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Conference of the new student group in Trumau 2016


Ut unum  sint - That they be one




Introductory text to the symposium

December 7, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of an act that was significant for the unity of the Church: on the day before the end of the Council, Pope Paul VI. and the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras recorded the mutual excommunication of Rome and Constantinople in 1054. The symposium takes this anniversary as an opportunity to consider its consequences and at the same time to gain new impetus for ecumenism. At the same time, the forthcoming Reformation commemoration in 2017 should be seen as an opportunity to contribute to overcoming the divisions in Christianity. In this double field of tension, young theologians want the ecumenical theology of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. update and thus take a step on the pilgrimage to unity. "All in all, Christianity is based on the victory of the improbable, on the adventure of the Holy Spirit, who leads people beyond themselves."

(Joseph Ratzinger)



7.30 Holy Mass

with HE Kurt Cardinal Koch in the castle chapel of the ITI

8.15 breakfast

9.00 opening, greetings

9.15 HE Kurt Cardinal Koch (Rome)

Service to full and visible unity.

The understanding of ecumenism by Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.

10.30 HE Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria,
          _cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ Exarch of Hungary and Central Europe (Vienna)

50 years of dialogue of love and truth

Discussion - Pause

12.00 Dr. Ioan Moga (Vienna)

Response 1

Ut unum sint

12.20 PD Dr. Michaela C. Hastetter (Trumau, Heiligenkreuz, Freiburg i. Br.)

Response 2

Dialogues in the dialogues of unity

12.45 Lunch

2.30 pm workshops

dr Manuel Schlögl (Vienna)

Theological Background of the Reformation –
On Joseph Ratzinger's interpretation of Luther

dr Daniel Burns (Dallas)

The Ecumenical Speeches of Benedict XVI's Journeys to Germany

15.45 Round table with short statements and discussion

Prof. Dr. Christoph Ohly (Trier)

local ecumenism.

Constitutional considerations following Joseph Ratzinger

dr Stefanos Athanasiou (Berne)

Is truth possible without love?

Movement between the dialogue of the heart and the dialogue of logic?

Abbot Dr. Maximilian Heim OCist (Heiligenkreuz near Vienna)

Monasticism and ecumenism - two concrete examples

17.00 SE Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Vienna)

Visions for the future of ecumenism

18.00 Ecumenical Vespers




Cardinal Kurt Koch, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and Metropolitan Arsenius spoke at the ecumenical conference in Trumau

On the theology of unity in Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. in the field of tension between 50 years of lifting of the excommunication between Rome and Constantinople and the Reformation commemoration year.


Ecumenism: Koch sees an urgent need for clarification on ethical issues


Vatican "ecumenism minister" in Kathpress interview: The long-standing formula "Belief separates, action unites" has currently been reversed. 
Vienna, April 24, 2016 (KAP)


Curia Cardinal Kurt Koch sees an urgent need for clarification between the Christian churches on ethical questions. Up until the 1990s, ecumenical relations were still defined by the formula "Faith separates, action unites", but today it is exactly the opposite, according to the President of the Vatican Unity Council: "Today we have found unity in many questions of faith, but in ethical ones and bioethical areas, new differences are emerging."

Koch spoke in an interview with the Kathpress news agency on the sidelines of his current visit to Austria, which took him to a service at the Cistercian monastery in Heiligenkreuz on Sunday and before that to a symposium at the "International Theological Institute" (ITI) in Trumau on Friday. "We urgently need to address these ethical issues," said Koch. According to the Vatican "ecumenism minister", there are also fundamental tensions and differences between the Catholic, Orthodox and Reformation churches, especially when it comes to questions of marriage and family, sexuality or gender issues. At the same time, however, there are also new tendencies in the Protestant churches, "where people are returning to the biblical image of marriage and family". The cardinal has great expectations "particularly for ecumenism" for the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete in June. In the various encounters with orthodox representatives and the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue commissions, he has always noticed tensions within the orthodoxy, "and that is a major obstacle to making progress in the dialogue". There are very different ecumenical positions within the Orthodox Church: "But if the Orthodox can find more unity among themselves, then I am convinced that this will be very positive for the future of the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue." Even if not right away Koch was confident that all internal Orthodox problems can now be solved at the first general assembly in Crete, but a positive development can be expected at the planned follow-up meetings.

At the ecumenical symposium of the "New Student Group Joseph Ratzinger/Benedikt XVI." in Trumau, the Swiss curia cardinal also commented on the different marriage practices and doctrines in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. In the Orthodox Church, a church second marriage is possible. This difference is of course not church-dividing, but an ecumenical dialogue about it is urgently needed, said the cardinal. However, Koch conceded that this question was not dealt with at the Vatican Family Synod, in which Orthodox representatives also took part.

In Trumau, the Heiligenkreuz Abbot Maximilian Heim spoke and reported on the ecumenical activities of his community. The Cistercians, for example, maintain good contacts with Protestant communities similar to religious orders, primarily through their monastery in Stiepel in Germany. The abbot also highlighted the visit of the Orthodox honorary head, Patriarch Bartholomaios, to the monastery in 2004, as well as the monastery's most recent gesture, when the monastery's own relic of the Cross of Christ was lent to the Greek Orthodox Trinity Cathedral on Vienna's Fleischmarkt.

Vienna, April 24, 2016 (KAP)

The lectures of the symposium were published in the Ratzinger Studies series, Pustet-Verlag Regensburg 2017.

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