Rome (NEV), November 30, 2017 – Also in Italy there shall be a permanent national consultation body for the Christian churches. This is the great novelty of the ecumenical conference “In the name of the One who reconciles us all in one body”, held from November 20 to 22 in Assisi, organized by the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), in collaboration – among others – with the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI).
“The time has come – said pastor Luca Maria Negro, president of FCEI – that ecumenical relations are not left to the goodwill of the moment. We agreed that an instrument is to be put in place to give continuity to the common listening of the world and to the mutual listening among the churches, for a more effective witness of the Gospel today in Italy”. National ecumenical councils are present in many European countries.
The first encounter of the ecumenical working group that organized the recent Assisi meeting will be held in Rome on December 5th, to define the stages of the new body’s constitution. The following participate to this specific group: CEI, FCEI, Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy, Orthodox Romanian Diocese, Armenian Apostolic Church, Rome Diocese of the Copt Orthodox Church, and the Church of England.
“The idea – said Don Cristiano Bettega, director of CEI’s Office for ecumenical dialogue – is to create a community of communities from which no one is excluded and to which we hope to add even those churches who could not or did not want to be part of that working table”.
“Today we live a very peculiar moment of ecumenism from which concrete fruits must arise – said Msgr. Ambrogio Spreafico, president of CEI’s Office for ecumenical dialogue –. To let this moment pass by without building something tangible would be unforgivable”.