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Three Key Elements of Ecumenical Christian Movements in Europe

YMCA Leader expresses his viewpoint
( [email protected] ) Apr 24, 2004 09:59 PM EDT

Responding to the very first key Europe ecumenical gathering, “Europae” which will be held on 8th May in Germany, one of the organisers addressed the key elements seen in uniting European Christian movements at a press conference.

Thomas Römer, representative of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) concluded that there are three common elements.

The first one is "love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ". Römer explained, "We have experienced the force of the Gospel that changes one's life. Jesus Christ, who died and rose, is at the centre of the Gospel, and his presence among us is the most important reason of our communion."

Second, "this experience of the Gospel in the last years has given rise to many common experiences," Römer continued. "The communities that have arisen seek common things: starting from the faith, they commit themselves to others."

Third, these new movements are aware that "love of God unites all people," he said. "God loves all people and we want to express God's love to all people. Love creates a multiplicity of works: some commit themselves to youth, others to the poor or the imprisoned, or to the reconciliation of couples or families."

Gathered under the motto "Together for Europe" will be representatives of 150 Catholic, Evangelical-Lutheran, Orthodox and Anglican movements. The meeting will be held in Stuttgart, Germany. Top leaders from major Christian denominations and movements in Europe, including Chiara Lubich of the Focolare Movement, Andrea Riccardi of the Community of Sant'Egidio, and Orthodox priest Heikki Huttunen will address the occasion.

"Together we want to give glory to God and serve humanity in the name of Jesus," Römer said. "This is Stuttgart's objective."