Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 255

Posts Tagged ‘Conference of European Churches’

Orthodox Handbook on Ecumenism to be presented at 10th WCC Assembly in Busan

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 10 novembre 2013

Volos. Basilika

Volos. Basilika (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Orthodox and ecumenical scholars are to present the Orthodox Handbook on Theological Education and Ecumenism at the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Busan, Republic of Korea on Wednesday, 6 November.The work was coordinated by an editorial group from the different Orthodox and ecumenical organizations including the WCC and the Conference of European Churches along with a team from Volos Academy in Greece. The Regnum Studies in Global Christianity pulication explores the issues that the global church struggles with, focusing particularly on churches in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.The presentation will take in Busan’s Bexco conference centre in Busan at which xxxx will be present.The group completed its final work during September in a meeting at the Ecumenial Centre in Geneva.The series publishes studies that will help the global church learn not only from past and present, but also from provocative and prophetic voices for the future. The editors and the publisher particularly pray that the series as a public space will encourage the southern churches to make an important contribution to the shaping of a healthy future for global Christianity. The editors invite theological seminaries and universities from around the world to submit relevant scholarly dissertations for possible publication in the series. It is hoped that the series will provide a forum for South-to-South as well as South-to-North dialogues.The handbook will provide an essential new tool to work out proper teaching curriculums and essential readings for courses on relations to other churches, ecumenical dialogue and World Christianity in Orthodox churches. The preparation of the resource book is a project of the WCC Programme on Ecumenical Theological Education (WCC/ETE) in cooperation with the Conference of European Churches and Volos Academy.Present at the 17 to 19 September editorial meeting at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva were: Father Thomas FitzGerald, Professor of Church History and Ecumenical Theology at Hellenic College in Maryland, USA; Nikolaos Asproulis, from the Academy for Theological Studies, Volos, Greece; Pantelis Kalaitzidis, Director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies in Greece; Guy Liagre, General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches and Dietrich Werner, Programme Coordinator for Ecumenical Theological Education at the WCC.
The Series editors are Ruth Padilla DeBorst, President, Latin American Theological Fraternity, Santiago, Chile; Hwa Yung, Bishop, The Methodist Church in Malaysia; Petaling Jaya, Malaysia; Wonsuk Ma, Executive Director, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, UK; Damon So, Research Tutor, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Oxford, UK; Miroslav Volf, Director, Yale Center for Faith and Culture, New Haven, MA, USA.

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The terrible rail catastrophe that has hit Spain

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 31 luglio 2013

The General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches, Revd. Dr Guy Liagre, expressed deep sorrow and his full solidarity after the terrible rail catastrophe that has hit Spain. He called on all CEC Member Churches to remember the victims of yesterday’s horrific train crash near Santiago de Compostela that cost at least 77 lives in their services this Sunday.The Conference of European Churches sent a message of condolence and solidarity to the families and friends of the victims: “We ask God to give faith, strength and comfort to deal with such painful moments.” He underlined the support and compassion to the Spanish brothers and sisters and shares the grief of the victims’ families.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a communion of 115 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all European countries, and 40 associated organisations. It was founded in 1959 and the CEC has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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Youth in Europe: What are we waiting for?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2013

The 14th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches has taken notice of the grave social consequences of the current economic crisis in Europe and the radical increase in the number of people in despair, some even taking their own lives. The economic crisis in Europe and beyond is now going on for more than five years. In 2012 we have even experienced another recession phase which means that unemployment is continually rising. This situation has immense repercussions on people’s welfare and especially on young people. Because of youth unemployment youth in Europe, in particular migrant and ethnic minority youth, are at risk of becoming a lost generation. Being unemployed effects a young person’s sense of identity, strips them of their dignity in society and removes their hope of future prospects. The CEC Assembly appreciates the recent initiative of the EU Commission as outlined in the communication “Working together for Europe’s young people – A call to action on youth unemployment (2013)” underpinned by a specific fund for regions with severe unemployment rates.CEC encourages all churches to offer opportunities and support to young people seeking employment. Churches can give young people hope when they do not see a way forward, and we wish to urge churches to resource efforts to give young people a renewed sense of hope. By investing in the young generation we ensure long term growth in the future. Churches should identify their role in overcoming the increasing youth poverty and promote social justice and solidarity.

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Collective complaint to the European Committee of Social Rights

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2013

The Committee of the European Social Charter of the Council of Europe (Strasbourg) has declared admissible a case on the situation of undocumented migrants in the Netherlands, presented by the Conference of European Churches (CEC). Upon request of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PCN), the Conference of European Churches (CEC) has submitted on 17 January 2013 a “collective complaint” to the European Committee of Social Rights (called below “the Committee”) of the Council of Europe (CoE), which seat is in Strasbourg.
CEC is one of the organisations authorized to lodge a collective complaint under the Revised Social Charter.”If a country really lacks resources, the international community must step in. The Netherlands is however a rich country. Expensive medical assistance is in principle available, whilst food and shelter is denied. Rejection of the destitute has nothing to do with the public recourses of the Netherlands. The State refuses to meet international standards to which it has voluntarily decided to bind itself, complying not even with the minimum core obligations.” told Rev. Richard Fischer from the Church and Society Commission of CEC

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CEC President and General Secretary show satisfaction with the journey

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2013

Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, outgoing president of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), has said the 14th Assembly in Budapest has been “a long but fruitful journey on the Danube”.At the end of the meeting, he said, CEC finds itself “sailing again with really favourable winds that will bring us to peaceful ports.”Rev. Dr Guy Liagre, speaking together with Metropolitan Emmanuel on Monday 8 July at the final press conference of the CEC Assembly, praised the skill of three moderators who chaired Assembly sessions on the central issue of adopting a new constitution.Initially, Liagre explained, strict parliamentary procedure threatened to make it “difficult to find a way out, amid the many amendments that were presented.”“But we were led by three moderators who were so flexible that they could find a modus vivendi acceptable to all the delegates,” said Liagre, crediting this leadership for the Assembly’s “positive results.”The moderator and co-moderators of the constitutional deliberations were Archbishop Dr Michael Jackson (Church of Ireland), the Very Rev. Dr Sheilagh Kesting (Church of Scotland) and the Rev. Dr John Chryssavgis (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople).At the press conference, the CEC president addressed feelings of “bitterness for some people” experienced in the Assembly over changing constitutional approaches to the relationship between the Conference and other associations, especially groups representative of women and youth.Provisions in the new CEC legal document, observed Metropolitan Emmanuel, are not perfect: “There is a lot still to be done. There is also room for improvement.” He cautioned that in attempting to heal relationships, “we look for light, not fire.” Discussion must not dissolve into emotionalism.Liagre added, “Youth organisations represent youth, but churches also represent youth.” Young people and other particular groups of believers, he suggested, are not to be treated as separate from the churches but as constituent members of the Body of Christ.</p>

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CEC to move its Secretariat from Geneva to Brussels

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 8 luglio 2013

The Conference of European Churches has approved a new constitution that makes provision for CEC to move its Secretariat from Geneva to Brussels.
In the preamble to a newly adopted constitution, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) commits itself anew “to help the European Churches to share their spiritual life, to strengthen their common witness and service, and to promote the unity of the Church and peace in the world.”The 14th Assembly of CEC in Budapest, Hungary replaced a previous CEC legal basis drafted in 1992 and last amended in 2009. Assembly delegates are representatives from the nearly 120 CEC member churches and federations of churches. The original offices that have been in Geneva, Switzerland since CEC’s founding in 1959 will be merged “as soon as possible” into the Conference’s location in Brussels, Belgium, home of the European Union and related institutions. The legal steps necessary under Swiss and Belgian law may delay the final move for two to three years; however, this is a rough estimate.It is proposed that an existing office in Strasbourg, France will continue CEC’s relations with the Council of Europe and other agencies, subject to legal and financial contingencies.A Governing Board of 20 members will replace the larger CEC Central Committee. The board will gather at least twice annually to conduct business between General Assemblies to be held every five years. The governing bodies will be led by a President and two Vice-presidents.The General Secretary will oversee daily work through the Secretariat in Brussels.Existing commissions that make up CEC will be restructured into a more unified system. Conversations will continue with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) which works closely with CEC and has considered merger with the Conference.Five days of consideration and redrafting in groups large and small culminated in the “third hearing” of the constitution throughout Sunday afternoon and evening. During this “hearing” the text literally was read aloud and projected on a screen as delegates made final amendments and adjustments.Some participants from associated organisations representing youth, women and other streams of the ecumenical movement expressed dismay at the new constitution’s approach to “Organisations in Partnership”. They voiced the suspicion that this categorization, as defined in the document, would serve to disenfranchise these groups in comparison to the role of CEC member churches.

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Churches should not judge, but seek harmony, says Panama bishop

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 7 luglio 2013

Budapest – Churches can offer practical as well as spiritual support when there is conflict, the Episcopal Bishop of Panama, the Rt Rev. Julio Murray has told journalists.Speaking on Friday at a press conference during the 14th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, Murray set out his belief that churches can offer practical as well as spiritual support when there is conflict. “Churches are contributing a space for dialogue, where peoples can come together to answer questions, and even to raise other questions,” said Murray.”One of the most important things the churches can do is to be present at the table and to raise the issues of peace.” Bishop Julio, who was until recently President of the Latin American Council of Churches, gave Thursday’s keynote address to the CEC Assembly. He stressed the need for co-operation of churches from different traditions and regions of the world. During the Budapest Assembly delegates are being asked to approve a proposed new constitution for the future CEC.”Sharing in solidarity means that you do not have to walk along in making these decisions,” Bishop Julio said. “I want to reinforce how important the ecumenical movement is, based on prayer, partnership, in creating safe space, to be concerned of one another, to be supportive of one another.”He reiterated a call for the Church to use a prophetic voice to denounce what is wrong in the world, and to promote the concept of good living rather than living well. When asked about the current international incident between Bolivia and several EU countries, widely reported in the international media today, the bishop was diplomatic in his response.”Churches should not blame or judge but try to find the solution which can try to find a harmony in our relationship for peace.” He stressed the important role that churches can have in seeking better communication and better opportunities for identifying new avenues to build peace.

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CEC Assembly opens with Gathering Service of worship

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 5 luglio 2013

Prayers, scripture lessons and a sermon that began in Hungarian and ended in German were accompanied by hymns and intercessions in a multitude of languages. These were key elements of the opening service at the 14th Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) in Budapest. The “Gathering service” at the Hungarian Reformed Church on Pozsonyi Street, on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 3, marked the beginning of six days of decision-making during which delegates from nearly 120 Anglican, Baptist, Old Catholic and Orthodox churches will consider proposals for their common future in Europe. Representatives of committed ecumenical partners, including the Roman Catholic Church, were also present for opening prayer.The procession at the start of the service was led by some of the more youthful participants in the assembly, stewards from many churches who have volunteered to undertake some of the week’s most taxing work. They were followed by CEC officers and members of the Hungarian host committee.The sermon, on an incident in the life of the Apostle Paul recorded in Acts 22:14-16, was preached by Bishop József Steinbach, president of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Hungary and bishop of the Trans-Danubian district of the Hungarian Reformed Church. His focus was on the theme of the CEC Assembly, taken from Acts: “And now, what are you waiting for?”Bishop Steinbach encouraged the assembly to approach the question first posed to Paul from three points of view: “from the point of view of the passage” itself, set in the past, but “then from the point of view of our changed world in which our churches serve; and finally from the point of view of where these two meet.” In this way, he explained, the question is no longer aimed solely at the apostle, but at our churches today, and at us as individual Christians: “What should we do? How should we proceed? How can we become witnesses to His will in this changed world, without delay?” For Europeans, and people throughout the contemporary world, another central question is: “How can we live together in peace” despite the modern problems that face us and the challenging diversity of our societies?Like Paul, Christians are called to bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. According to Steinbach, Christian witness should permeate society through believers’ loving service rather than through aggressive attempts at mission. Paul was “flexible, but only within certain limits”. His witness was marked by “determination and love” as well as “complete reliance upon the Lord”.At the same time, the bishop continued, Paul’s witness to the world of his time relied on “careful planning in order to be as efficient as possible”, and this provides direction for CEC and similar church bodies as they seek to transform their structures and strategies. He closed by asking for God’s blessing “so that we are able to hold discussions and come to decisions in the spirit of the Scripture’s message.”A hymn written for the Budapest Assembly by composer Peter Arendt of Denmark was premiered at the service and raised the question once again: “What are you waiting for? Is something stopping you? Called to be one, one in Christ! What are you waiting for?”
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a communion of 115 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all European countries, and 40 associated organisations. It was founded in 1959 and the CEC has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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Churches, scientists, and politicians discuss human enhancement

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 aprile 2012

The building of the European Parliament in Bru...

The building of the European Parliament in Brussels, Espace Léopold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From 25-27 April 2012, around 50 representatives mainly from European churches but also from other religions and the fields of politics, ethics, and science, will meet in Brussels to discuss the pros and cons of human enhancement. The conference is organized by the Church and Society Commission (CSC) of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), a platform in which a range of Christian denominations in Europe work together. A visit to the European Parliament, including a discussion with representatives of different political parties, is included.Through the use of nanotechnology, genetic screening and engineering, implanted computer devices, and other techniques, human beings can now live longer, more comfortably, and can perform better. Part of the expectations on this so called “human enhancement” may be too pretentious, but even so, human enhancement does exist and develops rapidly. Should we be happy about these techniques? Will they contribute to better relationships, happier people, and more humane societies? Do they lead to a blurred distinction between humans and machines – and if so, is this good or bad? What about the financial costs? And will human enhancement lead to a new anthropology and a changed view on God and religion? Does it challenge traditional religious views?
The aim of the conference is to listen, discuss, and to explore possible points of moral agreement and concern. The aim is not to formulate final normative statements. Participants from 18 countries will take home both up to date factual information and normative insights. Within the context of the CEC, a task force of church representatives will continue to discuss questions of biotechnology in the year to come and help member churches and other stakeholders to form their own opinions. Directly after the conference, on Friday at 14.00, a bulletin will be issued containing conclusions and recommendations.

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President of CEC expresses condolences to the people of Liege

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 dicembre 2011

Deutsch: Ansichten von Lüttich, Belgien. Engli...

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His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, President of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), has sent a letter to Rev. Dr Guy Liagre, the President of the Eglise Protestante Unie de Belgique expressing his shock upon learning of yesterday’s violence in Liege. He sends his profound condolences to “the families and the friends of the killed, to the wounded, to the people of Liege and of the country as a whole. We share in their pain and our thoughts and prayers are with them”.Metropolitan Emmanuel went on to say that the whole fellowship of CEC wishes “God’s blessing and strength for the churches and religious communities in Belgium as they participate in accompanying victims and relatives as well as of offering counselling and hope to the people after such a rampage.We are living in the time of Advent, waiting for Jesus Christ to become incarnate, ‘the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9, 6). May the expectation of his coming enfold you and the people of Belgium in its strength”.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 125 Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant, and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, and of 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg

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European churches commit to dialogue and reflection on human rights and dignity

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 dicembre 2011

Deutsch: Außenansicht Seminaris Hotel Bad Boll

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Some 60 representatives of Christian churches from 14 European countries met in the Protestant Academy in Bad Boll, Germany, to discuss the different confessional perspectives on the Christian understanding of human rights. There were different approaches to the understanding of human dignity and human value but there was agreement that the Churches need to be strong advocates for the protection of international human rights standards. The question of how to understand and protect human rights became very concrete during the conference when some of the participants gave witness about their personal experiences involving violations of fundamental rights: e.g. the deprivation of freedom of opinion and expression in the context of violence during civil wars and the persecution of Christians. Speakers at the conference included Archbishop Feofan of Berlin and Germany of the Moscow Patriarchate, Rev. Dr. h.c. Thomas Wipf, the President of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe, and Rev. Rüdiger Noll, Director of the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches. The Conference was welcomed by Bishop Dr. h.c. Frank Otfried July from the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg. The participants in the conference expressed their intention to continue the dialogue in order to support the churches to strengthen their work in the human rights’ area. The conference in the Protestant Academy, Bad Boll, was co-organised by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CSC of CEC), the Moscow Patriarchate and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 125 Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant, and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, and of 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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Vital role for churches

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 11 ottobre 2011

Council of Europe Palais de l'Europe aerial vi...

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The Conference on Education for Democratic Citizenship – a role for the churches? took place from October 5-7 in Strasbourg. Organised by the Church and Society Commission (CSC) of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the conference brought together members of churches and church organisations, clergy, lay, NGOs and academics, to discuss and debate how the church can act as a responsible part of civil society. This was confirmed through a dialogue with representatives of the institutions of the Council of Europe and a member of the cabinet of the EU Commissioner responsible for education. The timing of this dialogue is right, in view of the pending launch of the budget for education, which will be raised by 75% to 15,2 bn € (see note 1). One very encouraging outcome of the conference was the achievement of openness on the part of the officials of the EU and of local government to keep the dialogue with the churches going. That is a promise for the future. http://ec.europa.eu/education/news/news2992_en.htm

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Education for democratic citizenship

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 4 ottobre 2011

Strasbourg

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The Conference on Education for Democratic Citizenship – a role for churches will take place from 5-7 October in Strasbourg, organised by the Church and Society Commission (CSC) of the Conference of European Churches (CEC). The main issues that the church experts are going to discuss include: how churches can be involved in “translating” democratic citizenship into everyday life and the relationship between Christianity, citizenship and education, reflecting on the work done in this field by European organisations. Those CEC members who are active in the field and have long-standing experience will present their projects, such as EYCE, Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women, Church of Cyprus, Oikos etc. The aim of this project is to start the implementation of the CSC strategy on citizenship and democratisation and to help the participants understand more clearly what Education for Democratic Citizenship is about and how churches can contribute to it. Goals will also be identified for the future work of the EDC Working Group and possible specific actions to be performed by churches or church-related bodies will be discussed.

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Planning the future of CEC

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 27 settembre 2011

Serbian Orthodox church in Niška Banja, Serbia.

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The Revd Prof. Dr Viorel Ionita, CEC Interim General Secretary, will retire on 31 October 2011. The Central Committee noted that he had graciously extended his term at the time of the resignation of the former General Secretary and thanked him for his service. The Central Committee voted on a temporary structure for leadership of the General Secretariat of CEC upon Dr Ionita’s retirement. The Presidency of CEC will be responsible for this structure which will be reviewed at the next Central Committee meeting in January 2012. The report of the Assembly Planning Committee on the upcoming CEC Constitutional Assembly was received and the decision was taken for this Assembly to be held from 3-8 July 2013 in Budapest, Hungary.
The Central Committee received a letter from His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, President of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. In this letter His Holiness expressed immediate concern for peace and security for the area of South Eastern Europe as the indigenous Serbian people and the Serbian Orthodox Church advocate for keeping the administrative border under the control of the UN forces thus avoiding threats to the stability of the area. A letter of support was sent to Patriarch Irinej indicating the Central Committee’s commitment to stand in solidarity with the Orthodox and other non-Albanian communities in South Eastern Europe as well as to promote dialogue with CEC member churches in the area.
The activity reports from the Interim General Secretary, the Directors of the Church and Society Commission, the Churches in Dialogue Commission and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe were received by the Central Committee. The Committee also received financial reports and adopted the CEC Budget as well as the Working Priorities for 2012.
The next meeting of the CEC Central Committee will take place from 24-25 January 2012 in Geneva.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959 and has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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A common future for the churches in Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 settembre 2011

A view of the interior of St. Vitus Cathedral ...

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Prague, Czech Republic 21-24 September 2011 Central Committee of CEC to meet in Prague, Czech Republic
“The Central Committee of CEC is not only the highest authority of this organisation between General Assemblies but also the largest and most inclusive platform for exchange and reflection in Europe. At its meeting in Prague the CEC Central Committee will have to take a lot of decisions for the future cooperation with all churches in Europe, as well as to reflect on how the churches should respond to the challenges the whole world is struggling with today”, said Rev. Dr Viorel Ionita, CEC Interim General Secretary. The comprehensive task for this Central Committee will be first of all to decide on a clear direction for CEC to follow in the coming years. One of the primary steps for moving in this direction will be the election of a new Interim General Secretary. In accessing how CEC and its member churches can work more effectively together for the common future of the churches in Europe, the Central Committee will receive reports from the CEC Revision Working Group and the Assembly Planning Committee which are working on the preparations for the 14th Assembly of CEC along with a report on the working priorities for 2012.
The Central Committee will also receive reports from the Interim General Secretary, the Church and Society Commission (CSC), the Churches in Dialogue Commission (CiD) as well as a report from the Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME). A special highlight of the meeting will be a time for discussion between the Central Committee members and representatives from the churches in the Czech Republic.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959 and has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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New Evangelisation of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 13 settembre 2011

The Skanderbeg square in downtown Tirana, Alba...

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Tirana (Albania) Thursday 29 September to Sunday 2 October the next Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) from at the invitation of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tirana and President of the Albanian Bishops’ Conference, Mgr Rrok Mirdita. Following the historic visit of Blessed John Paul II in 1993, the CCEE meeting will be, according to the local Church, the most important church event in recent years for Albania, due to the number of Cardinals and Bishops who will be participating. Confirmation of the importance the meeting holds for the country is shown by the desire of the President of the Republic of Albania, MrBamir Myrteza Topi, to meet the European prelates on Friday 30 September and the announced presence of the Prime Minister, Mr Sali Ram Berisha, at the opening of the meeting on 29 September.
In the year of CCEE’s 40th anniversary (1971-2011), which will be marked by a gathering in Rome on 22 November, the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe members of CCEE will elect the new CCEE Presidency for the quinquennial period 2011-2016 (from Plenary to Plenary). All the current Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences are eligible for the posts of President and the two Vice-presidents.
The second part of the meeting will focus instead on CCEE’s service to the Church in Europe with presentations about the activities of the various CCEE Commissions: from CEEM (the European Episcopal Commission for Media); from the Caritas in veritate Commission (migration, safeguarding creation, justice and peace); the “Catechesis, school and university” Commission and from the European Vocations Service (EVS). There will also be presentations about the outcomes of the 11th meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of South-east Europe and the 13th meeting of the Bishops of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. In the course of the meeting CCEE’s agenda and activities for 2012 will be proposed and discussed, highlighting: the next Symposium of African and European bishops (Rome, 13-17 February 2012) and the Catechetical Congress (Rome, 7-10 May 2012). As regards CCEE’s work in the sphere of ecumenical dialogue, as well as dialogue with the Conference of European Churches (CEC), there will be a presentation of the book containing the Acta of the 2nd European Catholic-Orthodox Forum (Rhodes, Greece, 18-22 October 2010) on the theme Church-State relations: historical and theological perspectives, and a decision will also be taken about the Catholic delegation which will participate in the3rd European Catholic-Orthodox Forum scheduled for Lisbon, Portugal, 4-8 June 2012. The meeting will also appoint members of the Organising Committee for the 2nd European Social Days organised along with ComECE and scheduled for 2013.
During the meeting, the Presidents will also receive some brief reports on recent visits undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI, in particular:Cardinal Josip Bozanić, Archbishop of Zagreb and CCEE Vice-president, will speak about Benedict XVI’s visit to Croatia (4-5 June);Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela will speak about World Youth Day (Madrid, 16-21 August) and the Bishop of Aachen, Mgr Heinrich Mussinghoff, about the Pope’s visit to Germany scheduled for 22-25 September. It will be an opportunity to assess the effects at a local level and reflect on the teaching imparted by the Pope during these meetings. Subsequently, along with His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, the bishops will reflect on how to help Christians in the Holy Land.
The days will be marked with moments of prayer and the celebration of Mass. In particular, the European prelates will celebrate daily Mass in the Cathedral along with the local community: Thursday 29 September at 1830; Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October at 0730; and Sunday 2 October at 1100.

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