Consultation in Klingenthal 2018

Every 18 months, the Institute brings together ecumenical experts from different countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, USA) and different churches (Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, Roman Catholic) in the château Klingenthalin order to discuss both results of the ecumenical dialogues and challenges. The last consultation took place from March 20 to 23, 2018. The topic was: “The ecumenical harvest of the commemoration of the Reformation and future ecumenical challenges.” The difficult way to a joint Catholic-Evangelical/Protestant commemoration of the Reformation was analyzed – an outstanding fruit of this work is the Lutheran/Roman Catholic document “From Conflict to Communion” (translated into 20 languages). It served as the basis for the ecumenical worship service jointly led by Pope Francis and the leaders of the Lutheran World Federation in Lund on October 31, 2016. The consultation mentioned the very many ecumenical services, seminars, presentations, exhibitions and actions – this ecumenical dimension of the commemoration of the Reformation, surpassing by far all expectations, seems to have been the most remarkable fruit of the commemoration year 2017. The consultation reflected the special significance that signs, symbols, pictures, and actions played in this process beside the contribution of ecumenical theology. With respect to the future of ecumenism, clarification of the conceptions of the unity of the church was emphasized as urgent task. The participants also reflected on the so-called in-via-declarations whether they allow for receiving officially insights of the ecumenical dialogue in a binding form by the churches, even though consensus has not been achieved on all divisive questions. The promising ecumenical perspectives that the pontificate of Pope Francis offer were taken into consideration. It is important to use the possibilities that this Pope offers.