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 published: 2004-02-20

Christians of different Churches and ecclesial communities of Europe: TOGETHER FOR EUROPE

International Assembly of over 150 Movements, Communities and groups


Working together to give a soul to the new Europe in the making "unity in diversity" for the Europe that lives up to its vocationof peace and unity among nations: this is the objective of the International Meeting MAY 8, 2004 in the historic moment of expansion to the Eastern and Southern countries of the Continent, in STUTTGART, Germany. Over 10,000 participants are expected at the Hanns Martin Schleyer Sports Palace - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Planned is a Satellite Link-up with simultaneous meetings to take place in over 100 other European cities.


Presentations of founders and leaders of Movements, Communities and groups among whom are: Chiara Lubich, Andrea Riccardi; Evangelical pastors Friedrich Aschoff, Ulrich Parzany; Father Heikki Huttunen, Orthodox

Speeches by:

Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission
Walter Card. Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity
Johannes Friedrich, Bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Baviera

Experiences of life by Movements, Communities and groups in response to the basic questions of today: about peace, about a new lifestyle which puts Europeans in dialogue with one another, how to integrate different cultures and peoples; family values, solidarity with Europe's and the world's disadvantaged.

The youth will have a word to say about their commitment and their "vision" of Europe.

Artistic pieces will be shown to express Europe's cultural riches. Among the participating artists are: Judy Bailey, Albert Frey, Beatbetrieb, Gen Rosso, Gen Verde, as well as the Ballet Company of Liliana Cosi and Marinel Stefanescu.

Bishops of different Churches, a large number of political representatives of different European countries, and personalities of the cultural sphere are also expected to attend.


  • European unity is in the making; Eastern and Southern European nations are being included. And now, for the first time in history, Movements, communities and groups of various Christian denominations, have embarked on a unified journey towards fellowship and collaboration. Together they want to contribute to the continent's spiritual unity.
  • At Stuttgart, Movements, Communities and groups would like to render visible existing realities such as:
    • - a network of brotherhood which has already been extended throughout the continent and is breaking down false nationalism and historical barriers;
    • - spiritual renewal which is growing out of putting the Gospel into practice and is manifesting itself in many sectors of civic life.


  • During a meeting in Rome in May 2002 of founders and leaders of different Catholic and Evangelical Movements and Communities, the idea came up to promote a large-scale assembly in Germany, as a contribution to giving Europe a soul. Present at this meeting were representatives of the: St. Egidio Community, Convention of Evangelical Leaders, Cursillos de Cristiandad, Focolare Movement, Schoenstatt Movement, the Italian section of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement, the Evangelical Charismatic Renewal Movement, and the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association).
  • The assembly entitled "Together for Europe" is the result of an itinerary which had its beginnings among Evangelical-Lutherans in 1969, and has been taken up by over 120 Movements, Communities and groups in Germany. Also Catholic groups have begun to meet together since the Vigil of Pentecost 1998 with Pope John Paul II, and the effort now involves over 240 Catholic Movements and Communities all over the world.
  • Since October 31, 1999 - date of the historic signing of the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification by the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation - on the occasion of a meeting of leaders of Catholic and Evangelical-Lutheran Movements, Communities and groups at the Ecumenical Center of Ottmaring, near Augsburg, a new experience of fellowship and collaboration has been flourishing and is spreading among the Orthodox, Anglicans and other Christians as well.


  • They have originated in different European countries before and after World War II, and most of them have spread all over Europe and in other parts of the world;
  • they differ in nature, expansion, areas of commitment; they are predominantly lay, and involve people of all ages and categories;
  • they are widely open to dialogue at various levels;
  • what they have in common is the aspiration to return to an authentic life of the Gospel and the awareness that they are not a product of a human project but of a gift of the Spirit as a response to the challenges of today.


  • May 1: extension of the European Union with the inclusion of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta and Cyprus.
  • May 8: anniversary of the end of World War II (May 8, 1945)
  • May 9: celebration for Europe, on the occasion of the anniversary of Robert Schuman's historic declaration of 1950, which proposed the formation of a community at the service of peace, herald of the European Union.

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