Thursday, 26 May 2011

10 Years Since the Charta Oecumenica

Cardinal Miloslav Vlk in Nový Knín, CzechiaImage via Wikipedia
Another article from the May edition of CTE News:

This year is the tenth anniversary of the Charta Oecumenica signed in Strasbourg on 22 April 2001 by the then presidents of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC), Cardinal Miloslav Vlk and Metropolitan Jérémie Caligiorgis respectively, at the end of a European ecumenical meeting and a long path of dialogue involving all the European churches.

The Charta Oecumenica has no dogmatic-magisterial character, nor is it legally binding under church law (cf. Introduction to the Charta Oecumenica). Its realisation is left to the free reception by Christians in Europe. Nevertheless, CCEE and CEC recognise in this document a step and an important aid for the Churches to achieve together that call to unity which is at the same time an obligation for all Christians and a gift of God to be requested incessantly. The Charta Oecumenica is a continual process of construction which, in one way or another, has already marked the ecumenical journey of various church communities in Europe as testified by the numerous translations (more than thirty: from Arabic to Castilian, from Greek to Esperanto) and the scores of churches, communities, church associations and movements which have signed the document.

The penetration of the Charta Oecumenica into the European church and social institutional fabric is such that it is now also quoted in documents by lay institutions as testified by the frequent recourse to it on the part of PACE (the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) in its 25 March 2011 report on The religious dimension of intercultural dialogue (cf. doc 12553 nn. 93, 94 ff.) In order to celebrate this anniversary together, CCEE and CEC decided to collaborate in organising an ecumenical seminar on 9 May at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) organised by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in collaboration with the Christian Churches in Switzerland Community of work. Participants at the meeting included the two General Secretaries of CCEE and CEC, Fr Duarte da Cunha (CCEE) and Revd Prof. Viorel Ionita (CEC), and speakers included the Bishop of Nanterre (France), Mgr Gérard Daucourt, and Pastor Daniel de Roche, President of the Synodal Council of the Canton of Fribourg, in a round table discussion on accomplishments and challenges for ecclesial communion in Europe.
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