Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 259

Patriarch proposes for way of cooperation

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 20 luglio 2009

His All Holiness Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, has proposed “a better organized and structured way of cooperation” between Roman Catholics and some 120 Orthodox, Old Catholic, Anglican and Protestant churches that are members of the Conference of European Churches (CEC). Patriarch Bartholomew warned that “procrastination cannot be justified. On the contrary, the collaboration between our churches and their cooperation with the European leaders active in the fields of politics, the economy and society is essential and urgent.” Absent a united witness, he said, Europeans will find themselves “without Christian spiritual values which touch on everything concerning the support and protection of human beings and their identity.” The Ecumenical Patriarch recalled that his predecessors have publicly encouraged the Roman Catholic Church to join CEC since 1979. Admitting that “such a step is not a simple matter”, he argued for “a conference of all the European churches”. Departing briefly from his prepared text, the patriarch greeted Philippe Cardinal Barbarin, the Catholic archbishop of Lyon, and asked the cardinal to transmit his proposal to those with the necessary authority to deliberate and act upon it. As the Archbishop of Constantinople, the Ecumenical Patriarch is considered first among equals in the councils of Eastern Orthodox primates. He spoke on Saturday 19 July to the 13th Assembly of CEC as part of a celebration of the Conference’s 50th anniversary. The speech came in the wake of CEC’s decision on Thursday to begin a four-year process of fundamental re-organization and renewal.  Emphasizing that the Lord himself  “enjoins us to do everything in our power to re-establish full communion between the Christian churches in Europe”, the Ecumenical Patriarch reaffirmed the Orthodox commitment to seeking Christian unity in faith and action. He praised the work of CEC and the European conference of Catholic bishops in adopting the Charta Oecumenica, an agreement on means of cooperation among all churches. However, he conceded that the document’s recommendations are little-known at the congregational level and need to be communicated more broadly.


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