7th September 2007
Irish Bishops lead delegation to Romania for Third European Ecumenical Assembly
A delegation of 15 Catholic lay and clerical representatives from Ireland, led by the Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor and Chair of the Bishops’ Commission for Ecumenism, Bishop Anthony Farquhar, traveled to Sibiu, Romania, earlier this week to attend the Third European Ecumenical Assembly.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, is among more than 2,000 delegates attending the Assembly, whose theme is: “The light of Christ shines all over mankind. The hope for renewal and unity in Europe.”
In his message to the Assembly delegates and participants, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, expressed the hope that the meeting will: “create meeting spaces for unity within [a context of] legitimate diversity. In an atmosphere of mutual trust, and with awareness that our shared roots are much deeper than our division, it will be possible to overcome a false sense of self sufficiency and … spirituality to experience the shared foundation of our faith.”
Also attending with Bishop Farquhar is the Bishop of Dromore, Bishop John McAreavey; the Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Bishop Gerard Clifford; Fr Aidan O’Boyle, secretary to the Irish Episcopal Conference; and laity drawn from the ecumenical movement, youth work, Trócaire, the Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace, and the media.
Notes for Editors
- This year’s Assembly runs from the 4 – 9 September, 2007.
- The European Ecumenical Assembly is held once each decade. The first such gathering took place in Basel, Switzerland in 1989; in 1997 the meeting was held in Graz, Austria. This week’s meeting is the first to be scheduled in a predominantly Orthodox country. Sibiu has been designated as the European City of Culture, 2008.
- The Assembly is co-hosted by the (Catholic) Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and the Conference of European Churches. Together, these two groups represent most of the Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches in Europe.
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)