Ecumenism Today from Fr Laurent Cleenewerck

Fr Laurent Cleenewerck a faculty member of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies, an academic and theologian, serving as professor of international administration and theology for EUCLID (Euclid University), rector and ordained priest of St Innocent Orthodox Church in Eureka, had an online lecture for the DLMPES’ students.

The main topic of the lecture was the current state of the ecumenical relations in the world. In the beginning of the meeting Fr Laurent shared his personal experience of his way to Christ and his choice to become an Orthodox priest. He mentioned his cooperation with World Council of Churches, especially with Faith and Order Commission.

Fr Cleenewerck stressed that after the Second Vatican Council ecumenical movement went through great enthusiasm, the spirit of the Christian unity was renewed and lively supported by the Churches. The fast raising of the ecumenical openness was later changed by indecision and desire to preserve the current state of the relations. The Christian started to talk not only about the things, which unite them, instead many switched their attention to the divergences among the Churches in ethics and moral issues, in pastoral and canonic life of their confessions.

Ecumenical movement needs to be refreshed in the situation of the global changes. Fr Laurent believes that Christians have potential to achieve the visible unity of the Church. If you have desire and a will to talk openly then the cause of unity would certainly succeed. Professor gave an example that the current state of the ecumenical movement could be compared to a serious disease, where we could conform to it (and it will progress) or we could start the process of curing it, sometimes long and not easy. Therefore, ecumenism is about curing the wounds, based on the honest dialogue.