Churches in Germany to Hold First "Ecumenical Day"

BERLIN, MAY 27, 2003 (ZENIT.orgFides).- Lay representatives of the Catholic and Lutheran churches in Germany will hold a first-ever Ecumenical Day.

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This is the first time that they are organizing a joint church-day together. The five-day event begins Wednesday and will include round-table discussions, debates and conferences, as well as prayer, Masses and other church services.

The Executive Council of the Catholic bishops’ conference said the event will be an encouraging signal for the faith in Germany.

«By giving joint witness to the Gospel of Christ and taking a common stance to meet the challenges of our time, all the Christians in our country shoulder responsibility for the world of today,» the council said in a statement.

Among the Catholic guests for the occasion are Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the bishops’ conference; Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky, archbishop of Berlin; and Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, apostolic nuncio to Germany.

Representatives of the Lutheran Church include Konrad Kaiser, secretary-general of the World Council of Churches, and the Reverend Wolfgang Huber, bishop of Berlin.

Civic personalities who will attend the opening ceremony include German President Johannes Rau and Premier Gerhard Schröder.

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