European Christian Leaders to Evaluate Ecumenical Charter

Also Will Consider a Third Assembly

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ROME, JAN. 18, 2002 (Zenit.org).- An annual meeting of European Christian and Catholic leaders next week will put special focus on the Ecumenical Charter published last April.

The annual meeting of the Joint Commission of the Conference of European Churches (KEK) and the Council of the Catholic Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE) will be held at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

At the Jan. 24 meeting in Ottmaring, Germany, a preliminary evaluation will be made of the discussions, meetings and ecumenical plans that have materialized in Europe, in the wake of the Ecumenical Charter. The charter was published in Strasbourg, France, last year with the consent of the most important leaders of Christian confessions.

The Joint Commission will also study the possibility of calling a third European ecumenical assembly. The first two such assemblies were held at Basle (1989) and Graz (1997).

The agenda for the day includes a report on the activities of the Islam in Europe Commission and a discussion on possible developments in the wake of the Muslim-Christian meeting, which took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, last Sept. 12-16.

CCEE and KEK pointed out that the Sept. 11 tragedy «has shown in a new way, the grave responsibility of Christians and the urgency of reconciliation and the return to visible unity among the Churches: Divisions among Christians create obstacles for the diffusion of that life that, according to the Gospel, is capable of establishing universal fraternity, the real alternative to violence, injustice and terrorism.»

The commission´s work will end in Augusta on Jan. 26, with a meeting of leaders of the Churches and civil authorities of the city and of Bavaria, and will include a solemn ecumenical celebration.

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