Ecumenism

Looking for the unity of the Church by promoting meetings and developing friendships among people from other Christian denominations is a beautiful and urgent area of work. Working close with CEC (Conference of European Churches) and with the Orthodox Churches is an ongoing process which CCEE has been engaged in since its beginnings.

Several Ecumenical meetings and mainly three European Ecumenical Assemblies were organized jointly by CCEE and CEC.

Since 2008, CCEE has undertaken a path of dialogue with all the Orthodox Churches on the continent, aimed at a greater mutual awareness and definition of common positions on important social and moral issues concerning all men and women in Europe.

Also documents and declarations together with other Churches or Church organizations on social or pastoral fields has tried to highlight the unity of t Christians in so many fields and the urgency to work together for the common good.

CCEE collaborates in a special way in the ecumenical sphere with CEC, the Conference of European Churches, which comprises about 120 Orthodox Churches, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic ecclesial communities and associated organisations.

As well as various ecumenical meetings promoted together since 1959 and the three great ecumenical assemblies (Basle 1989; Graz 1997; Sibiu 2007) organized and promoted by the two bodies, CCEE signed with CEC the "Ecumenical Charter", considered to be an important stage in the development of ecumenical relationships in Europe.

Each year the CCEE Presidency, along with its Secretary General and a delegation of four people chosen by the Plenary Assembly, meets with a CEC representation composed of eight people, including also members of their Presidency and their Secretary General. Together they examine in depth from a theological perspective themes of a pastoral and social nature of major significance for the whole continent and search for common ways to tackle the daily challenges facing Christians in Europe.

In the course of their meetings, CCEE and CEC not only help to create a positive environment to favour ecumenism, but also contribute to the Church’s mission in the defence of life, the protection of religious freedom in Europe and in the promotion of the spiritual unity of Christianity in the continent.

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Since 2008, CCEE has undertaken a path of dialogue with all the Orthodox Churches on the continent, aimed at a greater mutual awareness and definition of common positions on important social and moral issues concerning all men and women in Europe.

Every two years a delegation of twelve Catholic bishops from different countries and some experts will meet with a delegation of representatives from all the Orthodox Churches in Europe, to discuss together an agreed theme and at the end prepare a joint message.

Through this Forum the Catholic and Orthodox Churches collaborate to defend Christian values in the European continent, thus challenging the moral relativism which has brought European society and culture under the influence of the process of secularization.

All the Acta have been published by EDB (Editoriale Dehoniane di Bologna).

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Since 1971, CCEE has been cooperating with CEC, the Conference of European Churches, founded in 1959. This is a communion of Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old-catholic Churches and associated bodies.

Since 1972, meetings of the CCEE-CEC Joint Committee take place annually. Under the authority of this Committee a number of ecumenical activities took places.

 

1. 2001 European Ecumenical meeting
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, UNTIL THE END OF THIS WORLD
Strasbourg, France, 17 to 22 April 2001

As a result, CCEE and CEC adopted the Charta Oecumenica (DEENFRIT)

For meetings from 1971 to 1993, see the following texts:
Various Authors, Les Églises d´Europe. L´engagement oecuménique, (edited by Helmult Steindl), Cerf, Paris, 1993.
Various Authors, Die Kirchen Europas. Ihr ökumenisches Engagement, (eingeleitet von Helmut Steindl), J.P. Bachem, Cologne, 1994.

 

2. The highest expression of this cooperation is represented by the three great European Ecumenical Assemblies:

- 2007 - Sibiu, Romania: The light of Christ shines upon all. Hope for renewal and unity in Europe – for further information go to the official website of the Assembly (www.eea3.org)


- 1997 - Graz, Austria: Reconciliation. Gift of God, source of new life. Final message (DE - EN - IT).

Also see the official records: Various Authors, Reconciliation. Gift of God, source of new life, (edited by Graziano Lingua), Pazzini, Verucchio (RN), 1998. 

- 1989 - Basel, Switzerland: Peace with justice. Final message (only DE)

Also see the official records : Various Authors, Peace with Justice, (published by CEC), London, 1989.

 

3. From 1986 up to 2008, CCEE and CEC have set up a Committee for relations with Muslims in Europe (CRME).

The first European Christian-Muslim Conference was held from 12 to 16 September 2001 in Sarajevo (Bosnia Herzegovina). The theme was: Christians and Muslims in Europe. Religious responsibility and commitment in a pluralist society. The proceedings of the Conference have been published in: Various Authors, Christians and Muslims in Europe, in Religions and Sects of the world (GRIS), Bologna, no.21/2001-2002.

A Second European Christian-Muslim Conference was held from 20 to 23 October 2008 in Malines/Brussels (Belgium). The theme was: Being a Citizen of Europe and a Person of Faith. Christians and Muslims as active Partners in European Societies.

Documents produced by this Committee:

Meeting Muslims ?, 2003 (PDF FILE: DE - EN - FR - IT)

Praying together, 2003 (PDF FILE: DE - EN - FR - IT)

The role of the Christian Churches in pluralist society as seen by the Muslims in Europe, 2001 (DE - EN - FR - IT)

The education of young Christians and Muslims in a pluralist Europe, 2000 (DE - EN - FR - IT)

Marriage between Christians and Muslims, 1997 (DE - EN - FR - IT)

From reciprocity to reconciliation, 1994-1995 (FR - IT)

The presence of Muslims in Europe and the theological training of pastoral workers, 1991 ( DEEN PDF - IT

The majority of these documents has been published in:Various Authors, Islam in Europe, in Religions and Sects of the world (GRIS), Bologna, no.19/1999-2000.



Other documents which were produced together with CEC were:

• The Guidelines for the Cooperation between CCEE and CEC (DE - EN - FR)

• A Letter to Women (1999) / DE - EN - FR

 

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