Date today: 26.03.2019  |  Name days: Eiženija, Ženija

Ecumenism in Latvia

Archbishop at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

Since 2012 metropolitan archbishop of Riga Zbigņevs Stankevičs is a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. After receiving a letter from the President of the Pontifical Council, Cardinal Kurt Koch, highlighting the archbishop’s competence in the ecumenical field, archbishop Stankevičs said that he does not perceive it as his own achievement but as the highest award for the Christian cooperation in Latvia. “Good relations that occurred during the Soviet time among Christians of different denominations in Latvia promotes unity not only here, but in a whole world. We are responsible for further growth in unity, as only when we are united, we can give a credible testimony of God who is Love”, said Stankevičs.

When asked to describe the situation on ecumenism in Latvia, Stankevičs said “it is quite well if compared to other countries, but, of course, it does not mean that we already have achieved everything we could and can rest now. Closer we will be to Christ, closer we will be to each other. Everyone is invited to pray and bring spiritual sacrifices in the name of Christian unity. We are called to continue the cooperation we have started, but on clear grounds of our identity. Of course, it is very important that we do not rumour about each other, especially in the public. It is preferable to discuss arguable issues in direct negotiations. Then, in fact, the Christ’s commandment of love would be a step closer towards its fufilment right here in Latvia. The kingdom of heaven would be closer”.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity exercises a double role. First of all, it is entrusted with the promotion, within the Catholic Church, of an authentic ecumenical spirit according to the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio). At the same time, the Pontifical Council also aims to develop dialogue and collaboration with the other Churches and World Communions. At present, the Council is engaged in an international theological dialogue with each of the following Churches and World Communions: the Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Malankara Churches, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the World Methodist Council, the Baptist World Alliance, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and some Pentecostal groups.