The CEC General Secretary Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen highlighted the importance and relevance of dialogue from a Christian perspective, in context of teaching of the reformer Martin Luther and Saint Paul at the Annual EPP Group Intercultural Dialogue with churches and religious institutions.
The event was held from 4 to 5 December 2023 in Santiago De Compostela, Spain.
The EPP event was opened by Othmar Karas MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for implementation of Article 17 TFEU Dialogue with churches, religious associations or communities, philosophical and non-confessional organisations, Jan Olbrycht MEP, Vice-Chairman and Chief Whip of the EPP Group in the EP and Co-Chairman of the EPP Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue, and György HölvényI MEP, Co-Chairman of the EPP Working Group on Intercultural Relations and Interreligious Dialogue.
The CEC General Secretary reflected on the future of dialogue between the secular and the religious, sharing how the Conference of European Churches as a fellowship is well suited to take on the task to raise crucial issues and engage in dialogue with the decision makers of Europe and the world.
“A dialogue of appreciation for what you do,” said Sørensen. “But also initiating an honest and critical dialogue when we see things moving in a direction that we as believers cannot accept, such as a direction of secular fanaticism, political self-righteousness and ideological fundamentalism.”
He went on to say that “dialogue is a give and take for both parties.” In this context he urged the participants to play their role among the two regiments, namely a secular counterbalance to the religious which at times takes forms not helpful in shaping a common future.
Representatives of diverse communities at the event discussed special interventions on the role of dialogue with churches and religious communities, the importance and relevance of dialogue, dialogue in action and the influence of religion in society.