Press Release 10/30e

10.06.10 13:32

Churches in Dialogue Commission of CEC, June 2010 (Photo:CEC)

Visions on unity challenging ecumenism today

The topic, Visions on Unity, is seen as one of the most challenging in ecumenism today. The Churches in Dialogue Commission (CiD) of the Conference of European Churches’ (CEC) discussion on this theme included three presentations given by Rev. Dr Andreas Hunziker, Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, Bishop Dr Matti Repo, Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, and Rev. Dr Sorin Selaru, Romanian Orthodox Church on the topic of Visions on the Unity of the Church.

The discussion was very much appreciated by all participants and this exercise expressed the willingness of the members of this commission to discuss together matters of faith, to listen to each other and to respect each other’s opinion in spite of differences. The discussion focused on the following issues: unity and fellowship/communion and unity and diversity. The question of “limits of diversity” was also considered and it was underlined that diversity is not to be understood in a negative way: therefore it could be better expressed as “otherness”. Another issue discussed was the question of unity based on the confession of fundamental faith truths. The CiD will continue reflecting on these issues at its future meetings.

The CiD met at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland, from the 7th to the 10th of June 2010.

His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate) was elected Moderator of the Commission and Canon Elizabeth Fisher (Church of England) was elected Vice-Moderator. The Commission also established an Executive Committee made up of four members: the Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Prof. Dr Friederike Nüssel, Evangelical Church in Germany, and Rev. Dr Andreas Hunziker.

To build up the fellowship of the new CiD Commission members, there was a special session introducing the work of CEC and the work of the CiD.

The Commission evaluated the work of the Researcher in European Mission, Ms Kyriaki Avtzi, and strongly recommended the continuation of this post.

The working priorities of the CiD Commission for 2011 were approved and include: promoting the issue of church unity, promoting the spirit of the Charta Oecumenica, representing the common voice of the churches vis-à-vis the European Institutions and promoting inclusive communities.

The Commission received reports from the Director and the Researcher in Mission.

On Tuesday morning, the 8th of June, the Commission was welcomed by the Rev. Dr. Ioan Sauca, the Director of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey.     

The CiD meeting in 2011 will take place at the end of June in Budapest, Hungary.
Prof. Dr Viorel Ionita stated that: "The self-evaluation of this meeting showed that the participants were very happy to build a CiD community and to work together. It was also very important that the CiD elected for the first time an Executive Committee whose role will be to accompany the work in this field. Finally, the CiD took into consideration the decisions taken by the CEC Central Committee and the Presidium of CEC and adapted its working programme to the new orientation of CEC. Following this pattern, the CiD will be able to successfully complete its mandate".

The members of the CiD Commission are:
Rev. Myra Blyth, Baptist Union of Great Britain
Rev. Mihail Cekov, United Methodist Church of the FYR of Macedonia
Canon Elizabeth Fisher, Church of England
H.E. Metropolitan Gennadios of Sassima, Ecumenical Patriarchate
Rev. Dr. Andreas Hunziker, Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches
Prof. Dr Anestis Keselopoulos, Church of Greece
Lic. Theol. Pekka Metso, Orthodox Church of Finland
Dr Marie Vejrup Nielsen, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark
Prof. Dr Friederike Nüssel, Evangelical Church in Germany
Ms Aikaterini Pekridou, World Student Christian Federation (WSCF-E)
Bishop Fr Mkrtich Proshyan, Armenian Apostolic Church
The Rt. Rev. Dr Matti Repo, Bishop of Tampere, Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland
Rev. Dr Sorin Selaru, Romanian Orthodox Church
Ms Faye Skyvalaki, Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCE)
Bishop Prof. Dr István Szabó, Reformed Church in Hungary

Rev. Prof. Dr. Viorel Ionita, CiD Director and Acting General Secretary of CEC
Ms Kyriaki Avtzi, Researcher in European Mission
Ms Elke Peyronne


The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 120 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 associated organisations. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

For more information:
CEC General Secretariat
Phone +41 22 791 62 28
Fax +41 22 791 62 27