Churches in Europe working group of Russian-German forum ‘St. Petersburg Dialogue’ meets in Berlin

September 13, 2017 – The Churches in Europe group of the Russian-German forum of civil societies ‘St. Petersburg Dialogue’ held a working meeting in Berlin.

The meeting opened with a minute of silence in tribute for the memory of Archbishop Feofan for Berlin and Germany who passed away on September 11, 2017; the German participants presented their condolences.

The Russian Orthodox Church was represented at the meeting by Archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations and Russian co-chairman of the working group, Archpriest Sergiy Zvonarev, DECR secretary for the far abroad, and Father Yaroslav (Ochkanov), DECR secretariat for the far abroad.

Participating in the meeting from the Churches in Germany were Dr. Johannes Eldemann, director of the Institute of Ecumenical Theology and co-chairman of the working group from the German side; Joachim Liebig, head of the Evangelical Church in Anhalt; and Dr. Dirk Stelter, representative of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany.

The meeting evaluated the work carried out by the Churches in Europe working group in 2017 and outlined major areas of cooperation for 2018. Special mention was made of the holding of Youth Theological Meetings as a positive experience since they enable students of higher education theological institutions of both the Russian Orthodox Church and theological universities in Germany to familiarize themselves with the system of teaching theological sciences in Russia and Germany and to establish academic contacts.