Some important dates for ecumenism

The following dates give an idea of the variety of ecumenical approaches taken since the beginning of the 20th century.

  • John Raleigh Mott (1865-1955)
    John Raleigh Mott (1865-1955) © Wikimedia commons
  • Cardinal Mercier (1851-1926)
    Cardinal Mercier (1851-1926) © Wikimedia Commons
  • Nathan Söderblom (1866-1931) © Wikimedia Commons
  • Patriarche Athénagoras Ier de Constantinople (1886-1972) © Wikimedia Commons
  • Point situation de Leuenberg - Allemagne © Collection privée
  • Rencontre de Lund (Suède) en 2016 © Collection privée

1910: Conference of the Protestant Missionary Societies in Edinburgh, beginnings of inter-confessional ecumenism;

1921: Beginnings of the ‘Conversations at Malines’ to promote the dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics – initiated jointly by Cardinal Désiré Mercier, Catholic archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Lord Halifax (Anglican) and Father Fernand Portal (Catholic).

1925: First Universal Ecumenical Conference, called on social Christianity or practical Christianity, named ‘Life and Work’, in Stockholm (Sweden).

1927: First ‘Faith and Order’ Conference in Lausanne (Switzerland)

1936: On the initiative of Father Couturier the Universal Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was launched following the Week of Prayer for Unity which deplored the mistakes of the Reformation.

1937: First Inter-confessionnal meeting of the Dombes Group

1948: First assembly of the ecumenical World Council of Churches in Amsterdam.

1960:  Pope John XXIII created the Secretariat for Christian unity, followed by Vatican II Council (1962-1965).

1964: Meeting of Pope Paul VI and Athenagoras, the ecumenical Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople.

1966: Visit of Pope Paul VI to the World Council of Churches.

1971: First Anglican-Catholic agreements on the Eucharist.

1973: Leuenberg Agreement between the European Lutheran and Reformed Churches on ecclesial communion.

1975: Ecumenical translation of the Bible into French.

1982: ‘Baptism, Eucharist, Ministry’ document of Lima.

1987: Reuilly Agreements between Anglicans and Lutherans  for practical ecclesial communions.

1991: Programme ‘Justice, peace and safeguarding the creation’ of the World Council of Churches.

1999: The common Lutheran-Roman Catholic declaration on the ‘Doctrine of justification’ was signed in Augsburg, Germany.

2001: The European ecumenical charter was signed.

2013: Report of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic commission on unity entitled ‘From conflict to communion’.

2016: 31 October in the cathedral of Lund (Sweden), common commemoration of the Reformation between Catholics and Lutherans; a joint declaration was signed by Pope Francis and the President of the World Lutheran Federation bishop Mounib Younan (Palestine).

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