To mark the Pentecost, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) together with the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the EU (COMECE) held a Prayer for Peace and Christian Unity on 6 June at the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by MEP Jan Olbrycht.
Prayers and special messages were shared by CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger and COMECE President Mgr. Mariano Crociata inspired by the 2023 theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity based on biblical premise of Isaiah 1:12-18 “Do good; seek justice”.
The event gathered over 76 MEPs and Christians working with European Institutions in Brussels.
The theme of the event brings into focus the words of the prophet Isaiah, highlighting how he denounces religiosity centred only in performing certain religious rituals, that is detached from the practice of justice and the defence of the poor and most vulnerable.
Reflections at the event emphasised that authentic religion cannot be separated from trying to realise the eschatological vision of God for the world, a vision of peace and unity. They shared that one cannot truly worship God and at the same time contribute to the exploitation of the poor.
Prof. Tomáš Halík reflected on the beginnings of the Church at Pentecost as a “sacrament of understanding” and the hermeneutical task of the Church in the current moment. Halík stressed that the demand to do justice is made evident in “today’s Calvary, Ukraine” where the world is witnessing a bloodshed, and the betrayal of Christ in the actions of the Russian Orthodox Church. Only just peace, connected to truth and mercy can be a solution to the war, he said.
The prayer featured hymns and music offered by Emillio Dogliani of COMECE.