Ignorance of Christianity is first great obstacle to ecumenism, says Italian bishop


Secretary General of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE), Bishop Aldo Giordano, said this week that, “only those persons who know and live Christianity can contribute to ecumenism” and that "the first big obstacle" to achieving this "is the ignorance of Christianity or the superficiality of Christian life".

Bishop Giordano made his comments while in Romania preparing for the Third European Ecumenical Assembly that will take place September 4-9.  Its theme will be, "The light of Christ illuminates all. Hope for renovation of unity in Europe".

"A second step is the idea that we should become more conscious of our church membership, our identity, because people who do not live deeply or do not know the Church deeply or even their own community are hardly capable of contributing to the dialogue with those of other communities," he said.

For Bishop Giordano, Europe currently "has trouble finding ideals, values, but we listen on the other hand, that there is in Europe a new great demand for reason and for which it is very urgent to give testimony there is a light" that "is inserted in the roots of Christianity". It is only in this way that Europe "will be able" to confront the great challenges of the world.

The Secretary General of the CCEE also hopes that "the assembly will truly be a return to the path of re-discovering the light so as to advance towards reconciliation among Christians" and thereby address the "the current and great challenges of today’s world".

Some 2,000 Catholic, Evangelical, and Orthodox Christians are expected to attend the conference.

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