On December 11 - 14 in the city of Trent (Italy) the First European Orthodox-Catholic Forum, on the theme \"The Family: A Good for Humanity,\" was held. In the forum took part representatives of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches of Europe. In total there were 30 participants." />

First European Orthodox-Catholic Forum on family

Friday, 19 December 2008, 14:33
On December 11 - 14 in the city of Trent (Italy) the First European Orthodox-Catholic Forum, on the theme "The Family: A Good for Humanity," was held. In the forum took part representatives of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches of Europe. In total there were 30 participants.
On December 11 - 14 in the city of Trent (Italy) the First European Orthodox-Catholic Forum, on the theme "The Family: A Good for Humanity," was held. In the forum took part representatives of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches of Europe. In total there were 30 participants. From the RCC in the forum took part: Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (Consilium Conferentiarum Episcoporum Europae (CCEE)), His Excellency Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, Archbishop of Minsk and Mohilev, His Excellency Paolo Pezzi, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Monsignor Grzegorz Kaszak, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and others. The Orthodox Church was represented by the following participants: Bishop  Hilarion (Alfeyev) from the Russian Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Arsenios (Kardamakis) from the Ecumenical Patriarchate [of Constantinople], Bishop Andon (Merdani) from the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, Bishop Siluan from the Romanian Orthodox Church, and others. Fr. Yuriy Kolasa, priest of the Lviv Archeparchy of the UGCC who is now a teacher at the International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Austria, was invited to participate in the forum as an expert and representative of the Greek-Catholic Churches of Europe. In one of the plenary meetings Fr. Yuriy lectured on the theme: "Religious upbringing in the family." He also participated actively in all discussions and was invited to the working group to develop the general declaration which united the positions of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. This document contains an agreed position in relation to the nature and sacramentality of marriage, the mission of the family in modern Europe, and recommendations and demands addressed to politicians and social activists of Europe. At the recommendation of Fr. Kolasa, points about the education and formation of children and public acknowledgement of the dignity of motherhood and the tragic consequences of forced migration for the family in Europe of the 21st century, which is caused by the search for means of existence, were introduced into the general document. "The First European Orthodox-Catholic Forum turned out to be an extraordinarily unique experience in the construction of brotherly relations between the Churches. Reflecting on the status of the family in modern Europe, the Catholic and Orthodox Churches closely united in joint work for the future of humanity. This experience encouraged the president of the CCEE, Cardinal Peter Erdo, to organize following meetings, where Catholics and Orthodox would have the possibility to discuss the general challenges of modern society."  So Fr. Yuriy Kolasa noted in a comment for the Information Department. In his words, in a private conversation Cardinal Erdo noted that the presence of representatives of the Greek-Catholic Churches at such meetings was extraordinarily important.

Information Department of the UGCC

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