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Archbishop Metropolitan of Minsk-Mohilov Tadeusz Kondrusievicz took part in the Fifth European Orthodox-Catholic Forum in Paris
Tuesday, 10 January 2017 11:33

The Fifth European Orthodox-Catholic Forum was held in Paris from 9 to 12 January 2017. It was organized by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) and Orthodox Churches from Europe. The Catholic Church of Belarus was represented by Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusievicz.

The forum was led by Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima from the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the part of the Orthodox Church, and, on behalf of the Catholic Church, by Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest.

The First European Orthodox-Catholic Forum was held in 2008 in Trent, Italy. The Second Forum took place on the Greek island of Rhodes, Greece in 2010. The Third Forum took place in Lisbon, Portugal in 2012. The Fourth Forum was held in Minsk in 2014.

The meeting on the theme “Europe in fear of the threat from fundamentalist terrorism, and the value of human person and religious freedom” collected 12 representatives from every side.

Delegates from European Orthodox and Catholic Churches were represented in equal quantity for maintaining a balance between these religious denominations.

45 people with hierarchs of Paris Catholics and Orthodox Christians, delegates of Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and experts participated in this Forum.

Usually during these Forums the topical issues of the Old World are investigated from Catholics and Orthodox points of view. So such meetings possess a great value in the life of Europe and also encourage development of ecumenical inter-linkages.  

The Forum of this year has a great importance because of terrorism today, fundamentalism, human worth detraction and religious intolerance.

The Forum activity began with communal prayer.

During the opening of the Forum His Eminence Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris appealed to pool the experience of Catholic and Orthodox Churches in the circumstances of our civilization winter in order to make Christians able to respond to terrorism, human rights abuse and religious intolerance.

Metropolitan Emmanuel of France placed emphasis nowadays Paris had become the city of martyrs because of terror acts so the Forum was a well-timed response to the different current challenges in Europe.

Cardinal Péter Erdő paid attention to the fact that Christians of Europe were connected by the idea of a consolidate answer to world problems that was based on the New Testament concepts. Fear that dominates in Europe is provoked by the love lack between people. Europe has got material wealth but has also lost its spiritual gifts consequently a lot of new dangerous crises appear and they endanger Europe concept based on Christian roots. On this occasion Catholics and Orthodox Christians should sow hope for our Continent but not try to escape problems.

Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima brought into focus the importance of Paris in Europe life. Paris should become the city of light by virtue of joint efforts of Christians in order to spread this light all over the world.

The programme of the Forum includes visiting nunciature, ecumenical prayer, the prayer at Notre-Dame Cathedral with the Jesus Christ’s Thorns Crown exposure.

The photos of the press secretary of CCEE
(DN), (VGr)

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