Press Release No. 11/10e

19.05.11 08:59

Patriarch Daniel: Churches have to strengthen Civil Society in Crisis Times 
CALL Network meets at the Romanian Patriarchate in Bucharest


“We are very concerned that the economic crisis will create more gaps between the rich and the poor people in Europe. The churches have to raise their voice against greed and the unjust benefits of speculation,” explained His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel from the Romanian Orthodox Church in a message to the CALL Network in Bucharest. Bishop Ciprian, who welcomed the Conference on behalf of the Patriarch, warned against attempts to limit the responsibility of the churches towards society to spiritual questions. The responsibility of the churches for spirituality and solidarity cannot be separated from each other.  

Bishop Vicar Dr. Daniel Zikeli from the Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession in Romania pointed out the joint responsibility of church and state for well-being in society. “According to the Lutheran understanding, church and state have different roles, but a joint responsibility to care for the people in a society.”  

State Secretary Valentin Mocanu from the Romanian Government stressed the close partnership between the churches and the state in the field of social assistance. “The strength of the churches is the direct connection with society. This allows us to reach the target groups in a much better way.” 

Prof. Dr. Radu Preda from the University in Clus urged the churches to develop a “social theology”: “The churches must develop a prophetic practice based on their values and principles.” 

During the CALL Network’s second Assembly in Bucharest on 11-13 May, members discussed the increasing and more widespread problems of precarious work; the need for an economically, socially and ecologically sustainable economy; work/life balance, including Sunday protection; and the role of religion in the workplace in Europe. They also expressed a specific concern about growing tendencies in EU Member States to break the principle of solidarity within the European Union, for example by a differentiated approach to financial assistance for Member States.  They believe that Europe will only overcome the ongoing economic crisis if it looks for joint solutions, sharing the burdens in accordance with a vision for closer cooperation among the peoples of Europe leading towards greater empowerment for individuals and an expansion of social economies.  

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For more Information:
Church and Society Commission of CEC
e-mail:  call@remove-mecec-kek.be
Website: Call Network 

CALL- Church Action on Labour and Life (CALL) is a Christian Employment and Economic Network linked with the Church & Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches. It provides a platform to exchange views and experiences on employment and related economic issues. It seeks to bridge gaps between European societies, promote a Christian perspective in the European debates and build the capacity of European churches to act on these issues

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. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.  

The Church and Society Commission of CEC links member churches and associated organisations of CEC with the European Union’s institutions, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, NATO and the UN (on European matters). Its task is to help the churches study church and society questions from a theological and social-ethical perspective, especially those with a European dimension, and to represent common positions of the member churches in their relations with political institutions working in Europe.