European churches reflect on “The Hope of Communion: From 1920 to 2020

Artist: Nikos Kosmidis, Ut unum sint, watercolour and aquarelle, 23.5x23.5cm, 2020. Used with permission, made specially for CEC Conference on “The Hope of Communion: 1920 to 2020”.

Press Release No: 22/20 
18 December 2020

Theologians and church leaders from Europe and beyond participated in the Conference on “The Hope of Communion: From 1920 to 2020” held online on 16 and 17 December.

The conference, gathering over 100 participants, reflected on the significance and impact the two landmark ecumenical texts from 1920 had on the ecumenical dialogue: “The Patriarchal Encyclical Letter to the Churches of Christ Everywhere” issued by the Orthodox Patriarchate, and “The Appeal to all Christian People” issued by the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops.

The event was organised by the Conference of European Churches (CEC) together with the Louvain Centre for Eastern and Oriental Christianity (LOCEOC). Initially planned as a physical event, the meeting was turned into an online conference due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The conference examined the expectations for unity formulated in these texts, exploring their role in subsequent ecumenical developments and focusing on the question of what the hope of communion means for relations between the churches today.

The programme featured three sessions: “1920: Annus Mirabilis? ‘Unto the Churches of Christ Everywhere’ and ‘Appeal to All Christian People’”, “Hopes Fulfilled, Deferred and Re-Directed: Changing Ecumenical Priorities 1920–2000” and “Signs of Hope, Models of Unity: The Ecumenical Landscape Today”.

Speakers were:

  • Rt. Rev. Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Church of England
  • H.E. Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia, Ecumenical Patriarchate
  • Prof. Joseph Verheyden, KU Leuven, Coordinator of the Louvain Centre for Eastern and Oriental Christianity
  • Rev. Dr Odair Pedroso Mateus, World Council of Churches
  • Rev. Canon Prof. Mark D. Chapman, University of Oxford/Ripon College
  • Prof. Stylianos Tsompanidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (paper read by Rev. Ioustinos Kefalouros)
  • Ms Natallia Vasilevich, Council of Christian Churches in Germany
  • Prof. Peter De Mey, KU Leuven
  • Dr Andrew Pierce, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin
  • Prof. Michael Root, Catholic University of America
  • Prof. Friederike Nüssel, Heidelberg University
  • Rev. Canon Dr Jeremy Worthen, Church of England
  • H.E. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Ecumenical Patriarchate

All contributions from the conference will be published next year.

Download the electronic booklet from the conference featuring programme, biographies of the speakers, and information about CEC and LOCEOC.

For more information or an interview, please contact:

Naveen Qayyum
Communication Officer
Conference of European Churches
Rue Joseph II, 174 B-1000 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 234 68 42
Twitter: @ceceurope

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