CPCE Council deliberates on the future of ecumenical dialogue

The Council of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) met in Brussels from 17 to 19 September. Agenda items included ecumenical dialogue and the current doctrinal theological conversations between the CPCE churches.

Press Release 29/2007

Over the past days the executive body of the 105 member churches of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) has been discussing its future theological and organizational orientation.

Ecumenical dialogues remain an important part of the work. For many years the CPCE has been carrying on conversations, among others, with the Orthodox and Anglican Churches and the Baptist Federation, These dialogues are to be continued. The CPCE will now intensify its promotion of an exchange of information between the existing national and European confessional conversations. In view of the ecumenical exchange of words this summer the CPCE will also keep the Protestant-Catholic dialogue in view.

Current doctrinal conversations were also on the agenda. For some months an initiative group has been working under the title “Scripture, Confession, Church”, and its first results have now been presented to the Council. There are different traditions of interpreting the biblical writings and the confessions within the CPCE churches. The churches now want to exchange views about these traditions and deepen their common understanding. To this end the CPCE will invite its member churches to a consultation in September of next year.

The CPCE Council met in Brussels at the invitation of the United Protestant Church of Belgium for its second working session since the General Assembly in Budapest a year ago. The deputy members of the Council were present at this session as well as the 13 Council members.

Brussels/Vienna, 20 September 2007

At present 105 Protestant churches in Europe (including five South-American churches originating from Europe ) belong to the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE). Lutheran, Reformed, United and Methodist along with pre-Reformation churches such as Hussites and Czech Brethren grant each other pulpit and table fellowship on the basis of the Leuenberg Agreement of 1973. A 13-member Council carries out ongoing business between two general assemblies, headed by a 3-member Presidium: Revd Thomas Wipf (President), Council President of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches in Bern , Prof. Michael Beintker (Co-President), Director of the Seminary for Reformed Theology at the University in Munster , and Revd Dr. Stephanie Dietrich (Co-President), Church of Norway . The Secretariat, which operates under the direction of the Council, is housed in the Severin-Schreiber-Gasse 3, A-1180 Vienna, office@leuenberg.eu, tel. +43.1.4791523.900, fax .580. Its director is OKR Prof. Dr. Michael Bünker. The CPCE press officer is Dipl.theol. Thomas Flügge (Bern), tel. +41.31.3702502, t.fluegge@leuenberg.eu.

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