10 years since the Charta Oecumenica
Issued jointly with the Conference of European Churches
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 have decided to collaborate in organising an ecumenical seminar which will take place 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 will include the two General Secretaries of CCEE and CEC, Fr Duarte da Cunha (CCEE) and Revd Prof. Viorel Ionita (CEC), and speakers will include 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.
The programme is attached.
.:. Text of the Charta Oecumenica (DE - EN - FR - IT)
For further information please contact:
CEC General Secretariat
phone: +41 22 791 6228
Mr. Thierry Bonaventura
CCEE Media Officer
Tel. +41 71 227 6040, mobile. +41 78 851 6040
The Council of European Churches (CEC) is a communion of 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches of all European Countries, and 40 associated organizations. It was founded in 1959. The offices of CEC are in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.
The Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) gathers the Presidents of the current 33 European Bishops’ Conferences of this Continent, represented by their Presidents, and the Archbishops of Luxembourg and of the Principality of Monaco, as well as the Bishop of Chişinău (Moldavia). The President is Cardinal Péter Erdö, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Primate of Hungary; the Vice-Presidents are Cardinal Josip Bosanic, Archbishop of Zagreb, and Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux. The General Secretary of CCEE is Fr Duarte da Cunha. The headquarters of the Secretariat is in St Gallen (Switzerland).