Press Release No: 20/01
13 January 2020
Ecumenical cooperation in Europe was highlighted by the president of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) Rev. Christian Krieger at a high-level colloquium titled “Building Europe together – 50 years of the Holy See with the Council of Europe”.
The event organised by the Permanent Mission of the Holy See in collaboration with the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Strasbourg, discussed churches’ participation in building Europe from legal, theological and social perspectives.
The colloquium was held from 7 to 9 January in Strasbourg.
“The challenge of ecumenical work aimed at strengthening relations between churches is not without bearing on their political and social actions,” said Rev. Krieger. “In particular this work gives credibility to churches’ word and makes their representation valuable.”
Rev. Krieger also spoke about the strong relations between CEC and Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE). “I am pleased to share that Catholic observers were part of the preparatory meetings that led to the establishment of CEC in 1950s,” he added.
The seminar was addressed by Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Mgr Marco Ganci, permanent observer of the Holy See at the Council of Europe.
Laurence Lwoff, head of the Bioethics Unit of the Council of Europe stressed the importance of the churches and human rights. “Spiritual values are an integral part of the reflection on what is at stake for mankind in regard to developments in the biomedical field at individual and social level.” She also appreciated CEC’s role in contributing to bioethical discussions concerning embryo protection and questions about the end of life.
CEC is involved as an observer in the work of the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental forums of discussion such as the Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO) and the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE).
CEC Executive Secretary Rev. Sören Lenz from the CEC Strasbourg office stressed the importance of ecumenical movement’s role in international institutions like the Council of Europe. “Ecumenism is a place, where different traditions and theological views enter in dialogue. We need open dialogue conducted in a spirit of solidarity more than ever.”
“This spirit is not only important for ecumenical dialogue but also for our dialogue with the political actors in Europe. At CEC, together with our Roman-Catholic brothers and sisters, we will continue to engage in such dialogue with the Council of Europe and EU,” he added.
For more information or an interview, please contact:
Conference of European Churches
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