Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 106

Posts Tagged ‘World Council of Churches’

Governing Board holds first meeting in Geneva

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 novembre 2013

Ecumenical church centre in Langendorf SO, Swi...

Ecumenical church centre in Langendorf SO, Switzerland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Governing Board of the Conference of European Churches began its first meeting at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva on Tuesday.CEC President, the Rt Rev. Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford in England, who retires from the position on November 30, opened the proceedings with prayers in the chapel of the Ecumenical Centre.There, prayers were offered for those languishing in warring Syria, people suffering from the super typhoon in the Philippines and for the people of Europe who face debilitating economic conditions.
Until the 14th CEC Assembly in Budapest in June and July of this year the main governing body of CEC was its Central Committee. CEC’s new constitution replaces the Central Committee with the Governing Board.
Very Rev. Karin Burstrand, the Dean of Gothenburg in the Church of Sweden is one of the two vice-presidents along with His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel of France who stepped down as President.
World Council of Churches General Secretary, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, spoke to Board members later, exchanging views about ecumenical organisations undergoing change.
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a communion of 115 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all European countries, and 40 organisations in partnership. It was founded in 1959 and the CEC has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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To withdraw tactical nuclear weapons

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 marzo 2011

Four international and national ecumenical organisations, including the Conference of European Churches (CEC) have urged NATO to withdraw all remaining ca. 200 U.S. tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and to end their role in NATO strategies. This would be an important measure in endorsing the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons. The letter was signed by the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and the Canadian Council of Churches. The organisations refer to their “enduring commitment to nuclear disarmament.” On two previous occasions, the four organisations have addressed NATO on this matter in a joint letter, in March 2009 on the eve of NATO’s 60th anniversary and in October 2009. The new letter was sent in anticipation of the review of NATO’s nuclear policy that will be undertaken in 2011 as part of NATO reviewing its overall defense and deterrence posture. Last November, at its summit in Lisbon, NATO adopted a new Strategic Concept but could not agree on the future of its nuclear policy. Especially the issue of the remaining tactical nuclear weapons, which are located in five non-nuclear European member states, proved to be divisive. Whereas some countries, led by Germany, want them out and consider them leftovers from the Cold War that have no role in today’s NATO policy, other countries insist that they be kept, especially France and some new member states from the former communist part of Europe. Final decisions must be made at a NATO summit in 2012, probably in Chicago. In their letter, the four ecumenical organisations express their disappointment about the outcome of the Lisbon summit. While endorsing the goal of creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons, NATO also stated that it will remain a nuclear alliance as long as nuclear weapons exist. And no indication was given of whether NATO will change its existing nuclear policy and of how it plans to fulfill its re-affirmed commitment to arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. However, the four organisations welcome the 2011 defense and deterrence review as “a new opportunity for change that is long overdue and widely anticipated.” They make a number of specific recommendations. One step for NATO to make would be to commit itself to the new U.S. policy stating that nuclear weapons will not be used against non-nuclear weapon states that are party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and are in compliance with their NPT obligations. The letter notes that the new Strategic Concept has omitted language in earlier Concepts about nuclear weapons preventing ‘any kind of war’, which included non-nuclear threats. Also in its overall security strategy, NATO should reduce its reliance on nuclear weapons. The letter expresses concern about Russia’s much larger arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons and underlines the urgent need for transparency, relocation and reduction. However, the organisations warn against a linkage between NATO decisions and Russian steps, as the issue should not be tied up in potentially lengthy and complex negotiations. The four organisations have sent a similar letter to U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev.The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

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Death of Dr. Andréas Schneider

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 23 febbraio 2011

“It is with sadness that we have received the news of the death of one of our former colleagues here in CEC, Dr Andréas Schneider”, stated Rev. Dr. Viorel Ionita, Interim General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches (CEC).  Dr. Andréas Schneider died at the age of 97.  His funeral was held on 8 February 2011. Dr. Schneider was part of the initial team from the World Council of Churches (WCC) that worked on the beginning of CEC as an organisation, becoming Finance Officer of CEC.  Dr. Schneider was particularly interested in the area of unity among the churches in Europe. He served for a number of years on the Central Committee of CEC. Dr. Ionita said that, “Dr. Schneider’s work was invaluable for stabilizing CEC in its early years and we remain indebted to him for his service and continue to carry him in our memory.” The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 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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