The joint working session of the two leading ecumenical bodies of the European Union have published their agreed agenda for 2009, including climate change, interfaith activities and EU problems.
The CCEE is the Council of Roman Catholic Bishop’s Conferences of Europe.
The CEC is the Conference of non-RC ecumenical churches of Europe.
Their joint, annual working session was held in Hungary 19-22 February.
The issue of creation was the main point on its agenda this year. They emphasised “the potential which this issue provides for effective work with those of World Faiths other than Christianity”.
The Committee noted that the ecological crisis is itself a reflection of a deeper spiritual crisis. There was shared agreement on the words of, “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI that the external deserts in the world are growing because the internal deserts have become so vast,” whatever that means.
The Joint Committee endorsed the use of the period from 1 September to 4 October “as a time to contemplate, care for and celebrate God’s goodness in creation”.
The Committee decided to continue working on the promotion and knowledge of the Bible in Europe, the safeguard of nature, migration and peace.
It also examined the work of the CCEE-CEC Committee for Relations with Muslims in Europe and its conference, European Citizens and Believers, Christians and Muslims as active partners in European societies.
SENSE OF CRISIS IN THE EU
The Committee also considered topical issues under scrutiny at the European institutions. These included the Lisbon Treaty, data protection, the safeguard of Sunday as a day of rest and the upcoming Parliamentary elections.
Father Piotr Mazurkiewicz, “underscored the atmosphere of ‘crisis’ one feels in the countries of the Union. An institutional crisis, due to the difficulties encountered in the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in some countries, a financial crisis involving and concerning all member states, and an environmental crisis which will be the backdrop against which the proceedings of the next international Conference on Climate Change will take place in Copenhagen, December 2009.