Fiftieth Anniversary of Secretariat for Christian Unity

 — Nov. 9, 20109 nov. 2010

[Vatican City • VIS] On Wednesday 17 November, at the “Sala San Pio X,” at Via della Conciliazione 5, Rome, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will hold a public commemoration to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, says a communiqué released today.

The event will be presided by Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and will be attended by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus, His Grace Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, and His Eminence Metropolitan Pergamo Ioannis (Zizioulas) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

On 5 June 1960, the day of Pentecost, with his Motu Proprio “Superno Dei Nutu,” Blessed John XXIII established, along with the eleven preparatory commissions for Vatican Council II, a Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. The first president to whom Pope John XXIII entrusted responsibility for the Secretariat was Cardinal Augustin Bea, who was later succeeded by Cardinal Johann Willebrands, Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, Cardinal Walter Kasper and, as of 1 July 2010, Archbishop Kurt Koch. In 1988 Pope John Paul II, with his Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus,” changed the name of the Secretariat to that of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Over the course of the years, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has administered relations with the vast world of ecumenism, both at a multilateral level and through bilateral contacts and dialogue with many Churches and Christian communities.

The date for the commemorative celebrations was deliberately chosen to coincide with the plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which will be held from 15 to 19 November and will focus on the theme: “Towards a new stage of ecumenical dialogue.”

Posted: Nov. 9, 2010 • Permanent link:
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