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Nature and Scope

Helpful Infromation

The Program

To partecipate:

 go to the
    Registration Form

    Registrations will be closed
    on 30 November 2005



International Symposium organized by

with the patronage of
the Faculty of Theology of the Institut catholique de Paris and
the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas - Rome

1-3 December 2005

Pontifical University St. Thomas Aquinas - Angelicum

Largo Angelicum 1, Rome
Aula Minor


In our present time, newly aware of the importance of ecumenical events,
the Ecumenical Institute San Bernardino of Venice and
the Centro Pro Unione of Rome with the patronage of the Faculty of Theology of the Institut catholique de Paris and the Faculty of Theology of
the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas of Rome
invites you to an International Symposium:

“The Relation between Bishop and the Local Church:
Old and New Questions in Ecumenical Perspective”

hoping to contribute to the contemporary
ecumenical ecclesiological research.

The International Symposium will be held from
the 1st to the 3rd of December 2005

at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome,
Largo Angelicum 1 - Rome (Aula Minor)

Your presence will be appreciated, cordially yours

Fr. Roberto Giraldo, OFM
Fr. Giacomo Puglisi, SA

Nature and Scope of the Symposium

The Bishop and the Church

    The ministry of bishops represented, without a doubt, one of the principal preoccupations of the Second Vatican Council. Forty years later, it continues to maintain all of its centrality and actuality in the ecclesiological and ecumenical reflections, and it seems destined to remain such for several generations to come.
    Our symposium will begin by listening to the personal experience of four bishops engaged in the ecumenical field. While treating the topic of the ministry of bishops, they will keep in mind problems connected with their own ecclesial traditions (Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox).
    The central issue of episkopé seems to have been identified by BEM when it invited all the churches to articulate better the relation between personal, collegial and communal authority. A familiar difficulty within the Catholic Church is the implementation of the doctrine of collegiality. Some attribute this difficulty to an incomplete development of the three dimensions of authority just stated above. Many hope that the perspective of BEM might renew the episcopate and contribute to the unity of the church. Often, the adage of St. Cyprian is positively invoked that says: the bishop must be in the church and the church in the bishop.
    Our colloquium proposes to look critically again at the whole question of the interrelations between bishop and church. A major point of view will be an ecclesiological reflection that would also take into consideration the following diverse disciplines:

- New Testament Times revisited. The episkopé, as it was understood in New Testament times, was it exercised by more persons or by only one person? Above all, what was the relationship between episkopé and the church? Was it in the church or was it vis-â--vis the church? What was its relation to the faith of the Twelve and to their ministry?
- The formative centuries. We will attempt, above all, to investigate the history of the first centuries. How do we arrive at the mono-episcopate? What are the reasons for and the steps to the monarchical episcopate? What meaning episcopal elections had in Canon Law? Or still, why were many decisions taken in common within the local church? There are other questions that arise that include the mysterico-sacramental role attributed to bishops illustrated by the writings of Pseudo-Dionysus that later favored a gradual strengthening of the predominant role of bishops over the ecclesia.
- Current Canon Law. How is the quasi-total autonomy of bishops over the church presented in the current new Code? We will consider the multiplication of absolute ordinations, such as auxiliary bishops in the Latin Church; multiple bishops in the Catholic Orient in the same see; and the weakness of the synodical structures that only have a consultative value.
- Sociology and practical theology. These two disciplines will allow us to remain at a respectful distance from historical models and to make more acute and lucid reflections about problems of today.

    The whole symposium has been thought through with all working as a team. Its ecumenical and interdisciplinary structure will be found both in the presentations, the discussions and the conclusions. Another original feature of this symposium is the very fact that the episcopate will be discussed in the presence of bishops. Walter Cardinal Kasper will personally take part, thereby giving a sense of importance and weight to this symposium.
    What results can be expected from this symposium?
    The first result will be a clarification of the question that underlies the subject at hand about the impossibility of proceeding ecumenically in the discussions concerning collegiality and primacy, which includes Roman primacy, without first understanding the relationship between bishop and local church, as well as, of course, the whole church.
    Moreover, it is hoped secondly that this symposium will succeed in identifying the chief questions related to episkopé and the episcopacy at both the ecumenical level and the pastoral level. These are very important matters that must be thought through together.

Helpful Informations

Cost of registration

    The cost of registration is Euro 50.00 (or US $ 60.00) (for students Euro 25.00, or US $ 30.00). Payment needs to be done by November 15, 2005 by means of bank draft made out to "Centro Pro Unione".

    The Registration fee is obligatory. To participate at the Symposium you will have to show your registration receipt.


    The booking and confirmation of lodgings for the time of the Symposium is the responsibility of each participant.
The Organizers have blocked a number of rooms on a first come first serve basis. These are booked at the “Residence Dehon” - Via L. Dehon 61, 00165 Rome, Tel. ++39 06 66 10041, Fax ++ 39 06 66 1004243. After the deadline of 12 November 2005, we cannot guarantee the availability of rooms. Therefore if you desire to take advantage of this offer confirm personally the booking directly at the “Residence Dehon”, and send a copy of the booking to the Secretariat for information.

    The Daily cost of a single room including breakfast is Euro 90.00 (or US $ 110.00). Each meal is Euro 17.00 (or US $ 21.00).

Symposium Contact Information

    The Secretariat for the Symposium will be located at the Centro Pro Unione up until November 30, 2005.

    On December 1st, the Secretariat will move to the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

  • Till 30 November 2005:
  •    Centro Pro Unione
       Via S. Maria dell'Anima, 30
       00186 Rome, Italy
       Tel: ++39 06 687 9552
       Fax: ++39 06 6813 3668
       E-mail: pro@pro.urbe.it
  • from 1 to 3 December 2005:
       Pontifical University of
  •    St. Thomas Aquinas -
       Largo Angelicum, 1
       00186 Rome
       Mobile Phone: ++333 62
       00 877

The Program

The Bishop is in the Church and the Church is in the Bishop
Questions and Problems
(“...Episcopum in ecclesia esse et ecclesiam in episcopo” Cyprian, Ep. 66,8)

Thursday DECEMBER 1,

9:00 - 9:30 Welcome: Prof. Joseph Agius, OP, Rector, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome
9:30 - 10:00 Episcopus in ecclesia”: Significance of an Ecclesiological Principle (Prof. Vittorino Grossi, Istituto Patristico “Augustinianum”, Rome)

My Experience and Questions as
Ecumenically Involved Bishop
10:00 - 10:30 Bishop Christopher Hill, Anglican Bishop - England
10:30 - 11:00 Bishop Paul-Werner Scheele, Emeritus, Catholic Bishop - Germany
11:00 - 11:30 PAUSE
11:30 - 12:00 H. Em. Jérémie, Orthodox Metropolitan - Switzerland
12:00 - 12:45 DEBATE
13:00 - 15:30 LUNCH
15:30 - 16:30 Why this symposium? Paths to be explored (Prof. Hervé Legrand, OP, Emeritus, Institut catholique de Paris)
16:30 - 17:30 Episkopos, episkopè, ekklesia in the New Testament: What is their Interrelationship? (Prof. Jacques Schlosser, Emeritus, Université Marc Bloch de Strasbourg)
17:30 - 17:45 PAUSE
17:45 - 18:45 Extention of the Mono-episcopate in the III century. Impact on the Relationship of episkopos/ekklesia (Prof. Georg Schöllgen, Franz-Joseph Dölger Institut, Bonn)
18:45 - 19:30 DEBATE

Friday DECEMBER 2, 2005

9:00 - 9:30 My Experience and Witness: (Bishop Eero Huovinen, Evangelical Lutheran Bishop - Finland)
9:30 - 10:45 The Episkopos in Ancient Syriac Christianity. Is it the Matrix of the “Monarchical” Episcopate? (Prof. Jacques-Noël Pérès, Faculté de théologie protestante and Institut catholique de Paris)
10:45 - 11:15 PAUSE
11:15 - 12:30 The Relationship Episkopos/ekklesia in the Church of the Empire of the IV century (Prof. Michel-Yves Perrin, Ancien élève de l’École Française de Rome, Université de Paris X-Nanterre and Institut catholique de Paris)
12:30 -13:00 The Figure of the Hierarch as Sanctifier in the Corpus Dionysiacum and its ecclesiological outcome (Prof. Adolf-Martin Ritter, Universität Heidelberg)
13:00 - 15:30 LUNCH
15:30 - 17:00 Ancient Tradition and Ecumenical Demands. Impact on Present Canonical Norms: East and West (Prof. Dimitri Salachas, Pontificia Università Urbaniana, Rome and Prof. Myriam Wijlens, Universiteit von Tilburg, The Netherlands)
17:00 - 17:30 PAUSE
17:30 - 19:00 The Image of the Bishop in Paleochristian Art: From Symbolism to Reality (Prof. Crispino Valenziano, Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Anselmo, Rome)

Saturday DECEMBER 3, 2005

9:00 - 10:15 The Dynamic of BEM and the Problematic of the Canonical Traditions (Prof. Geoffrey Wainwright, Duke University, USA)
10:15 - 10:30 PAUSE
10:30 - 11:45 Episkopos/episkopé, Catholicity and the Constitution of the Church. Important Challenges for the Reformation Churches. (Prof. André Birmelé, Université Marc Bloch de Strasbourg)
11:45 -12:45 DEBATE
13:00 - 15:30 LUNCH
15:30-16:45 Articulation Ecclesiology/Sociology: A Systemic Approach (Prof. Laurent Villemin, Institut catholique de Paris and Prof. Liliane Voyé, Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve)
16:45 - 17:00 PAUSE
17:00 - 18:15 Synodality of the Church: The Bishop is in the Church and the Church is in the Bishop (Card. Walter Kasper, President, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity)
18:15 - 20:00 Conclusion
Prof. Peder Norgaard-Hojen, University of Copenhagen;
Metropolita John Zizioulas of Pergamon;
Prof. Miroslav Volf, Yale University, USA;
Prof. William Henn, OFM cap, Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma;
Prof. Arturo Cattaneo, Istituto di diritto canonico San Pio X, Venezia;
Prof. Ignace Ndongala, Université catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve;
Prof. Francesco Compagnoni, OP, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome.
Closing greetings
Prof. Frederick Bliss, SM, Coordinator of the Ecumenical Department, Pontifical University St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome


Related Link

 Ecumenical Institute
    San Bernardino - Venice

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