Archive for 2016

Archive pour 2016

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New Vatican magazine criticises Church for ‘ignoring role of women’

The cover of L'Osservatore Romano announcing the election of Pope Francis in 2013The magazine, which launched today, started as a monthly section in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

The Church has ignored the female contribution to Catholic culture in recent years, according to an editorial in a new women’s magazine published by the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper.

Lucetta Scaraffia, the co-ordinator of Women-Church-World, the new monthly magazine published by L’Osservatore Romano, said that a “hidden revolution” had taken place during the last century with women making an increasingly important contribution to the intellectual life of Catholicism.

But this, she explained, had been “almost ignored” by the Church even though it had intensified in the years following the Second Vatican Council when more and more women started to study theology.
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Posted: May 3, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: The TabletIn this article: Vatican
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Catégorie : The TabletDans cet article : Vatican

WCC: Israeli treatment of representatives at airport unacceptable

Visit to the Holy Land, May 2016. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCCAfter travelling to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv in the last week for a climate justice meeting, World Council of Churches (WCC) staff and partners were detained or deported in a manner that WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit terms both unprecedented and intolerable.

“The WCC protests the excessive, unreasonable and wholly unwarranted treatment by the Israeli authorities of these representatives of WCC member churches and staff travelling to engage in discussions on climate change and environmental stewardship, at the invitation of and hosted by WCC’s member churches in the region,” he said.

Members of the WCC’s Working Group on Climate Change from as many as 13 countries reported they were held for hours of interrogation, including tough intimidation and detention in prison-like conditions for up to three days — a very difficult experience, Tveit said. “We react in different ways emotionally to experiences like this. For all of them, I think it was totally unexpected and very disturbing, for most of them shocking, as they have never experienced anything like this before.”

Although there have been small incidents in the past, there has been nothing approaching this level of intimidation, Tveit added.
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Posted: May 9, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Israel, WCC
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Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Israel, WCC

Reformation celebrations will be ecumenical and international, says German Protestant leader

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 should be a profoundly ecumenical, as well as European and international celebration, according to Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).

“With this clear distinction from all other commemorations of past centuries, we are sending a signal of reconciliation and a new beginning,” Bedford-Strohm said at a 9 May press conference in Berlin announcing events leading up to the anniversary on 31 October 2017.

The commemoration marks the day in 1517 on which Martin Luther is said to have posted his 95 theses denouncing church abuses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

Luther’s actions set in motion events that led to the Reformation and the division of western Christianity into Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.

In recent years, however, Roman Catholics and Lutherans have reached agreement on the doctrine of justification, a key dividing issue between the papacy and Luther and his followers, and many doctrinal differences should no longer have a church-dividing character, said Bedford-Strohm.
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Posted: May 12, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Reformation, WCC
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Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Reformation, WCC

Anglican-Catholic dialogue hammering out the ‘tough difficulties’

British Archbishop Bernard Longley, co-chair of ARCIC III at the 2016 meeting in Toronto. Photo by Michael SwanAfter nearly 50 years of discourse between the Catholic and Anglican communions, the official dialogue body wants to fine-tune how it studies the differences and similarities between two churches which both call themselves Catholic.

ARCIC III hasn’t proved itself yet,” Sir David Moxon, Anglican co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, told The Catholic Register following an ecumenical evensong on Pentecost Sunday.

This third stage of the dialogue has been meeting since 2011, but has yet to publish a major document. It is currently studying how the Church arrives at moral teaching.

The official dialogue sponsored by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury is meeting in Toronto until May 18, when a concluding communique is expected from the meeting of 22 bishops, theologians and support staff. It is the first time the body has met in Canada and, to the knowledge of the participants, the first time in 50 years that ARCIC has met during Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit first revealed the global unity of the Christian message expressed in the diversity of languages from around the world.
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Posted: May 16, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: Catholic Register, DialogueIn this article: ARCIC, dialogue, ecclesiology, IARCCUM
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Catégorie : Catholic Register, DialogueDans cet article : ARCIC, dialogue, ecclesiology, IARCCUM

Global meeting seeks inspiration from Reformation to transform world

Participants at the Reformation–Education–Transformation consultation in Halle, Germany. Photo: Falk WenzelMore than 120 people from throughout the world have gathered in the eastern German city of Halle to reflect on how insights from the Protestant Reformation 500 years ago can contribute to transforming the world today.

“We want to initiate and encourage a truly ecumenical and global dialogue on the achievements, current challenges and new learnings about the relevance of Reformation principles,” said the Rev. Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, president of the German Protestant development service Bread for the World, at the opening of the 18-22 May conference.

The Halle gathering is the second stage of a “Twin Consultation” on “Reformation – Education – Transformation” that began with a conference in São Leopoldo in Brazil in November 2015.

In advance of the Reformation Jubilee in 2017, the project aims to examine the contribution of Reformation traditions and theology to strengthening and transforming civil society to promote justice, peace, sustainability and human rights, both locally and globally, with a special emphasis on the role of education.

“2017 will not be an event that looks back historically but an occasion to reflect where reform and reformation is needed today in church and society,” the Rev. Margot Kässmann, ambassador of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) for the Reformation Jubilee, told the Halle meeting.

The idea of holding two consultations in Brazil and in Germany – with some participants attending both meetings – is to reflect on the same thematic areas in two different global contexts as a contribution to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and its impact on society.
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Posted: May 19, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Reformation, WCC
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Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Reformation, WCC

World Communion of Reformed Churches executive committee convenes

Guests, staff, and members of the WCRC Executive Committee outside the Luyanó Presbyterian Reformed Church. Photo: WCRCVibrant opening worship held at Luyanó Presbyterian Reformed Church in Havana, Cuba marked the beginning of the executive committee meeting of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) in Havana, Cuba from 7-13 May. The meeting was hosted by the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba, a member church of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

The WCRC’s executive committee is comprised of officers and members selected by a general council, as well as elected leaders of the regional councils. The executive committee’s mandate includes oversight of WCRC’s vision and activities between councils, including fostering church unity and coordinating common initiatives for mission, theological reflection and formation, church renewal, justice and dialogue.

In his annual report, WCRC President Rev. Jerry Pillay, a member of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa, stressed the theme of the upcoming General Council in 2017: “Living God, renew and transform us.” He urged the member churches to engage more deeply with this perspective. “We need to embrace a greater and deeper vision…as we continue to pursue our work and witness as an organisation. Our efforts of renewing and transforming the world must start with us if we are to earn respect and remain relevant in addressing the challenges in a changing world.”

The General Council will take place in Leipzig, Germany from 27 June to 7 July 2017. In preparation, the executive committee reviewed plans, focusing on the discernment and consensus process that will be used at the General Council. The committee also approved the final phase of the WCRC’s strategic plan.
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Posted: May 19, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: World Communion of Reformed Churches
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Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : World Communion of Reformed Churches

Anglicans, Roman Catholics team up to tackle big questions

“Suddenly we felt the energy of addressing questions that were pulsing with interest for people,” says Bishop Donald Bolen of the Roman Catholic diocese of Saskatoon. Photo: Diocese of SaskatoonIs doubt just the opposite of faith? Or is it more complicated?

Bishop Donald Bolen, of the Roman Catholic diocese of Saskatoon, says this is one of the central issues facing people today, and a question that’s been on his mind throughout his life as a priest.

For him, it’s definitely more complicated.

“In a sense, apathy is the opposite of faith, whereas a lively doubt is a part of our faith,” Bolen says. “Doubt wants faith to have its reasons… I think when people pay serious attention to their doubts and don’t give up on them, but work with them, the doubting becomes a motivation to think more, to search more, to pray more, to look harder, to find reasons, and I think that’s a motivation which leads to a deeper faith,” he says.

“The doubter is on a quest.”
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Posted: May 20, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: Anglican Journal, DialogueIn this article: Anglican, Anglican Church of Canada, Catholic, CCCB, dialogue, doubt, hope, resources, video
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Catégorie : Anglican Journal, DialogueDans cet article : Anglican, Anglican Church of Canada, Catholic, CCCB, dialogue, doubt, hope, resources, video

Global gathering says Reformation’s ‘transformative power’ can change the world today

Participants of the Reformation–Education–Transformation consultation in HalleA global gathering in the German city of Halle has called on churches to be inspired by the tradition of the Reformation to become agents of transformation.

“We came from different confessional and denominational traditions and together we sought to discover the transformative power of Reformation today, not as a past event but oriented to the future,” participants said in a statement at the end of the 18-22 May consultation.

Halle, in eastern Germany, lies in the heartland of the 16th-century Reformation of Martin Luther and his followers.

The Halle meeting gathered more than 120 people from 40 countries and was the second stage of a “Twin Consultation” on “Reformation – Education – Transformation” that began with a conference in São Leopoldo in Brazil in November 2015.
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Posted: May 23, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: Reformation, WCC
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Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : Reformation, WCC

Pope Francis welcomes Sunni Muslim leader to Vatican

Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar exchanges gifts with Pope Francis. Photo: APPope Francis embraced the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim centre of learning, five years after Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib suspended dialogue with the Holy See.

As Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib arrived for his audience in the Apostolic Palace, Francis said that the fact that they were meeting at all was significant.

“The meeting is the message,” Francis told the imam.

The meeting came five years after the Cairo-based Al-Azhar froze talks with the Vatican to protest comments by then-Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict had demanded greater protection for Christians in Egypt after a New Year’s bombing on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria killed 21 people. Since then, Islamic attacks on Christians in the region have only increased, but the Vatican and Al-Azhar nevertheless sought to rekindle ties, with a Vatican delegation visiting Cairo in February and extending the invitation for el-Tayyib to visit.
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Posted: May 23, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: NewsIn this article: Al-Azhar, Francis
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Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Al-Azhar, Francis

Norwegian Christians begin pilgrimage from Oslo to Trondheim

Rev. Knut Refsdal (left) was joined by several national church leaders at the start of the pilgrimage on 24 May. Photo: Hege Merete AndersenFrom 24 May to 21 June, the Christian Council of Norway (CCN) is promoting a pilgrimage from the Norwegian capital Oslo to Trondheim, an important Christian pilgrimage site and the location of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee meeting from 22-28 June.

CCN’s general secretary Rev. Knut Refsdal will walk the entire 29-day, 638.6-kilometer route, and is inviting local church leaders and congregations to join part or all of the pilgrimage. Several meetings and dialogue spaces are being organized at stops along the way.

“The main message we want to share along the way is that religious and philosophical leaders of each community can help promote mutual understanding and respect for shared values and therefore deplore violent extremism and hate speech,” said Refsdal.
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Posted: May 24, 2016 • Permanent link:
Categories: WCC NewsIn this article: pilgrimage, spiritual ecumenism, WCC
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Catégorie : WCC NewsDans cet article : pilgrimage, spiritual ecumenism, WCC

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