2006-05-05 22:23:00

Interfax-Religion publishes papers presented by participants in the international conference "To Give a Soul to Europe. The Mission and Responsibility of the Churches"

The Vienna forum was organized jointly by the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations and the Pontifical Council for Culture. It was hosted by Pro Oriente, an Austrian Catholic Foundation.

Among the participants in the Conference were Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Cardinal Paul Poupard, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Archbishop of Vienna), Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, Latin Patriarch of Lisbon, Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria. It was attended by Orthodox and Catholic scholars, representatives of public organizations and educational institutions, clergy, theologians, public figures, journalists and church workers.

The participants discussed challenges facing Christian churches today, such as globalization, spreading of sects and secularization of society.

Religious leaders and experts offered their own ways of coming out of this crisis first of all through educating youth for Christian traditions and enhancing the influence of Christian ethics on politics, economics and the mass media.

The conference also considered prospects for various Churches to join efforts for reviving Christian ethics in European society and possibilities offered in this respect by the dialogue with other religions and secular humanists.

Given below are texts of the papers read at the forum in English.