Christians to Contact Politicians About European Convention

Denominations Want Input on a Future Constitution

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OTTMARING, Germany, JAN. 31, 2002 ( European Christians will establish contacts with leading politicians in order to contribute to the convention that will articulate the Continent´s future Constitution.

The initiative was proposed during a meeting of the Joint Commission of the Conference of European Churches (KEK), which includes Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelicals and Lutherans, among others, and the Council of the European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), which was held here from Jan. 24-27. CCEE is the Catholic bishops´ organization.

During the meeting, Christian representatives emphasized the need to offer a positive contribution to the convention on the future of the European Union, which will be launched Feb. 28.

In a Jan. 10 address, John Paul II lamented that such a contribution was rejected last month at the European Union´s summit in Laeken, Belgium.

The ecumenical meeting was presided over by Orthodox Metropolitan Jeremie Caligiorgis, KEK president, and by Bishop Amédée Grab of Chur, CCEE president.

Important initiatives were discussed for the future dialogue among Christians. Among them is the holding of an European ecumenical assembly sometime after 2006. Similar initiatives were held in 1989 and 1997.

Conferees at the meeting also decided to publish a book on the Strasbourg Ecumenical Meeting of April 2001, which promulgated the Ecumenical Charter. The volume will include the text of the Ecumenical Charter, reflections, testimonies on its application in the life of churches in different European regions, and suggestions for further initiatives inspired by the principles of the charter.

Participants also proposed ways to foster interreligious dialogue, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and in light of the Islamic-Christian consultation, «Islam in Europe,» promoted in Sarajevo days later by the KEK-CCEE Commission.

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