Ecumenical Research Urged as an Aid for Europe

Swiss Bishop Grab Addresses Symposium

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ROME, JULY 18, 2003 ( Ecumenical research in universities is needed in order to overcome the «tension between unity and division» evident in contemporary Europe, says a bishop.

Swiss Bishop Amédée Grab, president of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, warned that the university realm is dominated by «the disintegration of the plan of a universal science proper to the first great universities.»

Universities are also dominated by «specialization» and the «fragmentation of knowledge,» he added.

Bishop Grab expressed his conviction when introducing the works of the symposium on «University and Church in Europe,» being held through Sunday at the Lateran University. Attending are 1,400 people from 40 countries.

«At a time when the European Union is being enlarged, many feel the need to affirm their own identity, culture and language,» he noted. «It is very difficult to manage the Union, respecting at the same time, all differences.»

Bishop Grab also acknowledged the fear that many people have, derived form «the experience, lived in many spheres of life, of the disintegration of human relations,» the SIR agency reported Thursday.

Hence, the need for «ecumenical research» beginning with the «service of thought» proper to universities and in the perspective of the «Christian humanism» desired by John Paul II, the bishop said.

The reconstruction of a universality of study programs would also be a great contribution to the reconstruction of politics as an instrument and ministry of reconciliation, dialogue and unity,» Bishop Grab concluded.

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