The “Charta Œcumenica – Guidelines for the Growing Cooperation among the Churches in Europe“, signed in 2001 by the presidents of CCEE and CEC, is a fundamental document that seeks to preserve and develop brotherhood between the European churches. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Charta, 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 give thanks to God “for the peace we have experienced and the achievements of the global ecumenical movement “.
“As churches redefine their ministry in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, – the two Presidents – reaffirm “together and in a spirit of unity our commitment to witness to Christ as our Saviour and to his promise of a transformed life in the power of the Holy Spirit”, aware that “Old and new church divisions are in need of healing, societal and economic inequalities call for the transformation of our attitudes and structures. The continued threats to democracy and the natural environment demand a renewed attention to the wholeness of life. The resurgence of armed conflicts and terrorist attacks in some parts of the continent in recent years require repentance, forgiveness and justice.”
Finally, they call for prayer that all may be one: “we desire to be instruments for this unity and commit ourselves anew to the strengthening of church fellowship through common prayer and action, whilst offering our service to the world in promotion of justice and peace.”
As part of the celebrations for this anniversary, the CCEE and CEC are organising an online ecumenical service scheduled to take place on 22 April 2021 from 19:00 to 20:30 (CEST). All churches and ecumenical partners are invited to participate in the event, which is entitled: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer“, inspired by the verse from Romans 12.12.
To mark the occasion, a booklet containing the Order of Service and ecumenical reflections on the Guidelines will be published. The booklet, available for free download on the CCEE and CEC websites in English, French, German and Italian, is intended for churches and can be used throughout the year for local celebrations.
To take part in the event, please register at the following link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__lClRISEQW2ofhF2ufA0aA
or follow the Livestream on YouTube at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmNjQop8IRofn3WO4mIDLzg
Attached, please find the text of the Joint Statement.