signatures and correspondents in Rome who help us to make the background information stand out from the media noise, with ideological distance and independence.

We need you to face the new challenges of a changing media landscape and a reality that demands reflection, we need your support.

In collaboration with
More on Omnes
La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.