Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Finance report approved with amendment

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 21 luglio 2009

The 13th Assembly of CEC approved the report of its finance committee on the afternoon of Monday 20 July. This decision followed lengthy discussion and a series of votes amending one sentence dealing with consequences for member churches that fail to meet minimum standards for financial support of the Conference of European Churches. One practical dimension of this measure applies to bodies like the Russian Orthodox Church, which has suspended its membership pending the outcome of negotiations over the standing of Estonian Orthodox communities in CEC. The language of the report as originally proposed contained a recommendation that representatives of churches neglecting the minimum standard for contributions would be denied the right to vote, would not be invited to participate in CEC-sponsored events and would not receive subsidies from CEC for travel or lodging expenses. Elizabeth Fisher, moderator of CEC’s Churches in Dialogue Commission, moved an amendment deleting the refusal to extend invitations to CEC-sponsored events. She argued that dialogue was an essential part of the ecumenical vocation and that no church should be banned from the prospect of such engagement. After complex deliberations, the assembly acted to remove the clause on invitations. Assembly advisors also warned that the proposed denial of the right to vote faces constitutional obstacles and is a matter that must be referred to CEC’s central committee. The financial report also called for careful monitoring of CEC’s budget in light of the global financial crisis and the expenditures arising from the 13th Assembly in Lyon. The report underlined a stipulation in planning for a special constitutional assembly in 2013 that such a meeting is contingent on CEC leadership identifying sources of funds to support it.

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