Looking forward to ecumenical event with pope in Sweden

 — October 25, 201625 octobre 2016

Pope Francis will join people from all over the world in celebration of the ecumenical developments of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches. The event takes place 31 October in southern Sweden. The celebration will be divided into two, one in a cathedral in Lund and one for 10,000 people in a sports arena in Malmö.

The 31 October is called “Reformation Day” by Lutherans. It was the day Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

The Lund Cathedral ceremony will be a prayer with the pope and the president of the Lutheran church together. It’s the first time for something like this to happen. Then later that day, there will be performances, songs and prayers in Malmö. All of them will be under the general theme of “Together in Hope”.

The programme will include testimonies of people from around the world. One of the speakers is Marguerite Barankitse, the “Mother of Burundi”. She is the founder of “Maison Shalom”. It helps orphans of the civil war lead a normal life. They can get an education and have a chance at a good future. She has experienced brutal war, but continues to have hope for peace.

Another speakers is Héctor Fabio Henao, director of Cáritas Colombia. A peace deal has been sealed there this year. Civil war had been raging for 5 decades.

Peace is possible

Caritas Syria president Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo will also speak. Then 10,000 Catholic and Lutherans will be united in prayer for peace in Syria.

The event should also help in financially. The entire proceeds of the ticket sales (10 € per person) will be going to projects of the Lutheran World Federation to help Syrians in Jordan and to Caritas to support children in Aleppo.

One more highlight of the day will be the signing of a Declaration of Intent between Caritas Internationalis and LWF World Service. It’s an objective is to strengthen the collaboration of the two organisation.

One of the steps to interreligious cooperation was made in 2013 with the publication of “From Conflict to Communion”. Publishedby the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, it describes the events of the Reformation. It also celebrates 50 Years of Catholic-Lutheran dialogue.

Bishop Ansers Arborelius of the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm said, “History will be written when Pope Francis and the LWF leaders visit Lund and Malmö to encourage all of us to go further on the road towards Christian unity.”

The event is part of Pope Francis’s plan to open wide the ecumenical doors. “In recent years, despite various misunderstandings and difficulties, strides ahead have been made in interreligious dialogue, even with followers of Islam. Listening is essential for this,” he said.

“It is not only a necessary condition in a process of mutual comprehension and peaceful co-existence, but it is also a pedagogic duty in order to ‘acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs’”.

Pope Francis urges us to cut out prejudices and disrespect in order to eliminate violence and conflict.

Posted: October 25, 2016 • Permanent link: https://ecumenism.net/?p=9528
Categories: NewsIn this article: Francis, Lutheran World Federation, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Reformation
Transmis : 25 octobre 2016 • Lien permanente : https://ecumenism.net/?p=9528
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Francis, Lutheran World Federation, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Reformation

Changing canon law, pope brings Latin and Eastern practices closer

 — September 15, 201615 septembre 2016

Pope Francis attends a meeting with the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic churches in Syria, Iraq and and other parts of the Middle East in 2013. Photo: CNS/L'Osservatore RomanoIn a change to church law, Latin-rite Catholic deacons may not preside at a wedding when one or both of the new spouses are members of an Eastern Catholic church. The new rule is one of the changes to 11 canons in the Latin-rite Code of Canon law that Pope Francis approved in order to harmonize the laws of the Latin and Eastern Catholic churches on several issues involving the sacraments of baptism and marriage. After more than 15 years of study and worldwide consultation, the conflicting rules were resolved by adopting the Eastern code’s formulations for the Latin church as well, said Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. The bishop spoke to journalists Sept. 15 after the publication of an apostolic letter published “motu proprio” (on his own initiative) in which Pope Francis ordered the changes to the Latin Code of Canon Law, the 1983 text governing the majority of the world’s Catholics. In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox traditions, the blessing of a priest is necessary for the validity of a marriage. In the Latin-rite church, a deacon can preside over the sacrament. The new law specifies, “Only a priest can validly assist at the matrimony of two Eastern parties or between a Latin and Eastern Catholic or non-Catholic,” meaning a member of an Orthodox Church.
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Alberta-NWT Catholic bishops issue guidelines for pastoral care of those who are divorced and remarried, and those considering euthanasia or assisted suicide

 — September 14, 201614 septembre 2016

The Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest TerritoriesThe Roman Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories have issued some new guidance for priests, deacons, and pastoral workers in caring for individuals and families in difficult contemporary situations. One document aims to answer the call of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, particularly to assist priests in their duty to accompany those Catholics who are divorced and remarried without having received a decree of nullity. The other follows the legalization in Canada of assisted suicide and euthanasia (“Medical Assistance In Dying”), and focuses on spiritual and sacramental considerations in caring for individuals and families who may be considering death by these means. “The ultimate aim of these guidelines is to help the faithful understand the beautiful teachings of the Church on sacramental marriage, the dignity of the human person, and the inviolable sanctity of human life,” said Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, who serves as president of the Alberta-NWT Bishops. “We know that many Catholics, often due to the messages they receive through the secular culture, have come to some serious misunderstandings around life and family issues,” he said.
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Reconciling the radical reformation

 — July 22, 201622 juillet 2016

At the Mennonite World Conference Assembly in 2009, MWC President Danisa Ndlovu embraces Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. Photo: Lowell BrownThe reconciliation process between the Lutheran World Federation and Mennonite World Conference has created fertile ground for collaboration. A report summarizing the LWFMWC action of reconciling with Mennonites over the condemnations in the Augsburg Confession aims to help LWF churches, pastors, seminaries and congregations to “implement the LWF commitment to teach differently about Anabaptists, especially to how they are described in the Augsburg Confession.”

“The seeds of reconciliation sown more than 30 years ago, which flowered at the service of reconciliation in Stuttgart in 2010, are now truly bearing fruit,” says John D. Roth, MWC representative on the LWF Task Force and contributor to the document. “Mennonite and Lutheran pastors and church leaders will find lots of ideas for how they might engage each other at the local level.”
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Russian Orthodox Church calls boycotted Crete council ‘an important event’

 — July 22, 201622 juillet 2016

Orthodox leaders applaud June 24 during the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church on the Greek island of Crete. Although the Moscow Patriarchate boycotted the event it called the council 'an important event.' Photo: Dimitrios Panagos, Greek American News Photo Agency

The Russian Orthodox Church, whose boycott of a major summit of Orthodox Christian leaders in Crete last month threatened to slow down efforts to promote greater unity, has declared the meeting “an important event in the history of the conciliar process.”

The church’s synod, in its official reaction to the June 20-26 Holy and Great Council, also said the meeting could not be called “pan-Orthodox” because four of the 14 independent Orthodox member churches did not attend.

The Moscow Patriarchate, which represents between half and two-thirds of the world’s 300 million Orthodox, has been disputing the summit’s pan-Orthodox character since announcing its boycott in early June. Officials at the council said Russia’s Patriarch Kirill could not come to Crete because archconservatives in his ranks opposed it.

But the synod took a more positive approach by calling the session “an important event” and asking its theological commission to study the six documents the council approved and report back on its findings.
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Anglicans and Mennonites enter ecumenical dialogue

 — July 18, 201618 juillet 2016

Willard Metzger, executive director of Mennonite Church Canada, addresses members of the Anglican Church of Canada's General Synod 2016. Photo: Art BabychFor the first time in its history, the Anglican Church of Canada will enter into a bilateral ecumenical dialogue with Mennonite Church Canada (MC-Canada) following a motion passed at General Synod, July 12.

The motion’s mover, Bruce Myers, coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Quebec and former coordinator of ecumenical relations for the national church, explained that as the Anglican church’s relationship to mainstream society changes, it could benefit from talking to a church that has always had a fraught relationship with the mainstream.

“Mennonites have often existed as a church on the margins, both historically and in the contemporary Canadian context,” he noted. “As the Anglican Church of Canada enters a new stage of its life, some of us have been asking if there is something we can learn from our Mennonite sisters and brothers, about living faithfully as disciples of Jesus on the margins of society.”

Myers said the bilateral dialogue would be based on a new approach to ecumenism based not on an attempt to minimize differences, but to receive it as a “gift.”

This “receptive ecumenism” is a way for churches to learn from the differences in each other’s theology and lived experience, without feeling the need to push toward reunion or a full communion relationship.
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Mennonite Church decisions at Assembly 2016

 — July 12, 201612 juillet 2016

Mennonite Church CanadaAssembly 2016 held in Saskatoon from July 6-10 may become known as a watershed year by delegates in attendance.

By turns intense and emotional, joyful and worshipful, the gathered made significant decisions that will impact the Mennonite Church Canada body of Christ for years to come.

On Thursday evening, delegates voted in favour of repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery – a settler teaching that has marginalized and taken rights away from indigenous people for centuries. While much education on the Doctrine of Discovery has already begun among congregations, much more is required.

On Saturday morning, 85% of delegates voted in favour of the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) recommendation to create space and test alternative understandings to traditional beliefs on committed same-sex relationships. Congregations who are asked to bless same sex marriages will now be given space to do so, even as the national family of faith continues testing to see if such discernment is a nudging of the Spirit of God.
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