George Staelens-Sfasie obtained master’s degree in ecumenical studies

An online master’s defense was organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies UCU, where George Staelens, the DLMPES’ student, presented his thesis before the board of the academic commission.

Staelens titled his work ROOTS BLOOMING ROOTS. AN ECUMENICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE COMING REVISION OF THE US EPISCOPAL 1979 BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER. In his thesis he explored the ecumenical element that was desired, and provided solutions for the coming revised Book of Common Prayer (BCP). The 2018 General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA, a member church of the Anglican Communion, has approved the measure A068 Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer, which called for grass-roots work of revision, implying local experimentations.

The author raises the question: What would be an ecumenical prayer-book? Three key elements of the 1979 BCP are examined in detail: the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed; the prayer ascribed to Saint John Chrysostom; the “Ecumenical” Eucharistic Prayer “D”, as well as other elements. The results consist of: traditional material altered through heavy mutilations; there are also Christological flaws. And another important question is: what should be done for new BCP would automatically also be Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, up-to-date, orthodox-catholic, ... ecumenical.

Fr Laurent Cleenewerck admitted assiduity of George in writing the thesis, Taras Kurylets highlighted some critical remarks of the work. Fr Oleh Kindiy,the Head of the commission, said about practical dimension of the work and ecumenical value of the paper.

After the short discussion the Master’s commission came to conclusion to award the master’s degree in ecumenical studies to George Staelens. Congratulations!