Council Chair of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) Nikolaus Schneider visits CPCE in Vienna

“Leuenberg as a blueprint for the European Union”

The EKD Council Chair, Dr. h.c. Nikolaus Schneider, has visited the main office of the CPCE in Vienna to mark the 40th anniversary of the Leuenberg Agreement.
Talking to the CPCE’s General Secretary, Bishop Dr. Michael Bünker, Schneider reiterated that the Leuenberg Church Fellowship and its principle of “unity in reconciled diversity” should be viewed as a model for the European Union as a whole. His belief is that the “great peace project” must progress from a purely economic perspective to espouse solidarity and social community as well. “The burdens within Europe must be distributed fairly,” says Schneider, referring also to the refugee deaths off the coast of Lampedusa and the consequences to be drawn from the tragedy.
Speaking about the 2017 Reformation Jubilee, the Council Chair stressed that there would be no anti-Catholic or nationalistic celebration, nor personal exultation of Luther, instead promising “a Feast to celebrate Christ. The Good News is the central message for us and was the trigger and defining element of Luther’s predecessors and his successors.” This Good News can give cause for the Roman Catholic Christians and the Roman Catholic Church to join us in these celebrations, Schneider continued.  
Dr Schneider expressed his pleasure that the sense of common bond between the churches of the Reformation has grown in such a gratifying manner over the past decades. “The Leuenberg Agreement, with the mutual recognition and pulpit and table fellowship it involves, have helped us especially to rediscover and live out our shared reference to the Gospel as the basis of all church life.”

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