Perspectief 2014-26

Perspectief 8 Norbert Nagy doyens of the ecumenical dialogue: Christine Lienemann (Reformed, Bern/Basel) and Dorin Oancea (Orthodox, Sibiu). Almost as a summary of the scientific presentations and fascinating discussions, Lutheran theologian Friederike Nüssel (Heidelberg) and Roman Catholic ecclesiologist Peter de Mey (Leuven) offered two inspiring visions on the future of “catholicity”. Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” of 2013 has made significant steps towards a renewed understanding of “catholicity” within the Roman Catholic world. This theological and ecclesiological reflection made by the bishop of Rome, who is promoting here a sound “decentralization”, is of great source of hope for all those, who ever since the Second Vatican Council have been arguing for a revised model of “catholicity”, in which “it is not advisable for the Pope to take the place of local Bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory.” (EG 16) If this is going to be more and more the theological standpoint of the Roman Catholic Church, there will be reasons to await a real ecumenical shift during this papacy through rethinking of the role of the Bishop of Rome for unity and catholicity of the Church. All these and many other related aspects of this topic were shortly addressed also from other perspectives and contexts in the workshops of the conference. This time there was a record number of scholars, representing mainly, but not exclusively, the younger generation of ecumenists, who applied to make a short presentation in one of the workshop sessions of the consultation. It was a great privilege for the participants having the possibility to choose between 20 fascinating workshops. Churches in Hungary The tie to the local churches in the country, which hosted the gatherings of Societas Oecumenica, has always been an important aspect of these consultations. This tradition has been kept also this time, and there were several ways offered in order to get a sense of how the life of the churches in Hungary looks like. On the scientific level, three outstanding Hungarian ecumenists introduced the listeners to the history and present situation of ecumenical relations in Hungary: Mihály Kránitz (Roman Catholic), Ferenc Szűcs (Reformed), and Societas-secretary Péter Szentpétery (Lutheran). All three speakers emphasized the sceptical attitude of many churchgoers and even some theologians and